Part of healthy eating is making sure that you’re getting a variety of foods. Yes, grapes, apples and bananas are healthy, but if you only stick to the basics when it comes to choosing fruits, you might be missing out on some important nutrients. If you’re looking to boost your vitamin and mineral intake as part of a healthy lifestyle, it pays to think outside the box when you’re at the grocery store. Next time you go shopping, try out some of these exotic fruits and see how you like them.
Despite its name, this fruit isn’t as scary as you might think. It comes from several species of cactus, and it’s sweet and creamy. The Chicago Tribune likened the taste to a cross between a kiwi and a pear. Dragon fruit is high in fiber, vitamin C and B vitamins, and it packs in phosphorus, calcium and antioxidants to boot. When you’re picking them out, look for ones that are a bright, even color. Don’t choose dragon fruits with dry, brown stems or brown-tipped leaves. To prepare one, cut the fruit in half through the stem, then scoop out the flesh. The skin isn’t edible, so make sure you remove all of it. Try mixing it up into a tropical smoothie or adding it to a fruit salad.
The cherimoya, also called the custard apple, is super soft and very sweet, like custard. The fruit is greenish-yellow and shaped like a cone, and it has a creamy pulp with smooth, black seeds. People often compare them to bananas, peaches, pineapple and strawberries, but Delish noted that some people think they taste like bubblegum. It has fiber and plenty of antioxidants, as well as B vitamins, potassium, magnesium, copper, iron and manganese. To prep a cherimoya, cut it lengthwise and scoop out the flesh. Remove the seeds and eat it plain, or try mixing it into a salsa with mangos, jalapenos, red onions and cilantro, like the Chicago Tribune suggested.
Star fruit is juicy and crisp, and its pretty shape makes it a wonderful addition to fancy dishes. The taste has been compared to apples, citrus fruits and plums, and what you get depends on the variety and how ripe it is. Star fruits have lots of vitamins A and C, plus potassium and fiber. To prepare it, just cut off any brown bits and the part closest to the stem, then cut into slices.
Mangosteens are related to mangos, but they used to be banned in the U.S. because of a certain species of fruit fly that was associated with it, according to Delish. The ban is now lifted, and mangosteens are becoming more common, as people are drawn to the sweet, tangy, citrusy and peachy taste - not to mention its plentiful antioxidants. To eat it, you'll have to split the hard shell open with a knife, break it in half and reveal the soft, edible interior.