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Three Fruits You Haven’t Heard of – and Why They’re Worth Discovering

By Nutritionist and GoodnessMe Box Health Editor Melissa Fine.
Some new-to-us fruit we’re loving lately at GoodnessMe Box HQ.

1) Monk Fruit

What is it?

Roughly the size of a passionfruit, monk fruit (Luo Han Guo) looks like a small green-brown melon, with a sweet, edible pulp. Cultivated and hand-picked for centuries in the remote hillsides of central Asia, it was consumed by Chinese monks back in the 13th century. Today it’s enjoyed by the locals, with the health benefits of monk fruit remaining a relative secret until recently.

Where can I find it?

Although we can’t get fresh monk fruit here in Oz, we can get it at the supermarket in the form of Norbu, a natural sweetener blend with a fruity, rounded-after taste which many say tastes better than sugar.

What can I do with it?

Because the monk fruit blend in Norbu Natural Sweetener can be replaced 1:1 for sugar, there are no confusing conversions. Use the easily-dissolved Norbu tablets in your tea or coffee, and the powder as a sugar substitute for healthier homemade muffins, cake or quick breads.

Try it if you’re…
Trying to cut back on sugar but haven’t found a sugar substitute that you like yet (Artificial sweeteners and even some other more natural, low calorie sweeteners have a bitter, lip-puckering aftertaste). Norbu is a great healthy sugar alternative if you’re a sugar in your tea and coffee kind of girl…It gives you sweetness without the sugar, blood sugar spike, empty calories or nasties found in artificial sweeteners.

2) Incaberries

What is it?

The size of a large marble, this South American super-berry is sweet, sharp and loaded with antioxidants. Also known as the ‘golden berry’ because of its shiny orange colour when picked fresh, incaberries become golden-rosy brown when dried (which is how we get them here in Oz), and have a crunchy texture similar to a dried fig or raisin.

Where can I find them?

In the ‘superfood’ or dried fruit section at the health food store.

How do I use them?

I love incaberries in a homemade trail mix with bittersweet cacao nibs and a rich, chopped Medjool date for the perfect balance of flavours. They’re also delicious sprinkled on porridge or yoghurt, or soaked and plumped up in bircher muesli, giving it a nice tang. Want to jazz up a simple salad? Add a handful of incaberries to a mix of rocket, goat’s cheese and walnuts; Dress with olive oil, balsamic glaze and some cracked pepper.

Try them if… You find other dried fruit too sweet; Incaberries taste sweet with your first bite, with a sour, tangy aftertaste that really awakens your tastebuds. Incaberries can also be helpful if you’re constipated, thanks to being packed with tiny seeds, making them more concentrated in fibre than any other dried fruit. I also like that the seeds give you a little protein and some healthy fats, and that they encourage you to chew, which can allow for better nutrient absorption.

3) Custard Apple

What is it?

My favourite fruit! The custard apple cultivated in Australia is a unique hybrid of a cherimoya and sugar apple. Roughly the size of a mango, don’t judge this heart-shaped fruit by its cover; Its skin is pale green and lumpy but cut a custard apple in half and a creamy, super-sweet white flesh is revealed.

Where can I find it?

At your local fruit shop. Easy!

What can I do with it?

Scoop out the black seeds and eat the flesh straight up with a spoon like custard. Or, blend the flesh with a little Greek yoghurt and a sprinkle of cinnamon for a sweet and tart dessert.

Try it if… You’re looking for a healthier alternative to refined sugar sweetened yoghurt, froyo or icecream. Not only will it curb a sweet tooth, it will also give you a good dose of filling fibre and almost the same amount of potassium as a banana.

Norbu Tablets: 100% natural sweetener that harnesses the clean sweet taste of ancient monk fruit. A healthy, natural way to enjoy a little sweetness – without the artificial nasties. Only 0.5 calories per serve!

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