Show stopping starfruit
Star bright, starfruit
Most fruits are round, right?
So it's quite the show stopper when we come across a sleek-skinned, star-shaped fruit bursting with juicy flavor that also delivers the nutritional goods.

This bundle of goodness is exactly what you get with carambola, also commonly known as starfruit.
Starfruit flower
Starting out as bell-shaped flowers, this fruit blossoms into a five-pointed, oblong fruit that can be sliced into stars.

This unusually shaped fruit grows on bushy trees in tropical climates, including southern Florida. 
What the numbers mean
Starfruit not only looks cool, but also it delivers on nutrition regardless of its small size.

One of the lower-calorie tropical fruits, one cup of starfruit weighs in at only 40 calories and yet provides 76 percent of the RDA for vitamin C and almost 4 grams of fiber.

Smaller amounts of potassium, copper, folate and pantothenic acid round out a solid nutritional profile.

Also rich in polyphenolic compounds, such as quercetin, starfruit has antioxidant properties to reduce oxidative stress to the body's cells, which, in turn, reduces inflammation.

Now that's a good deal!
Mellow yellow it's not
As it ripens, the color goes from a light green to a deeper yellow, with its points turning slightly brown and its texture getting slightly softer.

If you're seeking a tart flavor, use a starfruit when it's still slightly green, or wait for it to turn yellow for a sweet flavor.

In any case, handle them with care, as they can easily bruise.
Star studded  
Star studded fruit kabobs
Starfruit varies in size. Most will fit in the palm of your hand, making it handy to eat like an apple.

Starfruit is an all-in-one package. No peeling is required to enjoy its refreshing flavor, which is often described as a cross between a grape and an apple.
In a starring role ...   
Any salad is a star with slices of starfruit on top 
Slicing and using this fruit in its star shape makes for an awesome garnish in a beverage, with grilled chicken or when adorning a salad.

For tips on using starfruit as a garnish...

But don't stop there!
Simply sliced into sparkling water
Add to sparkling water for a star-studded aqua fresca.

Let the stars shine, diced into chutneys, salsas or smoothies.

Starfruit's light refreshing tropical taste reduces tomato's acidity while giving veggies like cucumbers or celery a boost in flavor. 
Starfruit showing its Asian roots  
in this stir fry 
When warmed, it retains its star shape and looks great as an ice cream topping or in fruit compote.

Cook with your veggies and note how stars topping them creates a veggie disappearing act.

And move over pineapple-starfruit's great in an upside-down cake.
Not the diva of the produce aisle  
Starfruit's easy to prepare for garnishing drinks, topping salads or adding to salsas.

Here are some tips... 
Lunchbox star - starfruit
What are you waiting for?   
Whether enjoyed sliced into stars, chopped for a recipe, blended for a smoothie or eaten whole for a snack, starfruit has a refreshing tropical taste that delivers high flavor, great texture and a nutritional bang for your buck. 
To your health,
Donna Shields 
About the author
Donna Shields
As a registered dietician, Donna
uses progressive nutritional science
to achieve good health through a
flavorful lifestyle.
Starfruit recipes