Exotic Fruits – How Do I Use Them In My Cooking?

There are many weird and wonderful fruits in the world, many that we rarely use in our day-to-day cooking, but provide amazing health benefits.

Here are some uncommon fruits that you might not have ever tried before, plus why they are so good for you and some simple ways to incorporate them into your cooking.


Rebecca Gawthorne Exotic Fruits


1. Custard Apple

Health Benefits

  • Excellent source of vitamin C, important for a healthy functioning immune system
  • Contains potassium which is important for normal fluid and electrolyte balance
  • Contains magnesium which is important for normal nerve and muscle function
  • Low glycemic index (GI) of 54 meaning eating it keeps you fuller for longer
  • Good source of dietary fibre, custard apples can also help keep you regular

 How To Eat

Cut in half and scoop out the white flesh with a spoon. Can be eaten alone, added on top of cereal or into a fruit salad. They are also a great match for desserts, making a delicious addition to sorbets, nice-cream, tarts and fruit pies. My favourite is combining the flesh of a custard apple with a few tablespoons of Cocobella Straight Up Coconut Water and blending to make a refreshing, healthy sorbet.



2. Persimmon
Health Benefits

  • High in fibre to keep you feeling full and promote healthy digestion
    High in vitamin C to keep your immune system strong and help you absorb plant iron
  • Low glycemic index to keep you feeling energised
  • High in vitamin A for healthy eyes
  • Contains antioxidants, flavanoids and anti-inflammatory properties

 How To Eat

Can be eaten whole like an apple, sliced and added to a salad or fruit salad, onto cereal, through nice cream and can even be grilled and added to dinners with vegetables.


Minty Persimmon Yoghurt Cups 


2 persimmons

½ cup Cocobella Vanilla Yoghurt

1 tbs. honey

A few fresh mint leaves


Slice persimmons into wedges and place into a cup. Top with yoghurt and drizzle with honey. Sprinkle with mint leaves and enjoy.



3. Pomegranate

Health Benefits

  • Rich in Vitamin C, potassium, folate and vitamin K
  • High in fibre and good for digestive health
  • Help fight infections and keep your immune system strong
  • High in antioxidants to prevent free-radical damage and reduce inflammation, heart disease and cancer risk

 How To Eat

Cut in half and separate the seeds, which are the edible portion, from the pith. Can be eaten alone or added through a salad, on top of cereal or added into a fruit salad. Try my Pear and Pomegranate Salad with Maple Balsamic Dressing Recipe.


Pear and Pomegranate Salad with Maple Balsamic Dressing



2 tbs. olive oil

2 tsp. maple syrup

1 tbs balsamic vinegar

1 large garlic clove, crushed


3 cups shredded mixed greens

1 pear, sliced

2 tbs. pumpkin seeds

Seeds of 1 pomegranate

3 tbs. flaked coconut



To make the dressing, place all ingredients into a small bowl and whisk until combined.

To make the salad, toss ingredients into a salad bowl and cover with dressing. Allow to marinade for 20min or more before serving.



Rebecca Gawthorne Passionfruit  

4. Passionfruit

Health Benefits

  • High in vitamins C and A, which keep your skin and eyes healthy
  • High in fiber for healthy digestion
  • Good source of potassium

How To Eat

Slice in half and scoop out the edible pulp, including the seeds. Can be eaten by the spoon or added through a fruit salad, onto nice cream, on cereal, on top of pancakes, in a smoothie…. the list is endless.


Rebecca Gawthorne Dragonfruit


6. Pitaya (aka Dragonfruit)

Health Benefits

  • High in B vitamins for energy metabolism
  • Hood source of vitamin C and iron
  • Good source of polyunsaturated fats (in the seeds)

How To Eat

 Slice in half and scoop out the white and black spotted inside. Can be eaten alone, diced and added through a fruit salad, on top of cereal or in a smoothie. Pitaya can also be used as an alternative to acai in breakfast smoothie bowls.

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