The Most Passion(ate) of Fruits
Florida is passionate about its fruit, especially passion fruit! There are three different varieties grown in Florida: purple passion fruit or Passiflora edulis, yellow passion fruit or P. edulis flavicarpa, and giant granadilla or P. quadrangularis. It is mainly grown in South Florida due to needing very warm conditions to grow properly. Purple passionfruit is the exception to this and can be grown as far North as Tampa because it is hardier. Although this fruit does grow year-round, Florida’s production peaks from April through June and November through January.
Passion fruit is not only tasty, but healthy for you too! This fruit provides a good source of potassium, fiber, vitamin A, and vitamin C. Something cool about this fruit is that it is a plant-based source of iron called nonheme iron. Your body is able to absorb iron better from the vitamin C in passion fruit. In addition, the potassium contained in this juicy fruit can help maintain a healthy blood pressure and is important for a healthy heart.
When shopping for passion fruit at the grocery store, look for fruit that has wrinkled skin. This indicates that it is ripe and ready to eat! It is best to eat passion fruit fresh, but it can also be stored in the refrigerator. When keeping your fruit in the refrigerator, you should store it in a plastic bag. It can stay fresh like this for up to a week. To eat your passion fruit, all you have to do is cut it in half and scoop out all of the pulp and seeds inside. Yep, that’s right, the seeds are edible too! Passion fruit has a sweet and tart taste with some floral hints. It is great eaten fresh or in juice, yogurt, oatmeal, and smoothies. This tropical fruit is also often made into sweet jams and jellies.
For your enjoyment, try out a passion fruit recipe courtesy of Food Network!
Did You Know?
- Passion fruit comes in many different sizes. It can vary from the size of a plum to the size of a grapefruit.
- Passion fruit grows on a vine.
- This plant is self-pollinating.
- Passion fruit originated from the American Tropics.
- Unfortunately, this tropical fruit is very hard and expensive to grow.
Content courtesy of Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumers Services and UF/IFAS Extension.
Information compiled by: Avianna Liuzzo