A lot of the most popular fruits in the world are round, and that’s because of the way the cells develop as the plant grows. But there are many fruits that are not round that are ideal as part of a healthy diet. If you want to mix up your diet and move away from your typical round fruit like mango and mandarin orange to try some more exotic fruit, then these might be worth exploring. Here are nine of the best non round fruits to try.
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9 Fruits That Are Not Round for You to Try.
The colorful dragon fruit grows on a cactus that’s native to Central America. The edible fruit is contained within the skin, which is a bright fuchsia color and has green-tipped scales. Inside, the dragon fruit has a soft white or red pulp with dozens of tiny black seeds.
Dragon fruit tastes like a sweet pear or kiwi. This fruit is a good source of fiber and iron, with around 60 calories per 100g. A portion also contains 10% of your recommended daily allowance of magnesium, plus antioxidants and 1.2g of protein. The dragon fruit very nutrient-dense.
To select a good dragon fruit, look for brightly colored skin. The fruit shouldn’t be too soft or squashy but should be flexible when squeezed. The easiest way to eat a dragon fruit is simply to slice it in half. Then, you can scoop the flesh out using a spoon.
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Of all the fruits that are not round, the banana is probably the most obvious and well known. A strong outer peel is easily removed to reveal the soft flesh inside. Available for a low price, the humble banana provides a long list of health benefits.
The average banana provides 10% of your daily potassium and fiber requirements. Bananas also contain antioxidants, as well as naturally occurring proteins that may help to stave off some cancers. A typical banana has around 100-120 calories.
To find a good banana, look for a skin that is slightly green or completely yellow. If the skin is very green the banana isn’t ripe and will be too hard and might taste very powdery. If the banana’s getting old, it will develop brown patches and be too soft and mushy inside. Once you’ve peeled a banana you can eat it as it is or might choose to mash it or slice it.
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In Disney’s The Jungle Book, Baloo the bear sings “Don’t pick the prickly pear by the paw. When you pick a pear try to use the claw.” That’s sound advice, given that the prickly pear is actually a cactus that goes by the scientific name Opuntia. The cactus grows edible fruits, similar to dragon fruits, with bright pink skin but lacking the leafy green scales that a dragon fruit’s known for. Instead it’s surrounded by cactus thorns, though these are removed before the fruit is put on sale.
Prickly pear tastes a little like watermelon, but also with a faint hint of bubblegum. The inner flesh is a bold pink, just like the outside. You can eat the fruit raw, though some people like to boil or grill it. Be aware that, in large doses, this fruit can lead to loose bowel movements.
The prickly pear is said to have anti-inflammatory properties. This makes the fruit, amongst other things, a useful hangover cure. It’s high in fiber and a typical fruit contains less than 50 calories.
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Far from being an appetizing snack, the durian fruit is widely considered to be the fruit with the most disgusting smell. In fact, the smell of durian fruit is often described using words like ‘rotten’ and ‘sewage’. Despite this, if you can get past the smell this fruit is an interesting snack.
Underneath the durian’s spiky green exterior, you’ll find yellow or white flesh. This flesh has a soft custard-like texture and a very unusual taste. Expect to taste hints of garlic, cheese and nuts, with a subtle caramel flavor.
A typical durian might contain as many as 700 calories. This fruit also contains a wealth of vitamins and minerals. These include magnesium, vitamin C, fiber and protein in large doses. It’s one of the most nutritious foods in the world. The durian fruit can also help to prevent heart disease and cancer, with a low glycemic index and antibacterial properties.
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The jackfruit is a very large fruit, up to 1m in length. It has bumpy skin in shades of red, pink, orange, yellow and green, underneath which you’ll find individual bulbs like large orange garlic bulbs to eat. The ripened jackfruit has a pleasantly tropical flavor, though it’s very bland until it’s ripened. It’s also relatively dry and slightly stringy. The orange bulbs can be shredded and torn, then used in cooking as a meat replacement with a similar texture to pulled pork.
Preparing a jackfruit isn’t easy. Most people choose to buy this fruit already prepared, served from a tin. The fruit itself has a thick outer skin and contains a very sticky sap.
Jackfruit, whilst often used as a meat replacement, isn’t a great source of protein. 100g of jackfruit contains around 100 calories, less than 2g of protein and a lot of carbohydrates. In fact, 92% of a jackfruit’s calories come from carbohydrates specifically. Despite this, the jackfruit contains several antioxidants and anti-inflammatories. It’s also a great source of vitamins A and C.
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A colorful purple fruit that is sometimes confused for a vegetable, the eggplant is a spongy fruit that’s usually cooked before it’s eaten. This fruit contains iron and calcium, contributing to strong muscle and bones, as well as antioxidants and fiber. The eggplant is a great addition to the diet of anemic individuals, helping to combat this common medical condition.
When buying an eggplant, look for a smooth and shiny skin. The eggplant should be relatively firm, with the inner flesh pale and soft. Any brown patches should be removed, as these overripe parts are bitter.
Common ways to eat eggplant include fried and lightly-salted slices, or grilled eggplant that’s been brushed with olive oil. You can also roast eggplant whole.
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The starfruit is so named because, when cut into slices, each slice is star shaped. This yellow-green fruit is native to Asia, but also grows in other warm climates. When you bite into starfruit, you should expect a sweet and sour flavor combination – they are sometimes mistaken to be citrus fruit. These fruits are very juicy and full of vitamin C, fiber and antioxidants.
Great nutritional benefits come without high calories, with the average starfruit having less than 40 calories in total. To pick the best starfruit, look for firm flesh and yellow or slightly green coloring. A very yellow fruit, with bits of brown, is overripe and will not taste as pleasant.
To prepare your starfruit, cut it into slices and enjoy its natural star shape. Use a knife to dig out the seeds, then eat fresh or blend into a smoothie.
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The interesting rambutan is native to countries like Thailand, Indonesia and Malaysia. This fruit is red, with soft spikes all over that often have green or yellow tips. The spikes make the rambutan look hairy. Underneath the skin, this fascinating fruit contains a soft and smooth white flesh to eat. The taste of a rambutan can be likened to a cross between juicy strawberries and grapes.
Rambutans are high in vitamins, fiber and antioxidants. They can support a healthy immune system, as well as helping to prevent anemia thanks to their high iron content. The average rambutan contains around 75 calories.
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Like the durian, the noni fruit has a slightly unpleasant scent. It smells and tastes like rotting cheese, when it’s eaten raw and unprepared. As a result, most people use the noni fruit only when preparing drinks and smoothies. Here, the bitter and distinctive taste is balanced by other juicier and sweeter types of fruit.
The noni fruit has many health benefits, including being an effective natural painkiller. It stimulates the production of serotonin – the happy hormone – and melatonin for better sleep. It also contains antibacterial agents, helping to boost immune responses.
The noni fruit is a famine fruit, also sometimes called a ‘starvation fruit’. Those that live where it grows will only usually eat it if they have no other option. However, with the most modern preparation tools its unusual flavor can be masked. Then, you can enjoy the noni’s health benefits without the overwhelming taste of cheese.
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Which of these non round fruits have you tried? Leave a comment with your favorite.