Starfruit | How To Use, Health Benefits & Stellar Recipes

starfruit sliced and wholeWhat is a Starfruit? The Starfruit (also known as Carambola)  is an oblong yellow fruit with five deep ridges running lengthwise — so crosswise-cut slices resemble adorable stars. An edible, thin waxy skin covers the golden flesh within that has a mildly sweet-tart flavor and crispy texture.  Native to Sri Lanka and the Moluccas, and has been cultivated in Southeast Asia and Malaysia for almost 1,000 years.

Starfruit as garnish to stir-fry

How do you eat it? Just slice it and serve, the skin is edible. However, some people prefer to peel it before eating. This five-pointed fruit is a fun way to dress up salads, cocktails and dessert trays. You can also use it to add a stellar touch to smoothie bowls and they are delicious poached. I’ve even seen some people use them to add a festive touch to the top of pies, upside down cakes and other baked goods!

star fruit

Excuse the hideous post-run hair and bad lighting but this is what a starfruit looks like before cutting.

What are the Health Benefits?  Starfruit is a great source of vitamin C and fiber. They also provide hydration and healthy complex carbs to fuel your body and brain. It also contains important flavonoids including quercetin, epicatechin, and gallic acid.  However, Starfruit (carambola) has high levels of Oxalic acid which could cause kidney stones or renal distress in those with or predispose to kidney disease. Additionally, like grapefruit, starfuit can interfere with the absorption of certain drugs. Anyone taking medication or that has kidney disease should seek the advice of their doctor before eating this exotic fruit.

How to Select and Store: Depending on the variety, Starfruit will be a light greenish-yellow to deeper gold when ripe. There may be some dark brown along the five ridges and this is perfectly fine. Flesh should still be quite firm to the touch. Store at room temperature until ripe and then refrigerate in covered container. Star fruit may also be stored in the freezer for approximately three months. To prep for freezer, cut the fruit vertically into star-shaped slices and spread out on sheet pan in a single layer to freeze individually. After hardened, transfer starfuit to a heavy-duty, zip-top storage bag.

Recipe Ideas:

Starfruit Upside Down Cake from Starfruit Upside Down Cake from

Chocolate Dipped Starfruit from  (I think ths is an amazing healthier treat for all sorts of holidays including 4th of July, Memorial Day, Christmas and other winter celebrations).

Chocolate Dipped Starfruit from

Celestial Starfruit  & Orange Kale Salad star fruit salad

Have you ever tried a starfruit? What did you think? If not, what is the most interesting fruit you’ve eaten? Please share in the comments, XOXO  – Jennifer

How to Break Out of a Rut & Starfruit Salad Recipe

crossfit bar

Adding CrossFit to my running training is one way I’ve broken through a rut! I love the CrossFit WODs because you never know what it will be!

Ever feel like you’re stuck in rut? Going nowhere, immobilized with indifference, apathy, laziness or the even fear of trying something new? I know I have. Most of my ruts have come on slowly over time like the long deep tracks made by the repeated passage of bikes on a trail. I think about times when I’ve been on auto-pilot, just mindlessly along for the ride of life. Usually I’m the lucky type and reasonably good things come my way without too much of an ordeal, so why rock the boat? But often I wonder what I have been missing by not putting myself out there more. Tending to a super-hectic work-family-training schedule,

try-something-newI am also guilty of taking the easy way out, doing things mindlessly and over-relying on my creature comforts. For example, I run the same route in my neighborhood, sit in the same pew at church every week, order the same meal at my favorite restaurant, and haven’t changed my training plan in ages because it’s working (or, is it?). Really, these are just minor little ruts but, they do keep me from meeting new people, challenging myself and trying new things – I constantly have to tell myself to “mix it up.”

Occasionally, I feel like these little ruts are completely overshadowed by a big, gaping, capital letter RUT that literally appeared as quick and furiously as a polo horse can kick up a divot. Hello, I’ve lost a client, a friend, an important teaching moment for my child or an opportunity for personal growth that was just under my nose but I was too stupid to smell it. It feels like a crisis. It feels like my house is on fire. It feels so unfair because I have been taking the safe ride through life and not been reckless behind the wheel.  Really these big ruts are just the small ruts flaring up to catch my attention. It’s best to stomp the divots down as soon as possible, minimize the chances of more tripping and falling, and keep the game moving forward!

crossfit clean woman

Ways to Dig Out of a Rut:

Set and share a goal: Having a plan of action helps you lay out the steps needed to achieve a goal. Some of the most successful people in the world say luck had nothing to do with it; instead it was setting tangible goals to work toward. Don’t forget to share your goal with a friend and check in often; this will keep you accountable.

Don’t wish for it, work for it. Remember that a goal that lacks action behind it is just a dream. Sorry to say that dreams are imaginary and don’t come true, but goals can become a reality if you put in the work.

Embrace the uncomfortable. Stepping outside your comfort zone is essential for growth in all aspects of life. Being happy with the status quo prevents progress. Not wanting to go above and beyond keeps you stuck where you are. It’s so cliché, but no pain, no gain!

Make a new connection daily. You can break through a rut by making at least one new human connection a day and preferably someone who is not a carbon copy of you! Introduce yourself (finally) to a person you see every day at the coffee shop, gym or carpool line that you’ve never bothered to meet. You never know who will inspire you to make a significant life change!

Try something new daily. Break out of your humdrum habits by trying something new each day. Mix up the monotonous by trying a new fruit or vegetable (see my Star Fruit Salad recipe below) or try something a little more challenging like a new yoga pose or learning a foreign language. You’re never too old to learn a new trick!

Since, uh, I love food and getting creative in the kitchen, especially with my healthy salads, I like break out of my eating ruts by trying new ingredients. It’s also why I have a pantry full of only-used-once-or-twice spices and exotic ingredients. Because I’ve never had a starfruit before, I took my taste buds on a taste adventure and made a salad featuring this unique-looking ingredient. Officially called a “carambola,” this fruit grows on trees native to the Philippines, Indonesia, Malaysia, India and there-about parts of the world. When you cut this guy crosswise, the slice look just like little stars which is what makes it such a fun way to jazz up a mundane salad. So, what does it taste like – it is hard to say?  It was slightly sweet with hints of apple and citrus with the texture of a firm grape. By the way, loved the baby kale I used in this recipe – so tender and delicate that the massaging required for the full-grown green is not needed.

star fruit salad

Starfruit & Orange Baby Kale Salad Recipe

  • ½ large starfruit
  • 2 ounces baby kale
  • ½ cup orange slice segments
  • 1/4 large red onion, sliced
  • 1 ounce feta cheese crumbles
  • ¼ cup toasted almond slivers
  • ¼ cup vinaigrette of choice (I used Tangy Orange Citrus Vinaigrette)

Slice starfruit crosswise into ¼ inch slices; remove any seeds. Assemble all ingredients on platter. Drizzle with vinaigrette before serving. Serves 2.

star fruit

Excuse the hideous post-run hair but this is what a starfruit looks like before cutting.