Five Tropical Fruits Equals Great Tasting Healthy Eating

Five Tropical Fruits
Great Tasting Healthy Eating

By Guest Blogger Roberta (Bobbie) Kitto
Two plant-based recipes included

Photos featured below & all recipes courtesy of Melissa’s/World wide Produce


I recently was invited to attend an interesting and informative webinar presented by Melissa’s/World Variety Produce (Melissa’s, Melissa’s Produce) about five tropical fruits that work perfectly into a mostly plant-based diet.

The webinar was moderated by Michelle Grow of Melissa’s Produce and featured speakers Kenny Kataoka, head of procurement dept. for Melissa’s Produce and Tess Masters, The Blender Girl . All three of these people had fascinating  stories to tell how they became more of a plant-based eater.

I learned a lot from this seminar. In particular, a  plant-based diet doesn’t mean eating only plants. Good news for us confirmed carnivores.

First fruit discussed was the Tropical Avocado.  This is the biggest of this type of fruit and is very noticeable in the market since it really does dwarf the other avocados.  Besides its’ size, this fruit has a smoother and greener texture.  It also has less oxidation problems so it can be cut one day and carefully wrapped, can be used the next day without the loss of quality.

Tropical Avocado


Next on the program was the Sapurana (commonly called the Perfect) Mango.  This fruit originated in India and is available year round.  The flesh is described as “creamy” and the taste is honey with lemon overtones.  It is so tasty it can be just eaten raw, put into smoothies, and tropical salsas.  In some parts of the world this mango is made into pickles and put into chutneys. Check out Tess’s tropical smoothie on her website where this mango is a key ingredient.

Sapurana Mango


Did you know there are different kinds of coconuts? Some you can’t drink the water, some you can. You can drink the water from the third fruit presented,  a Sweet Young Coconut.  This coconut looks quite different from the brown coconut we mostly see in the grocery store. This coconut is white and has a thin skin.  It is much easier to crack and obtain the sweet drink inside. The meat is delicious, but because of its’ thin skin it has to be kept in a refrigerator and used within two weeks of purchase. The coconut water can be frozen for later enjoyment.

Sweet Young Coconut


Tai Nung Papaya was next up  for discussion. It  may be a mouthful to say, but will delight your senses because of its’ sweet melon taste due to a high sugar content. This Papaya is a hybrid. It ranges from 2 to 4 lbs. and is another tropical fruit you can enjoy year round.

Tai Nung Papaya


The most surprising fruit we were shown was the last one, the Jackfruit.  It can grow up to 33 lbs. The jackfruit is a species of tree in the fig, mulberry, and breadfruit family. Its origin is in the region between the Western Ghats of southern India and the rain-forests of Malaysia.This fruit can be used for sweet to savory dishes.  That means it is not just for drinks, snacks, and smoothies, but can be used as a meat substitute in tacos or pulled meat sandwiches. Who knew? Melissa’s Produce website has some great recipes for this fruit and the others I have mentioned here today.



I highly recommend you spend an hour with these three experts and see how much tastier and healthier your life can be.  I know mine will be in the future.

Give this diet a try with these delicious recipes courtesy of Melissa’s.

All products available at most local supermarkets or online.

Coconut, Lemon Grass, and Pineapple Drink
By Roxanne Klein


1 cup Coconut Water

1/4 cup Sweet Young Coconuts meat chopped

2 tablespoons Lemon Grass chopped

2 cups Pineapple chopped


Combine all the ingredients in a high speed blender and process until smooth.

Makes 1 serving.

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Jackfruit “Faux Pulled Pork” Sandwiches
Recipe by Chef Tom Fraker

Jackfruit pulled pork


1 tablespoon Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1 tablespoon Unsalted Butter
1 Melissa’s Perfect Sweet Onion, thinly sliced
Kosher Salt and Freshly Ground Pepper, to taste
1 1/2 pounds Jackfruit, use the fibrous part around the pods
4 cups BBQ Sauce, recipe below
4 French Rolls, split in half horizontally
Cole Slaw, recipe below

Heat the oil and melt the butter in a saucepan. Add the onion, salt and pepper and sauté until translucent, about 3-4 minutes.

Add the jackfruit and the bbq sauce. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat and simmer for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.

To assemble, lightly toast the rolls and spread equals parts of the jackfruit on each roll. Top the jackfruit with the slaw and serve.

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Guest Blogger Roberta (Bobbie) Kitto

Roberta (Bobbie) Kitto


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