Kiwis from the Emerald City

September 10, 2022 at 2:03 p.m. | Updated September 1, 2021 at 10:45 a.m.
Kiwis are fuzzy emeralds from The Emerald City.
Kiwis are fuzzy emeralds from The Emerald City. Katy G. Wilkens


A nurse I work with just gave me a bag of emeralds! Well, fuzzy emeralds – in the form of kiwi fruit.

This amazing fruit with the beautiful emerald interior grows locally here in the Emerald City and is harvested in the fall. Then you have to let them ripen, which can take several weeks. Unlike peaches and many other fruit, kiwis must ripen after they have been picked.

Kiwis are a great source of vitamin C and potassium. They are low in calories and, like all fresh fruit, are low in sodium. Foods that are high in potassium and low in sodium are good for your blood pressure, your heart and kidneys.

If you buy kiwis at the store, you can keep them in the refrigerator. But if they are out of a local garden, you will need to ripen them. Take a plastic bag and cut some slashes into it with a knife or scissors. This will let air exchange, but to keep them from molding. Add the kiwi, and a banana or apple, which will give off ethylene gas to ripen the fruit. Store the bag in a dark place at room temperature for one to two days. When your finger can press in with mild pressure, they are ripe.  

Kiwi Salad Dressing

Try serving this dressing over a salad made from fresh orange slices and fresh kiwi slices, both of which are in season now. Add a handful of chopped cashews and some diced chicken, and you have a great lunch salad that tastes of the tropics.

4-6 kiwi fruit, peeled and coarsely chopped

½ cup white wine vinegar or apple cider vinegar

2 tablespoons mayonnaise

½ cup olive or canola oil

1 teaspoon honey

1/4 tsp pepper

Put everything in a blender or food processor and whirl until smooth and creamy. Pour into serving dish or wide-necked bottle, refrigerate until ready to use. Lasts 10-12 days.

Calories per Tablespoon: 50; Potassium: 115 mg; Sodium: 2 mg


Microwave Kiwi Strawberry Jam

Here is a great way to capture the flavors of spring and fall in the same jam. Frozen local strawberries work great in this recipe, and add more flavor than fresh berries this time of year, although you can use them.

1 cup peeled and diced kiwi fruit

2 cups chopped fresh or frozen strawberries, no sugar.

1 ½ cups sugar

½ tsp butter or margarine

2 tablespoons lemon juice

Put fruit in 3-quart ceramic bowl. Add sugar, butter, lemon juice. Let stand about 30 min. Crush slightly with fork. Cook in microwave, on high power, for about 5 minutes. Stir every 2-3 minutes until it has cooked for about 15 minutes total. Remove about 1 tablespoon of jam, put on a plate and cool in freezer for 5 minutes, then test the consistency. If you like it thicker, reheat jam to boiling, boil 2 minutes, then test again. Store in refrigerator, where it will keep for several months, or freeze.

Kiwi Lime Marmalade, aka “Emerald City Jam”

This is one of my favorite ways to use kiwis because the limes are ripe and in season the same time as kiwi. Spread on a warm scone or toast in the morning and it will take just like sunshine! Be sure to use the green food color because kiwis turn olive green when cooked.

4 cups kiwis, peeled and diced

2 cups grated lime peel and fruit

2 tablespoons lime juice

¼ teaspoon baking soda

7 cups sugar

¼ teaspoon butter or margarine

1 package Certo fruit pectin

Few drops of green food color

Cook lime peel and fruit pulp with 1 cup water plus ¼ teaspoon baking soda for 20 minutes. Measure out 2 cups peel/pulp mixture for recipe. Mix all ingredients except Certo. Bring to rolling boil. Boil 1 minute. Add Certo, boil one minute and remove from heat. Skim off foam, ladle into glass canning jars or freezer containers.  Using hot water bath canning technique, can 1/2 pints for 15 minutes, or you can freeze the jam.

[Katy G. Wilkens is a registered dietitian and department head at Northwest Kidney Centers. The National Kidney Foundation Council on Renal Nutrition has honored her with its highest awards for excellence in education and for significant contributions in renal nutrition. She has also been awarded the Medal of Excellence in kidney nutrition from the American Association of Kidney Patients.]

Eating Well, Living Well classes

Katy leads a team of registered dietitians that teach FREE nutrition classes at convenient times and locations around Puget Sound. The Eating Well, Living Well classes teach people how to eat healthier to slow the progress of kidney disease and postpone dialysis. Studies show that working with a registered dietitian can postpone dialysis for as long as two years. Learn more at

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