Lilikoi is the Hawaiian word for passion fruit. It is also known by its scientific name Passiflora edulis. This exotic fruit grows on vines in a warm and tropical climate, South America, India, South Africa, Australia, and Hawaii are among the common places where it grows.
In terms of appearance, lilikoi is a round fruit with a smooth yet though peel that comes in many colors, yellow, purple, or red. Its distinguishing characteristic is the number of seeds inside surrounded by a soft pulp. Lilikoi’s seeds can be eaten as is, however, it is mostly used to make juices or desserts.
Lilikoi has gained attention in recent years due to the numerous health benefits that it provides, one of the most desired benefits is lilikoi’s capacity to reduce anxiety. Interested in reading more about this tropical fruit? Follow me on this article to learn how to eat lilikoi and its health benefits.
How to Eat Lilikoi/Passion Fruit
Lilikoi or passion fruit can be eaten in a variety of ways. If you would like to try it as it is – highly recommended – you will need to follow a simple hack to ensure that the fruit is ready to be eaten; otherwise, lilikoi can taste extremely bitter.
So here is the trick, first, check its peel, if it is ripe it should be soft and slightly wrinkled. Second, shake the fruit. If you feel and hear a liquid moving, it is definitely good to go. Finally, smell it, lilikoi has a very distinctive tropical aroma.
Now that you know when the lilikoi is ready to be eaten, here are the steps to eat it as it is. First of all, wash the peel; this step is very important even if you do not consume the peel, as it can have dirt and bacteria that can accidentally make their way into the pulp. Then, you can simply cut the top of the fruit, where the stalk is located; with the help of a spoon you can scoop out the pulp and seeds. This is the best way of cutting lilikoi in order to not lose its delicious juice while cutting it.
Also, remember that lilikoi’s seeds are edible – in fact, it is highly recommended to eat them due to the amount of magnesium that they contain. On the other hand, lilikoi’s skin is not edible; although, you can preserve it and use it as fertilizer if you have plats at home.
As for the taste of this tropical fruit, it has a very aromatic flavor. It varies between sweet and sour notes.
What to Do with Lilikoi
Lilikoi is a very versatile fruit that goes well with pretty much everything. Therefore, there are a variety of ways that you can use it. One of the most well-known ways of lilikoi use is to prepare drinks. For instance, you can use lilikoi to prepare mojito, Moscow mule, gin punch… The options are endless.
Juices are another famous option; the only thing to remark here is that in each lilikoi there are around 1 or 2 tablespoons of seedy flesh. With that said, in order to make one single cup of lilikoi juice you will need to use large quantities of the fruit. To avoid using so many lilikoi to prepare juice you can also use other fruits. Lilikoi pairs well with orange, papaya, carrots, and mango. Also do not forget to strain the juice. Due to lilikoi seedy flesh, it will produce a lot of leftover pulp.
In terms of desert, lilikois leaves nothing to be desired as well. This exotic tropical fruit can be used in a variety of recipes; including mousse, cake, jam, pannacotta, ice cream, tart, syrup, cheesecake, cupcakes, puddings… The options are endless. Just let your imagination flow and create your own recipe using lilikoi.
Furthermore, if you do not have the opportunity to buy lilikoi year-round, you can buy it when available and store the pulp in the freezer, inside freezer bags. It will remain good for up to 8 months.
Lilikoi is so versatile that it can also be used to produce butter, very common in Hawaii lilikoi butter goes well to spread in bread, toasts, and waffles. It is extremely easy to make, using just a few ingredients (passion fruit juice, butter, sugar, and eggs), once it is done you can store it in the refrigerator and it will remain good for a couple of weeks.
Lilikoi Health Benefits
In terms of health benefits, lilikoi presents numerous advantages. In one lilikoi there are around 17 calories, yes you have read it right, it is considered a low-calorie fruit, thus a great option to include in your diet if you are trying to lose weight.
Moreover, lilikoi is a great source of vitamin C, it supplies around 7% of the recommended daily intake. It is also a great source of potassium, magnesium, and vitamin A. And if that was not enough to convince you, lilikoi is rich in antioxidants, which are linked to protecting overall cardiovascular health; antioxidants act by reducing damages in blood vessels caused by free radicals.
Finally, studies suggest that passionflower, the flower present in the lilikoi tree, might help to relieve stress, insomnia, and anxiety. It is believed to increase levels of a chemical in the brain that helps to regulate the mood.
Lilikoi, also known as passion fruit, is an exotic tropical fruit that is grown in vines of tropical regions. This round fruit that can come in many colors such as yellow, red, or purple, have a distinguish seedy flesh that has a sweet and sour taste.
Regarding how to eat lilikoi, this fruit is extremely versatile in the kitchen. It can be eaten as it is or part as many recipes including drinks and juices as well as a variety of deserts. Butter is another delicatessen that can be made with lilikoi, common in Hawaii. Lilikoi butter is an excellent option to spread your bread in the breakfast.
Additionally, lilikoi presents a large variety of health benefits including protecting cells from damage and reducing anxiety.