As you may know, I love trying out new fruits that aren’t as mainstream as, for example, apples and bananas. There are so many different types of fruits out there that we may have never heard of because we never see them popping up in our local supermarkets.
One of those not-so-well-known, exotic fruits is the delicious cherimoya fruit. While it may be relatively easy to get your hands on a cherimoya these days, it’s still one of those fruits that many of us never get to enjoy. Either because they are a bit different, or perhaps because they are too pricey.
But we are missing out! The cherimoya fruit is an absolute delight and deserves a bit more attention. Not only does this fruit have the best flavors, it also offers some amazing health benefits!
What Is the Cherimoya Fruit?
The cherimoya fruit is one of those fruits that may not look very appealing from the outside. But once you cut it in half and eat its delicious flesh, you’re most likely instantly hooked.
Also known as custard apple, the cherimoya is a fruit-bearing species from the Annonaceae family of flowering plants.
This family is often referred to as custard apple family or the soursop family. Famous relatives of the cherimoya fruit are pawpaws and sugar apples.
While cherimoya is believed to be native to South America, the fruit is now widely cultivated in many tropical regions around the world.
The flesh of the fruit has a creamy, custard-like texture, which is why it’s often marketed as custard apple.
It truly is a real treat with refreshing flavors that are best described as a combination of banana, pineapple and strawberry.
How to Eat Cherimoya Fruits?
When buying a cherimoya fruit, make sure you pick one that isn’t fully ripe yet. One that feels reasonably firm and has a light green color. Let the fruit ripen at home for a little while until they feel slightly softer.
While the skin is edible, it’s best to cut the fruit in half and scoop out the flesh with a spoon, similar to how you would consume an avocado. You can also cut the flesh in little chunks and add these to salads, combined with other fruits.
What also works well is creating mashed pulp and add that to yogurt, pudding, or ice cream. Use your creativity here, there really aren’t any limits to what you can do. And as a smoothie fan, I love adding a bit of cherimoya flesh to my green smoothies.
Similar to apple seeds, the seeds in cherimoya are not toxic in small quantities. But it’s best to remove them before serving as they don’t exactly taste the best and they are also quite large.
Nutritional Profile and Health Benefits of Cherimoya
Have a look at the below table highlighting the nutritional profile of the cherimoya fruit. There are a few things that really stand out.
The fruit is high in minerals and vitamins such as potassium, magnesium, manganese, vitamin C, vitamin B6, riboflavin (vitamin B2) and thiamin (vitamin B1).
Cherimoya can also provide you with a good amount of dietary fiber. It’s also worth noting that the fat and sodium content is negligible.
|Cherimoya fruit (raw – 100 g)|
|Energy||75 cal (4% DV)|
|Carbohydrates||17 g (6% DV)|
|Dietary fiber||3 g (12% DV)|
|Protein||1.57 g (3% DV)|
|Fat||0.6 g (1% DV)|
|Potassium||287 mg (8% DV)|
|Magnesium||17 mg (4% DV)|
|Manganese||0.1 mg (4% DV)|
|Phosphorus||26 mg (3% DV)|
|Iron||0.3 mg (2% DV)|
|Calcium||10 mg (1% DV)|
|Vitamin C||12.6 mg (20% DV)|
|Vitamin B6||0.2 mg (12% DV)|
|Riboflavin||0.13 mg (8% DV)|
|Folate||23 mcg (6% DV)|
|Thiamin||0.1 mg (6% DV)|
|Niacin||0.6 mg (3% DV)|
The vitamin C in a cherimoya fruit acts as a natural antioxidant, helping your body to combat and prevent diseases.
Vitamin B6 is an essential vitamin that helps with many functions in our body, such as producing antibodies, maintaining a normal nerve function and breaking down proteins.
Dietary fiber works as a natural laxative so that your body is able to properly process the food you consume. It helps to prevent constipation and also promotes healthy gut bacteria.
So in short, when eating a cherimoya fruit, you’re eating a cholesterol-free treat that is extremely low in sodium and fat, and provides you with a solid dose of vitamin C, vitamin B6 and dietary fiber.
Does it get any better than that?
As you can tell, I’ve become a bit of a fan of the cherimoya fruit. It really is a delicious treat with not only great flavors but also an impressive nutritional profile.
I do encourage you to go out there and try and find fruits and vegetables that are a bit more exotic. Even if they cost a bit more, it’s so much fun to try something new every now and then.
And the cherimoya fruit is one of those exotic surprises that I am now happily eating quite regularly!