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Starfruit

Carambola, or Starfruit, as it is commonly known, is a tropical plant that is popular in a lot of Asian countries. It got its name “Starfruit” because a cross-section of the fruit resembles that of a five-pointed star (though some varieties have 3 or 7 “arms”). Depending on the variety, ripe starfruit can either be very sweet or very tart.

  • Kingdom: Plantae
  • Order: Oxalidales
  • Family: Oxalidaceae
  • Genus: Averrhoa
  • Species: A. carambola
  • Binomial name: Averrhoa carambola

Starfruit Trivia

  • The starfruit tree folds its leaves at night
  • The entire starfruit is edible from the skin, flesh, and even the seeds.
  • Starfruit inhibits the CYP3A4 enzyme that is responsible for metabolism of most medication. This is why starfruit should be avoided when taking medication.
  • The starfruit tree blooms the whole year-round.

Starfruit Buying Guide

Choose attractive looking, large, and yellow-orange starfruits. Avoid fruits that are green (still underripe or underdeveloped), shriveled (overripe), or tiny (underdeveloped). Also, avoid starfruits that have cuts or bruises.

Starfruit Production & Farming in Texas

The Starfruit requires USDA hardiness zones 10-13 to survive and thrive, making commercial production in Texas all but impossible. While there are no large-scale starfruit production operations in Texas, growing starfruit has become some sort of a favorite to specialty fruit growers and home gardening enthusiasts because of its growing popularity as an exotic fruit.

Pesticides:

Even though there was a high occurrence of pesticide residue on starfruit, the contamination levels did not contribute significantly to pesticide intake. They were unlikely to have an impact on health. To put it simply, while pesticides were detected, they were at an “acceptable” level.

But why take chances? Go organic and skip the pesticides altogether.

Geography:

The starfruit is very intolerant of cold, so this limits growing of the tree to the southern parts of Texas. The starfruit plants need well-fertilized soil, well-drained soil, and wind protection while starting. They also need frequent watering as they are not drought resistant.

Packaging:

While starfruit is very delicate when it is ripe, it is quite tough when it is still unripe. Starfruit, even though they are best ripened on the tree, are usually harvested when underripe to survive transport. They are either individually wrapped in paper before being boxed up, or have individual foam mesh packing material to prevent the arms from bruising against each other.

Eating Starfruits

To prepare starfruit for consumption, give them a good wash before anything else. After washing, trim off the ends and any dried off parts from the star arms/angles. Once that’s done, you can slice them into thin slices before enjoying them. Optional: Remove the seeds before eating.

WARNING: Starfruit contains caramboxin and oxalic acid, which may be DEADLY to people suffering from kidney failure, kidney stones, or those undergoing dialysis.

Storage:

Ripe starfruit can be stored on the countertop at room temperature for 1-2 days. They can also be stored in the refrigerator for up to one week.

Unripe starfruit can be left to ripen on the countertop until it turns into an orange-yellow color.

Starfruit can be frozen by slicing them thinly, then layering them with some sugar before freezing.

Cooking:

Because of their strong taste, a little starfruit goes a long way. They are best used as a garnish for salads and tropical drinks as their flavor packs quite a punch, and the star shape adds a lot of visual appeal to any dish. Sweet starfruit can also be made into sauces, chutney, tarts, jams, or pickles.

Sour variants of the starfruit can be used in almost any dish that calls for lemon or lime for a unique tart twist.

 

Nutrition:

  • Carbs
    • The starfruit is a pretty low-carb fruit with only 6.8g of carbs per serving and only 4.0g net carbs. This is an excellent fruit for those who are observing a low carb diet.
  • Fiber
    • Starfruit is pretty high in fiber, with one serving providing 10% of the RDI.
      • Fiber is an essential part of a person’s diet because it promotes gut health and flushes toxins out of the body.
    • Vitamins and minerals:
      • Starfruit is high in Vitamin C, with one serving providing over half of the RDI.
        • Vitamin C helps in cell regeneration, improving the immune system, and a whole host of other health benefits. The list keeps growing the more studies they do on Vitamin C.

When Is Starfruit in Season in Texas?

One of the most salient benefits to eating seasonally is that you are effectively reducing your carbon footprint and supporting a more geographically sustainable food economy. We are rarely encouraged to think about the physical lengths our food travels before arriving on the market shelves. And all of this travel comes with a hefty environmental cost that is concealed from the consumer’s eye. Check other fruit and veg that’s in season in Texas.

Nutrition

DV%

  • Serving Size: 100g
  • Calories: 31 0
  • Carbs: 8g 0
  • Sugar: 0g 0
  • Fiber: 8g 0
  • Protein: 0g 0
  • Fat: 3g 0
  • Saturated Fat: 1g 0

Seasonality

When are apples in season in Texas?

  • Jan
  • Feb
  • Mar
  • Apr
  • May
  • Jun
  • Jul
  • Aug
  • Sep
  • Oct
  • Nov
  • Dec

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