Coconut Kiwi Risotto

Creamy coconut risotto combined with perfectly ripened kiwi is light enough to be perfect side dish to accompany your favorite meal and sweet enough to act as dessert. 

You guys read that right, coconut kiwi risotto. 

The thought of risotto that doesn't contain savory flavors and vegetables used to be completely foreign to me. And then my husband and I were out to dinner and the restaurant had coconut risotto on the menu. I was very intrigued so we ordered a side of it. I'm not going to lie, it was a bit disappointing. It was overly sweet and extremely rich...not at all what I was envisioning. It did, however, get me thinking. I tucked the idea in the back of my head for a couple months and kind of forgot about it. And then, Zespri decided to have a recipe contest featuring their SunGold kiwi and the coconut risotto idea eventually made its way to the forefront of my mind again. 

Lucky for you ;)

Zespri shipped me free samples of their delicious fruit to use for recipe testing. I was surprised when I opened the box o find out that not all kiwi fruit is "fuzzy" on the outside or green on the inside. Zespri SunGold kiwifruit have a smooth, hairless skin. SunGold is also yellow on the inside, which is a surprise in and of itself because Americans are more familiar with the green kiwifruit variety with the fuzzy skin. Zespri SunGold kiwis have, a juicy, yellow flesh, and a tropical-sweet taste.

While there are tons of yummy recipes made with this beautiful fruit, kiwifruit is actually the perfect portable snack because it is easy to eat! Just cut in half with a knife and scoop with a spoon. That’s it – just cut, scoop, and enjoy!

Ok, so aside from the fact that SunGold kiwifruit is pretty and tastes amazing, they are a delicious source of micronutrients. One serving (2 kiwifruit) of SunGold provides three times more vitamin C than an orange and as much potassium as a medium banana. SunGold is a good source of antioxidant vitamin E. You can rest assured that if you select a SunGold at the store, it will taste amazing. Zespri growers achieve the best-tasting kiwifruit through a measure called the brix. The higher the brix, the sweeter the fruit. The dry matter content (where all water is removed) indicates how high the brix will be once the fruit is ripe. A higher dry matter means the better quality the kiwifruit will be- it stores better and tastes better. Not all kiwifruit brands put so much focus on the brix and that’s why not all kiwifruit is created equal. With Zespri, you can really taste the difference!

Want to know what else is exciting? There is going to be a kiwi emoji coming your way this fall! Say what?!?!?!?

Disclaimer: I received free samples of Zespri SunGold Kiwifruit mentioned in this post. By posting this recipe I am entering a recipe contest sponsored by Zespri Kiwifruit and am eligible to win prizes associated with the contest. I was not compensated for my time.

Coconut Kiwi Risotto

Makes 6 cups

1 cup arborio rice

1 cup light coconut milk, divided

3-4 cups water

2 SunGold kiwi fruit, peeled and cut into 1 inch pieces

1/2 cup unsweetened coconut flakes, plus more for garnish

2 tablespoons maple syrup

Cinnamon, optional for garnish

1. Heat a medium pan over medium heat. Add rice and toast for 5 minutes, stirring frequently, until you smell a nutty aroma. 

2. Add 3/4 cup coconut milk and stir frequently until milk is absorbed, about 1 1/2 to 2 minutes. You want the liquid to maintain a simmer around medium-low to medium heat. 

3. Add 1 cup of water and stir frequently until water is absorbed, about 5 minutes. Repeat by adding 1/2-3/4 cup of water at a time until rice is tender. Each addition will take 3-5 minutes until absorbed. 

4. Meanwhile, toast coconut flakes in a small nonstick pan over medium heat, stirring frequently, until lightly browned and fragrant, approximately 8 minutes. 

4. Add remaining 1/4 cup coconut milk and maple syrup and stir until combined. Off heat, gently fold in coconut flakes and kiwifruit. Garnish with cinnamon and additional coconut flakes, if desired. 

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