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Fruit Bites for Teens: Kiwano Melon

Kiwano melonThe coolest part of the kiwano melon is the shock value of its appearance. It looks more like a dog toy -- a spiky Kong -- than a fruit. It's colorful, too: yellowish-orange on the outside and green on the inside.

Some people call a kiwano melon "blowfish fruit" because it looks like the poisonous puffer fish. Sometimes it's sold under the name horned melon or African horned melon, although most now are imported from New Zealand or grown in California. Look for them in specialty grocery stores.

Want to have some fun with your food? Put a kiwano melon on the counter and tell your little sister it's an alien egg.

What to Expect From a Kiwano Melon

Despite its intimidating looks, this funky little melon tastes like a mix of bananas, limes, and cucumbers. And, like a banana, it does not have to be refrigerated.

Sources say it's impossible to peel the skin off a kiwano. But you don't eat the skin either. Instead, you cut the melon open, and scoop the insides out.

Like other more familiar melons such as cantaloupe or honeydew, kiwanos have lots of seeds. In fact, their insides are pretty much all seeds. You can eat the seeds or suck or scoop around them.

A 1-cup serving of kiwano melon has about 4 grams of protein (the same as 1 tablespoon of peanut butter), 287 milligrams of potassium (about half the amount in a banana), and vitamins A and C -- but it only has about 103 calories.

Video Vittles

Would you believe there's a whole section of YouTube videos on how to prepare and eat a kiwano? Some are serious; others are silly. Maybe you'll be inspired to make your own.

Ready for another bite? Try Apples, Bananas, or Grapes.

WebMD Medical Reference

Reviewed by Daniel Brennan, MD on December 23, 2013