Interesting Starfruit Uses – Learn How To Use Starfruit

By: Laura Miller

If you think starfruit uses are limited to decorativegarnishes for fruit salads or fancy arrangements, you might be missing out on agreat tasting food with multiple health benefits. Starfruit,also known as the carambola, are rich in antioxidants, vitamins and minerals.

What to Do with Starfruit

Starfruit grows on tropical trees which were native to SriLanka and the Spice Islands. It’s been cultivated for centuries in China andMalaysia. The fruit of the carambola tree can reach 8 inches (20 cm.) long andchanges from green to yellow as it ripens. Starfruits are oval-shaped and havefive ridges which gives the fruit its characteristic star-shape when sliced.

If you’re wondering how to use starfruit, here are wayscarambola has been used around the world:

  • Garnish – Using carambola fruit in salads, fruit kabobs, for decorative plating or as a beverage garnish uses the natural shape of the sliced fruit to add appeal to dishes and drinks.
  • Jams and preserves – Like other types of fruit, starfruit can be used when making fruit spreads.
  • Pickled – Starfruit that isn’t fully ripe can be pickled in vinegar or made into a relish using horseradish, celery and spices.
  • Dried – Sliced starfruit can be dried in a dehydrator or baked in the oven to make crispy starfruit chips.
  • Cooked – Asian recipes use carambola in shrimp, fish and other seafood dishes. They can be used in curries. Starfruit can also be stewed with sweeteners and spices and combined with other fruit, such as apples.
  • Juiced – Starfruit can be juiced with a blend of herbs, such as mint and cinnamon.
  • Puddings, tarts and sherbet – Starfruit uses include typical citrus recipes. Simply substitute starfruit as the key ingredient in place of lemons, limes or oranges.

Alternative Starfruit Uses

Using carambola fruit in Eastern medicinal preparations iscommon practice in several Asian countries. Starfruit has been used as a remedyto control hemorrhages, reduce fevers, lower blood pressure, cure coughs,relieve hangovers, and soothe headaches.

Carambola contains high amounts of oxalic acid and careshould be taken when using concentrated preparations for medical purposes.Additionally, people with kidney problems are advised to consult theirphysicians before incorporating starfruit into their diet.

Due to its acidity, the juice of starfruit has also beenused to remove rust stains and for polishing brass. The wood from the carambolatree is used in construction and for furniture making. The wood has a finetexture with a medium to hard density.

Tips for Harvesting Starfruit Plants

Whether you’re picking starfruit off a tree in your backyardor selecting fresh fruit from the market, here’s what you’ll need to know tofind the best produce for all these innovative ways you have for usingcarambola fruit:

  • Select fruit which has a yellowish-green color for fresh consumption. Commercial growers harvest starfruit as it begins to ripen. (Pale green with a hint of yellow.)
  • The fruit reaches its peak ripeness when the ridges are no longer green and the body of the fruit is uniformly yellow. Brown spots indicate over-ripeness.
  • In home orchards, gardeners can allow ripe fruit to drop to the ground. It can also be hand picked from the tree.
  • For crisper fruit, harvest in the morning when ambient temperatures are lower.
  • Store starfruit at room temperature. Fruit which has passed the peak of ripeness can be stored in the refrigerator to prevent spoilage.

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How to Tell When a Star Fruit Is Ripe

The fruit of the deciduous carambola tree is called a star fruit. It earned the name because the ribbed fruit resembles a yellow star once sliced. Star fruit is a tropical plant native to Asia, central America and the tropical areas of South America. Carambola is now grown in some of the warmer, more tropical areas of the United States such as Florida and Hawaii. Knowing when your star fruit is properly ripe allows you to pick it for the table when the flavor is the sweetest and the fruit looks its best.

Start checking the fruit for ripeness in mid-summer. Harvesting occurs primarily from mid-summer to late fall.

  • The fruit of the deciduous carambola tree is called a star fruit.
  • Star fruit is a tropical plant native to Asia, central America and the tropical areas of South America.

Wait for the green to fade completely to yellow and the skin to become waxy in appearance. Give the fruit a slight tug it will easily slip from the tree once fully ripe.

Pick fruits early when they are still light green with only a slight bit of yellowing beginning, if desired. Store these inside where they naturally ripen on their own.

Store still green fruits for up to four weeks in the refrigerator or two weeks at room temperature. Use fully ripe star fruit immediately.

Star fruit overview

It is a compact and evergreen tree. Which produces an unusual, beautiful, and juicy fruit? It is very rich and Woody. You can grow it by seeds. Star fruit should be planted immediately after the use of the fruit for successful germination. For a garden landscape, they have the charm of summer. Nature Bring is giving you information on how to develop and care for it.

Star fruit tree (Carambola) is a member of the Oxalidaceae family. It is the fruit of Averrhoa carambola, which is found in Indonesia, Philippines, Malaysia, Vietnam, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, India, and Mauritius. It is quite popular in many parts of East Asia and the South Pacific.


Scientific name Averrahoa carambola

Fruiting time April to June

Soil Well-drained/ sandy soil

Growing Conditions

Shade, drought, wind and wet, alkaline soil all take a toll on carambola trees, causing decline and premature death. Choose a growing location in full sun with loamy, mildly acidic soil and fast drainage. Shelter carambola trees from strong, drying winds to prevent damage to the branches, foliage and fruit. Potted carambola trees need full sun and a pot larger than 3 gallons to perform well. When overwintering indoors, place the tree in a very bright, sunny room where temperatures stay reliably above 55 degrees Fahrenheit, and shield the tree from heater vents and drafts.

Care For Star Fruit Trees

Water your star fruit tree regularly from bloom through harvest. These trees need consistently moist soils for best performance and have limited drought tolerance. Avoid overwatering your tree because standing water often causes root rot diseases and foliage health problems. Use a total of 2 pounds of fertilizer every year for each 1 inch of trunk diameter. Spread a 2- to 6-inch layer of mulch around the tree, keeping the mulching material about 12 inches away from the tree's trunk. Harvest the star fruit when the green skin turns completely yellow, typically anywhere from 60 to 75 days after the fruit sets, depending on the cultivar.

  • Wait for the green to fade completely to yellow and the skin to become waxy in appearance.
  • Pick fruits early when they are still light green with only a slight bit of yellowing beginning, if desired.

Preserve star fruit by canning it or drying it in a food dehydrator.

A single carambola tree may produce 100 to 250 pounds of fruit.

If you have kidney disease avoid eating star fruit. It has large amounts of oxalic acid which may cause renal failure.

The ribs on star fruit are easily bruised. Take care not to put undue pressure on them while handling or storing.

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