Recently, heaped baskets of starfruit, or carambola, have infiltrated the market. I never worked with starfruit before. And up until this year, I don’t think I had ever tasted one, either.
We had starfruit smoothies in Masaya and were quite smitten by the sliver of starfruit perched on the lip of the glass. It lent a magical quality to the whole affair. Like maybe there were fairies hovering by the blender.
The smoothies were delicious, and the raw fruit garnish tasted good, too. Crisp, juicy, and clean. They say starfruit is like a cross between apples and grapes in both taste and texture. It sounds complicated, but it’s true. Take one bite and you’ll see.
Since I was a novice at handling starfruit, I first watched two youtube videos—one on how to cut up a starfruit and the other on how to use it in a smoothie—before proceeding. I thought it’d be a tricky process, what with the five pointy sides. But it’s really quite easy.
First, wash the fruit.
Second, chop off the ends as you do a cucumber.
Third, run a knife along each of the five ridges to remove the peak of each strip. You can eat the entire fruit, but that part is a little on the tough side.
Fourth, slice the fruit into rounds, er, stars.
Fifth, using a knife, poke out the seeds. The seeds are edible, but we’re aiming for a creamy smoothie, so out they go.
Once you have a cup or two of stars, you can eat them straight up or toss them in the blender with any combination of fruit. I did a simple smoothie—bananas, starfruit, sugar, and milk—but there are so many wonderful options. Use coconut milk or yogurt in place of the milk. Or add in a mango, strawberries, or fresh pineapple.
The starfruit gives the smoothie some tang and a boost of light brightness. And, according to wiki, lots of good stuff like potassium, antioxidants, and vitamin C. (Oh, and wiki says the fruit tastes like a mix between apples, grapes, pears, and citrus. In other words, it’s an entire fruit salad unto itself.)
I want to purchase more carambola and use them in cooking…though I’m not sure how. Do any of you have experience working with this fruit? Any good recipes to share?
2 starfruit, prepped, seeded, and sliced, several slices reserved for garnish
3 bananas, frozen
2-3 tablespoons sugar
1½ – 2 cups milk
Dump all ingredients into a blender and whirl until smooth. Divide between 3 or 4 glasses. Garnish each glass with a fruity star, pop in a straw, and serve.