Carambola is a south Florida tropical that is also called star fruit from its unique shape when sliced. This fruit has a sweet, sour, tart flavor and is very refreshing to eat by itself. It tastes great in a salad and makes a beautiful garnish too. This fruit is native to Southeast Asia and has been grown in Florida for about 100+ years. The carambola tree produces its juicy fruit several times each year. It has a unique golden color when ripe.
Carambolas are a source of vitamin C and potassium. Vitamin C can help your body fight infection. Due to its function as an antioxidant and its role in immune function, vitamin C has been promoted to help prevent and/or treat numerous health conditions. Star fruit are low in calories and contain dietary fiber.
According to the USDA nutrient database, one cup of raw cubed carambola contains approximately:
· 40 calories
· 9 grams of carbohydrate
· 1.4 grams of protein
· 0.4 grams of fat
· 4 grams of fiber
· 45 milligrams of vitamin C
· 180 milligrams of potassium
To reduce the risk of food borne illness when preparing and cutting star fruit, make sure to wash your hands with hot, soapy water before and after handing the fruit. Wash fresh carambola fruit with cool tap water before preparing or eating. Cut away bruised or damaged areas before preparing or eating star fruit. Wash cutting boards, serving dishes, utensils and countertops after contact with produce; use hot, soapy water and rinse well.
Here is a tasty recipe suggestion:
Star Fruit Shrimp Stir-Fry
• 2 carambolas, sliced into 1/4-inch stars (discard seeds)
• 1-pound medium shrimp, deveined
• 1 teaspoon cornstarch
• 1 tablespoon rice vinegar
• 1/4 cup orange juice
• 1 tablespoon low-sodium soy sauce
• 1 tablespoon canola oil
• 1 teaspoon fresh ginger, peeled and minced
• 2 teaspoons garlic, minced
Directions: Gather ingredients. Wash hands. Whisk the cornstarch and the rice vinegar together in a bowl, then add the orange juice and soy sauce. Toss the shrimp in the marinade and let sit 15-20 minutes. Mince the fresh ginger and garlic on a clean cutting board. Wash carambola before slicing. Heat canola oil in a large skillet. When ready, sauté the garlic and ginger over medium high heat for about 1 minute until fragrant. Add in the shrimp, marinade, and the carambola/star fruit slices. Toss to coat and stir while cooking. Cook for about 2 minutes until shrimp is fully cooked. Serve over rice or vegetables. Makes 4 servings.
*Recipe adapted from Brooks Tropicals: http://www.brookstropicals.com/
• 170 calories
• 7 grams of carbohydrate
• 30 grams of protein
• 4 grams of fat
• 1.5 grams of fiber
• 22 milligrams of vitamin C
• 410 milligrams of potassium
Two interesting links to international studies are shared below for more information on star fruit consumption, diabetes, dehydration and kidney injury, if interested.
Enjoy carambola when in season! It is truly a special treat.
For more information
• UF/IFAS Extension, South Florida Tropicals: Carambola https://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/he613
• Vitamin C, National Institutes of Health https://ods.od.nih.gov/factsheets/VitaminC-HealthProfessional/
• USDA Nutrient Database Number 09060: https://ndb.nal.usda.gov/ndb/search/list
• Star fruit nephrotoxicity: a case series and literature review (2020):
• Neurotoxicity and eating large amounts of star fruit on an empty stomach and dehydration (2018):