Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Kiwano African Cucumber Salad

This is the start of posts I've been wanting to do for a long time. Exploring local markets and finding different and unusual ingredients that I can share with you.

I purchased this cute but weird looking number from the Saturday markets at Uki in Northern NSW. It's called a Kiwano African Cucumber. They where grown by Madhura Prya who is a Hari Krishnas from the Srigovinda Dham which is only a couple of kilometres out of town. The lady that gave them to us was Ayla who was doing great job running the stall at the markets. Lucky for us, both of them where there at the same time so we had a lovely chat with them and learnt so much about not only the fruit but also the people we both know in the area. The world really is such a small place when you consider we come from such different walks of life.

The horned melon (Kiwano) is a strange-looking fruit that is native to Southern Africa, it has been around for 3000 years and is not very popular. It's only recently (in the 1930's) been introduced to other parts of the world, namely Australia and New Zealand, which is where it picked up the name Kiwano, due to its similar consistency and appearance to kiwis. However, this fruit is not biologically linked to kiwis, and is actually closer in nutritive and evolutionary terms to cucumbers and zucchinis. The scientific name of the horned melon, the other popular name for the fruit, is Cucumis metuliferus, and the fruit is widely cultivated in sub-Saharan Africa, Australia, New Zealand, and certain parts of Asia.

The little horns are actually tiny spikes located on the outer skin. The Kiwano is golden orange when fully ripened. It’s taste is similar to zucchinis and cucumbers with a jelly like texture. The seeds in it contain lenoleic acid which is a polyunsaturated fatty acid, one of two esential fatty acids that humans cannot produce themselves and must obtain from food sources. The Kiwano is also full of vitamins and minerals and contains sodium, potassium, calcium, Iron, vitamin E, antioxidants, carotenoid, beta carotene (Vitamin A).

Graphic courtesy of

 Kiwano African Cucumber Salad

Serves: 2 small salads or side dishes


4 cups fresh greens
2 zucchini’s 
2 carrots,
1 african cucumber
4 button mushrooms
2-4 boiled eggs *
1 tsp dried chives, 2 tbs fresh 
salt and pepper to taste


  1. Chop greens lightly then add to a large mixing bowl or salad bowl
  2. Grate the zucchini, carrot, mushrooms and eggs into the bowl along with the greens, chives and seasoning then stir to combine.
  3. Cut the Kiwano in half, scoop out the flesh and add it to the bowl then stir through. 
  4. Serve and enjoy. 


Add any other favourite seasoning you may have, especially an additive free BBQ or cajun seasoning or even just plain mixed herbs work well.

Vegan Option* - substitute lentils, chickpeas or crushed peptise and walnuts

I found this simple and quick salad not only delicious but also a bit moorish, it would make a great side salad to any meal. Especially a quiche, grilled meat or seafood dish. 

Here are some pic's from our picnic at Clarrie Hall Dam we had after our cuppa at Uki. We love it out there, the fresh air, the people and just generally getting away from all the hustle and bustle of life. 


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I am not a doctor, registered dietitian or fitness expert. The purpose of my blog is to share my experiences with food, fitness and life and hopefully to inspire you. All content provided on my blog is for informational purposes only. I make no representations as to the accuracy or completeness of any information on this site or found by following any link on this site. Karen



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