I love kiwi fruit. They’re oh so sweet yet have that lovely sour tang to balance this out. I love eating them whole, adding them to smoothies and fruit juices and even desserts and fruit salads. They don’t seem out of place anywhere in my kitchen but there is one thing I dislike about them.
I hate peeling ripe kiwi fruit. I always end up either mushing it up too much or leaving loads of fruit attached to the skin.
As I was fighting with my (slightly blunt) veggie peeler and a perfectly ripe kiwi, making a right mess in the kitchen, the thought crossed my mind. Do you actually HAVE to peel a kiwi before adding it to the juicer? Quickly I jumped on google and the results shocked me.
It turns out you absolutely do not need to peel kiwis before putting them in a juicer. The whole kiwi is fine to go in, skin, seeds, the lot! Not only are they fine to go in unpeeled but the skin is actually the most nutrient dense portion of the fruit!
I’ve done loads of research on kiwis and developed this ultimate kiwi juicing guide so you can decide for yourself if peeling that kiwi is actually worth the effort!
6 HEALTH BENEFITS OF KIWI FRIUT
Helps You Get A Good Night’s Sleep
Kiwi fruit is said to help you get a good night’s rest. This study looked at the consumption of kiwi fruit linked to adult sleep patterns. The kiwi seems to help you drift off faster, sleep longer and more restfully when eaten 1 hour before bedtime. If you suffer from insomnia or sleep disturbances, it certainly can’t hurt to give the kiwifruit a try!
Kiwifruit is also a great assistant when it comes to food digestion. The fibre found in the fruit is great for your gut microbiome, keeping it active and healthy. Not only this but kiwis also contain an enzyme called actinidin. As this review discusses, actinidin helps breakdown proteins found in foods.
Good For Your Immune System
Kiwifruit is very high in vitamins C, E and K. It’s especially impressive with regards to vitamin C as 1 kiwi contains more than 100% of your daily recommended amount. As this paper discusses, kiwis help support your immune function and may reduce the incidence and severity of cold and flu symptoms showing up.
As part of your normal metabolism your body produces things called reactive oxygen species (free radicals). If these don’t get cleared away they cause stress and damage to cells which can lead to illness and even cancer. Kiwis are high in antioxidants which are compounds that remove these free radicals. Even more reason to add kiwis to your diet!
Kiwis contain a compound that acts to lower your blood pressure. This study found kiwis lowered blood pressure in people with a moderate elevation in blood pressure. Lower blood pressure reduces your chances of developing heart disease so this is definitely good news if you love kiwi.
As if there’s not already enough to celebrate with the kiwifruit this study has possibly found a link between kiwis and asthma sufferers. Children who are susceptible to asthma had lower incidence of wheezing when they regularly consumed kiwifruit. Whilst a kiwi won’t replace asthma medications, it’s healthy, easy to take and may just lessen the amount the inhaler is needed.
WHY IS THE SKIN IMPORTANT?
Kiwi skin, although it looks inedible with it’s sometimes hairy and rough texture is actually fine to eat. Not only is it fine to eat, it’s actually really good for you. You can increase your fibre intake by 50% by eating the skin and the skin is also very high in vitamin E. This paper showing analysis of the skin of a kiwi found that it contains loads of antioxidants as well.
HOW A JUICER WORKS
I find it helpful, when considering whether or not to peel fruit and veg before juicing, to understand how the juicer actually works. The typical juicer you find in stores and online are centrifugal juicers. These work by using a sharp, very fast rotating blade that chops up the fruit and veg a bit like a blender. The machine also spins this material very fast. This separates the liquid juice from the denser pulp material. The juice is then passed through a filter to remove any remnant pulp and leave you just the lovely vibrant juice part.
When considering if you should peel the kiwi or not, think about why. If you don’t like the texture of the skin then don’t worry! The filter will remove all that hairy, grainy material so you won’t be chewing it as you sip.
The skin doesn’t affect the taste of the kiwi juice at all and will add extra goodness to the juice so I prefer to leave it on (plus you save time not peeling them!).
TIPS FOR EATING KIWI SKIN
There’s one thing I feel I need to point out when you’re juicing kiwis. If you’re looking for the benefits of the fibre in the skin then it’s important to know that juicing removes the fibre from the fruit. That’s what all that leftover pulp is!
If you’re keen to gain all the potential benefits you can from then you can just eat the whole fruit, skin and all!
I find it best to select a smaller fruit as they tend to be a bit easier to eat than the larger varieties. Golden kiwis are my favorite as they have fuzz-free skin, so no weird texture at all!
Select a fruit to eat that is smooth and has a gentle softness to it when you press it. Very firm fruits are not ripe yet. It’s best to give them a wash in cold water and then eat like an apple or slice up before enjoying.
If the kiwi isn’t ripe yet, store it at room temperature, checking it daily until it softens. When it starts to ripen, it’s best stored in the refrigerator to keep from going off too quickly.
OTHER FRUITS THAT CAN BE JUICED WITH SKIN
It’s not just the kiwi that can be added to the juicer skin and all. Many other fresh fruits can be juiced with very little prep. This can save you time and energy in the kitchen and often adds some extra health benefits to the juice. It is important to mention here that some bigger seeds (such as melon) can cause juicing issues. It’s best to remove seeds if in doubt.
Here’s a few examples of fruits that juice well, rind on or off!
Honeydew melon, cantaloupe, persimmon, guava, cherries, pumpkin, apples, apricots, lemon, limes (and most citrus fruits) pears, carrots, starfruit, watermelon, cucumber, tomato, beetroot and ginger root.
KIWI GOES WELL WITH…
Now that you know that you don’t need to spend hours peeling those kiwi fruits you can use this time to get creative. Kiwis go great with lots of different fruits in the juicer. Here are some of my favorite juice recipes.
4 Kiwi fruits, 1 apple and a handful of fresh mint. This combination is so fresh and delicious. Great for a buzz in the morning or helping digestion after a large meal (mint is also a great digestive aid).
1 kiwi fruit, 1.5 apples, large stick of celery, 1 tbsp minced peeled ginger, squeeze of fresh lime and a small handful of parsley. This one has a lovely depth to the flavors and the ginger gives it a punchy finish. Great for an immune booster if you’re feeling a bit under the weather.
2 cups of strawberries, 1 kiwifruit, fresh lime juice, 1 tbsp honey. This one really satisfies any sugar cravings. Sweet like a summer evening I often use this recipe as a dessert substitute. If you want to keep it vegan you can always substitute the honey for maple syrup.
ISSUES WITH KIWIS
As awesome as kiwis are, some people do not get on well with kiwis. They can cause allergic reactions in some poor people. Symptoms range from hives, vomiting, itchy throat right to wheezing and trouble breathing. It’s important to be aware of these risks and ensure if you check with people before serving kiwi juice to guests.
Kiwis are healthy and delicious and make a great addition to many juice combinations. Don’t let the hairy skin put you off, they can be juiced with skin and seeds all together and you’ll gain more health benefits if you do so! Just be wary that some people do suffer from kiwi allergies.