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What Is a Kumquat & How To Eat Them?

22 November 2022

Kumquats are small citrus fruits resembling olive-sized oranges, and they’re as tasty as they are pretty; there’s no reason not to add them to everything!

What Is a Kumquat?Photo By Canva

Kumquats are a Chinese citrus fruit, although they’re now grown worldwide, especially in warm climates. Kumquat fruit is as versatile as any citrus fruit in size, color and shape.

Kumquat fruit, though, is not one but many, as there are many variations, and they’re all worth knowing. Here’s what you need to know about kumquat fruit.

What Are Kumquats?

Kumquat is the Chinese term for ‘golden oranges,’ and it’s quite fitting for this grape-sized fruit. The pretty fruit is part of the citrus family, so it’s no surprise kumquats look like oranges — they’re related.

Kumquats were relatively unknown outside China a few decades ago, even if farmers have grown them elsewhere since the mid-1850s. The kumquat craze is more recent, as the fruit became fashionable during the health and wellness revolution of the late 20th century.

There are several types of kumquats. Some are green, like limes, and others are bright orange. Some have fragile skins, and others are sturdier. What’s even more interesting is that botanists worldwide keep developing new varieties, and there’s more. Kumquats are easy to grow, especially in warm climates, making them lovely houseplants.

The best part about kumquats is that they are versatile and can give a lovely touch to all kinds of meals and foods. If you’ve never tried kumquats, don’t wait — they’re truly something special. Kumquat fruit is here to stay, and it’s more popular than ever. Buy kumquats online and in most well-stocked supermarkets but grow your own if you live somewhere sunny. Here’s how to eat kumquats and their health benefits.

How To Eat Kumquats?

Kumquat FruitPhoto By Canva

Think of kumquats as tiny oranges, but don’t expect the same sweetness — kumquats are often tart with a nice balance between sweet and sour. The skin has sweet-smelling aromatic oils that contrast with the tangy pulp because, yes, you can eat kumquats whole, and the skin is the best part.

If you’re eating kumquats whole, ensure they’re organic, as pesticides, herbicides, insecticides and artificial fertilizers tend to contaminate the fruit’s skin. This, of course, applies to all fruit. Eat organic kumquats as they come, but rinse and disinfect regular ones, just in case.

Kumquats are more than a healthy snack; they can be part of any salad, as their citrus flavor is compatible with leafy greens, other fruit, nuts, seeds and other typical salad ingredients. Kumquat fruit is tangy, so it’s best contrasted with sweeter ingredients.

You can also juice kumquats for a nutritious, refreshing, all-natural drink or throw them into the blender with other ingredients to make smoothies and shakes. Since kumquats are cute, they’re also often used as a garnish in all types of dishes, especially desserts, and they’re typical in trendy bars, where they’re used in the most creative libations.

What Are The Health Benefits of Kumquats?

Kumquats are healthier than you think. There are many reasons to add the petit fruit to your diet, and you’ll find the most compelling below. All fruit is healthy, but kumquats might just be authentic superfoods.

For starters, kumquats are packed with nutrients. Five kumquats provide 73% of the vitamin C you need for the day and a bit of vitamin A. You get a healthy dose of calcium and manganese in each kumquat, and not all that many calories, with only 71 calories per every 100 grams.

Kumquats are high in antioxidants, plant molecules that bind with free radicals in your bloodstream, preventing oxidative stress and chronic inflammation. This means less risk of heart disease and even some types of cancer.

For their considerable amounts of vitamin C, kumquat fruit is an immune system booster, which helps prevent all types of disease. And there’s more; recent studies show that the compounds in kumquat peels might help combat obesity. Compounds in kumquats can even help your body reduce cholesterol absorption.

Eat kumquats because they’re tasty, but if you needed an excuse, you now know the fruit is healthy, too.

Ways to Cook With Kumquats

Kumquat JamPhoto By Canva

Fresh kumquats are the best way to enjoy their sour flavor and make the most of their nutrients. Still, kumquats have a place in the kitchen, and you can cook with them to make many exciting foods.

  • Bake kumquats in bread and cakes to give color and citrus aromatics to your baking projects.
  • Add kumquats to salads and top sandwiches as if they were tomatoes.
  • Make kumquat jam, jelly, marmalade or any other compote. Combine them with other fruit for exciting results.
  • Make kumquat chutney or add the fruit to sauces for all main courses. Kumquats add acidity to recipes, and acidity is often desired when cooking hearty foods.
  • Candied kumquats are common garnishes, and so are dehydrated kumquats. And if you slice kumquats in half and scoop out the pulp, you get the loveliest small cups for creative snacks and one-bite desserts.

Kumquats never disappoint, no matter what you do with them. If you’re feeling lazy, snack on them, but know that the bright fruit can add color and flavor to creative concoctions. Professional cooks and pastry chefs worldwide use the lemony fruit in their creations, and you can too.

Kumquats FAQ

Are Kumquats Baby Oranges?

Kumquats may look like oranges, but they are a different fruit. Kumquat and orange are citrus.

Can You Eat The Skin of Kumquats?

Yes, most kumquat varieties have thin, edible skins. Ensure you consume organic kumquats to prevent ingesting chemicals.

Are Kumquats Sweet?

Although kumquat juice and pulp contain sugar, this is a sour fruit balanced by the sweet scents of its peel.

Are Kumquats Healthy?

Yes. Kumquats have high amounts of antioxidants and vitamin C. And, unlike other fruits, kumquats have low calories, so you can enjoy them guilt-free.

How To Store Kumquats?

Store kumquats on the counter at room temperature for a few days or in the refrigerator with your other fruits. Kumquats will get mushy after a week. Therefore, it is recommended to consume it within a few days after taking it.

Can You Freeze Kumquats?

You can freeze kumquats, which will keep for months, although they’ll lose some of the aromatics found in fresh fruit.

How To Know When Kumquats Are Ripe?

Most kumquats are sold ready to eat and don’t ripen much after being harvested. Ripe kumquats should have an even orange color and be firm but squishy to the touch.

Here are our delicious recipes that you can prepare with Kumquat:

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