Living Well Freaky Fruits

October 23, 2019
Pharmacy & Wellness
halloween, exotic fruits

Happy Halloween and what better way to celebrate than with foods that are scary, delicious, and nutritious! Melissa’s Produce imports and distributes exotic fruits and vegetables from around the globe, many of which look scary, but are delicious and nutritious. This Halloween give Melissa’s ‘freaky fruits’ a try and follow the hashtag #FreakyFruits for more inspiration!

Let’s take a look at a few of Melissa’s freaky fruits that will be perfect for your Halloween celebrations!


A source of healthy antioxidants, the rambutan is a fruit commonly from tropical Southeast Asia and is fleshy like a grape, but wrapped inside a red, leathery skin covered in spines. To open, make a cut half way around and tear the skin to release the fruit. Inside of the white flesh, there is a seed which shouldn’t be eaten raw, similar to a peach. Discard the seed and enjoy the white flesh as a snack, part of a fruit salad, or in this recipe for Dragon Egg Stew!
Dragon Egg Stew
Recipe from Melissa’s


10 Cactus Pears
2 cups Apple Cider
2 cups Sparkling Water
12 or more Rambutans

Wearing gloves, wash and then slice the skins off the cactus pears and discard.
Purée the cactus pears and 1 cup of the apple cider in a food processor or blender.
Press the purée through a fine strainer into a bowl to catch the juice.
You should get approximately 3 cups of liquid. Discard the dry seeds and pulp.
In a punch bowl, combine the cactus pear mixture with the sparkling water and the remaining apple cider.
Wash and then slice the skin off the rambutans and add the fruit to the punch bowl. The more rambutans you use, the spookier the effect.
But don’t throw away the rambutan skins! While not edible, they are perfect for these Mini Monster Snacks!

Mini Monster Snacks
Recipe from Melissa’s


6 Rambutans
1 packet Melissa’s Pomegrante Arils or 1 Pomegranate

After rinsing under water, with a small sharp knife, make a shallow cut at the circumference of the rambutan, slicing through the skin but not the fruit itself. Remove the top half of the skin and pop the rambutan out of the bottom to reveal two rambutan shell “cups.” Use the rambutan fruit in the Dragon Egg Stew recipe above!
If using a whole pomegranate, fill the sink with water. Then quarter the pomegranate, place the quarters in the sink, and use your fingers to release the arils. Collect all of the arils and dry. This method protects you and your kitchen from messy pomegranate juice!
Fill empty rambutan cups with pomegranate arils and serve!
From Central and South America, passion fruit is another unique fruit from Melissa’s! Passion fruit is a good source of fiber and vitamins. Despite the tough outer rind, passion fruit has a juicy, seed-filled center. Wash under running water and with a serrated knife, gently cut the passion fruit in half and enjoy the fruit, or make these Zombie Eye Balls!

Zombie Eye Balls
Recipe from Melissa’s


8 Longans
4 Passion Fruits
Slice the tops off the longans to reveal the inner black seeds. Cut the passion fruits in half across the equator, and push the sliced longans into the passion fruit halves. Serve and enjoy.

Note: If longans aren’t available, create a similar effect with grapes and pomegranates. Slice green grapes in half, cut a tiny slit in the center, and push a single pomegranate aril into the grape. Then push the grapes into the passion fruit.

One last fun freaky fruit is Buddha’s Hand Citron! Buddha’s Hand is a citrus fruit from Asia with the fruit segmented into ‘fingers’. Unlike other citrus, Buddha’s Hand is not juicy and there isn’t much pulp in the fingers. Instead, the zest of Buddha’s Hand, which is a source of fiber and vitamin C, is most commonly used in recipes, however, the peel can also be candied. These Sugar Worms will add a fun touch to your Halloween celebrations!

Sugar Worms
Recipe from Melissa’s


1 Buddha’s Hand Citron
3 cups Water
3 cups Sugar plus more for tossing fruit
1 glass Ice Water

Slice the Buddha’s Hand into long, thin strips about ⅓” thick and about 3” long. In a 4-quart pot, stir the water and sugar together and add the Buddha’s Hand slices. Bring the mixture to a boil, then reduce to a simmer. Stir occasionally for 45 minutes, then remove the pot from the heat and allow to sit for 30 minutes.
Strain the peels through a colander over a bowl, making sure to reserve the delicious syrup (perfect for teas, cocktails and baked goods)! Spread the peels on parchment paper to dry until tacky, about 2 hours. Roll them in sugar and dry the pieces overnight on a wire rack.
With these freaky fruits, your Halloween is sure to be delicious and nutritious! Happy Halloween!

“This medical and/or nutritional information is not intended to be a substitute for individual advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.”

Stephanie Edson – Regional Wellness Specialist
Stephanie is an award-winning registered dietitian who believes in empowering every individual to make nutritious food choices to support a healthy lifestyle. She believes in the power of food as medicine and loves sharing about nutrition with others.