Where are passionfruit from?
It depends is the quick answer! Passionfruits are not actually fruits, they're a vine variant of Passion Flowers (Passiflora). Passionfruit come in purple and yellow (the yellow are sold as Granadilla in Real Foods.) Whilst the purple is definitely native to northern Argentina, Paraguay and Southern Brazil, there is still some debate over my yellow origins. It's most likely that yellow passionfruit are native to Amazonian Brazil, but there are arguments that they're an accidental hybrid created by way of England, Australia and Hawaii!
What do passionfruit look like?
Passionfruit are small, round (or occasionally oval) and have purple skin, they're roughly the size of a small egg, usually dimpled or a little wrinkly when properly ripe. If you shake me, you should feel the liquid and seeds sloshing around slightly, that means I'm a good one!
And on the inside of a passionfruit?
Tadpoles! At least that's what some folk say the seeds look like. Passionfruit have crunchy seeds surrounded in yellow, juicy pulp that has an almost jelly-like appearance. They've a strong, fragrant, quite intense flavour, which is why passionfruit are used sparingly to add zing to smoothies, salads and desserts. Some folk hate the seeds and sieve them out, but they are edible (if crunchy).
What do passionfruit do?
Passionfruit are packed with carotenoids (at least 13 including lycopene, alpha-, beta- and zeta-carotene). They're rich in vitamin C (71 milligrams is roughly one cup of passionfruit and will provide the vitamin C you need for a day). Passionfruit also privide 10% of your folate needs. They contain the B-complex vitamins niacin and riboflavin and also contain iron, much more than other fruits.
So you wanted to know all about Passionfruit, but what about using them? Well, they're incredibly popular for adding to fruit salads and pavlovas. Both the seeds and juices can be used (sieve out the seeds if you dislike them). You can make passionfruit juice, simply blend a few passionfruit, add around 3 times as much water and blend again (not too much or the seeds will crack and create a gritty texture). Sieve out the seeds and add more water and sugar or honey to taste. Or try adding passionfruit to other smoothies - particularly good in vegetable and superfood juices to add fragrance and flavour. Stir them into yoghurts or cream for a sauce or desserts, or try adding passionfruit to crumbles for a little zing.