HARDY OR BABY KIWI FRUIT AND TARA VINE: HEALTH BENEFITS OF BABY KIWI AND BABY KIWI AND ORANGE SODA RECIPE
BABY OR HARDY KIWI,
TARA VINE, ACTINIDIA ARGUTA
In comparison to the kiwi (Actinidia delicosa) we know, this one is tiny, with a smooth, rather than brown hairy, skin which can be eaten safely. It is about one third of the size of its hairy relative, and comes in a variety of colours, green, yellow and red. It can grow in very cold climates withstanding temperatures of -34° C or -30°F, hence its name the Hardy kiwi. This baby kiwi is native to Siberia,, China and Japan, but is now being cultivated in the West where growers are trying to increase the vine’s yields of fruit. It is currently being produced in
, South America, Britain New Zealand, Australia, parts of the USA, Canada and Europe.
This baby kiwi (which grows to lengths of 2 or 3 centimeteres) has five times the vitamin C of blackcurrants and is sweeter than the bigger kiwi fruit which is native to southerly climates. It flowers between June and July and the fruits ripen around October. The vine can grow to around 50 feet if it is well-supported.
This baby kiwi and its vine were first described by Philipp Franz von Siebold and Joseph Gerhard Zuccarini in 1843 on their Far Eastern travels. They gave it the genus name Trochostigma argutum.
Interestingly, in parts of
New England where it is being grown now, it has invaded woodland and may soon be a listed invasive species in some North American states.
The Chinese have traditionally used this fruit for digestive problems and eat it either fresh or dried. In
Russia it is made into a paste with the red berries from the Magnolia vine to counteract their possible tartness.
The vine is full of sap, which can be tapped in spring and drunk as a spring tonic. Scientists have found that this baby kiwi may have potential health benefits, as it has been used in
China to treat oesophageal cancer, and stomach cancers. In the lab, in vitro, it has been found to have an inhibitory effect on human liver carcinoma cell lines (HEPG2) and on HT-29, human colonic cancer cell lines. However more research is needed before the activities can be confirmed.
China the fruit is also used traditionally to get rid of flatulence to promote blood circulation and to help in the treatment of jaundice and dysentery.
You may like to try this recipe for a healthy drink if you find any of these sweet baby kiwis.
½ cup of freshly squeezed orange juice
1/3 cup pureed baby kiwi flesh
¾ cup of soda water
Combine the kiwi puree and orange juice in a blender.
Add about half a cup of this mixture to a tall glass, and top it up with soda water. Add ice and a garnish if you wish.
This has Taste and is a Treat.