Kiwi Chutney – A Savory Idea To Use Up Extra Kiwis

When we decided to start taking some of our bumper crop of kiwis in our lunches, we realized the ones we quartered and brought to eat were under-ripe (to say the least! You can’t even bite through the flesh!) We both brought our little container home that day, and just left them in the fridge to see if they’d ripen a little more.

After a week or so, no change, so I got my thinking cap on. Maybe there are some ideas for savory dishes with kiwi fruit on the internet. No real inspiration there. Sigh. Well, we also had a large crop of blueberries this year, and there were still 3 gallon bags of them in the freezer that needed to be used up. One of the bags had probably about a cup and a half left in it, so I brought that one out of the freezer and started thinking about chutney. I’ve made chutney with a lot of things. Why not kiwis?

Well, it turned out so very tasty, and I’ve had a lot of requests for the recipe, so here you go. I’m not a real measuring person, but I don’t think it really matters here. I’ll just do it as a narrative, and you can put your own creativity into yours. 🙂

I started off by chopping half of a large onion. I threw that into a sauce pan with about a quarter cup of apple cider vinegar and what was left in the bag of brown sugar, which was probably a half cup. I put the heat on and let the onions simmer for a good long time until they were soft. Meanwhile, I was quartering and peeling the kiwis. I think there were 6-8 medium to large ones altogether. I chopped up the flesh about the same size as the chopped onion pieces, and threw them into the pan. Again, I cooked them down for a while until soft. Near the end, I tossed in the frozen blueberries, which by that time were partly thawed. I left them in there long enough for them to finish thawing and heat through, but still keep their shape. At the end, I minced up a few leaves of mint and stirred it in.

We served it with pork chops and it was magnificent! I just had a taste of the leftovers, and it’s slightly sweet, lightly tangy, and a very meaty texture. I hope you enjoy it as we have!

Kiwi Jello – Yes, It Can Be Done!

Kiwi_fruitWe have kiwi vines on an arbor in our front yard, which faces south. This is a good thing, because we live in a northern climate. We started growing them at least 10 years ago with some success after about 4-5 years, but this year we had an exceptional summer for crops. We picked 106 kiwis! Nearly 10 pounds of them, and most of them are as large as the ones you get in the stores. Nice!

You may or may not know that kiwis aren’t ready to eat when you pick them. They have to be put in a paper bag for a couple of weeks. You can hasten their ripening by putting an apple in with them, but we didn’t do that this year, which is probably a good thing, because we sort of ignored them for a little too long. When I checked on them, most were still not ready, but a few were pretty darned squishy. Not wanting to throw them away because of our neglect, I tried to think of something I could do with them and save the day, and the fruit.

The first thing I did was put them in the freezer for a while, so at least they’d be firm enough to cut up once I had an idea for what to do with them. Then I remembered I had made us a kiwi sorbet a couple of years ago. That was pretty nice. Keeping dessert in mind, I then thought about jello. But there was something in the back of my head that said you can’t make jello with kiwis or pineapples. Sure enough, that’s right on the side of the jello box. Undaunted, I went to the computer to find out why. Many people commented on pineapples – you can use canned but not fresh. Canning heats the pineapple and takes away some enzyme or other. Ah ha! I’m going to cook my kiwis!

Out of the freezer they came, and I quartered them and peeled them. Well, actually I just sort of squished the flesh off the skin – they were that soft. Then into a sauce pan and onto the burner. I cooked them for a while, then hit them with the immersion blender. I added some agave nectar (lower glycemic index for hubby, who isn’t diabetic but needs to watch his sugar intake) until it was just barely sweet. Then I followed the directions on a package of Knox Gelatin. You use 4 envelopes to make jello jigglers, so that’s what I did. I used the hot kiwi puree to dissolve some of the gelatin, then added enough water to come up to what the directions said, stirred in the remaining gelatin, then put it all into a rectangular baking dish, and into the fridge.

A few hours later, and we had our kiwi jello jigglers! They’re just sweet enough to not be tangy or tart, and the little crunch from the seeds is quite fun. If you have lots of kiwis to use, like we do, this is one creative idea that I hope you’ll try and enjoy!