Dive into the fascinating and refreshing world of passion fruit – a delicious tropical delicacy. From a wealth of information about the fruit, its varieties, storage and freezing tips, and culinary applications to its remarkable nutritional benefits, this ultimate guide is the gateway for you to unlock its full potential and become a passion fruit connoisseur.
What Is Passion Fruit
Passiflora edulis (passion fruit), is a tropical delight primarily known for its tempting exotic flavors and delightful aroma. This round or oval-shaped fruit can grow up to 1.5 to 3 inches and has a thick, leathery skin of yellow, red, purple, or green color depending upon the variety of the fruit. The rind gets wrinkled as the fruit ripens.
On cutting the fruit, you will encounter a brightly yellow or orange-colored, jelly-like texture containing plenty of small, black, and edible seeds inside the pulp. Trust me. On biting or chewing this luscious pulp, it will release a sudden burst of tropical flavors in your mouth that will make your soul dance with joy.
Passion fruits thrive optimally in warm and subtropical climates and are mostly available whole year-round. However, it gets ready to harvest between mid-summer to early fall and takes almost two to three months to ripen. Its peak seasons are from August to November and February to June.
Passion fruit was named by Spanish missionaries in Brazil in the 16th century. They associate its appearance with the crown of thorns and the passion of Christ. Therefore, they named the plant the passion fruit. Other names for passion fruit include Lilikoi (Hawaii), Maracuya and Parcha (Spanish), Gulupa (Colombia), and Granadilla (South Africa).
Let’s meet some of the variations. Among those, purple and yellow passion fruit are the two most common types.
Purple passion fruit (Passiflora edulis): Purple passion fruit comes with a thick purple or maroon peel and holds an intense fusion of sour and sweet flavors. The slurry liquid inside is filled with edible black seeds and has a yellow, bright color.
Yellow passion fruit (Passiflora edulis f.flavicarpa): Yellow passion fruit ( golden passion fruit) comes with yellow skin. It shares the same color and texture as the purple passion fruit pulp with a subtle taste that feels less acidic and more tropical rather than being intense and overpowering.
Banana passion fruit (Passiflora mollissima): This fruit has an elongated body that resembles a small banana, an orange or yellow peel, and contains extra juicy pulp inside that is sweet and tangy in taste.
Giant granadilla (Passiflora quadrangularis): This fruit differs from other varieties for its giant size that can grow up to 30 centimeters in length. It has an orange or greenish-yellow rind and offers an extra sugary flavor with a mild hint of acidity. Its pulp is white in appearance and is less juicy as compared to others.
How Does Passion Fruit Taste Like?
Texture: Once peeled or opened, the interior of the fruit has a thick, jelly-like texture that is filled with edible, black seeds. In addition to its juicy texture, seeds make it a bit crunchy to chew.
Taste: Typically, the flavor profile of this fruit is a unique blend of sweet and tart flavors. It is a stellar combination of an intense tanginess perfectly balanced by natural sweetness with a unique tropical essence that awakens the taste buds right after going into your mouth.
Aroma: a ripe passion fruit has a strong and enticing aroma that can be supposed to have a floral or tropical fragrance with a hint of citrus. Passion fruit puree feels like the fusion of tropical fruits like mango, guavas, and pineapple with a hint of a citrusy touch, giving a unique flavor to your dishes.
Passion fruit is loaded with nutrients that offer numerous health benefits. It is a great source of antioxidants, vitamins A and C, and dietary fiber that strengthens your immune system, helps in digestion, and promotes healthy skin. With its low fat and calorie content, passion fruit is considered the healthiest ingredient to a balanced diet. The finest blend of sweet and tangy flavors makes it versatile enough to be enjoyed with various culinary dishes.
Passion fruit may cause itchiness, swelling, or other allergic reactions in some individuals. Its high acidic content is likely to cause acidity in sensitive people and its excessive consumption can cause diarrhea.
Ripe Passion fruit
There are several factors you need to look for to determine a ripe passion fruit. Let’s have a look at the most significant ones.
Fully ripe passion fruit has a golden yellow and deep purple color, depending upon the variety. Evenly Wrinkled passion fruits are the healthiest ones to pick as they are fully ripe. When gently squeezed, it should feel mushy to touch but neither too soft nor too hard.
Note: If you plan to eat soon, you can pick the wrinkled ones. For later use, pick those without wrinkles.
Fully ripe passion fruit has a soft, jelly-like texture inside with plenty of small seeds. You can easily peel the wrinkled skin and scoop the succulent pulp out that tastes heavenly with the crunchy texture of the seeds.
Ripe passion fruits are heavier for their size because of all the juicy pulp inside. However, if the fruit feels light and hollow inside, it might not be fully ripe yet.
Ripe passion fruits will have an intense, sweet, tropical aroma delightful enough to refresh your soul. However, if you don’t feel any fragrance or the fruit smells fermented, then it still needs some time to rip.
How to Store
At room temperature: the raw fruit can last for about 1-2 weeks depending on the initial condition when purchasing.
A better way is to store it in the form of pulp in the freezer. You can do this in small portions for the convenience of using it.
You can also keep it in the form of puree for up to 2-3 weeks in an airtight container or glass jar or even up to a month.
It can also be dried by using a baking sheet or dehydrator tray to extend its shelf life and create a more concentrated flavor. Dried passion fruit can be stored in a refrigerator for several months.
Passion frui jam: This delicious product is made by cooking passion fruit juice or pulp with sweeteners. The final product has a perfectly balanced sweet and tart flavor that can be used in making cookies, cakes, and pastries.
Passion fruit tea: This flavorful and aromatic tea is manufactured by steeping dried fruit leaves or its puree along with other tea leaves. The tea can be enjoyed both hot and iced.
Passion fruit syrup: It is made by combining the pulp and sweeteners together. This syrup is widely used in making mocktails, cocktails, or other beverages.
How To Cut Passion Fruit
Here are some of the following ways to cut and prepare.
- Choose a ripe one with wrinkled skin that slightly feels soft on pressing.
- Wash the fruit under cold water to remove any dirt from the surface.
- Hold the fruit firmly in one hand and cut it through the skin in half by using a sharp knife.
- Scoop out the thick, gelatinous pulp along with the seeds by using a spoon. Make sure not to pick up the white pith along with the pulp as it can be bitter.
- If you like to eat it smoother without the seeds, then you can use the sieve to extract the juice and leave the seeds behind.
How To Freeze
You can choose to freeze it as a whole or in the form of puree or syrup. Here are the steps to freeze this fruit.
- Cut the fruit in half and take out the pulp.
- You can strain the pulp to remove seeds. I like it crunchy, so I keep the seeds intact.
- You can mold this mushy part in portions or in the form of cubes by using ice-cube trays.
- Now seal the containers or freezer bags tightly and label them with the date.
- This way, you can freeze the fruit easily for 8-12 months while preserving its taste.
- Now, add the frozen cubes to your drinks and smoothies whenever you want, and enjoy! However, you need to thaw them before using them for garnishing purposes.
Note: you can also blend in honey or lemon in the pulp to add extra flavor to your instant passion fruit drink.
What to do with
You can use passion fruit in any dish, including juices, desserts, sauces, smoothies, and whatnot making it heavenly in taste.
This magical combination of luscious strawberries and tangy passion fruit. It creates a vibrant and refreshing flavor profile perfect for topping and dipping with multiple culinary creations. So, get your chips and tacos ready for an irresistible plunge into passion fruit strawberry salsa.
Passion fruit popsicles are a perfect escape to a tropical paradise. With every lick of this refreshing frozen treat, its perfectly blended sugary and tangy flavors will teleport your taste buds to sun-kissed shores.
This velvety delight holds a tantalizing blend of creamy goodness, the exotic tang of passion fruit, and the pure sweetness of mangoes and pineapples. Combining all these ingredients makes a healthy and refreshing fusion that awakens your taste buds like never before.
This exotic fusion of cheesecake and passion fruit satisfy your creamy cravings leaving taste buds enchanted for life. Try it out and experience sweet, tangy and creamy perfection in every bite.
Passion fruit chocolate tart is a guilt-free delight for chocolate lovers that not only satisfies your cravings but also offers a healthful twist.
A creative way of using it is to make boba pearls. The boba pearls are so cute with the black seeds inside.
Is It Okay To Eat it Raw?
Yes, of course. Just like other fruits, you can also eat passion fruit raw including the seeds simply by cutting it from the half and scooping out the sugary and tangy pulp.
Should I Chew Or Just Swallow Passion Fruit?
If you want to fully enjoy the texture and flavor, chew it along with crunchy, edible seeds. On the other hand, if you prefer a smoother consistency, you can swallow it after removing the seeds.
How Many Can I Consume In A Day?
You can eat not more than 2-3 passion fruits a day because, despite their small size, their overconsumption can lead to several side effects. You can also consult a healthcare specialist to discuss a suitable portion.
Hopefully, this post has already intrigued your taste buds enough to try out passion fruit at least once in your life. From its taste, features, nutritional value and benefits to its culinary uses, this tropical delight brings perfection in every aspect. While this fruit is safe for everyone to eat, it is still important to avoid its overconsumption and consult your doctor before consuming it.