Here’s how a little fruit changed our eating habits as a family
My kids are picky eaters at home. By all accounts, at daycare and after school club, they will shovel anything and everything placed in front of them in their mouths. This gives me great comfort because at home, they sing (almost to the tune of any song in Moana) “I tried it and I don’t like it!” One of the things that I have always struggled with is finding bang-for-your-buck foods that my nose-turned-up kids will eat. One likes chicken, the other only wants bread. The third? Still in the throwing food stage. And anything green is almost always a no.
Recently, I was lucky enough to be invited to an event hosted by the European Kiwi Growers association, and I was mostly fascinated, because I had no idea that Greece (my family’s country of origin) was the third largest kiwi producer in the world! I also had no idea that kiwis had more vitamin C than an orange and about the same amount of potassium as a banana. They’re also ridiculously high in fibre and magnesium. Did you know that these little fuzzies were so good for you?
When leaving, I was gifted a package of 3 Greek-grown kiwis, and was told that their texture and taste are different than the small, smooshy fruits we’re used to in Canada. Thinking nothing of it that night, I left the box out on the counter. By the time I was awake the next morning, my kids had each eaten an entire kiwi. My eldest said, “I didn’t know we could get kiwis at home!” turns out, they’ve been eating them at daycare and love the fruit.
Colour me surprised.
At the event the night before, we were treated to everything from cocktails to grilled octopus all prepared with kiwi in some way. Each different dish was delicious. This got me thinking: How can I add this power food into our diets more regularly? European kiwis are a bit firmer and way bigger than the smaller, softer fruits that I remember eating as a kid, so I started looking around the web for recipes. Turns out, you can replace almost any fruit in a recipe with a kiwi and it changes everything.
So far, besides their near-daily kiwi obsession, I’ve tried adding kiwi to salsa (major hit!), salad (think watermelon-feta but replace the pink fruit with the little green guy), and I’ve worked out a recipe where I marinate chicken in a combination of kiwi, garlic, olive oil and salt and pepper and then bake or BBQ with grilled veggies and rice. Because kiwis can also be used to help break down meat proteins the same way citrus fruits usually do.
Now, this may seem like a bit of an over-the-top kiwi proclamation, and I bet your wondering if it’s sponsored. It’s not. I’m legitimately surprised at how amazing kiwis are and can’t even believe that I haven’t taken more time to learn about them, never mind the fact that I didn’t even know that kiwis were grown in Europe, let alone Greece. And since the Greek kiwi season is October-May, it’s possible to get these little guys all year long.
Since falling down this kiwi rabbit hole, I’ve been learning about all sorts of health benefits of these guys, and when I head to Costco and buy a case, I try to eat one a day, just like my kids. And at the very least, these little fuzzy fruits are getting me and my kids excited about trying new things and there’s literally nothing better.
What’s your go-to fruit? Tell me!
Kat’s Kiwi Marinated Chicken
4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
4 European kiwis, diced fairly small
4 cloves of garlic
3 tablespoons of Greek olive oil
Salt and pepper
In a large bowl, add diced garlic, kiwis, olive oil, salt & pepper, stir to combine.
Add chicken to freezer sized zip lock bag and pour in kiwi marinade
Marinate for 2 to 4 hours in refrigerator
Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
Place chicken and marinade in medium sized baking dish.
Bake for 40 minutes, until chicken is cooked through.
Lightly oil and then heat grill.
Once the grill reaches 400 degrees, turn one side of the burners off.
Place chicken on side without heat and close lid.
Turn once, use remaining marinade to baste chicken.
Serve with veggies, rice or your favourite sides!