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How to Eat Passion Fruit: 5 Easy Steps

Is it a plum? Is it a peach? No, it’s passion fruit! Its name is exotic and invokes a bit of mystery, but what exactly is passion fruit? And how should you eat it?

Here’s how to eat passion fruit in five easy steps.

Passion fruit comes from the passion fruit vine, a climbing vine with spectacular flowers. It’s thought that Christian missionaries gave the vine its name when they observed that parts of the flowers resembled Christian teachings about the resurrection of Christ.

The color of passion fruit is purple or golden yellow. Purple passion fruit is native to Brazil, Paraguay, and parts of Argentina. It’s unclear where yellow passion fruit originates from.

Today, passion fruit is grown in:

  • parts of South America
  • Australia
  • Hawaii
  • California
  • Florida
  • South Africa
  • Israel
  • India
  • New Zealand

Passion fruit is round and about 3 inches long. It has a thick, waxy rind that becomes wrinkly as the fruit ripens. Inside passion fruit are sacs that are filled with orange-colored juice and small, crunchy seeds. This juice mixture is known as pulp.

Passion fruit is good for you! It’s low in fat and is an outstanding source of dietary fiber. Just 1/2 cup of raw, purple passion fruit provides 12.5 grams of dietary fiber.

Passion fruit is also a good source of:

  • iron
  • protein
  • vitamin A
  • vitamin C
  • folate
  • magnesium
  • phosphorous
  • potassium
  • B vitamins

According to a study published in the Journal of Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine, purple passion fruit reduced cardiovascular risk factors such as systolic blood pressure and fasting blood glucose in people with type 2 diabetes.

A study published in Nutrition Research found that purple passion fruit peel extract may be an effective alternative treatment for adults with asthma. The study showed that the extract improved wheezing, shortness of breath, and coughs in adults with asthma.

Passion fruit isn’t difficult to eat, but it’s not quite as easy as biting into an apple.

Try these tips for choosing and enjoying passion fruit at its best:

  • When choosing passion fruit, look for one that feels heavy and is purple or yellow in color. The skin may be smooth or wrinkly. The more wrinkled the skin, the riper the fruit. Make sure there’s no discoloration, bruising, or green spots. Green passion fruit isn’t ripe.
  • Wash passion fruit thoroughly to remove any pesticide residue and bacteria. With a sharp knife, cut the fruit in half. A serrated knife works well to cut through the tough, outer skin.

Try these five easy ways to enjoy the taste sensation of passion fruit.

Passion fruit is filled with a gelatinous pulp that’s full of seeds. The seeds are edible, but tart.

Scoop out the passion fruit pulp with a spoon and place it in a bowl. You can also enjoy passion fruit pulp straight from the shell. All you’ll need is a spoon! Try sprinkling a little of your favorite sweetener onto the pulp to cut the tartness. Some people also add cream.

If you prefer not to eat passion fruit seeds, you can strain them from the pulp. This creates fresh passion fruit juice. Simply pour passion fruit pulp through a fine strainer or cheesecloth. Press the pulp with the back of a spoon to help force the juice through. The juice is delicious on its own or added to a smoothie.

Passion fruit nectar is made with the entire passion fruit, not just the pulp. It’s made by simmering cut passion fruit, rind and all, in water until the fruit is soft. The mixture is then blended, strained (if desired), and sweetened.

A coulis is a puree made of strained fruit or vegetables. Passion fruit coulis is made in a similar way as passion fruit nectar, but without the rind. It’s created by boiling a mixture of passion fruit pulp and sugar for up to five minutes and straining the seeds. Some people add vanilla bean and other spices to the pulp mixture before boiling. Passion fruit coulis may be used to top yogurt, ice cream, or cheesecake.

Add a slice of the tropics to your morning toast or muffin with passion fruit jam. It’s prepared similarly to other types of jam, but there are a few extra steps. In addition to boiling passion fruit pulp, lemon, and sugar, you’ll need to boil the outer shells and puree their inner flesh. The result is well worth the effort. Some people add other fruits to passion fruit jam, such as pineapple and mango.

You may eat passion fruit juice, pulp, coulis, jam, and nectar straight. Or, add it to sauces, salads, baked goods, and yogurt.

Here are some other ways to add passion fruit to your diet:

  • Tropical passion fruit tartlets: These mini tarts have a buttery shortbread crust and passion fruit curd filling. Get the recipe!
  • Passion fruit popsicle: The combination of fresh passion fruit and spicy ginger takes popsicles to a whole new level. Get the recipe!
  • Passion fruit sorbet: You only need three ingredients to make this easy yet elegant dessert: frozen passion fruit puree, sugar, and water. Get the recipe!
  • Passion fruit margaritas: Impress your friends with a batch of passion fruit margaritas. They’re made from tequila, passion fruit nectar, orange liqueur, and sugar. Get the recipe!
  • Mango-passion fruit smoothie: Tired of drinking the same boring smoothie every morning? Try this tasty concoction made with fresh mango, yogurt, and passion fruit juice. Get the recipe!

Last medically reviewed on September 9, 2016

You’ve bought a passion fruit at the store, but how are you supposed to eat it? Read on for step-by-step directions and recipes.

Maracuja seeds

The common edible passion fruit. Grown around the world, produces egg sized fruit filled with wonderfully tart, bright orange pulp. See also information on the lilikoi, a yellow variety of the fruit.

Seed Availability

Seeds are now available at our seed store.

Description

A vigorous vine, especially in the tropics, the passion fruit can grow over 20ft in a single year.

Hardiness

Passion fruit vines are hardy to 32F, so protect from any frosts. They can withstand short drops below 32F but foliage may die back.

Growing Environment

Pruning is a must to keep the vine healthy. Prune off less vigorous growth and occasionally prune back vigorous growth to promote flowering. The long tendrils need lots of support for climbing. When established, and without care, the passion fruit can easily overtake other garden plants, shading them from sun. Flowering occurs from April-November but may occasionally continue year-round if conditions are right. Individual flowers bloom for just 12-24 hours before closing. Flowers will self-pollinate and are followed by green fruit, turning purple when ripe. Fruits usually ripen from flowering in 80 days. The vines love full sun except in climates where the temperature frequently surpasses 100F, vines should be given shade. Water frequently and provide good drainage. Plants are short-lived, usually maintaining good productivity for 4-6 years. Harvest fruits when fruit falls from plant. Fruits are best eaten when wrinkles appear on their surface.

Propagation

General propagated from seeds which show widely variable germination rates, from a few weeks to months. Longer germination times are seen particularly if conditions are not ideal. Seeds like bottom heat of 70-80F for faster germination. Some people soak seeds in warm to hot water overnight before planting. Giberrelic acid treatment is also recommended. Once sprouted, the vines usually produce by the first year.

Germination Info

It is recommended to pretreat Passiflora seeds before planting. They contain a hard seed coat and are very slow to sprout. There are various pretreatment methods, but the simplest is to soak the seeds for 24-48 hours in warm to the touch water, just prior to planting. Optionally, seeds can be lightly scarified with sand paper to provide some permeation on the seed coat.

Once pretreated, plant seeds 1/2-1″ deep in moist, sterile soil. Keep soil temperature consistent at 70-85F, with some day/variation in this range. Cool soils will significantly delay seed germination time if not inhibit germination altogether. Standard room temperature can be too cool for proper germination.

Estimated germination time under optimal conditions: 6 weeks to 6 months.

Pulp is often eaten fresh, seeds are edible. Used as a flavoring in drinks, desserts, sauces, and many other foods. Seeds can be extracted from pulp by putting pulp in a blender on low speed. Run mixture through a strainer to retain pulp and juice.

Native Range

Native to South America, from Paraguay, Brazil, and Argentina. The passion fruit is now grown around the world, and sizable feral populations now occur in Asia, Australia, and Hawaii. The passion fruit is subtropical and is found at higher elevations in the tropics. In Hawaii, the passion fruit tends to grow wild above 1000ft. Despite being an important commercial crop, both types of passion fruits have become pest species in some tropical regions, particularly Hawaii and other Pacific Islands.

Additional Pictures

Related Species

Passifloraceae
Passiflora actinia
Passiflora actinia
Passiflora alata
Fragrant Granadilla
Passiflora biflora
Two-Flowered Passion Flower
Passiflora caerulea
Blue Passion Flower
Passiflora coccinea
Red Granadilla
Passiflora colinvauxii
Passiflora colinvauxii
Passiflora coriacea
Bat-Leaved Passion Flower
Passiflora edulis
Passion Fruit
Passiflora edulis var. flavicarpa
Lilikoi
Passiflora foetida
Wild Water Lemon
Passiflora gibertii
Passiflora gibertii
Passiflora gilbertiana
Passiflora gilbertiana
Passiflora helleri
Passiflora helleri
Passiflora herbertiana
Native Passion Fruit
Passiflora incarnata
Maypop
Passiflora incarnata x cinnicata
Passiflora ‘Incense’
Passiflora laurifolia
Water Lemon
Passiflora ligularis
Sweet Granadilla
Passiflora loefgrenii
Garlic Passion Fruit
Passiflora macrophylla
Tree Passion Flower
Passiflora maliformis
Sweet Calabash
Passiflora mollissima
Banana Passion Fruit
Passiflora morifolia
Woodland Passion Flower
Passiflora nitida
Bell Apple
Passiflora pallens
Pineland Passion Flower
Passiflora parritae
Passiflora parritae
Passiflora parritae x antioquiensis
Passiflora parritae x antioquiensis
Passiflora popenovii
Quijos Granadilla
Passiflora quadrangularis
Giant Granadilla
Passiflora setacea
Sururuca
Passiflora sidaefolia
Passiflora sidaefolia
Passiflora subpeltata
White Passion Flower
Passiflora trifasciata
Tri-Colored Passion Vine
Passiflora vitifolia
Grape Leaved Passion Fruit
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Maracuja seeds The common edible passion fruit. Grown around the world, produces egg sized fruit filled with wonderfully tart, bright orange pulp. See also information on the lilikoi, a yellow ]]>