Have you ever heard of the Kiwano melon? Also known as horned melon, African horned cucumber, spiked melon, and jelly melon. It has got to be one of the most unique looking fruits on the outside and inside. In this post I discuss where the kiwano melon comes from and where it grows, I show you how to eat kiwano melon, and give some health benefits and describe what they taste like.
At first glance the kiwano melon is otherworldly. They look like something that would grow on Mars or something, haha. In fact, it was even on an episode of Star Trek and most recently seen in Star Wars Episode VII during the bar scene.
They are such an amazing looking fruit, right up there with the Dragon fruit.
Where do Kiwano melons come from?
Kiwano or horned melons are in the cucumber and melon family. They are orangish yellow with little spikes or “horns” on them. When they are ripe they will be very orange and the inside will be a bright green color.
They are native to Africa and is a traditional food there. Kiwano melons are grown in places like the United States, Portugal, Chile, Australia, New Zealand, and Italy, as well as other places in the world. They are well suited for dry hot climates.
What are the health benefits of kiwano melon?
The kiwano melon has all kinds of healthy nutrients:
- Low in calories – One fruit is about 90 calories
- Decent amount of Vitamin C, Protein, Vitamin A, Vitamin B6, Magnesium, Iron, and a few other essential minerals.
- High in antioxidants
- Promotes healthy red blood cell production
- Good for blood sugar control, since it has a low glycemic index
- Good for hydration. They are mostly comprised of water and have lots of electrolytes.
Learn more about this amazing fruit’s health benefits here on Healthline.
How to eat Kiwano Melon
Now how to eat Kiwano melon? First, you need to wait until they are ripe. There shouldn’t be any green on the outside. The skin should be a nice orangish yellow color.
The rind or skin is edible and contains nutrients but most people stick to eating the inside of the fruit.
Wash the fruit first, then cut it lengthwise down the middle.
Now you can hold up a half and slurp out that amazing lime green jelly or use a spoon and scoop it out. Most people eat the seeds as well, like you would with a normal cucumber, or the softer white seeds in a water melon.
What does kiwano (horned) melon taste like?
The texture is kind of like jelly, similar to that of a passionfruit. It is very refreshing tasting and has a mild sweetness sometimes on the sour side as well. There is a hint of a traditional cucumber taste as well, and when very ripe, some people say there is a bit of a banana taste too. Maybe even a hint of lime too.
A lot of people will enhance the flavor by sprinkling salt or sugar on it. It is traditionally eaten as a refreshing snack or in a salad. In places like the Kalahari Desert, it is one of the few sources of water. So this watery snack, helps keep the hydration level up.
There you go a quick look at how to eat kiwano melon, where they grow and come from, and what they taste like as well as the health benefits.
Have you ever tried one? Let me know what you think of it!
How to Eat Kiwano Melon (Video)
Check out this video where I talk all about the Kiwano melon and do a taste test.
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