This surprisingly different fruit has become a favorite in our household. I’ve always read how extremely rich it is in vitamins A & C, fiber, potassium, beta-carotene, and iron so when I saw it in my grocery store a year ago, I quickly purchased it.
Major Benefits from the Passion Fruit
Passion fruit might be an especially good fruit to add to the diet of hyperactive or ADHD children, because the combination of glycosides and flavonoids in the fruit can have a slight sedative/calming effect, but isn’t the least toxic. It’s actually an ingredient found in several ADD/ADHD medicines.
The fruit and leaves have also been used to treat high blood pressure, anxiety, “observed to kill cancer cells in developing fetuses”(2), and According to this website, studies showed reduced asthma symptoms, reduction in pain and stiffness for patients suffering from knee osteoarthritis, and more.
Eating the Passion Fruit
Generally, in the US, Europe, Australia, NZ, you will find the fruit to be a dark purple and the size of an egg. The purple passion fruit is less acidic and richer in both aroma and flavor with more juice. When the outside skin starts to become a bit wrinkly, it is ripest. It is hard to cut, like cutting a carrot. The inside will surprise you by having the strongest, sweetest, aromatic smell. It really will take you by surprise. Inside, the cavity is filled with membranous sacs containing 200-400 crunchy seeds (too small for choking) covered with orange-colored pulpy juice which is intensely flavored.
I just cut the fruit in half, take a spoon, and pre-shave/scrape off the seeds from the sides, so it is easier for my young toddler to eat. We sit down, with spoons in hand, and scoop out the seedy pulp. You’re eating the fruit as if eating from a bowl with ice cream. It’s a very easy fruit to travel with, for a quick and easy snack on the go, just pre-cut it at home. In my house, I call the Passion Fruit, “Fruit Caviar”, because it is pricey running between $1.50-$3 a fruit and when you cut it open you get very little but the taste and flavor are as momentous as eating fine caviar. It is Fruit Caviar!
Other uses for the fruit
You can add the seeds to fruit salads, in jellies, topper for ice cream, and I’ve also served it as a topper on fish.
Once, I had half of a passion fruit in the fridge for a couple of days, and I have to admit that I held off on finishing it because it produced such a strong fragrance in the fridge and throughout my whole kitchen. I even had a friend ask for the scent of my kitchen candle. I told her Passion Fruit, fruit! She couldn’t believe it!
The more I studied this interesting fruit, the more interesting it gets such as Passionfruit Flower is the national flower of Paraguay. According to Wikipedia, the name came from missionaries because “parts of the flower seemed reminiscent of the torture (the Passion) of Christ prior to his crucifixion”:
The three stigmas reflect the three nails in Jesus’s hands and feet.
The threads of the passion flower resemble the Crown of Thorns.
The vine’s tendrils are likened to the whips. The five anthers represented the five wounds.
The ten petals and sepals regarded to resemble the Apostles (excluding Judas and Peter).
The purple petals representing the purple robe used to mock Jesus’ claim to kingship (Mt. 27:28)