It's an interesting fruit, and smells lovely before even slicing into it! The taste can vary, and there are different varieties, but the flesh resembles that of a crisp grape, and has a very subtle citrus flavor. Some are more sweet, and some are a bit more sour in flavor. Regardless, when you slice this fruit, you'll see why it's called "star fruit"! This fruit is packed with a high amount of Vitamin C, (1 cup of fruit- contains 76% of the daily rec. serving), antioxidants, and is an excellent source of fiber. I've decided to pair this amazingly unique fruit with the super fruit "blood orange", (for it's excellent dietary properties), along with pineapple, some fresh raspberries for color and flavor, and an EXCELLENT- highly flavored Vanilla Green Tea syrup with mint. The syrup contains fresh vanilla bean, brewed green tea, honey, and some chopped fresh mint. Very simple, yet highly flavored, and excellent for those who are fighting colds, flues, or just trying to stay healthy this time of the year! Vanilla contains calcium, potassium, magnesium, and manganese- all work to aid in a healthy mind, heart, and body. Mint promotes digestion, aids in allergy relief, and cleanses the palate. Honey does so many amazing things! But is also excellent for allergy/ cold relief, boosting memory, calming and aiding in sleep, etc. Green tea is a powerhouse of antioxidants- specifically aiding in weight loss, prevention of cancer, and improves brain function. So, why wouldn't you want to try this?!! It's a beautiful and delicious salad, that will not only keep you healthy, but may calm, and lift your spirits as well! Super easy to make, and can easily be adjusted for a small portion, or for a large party! As always, you can adjust this recipe according to what you may have on hand, or what may be available in your area. If vanilla beans are too costly for you, just substitute with 1-2 t. of vanilla extract.
Yield: 4-6 servings
Vanilla Green Tea Syrup:
1 cup (8oz.) brewed green tea ***plain is recommended, but flavored is fine too.
1/4 cup honey
1/2 vanilla bean (split in half) ***or can sub. for 1-2 t. vanilla extract at end of cooking
2 sprigs of fresh mint (chopped)
1) In a small sauce pot, place all of the syrup ingredients, and stir together. Place on medium heat, and bring to a simmer. Allow to simmer for 15-30min, checking for consistency, (the goal is to reduce down to 3/4 cup.)
Remove from heat, and allow to cool.
***If mixture reduces by half, it may be a bit too thick- so just add a bit of hot water to thin to the desired consistency.
Discard the vanilla bean, and store the syrup in an airtight container or mason jar in the refrigerator until ready to use.
Star Fruit Salad:
2-3 star fruit (rinsed and sliced)
2-3 blood oranges (peeled and sliced)
About 1/2 of a whole pineapple (peeled, cored, and sliced)
Fresh raspberries, blueberries, etc. (rinsed, etc.)
Vanilla Green Tea Syrup
Additional whole or chiffonade sliced mint leaves
**Chiffonade is simply a type of cut in which you roll several mint leaves together, and slice thinly to create "strips".
1) Prep all of your fruit by slicing separately. (The blood oranges will "bleed", and effect the color of the other fruits, so keep it separate, until you are ready to assemble.)
2) Simply arrange the fruit how you would like- either on a plate, platter, or individual portions. Using a spoon, genorously drizzle the Vanilla Green Tea Syrup over the fruit before serving, and garnish with some fresh mint.
Consume any leftover fruit within 2-5 days of slicing. The syrup will last 30+ days in the refrigerator once made.