When are kiwi in season?
Kiwifruit are a bit unique when it comes to how they ripen. Most fruits taste noticeably better when left to fully ripen on the vine or tree, but not Kiwi. Similar to bananas, they continue to get softer, sweeter, and more aromatic after harvest.
Since kiwi are harvested under ripe, they are more durable and stand up to shipping fairly well. They also store very well in commercial cold-storage facilities. This allows us to have high quality options no matter where we live.
We also can get them year-round because of where they are grown. The US season lasts from October through May, and is opposite for kiwi imported from New Zealand and Chile in the southern hemisphere.
How to pick
You can't determine a kiwi's flavor by external signs. If you want one that's already ripened (remember they continue to ripen after harvest), they should feel slightly soft - but squeeze lightly, as they bruise easily. If you aren't eating them right away, pick firmer ones and ripen them on your counter. Size doesn't affect the flavor.
How to store
- Whole kiwi: leave on the counter to ripen (soften & sweeten), otherwise store in the crisper drawer and they will last several weeks or even more than a month.
- Cut kiwi: store in an airtight container, or wrap in plastic, and it will last a few days in the fridge. Kiwi will not oxidize when cut (it won't turn brown).
Should I buy organic?
The EPA currently doesn't test kiwi for pesticide levels. The data collected by the EPA looks at the toxicity and amount of each pesticide found in the edible portions of the fruit. The full details can be found over on the Consumer Reports website.
Nutrition & benefits
- Sugar: 1 kiwi has about the same amount of sugar (8g) as a mandarin (aka clementine) For comparison:
- Apple: 19g
- Banana: 14g
- Orange: 12g
- Vitamin K: Kiwi is a high fruit source of vitamin K (which helps prevent osteoporosis)
- 1 kiwi contains about 25% of the recommended daily value (DV) of Vitamin K
- Blackberries are the next highest fruit source, with 12% DRV for ½ a cup
- Kale, on the other hand is over 400% of your DV
- Vitamin C: 1 kiwi, as little as they are, contains your entire recommended daily value of vitamin C
- Fiber: 1 kiwi contains about as much fiber as 1 cup of cooked oatmeal
Each recipe below only uses ingredients that are in season at the same time as kiwi, or ingredients that have a year-round season.