Kristie Leong M.D. is a family practitioner who believes in the power of nutrition and a healthy lifestyle to prevent and fight illness.
Can You Eat Kiwano Melon Seeds?
Unless you have a supermarket with a diverse array of exotic fruits, you might not be familiar with the Kiwano melon, a horned melon with bright orange skin covered in spikes and ridges.
Its distinctive appearance has also earned it the nickname "blowfish fruit" because of its prickly spikes. These characteristics make it stand out from other fruits in the fruit bowl!
The Kiwano melon has a hard green shell covered in prickly protrusions. As the fruit ripens, the outer shell becomes a rich shade of golden orange, but it retains its prickly spikes.
The Kiwano (or horned) melon originated from Africa but now grows in other areas, including South Africa, New Zealand, and California. Kiwano melons are popular among people who enjoy trying exotic produce or are interested in learning to cook with different types of fruits.
Nutritional Benefits of Kiwano Melon and Seeds
When you eat the interior of a Kiwano fruit—seeds and all—you’ll get an abundance of nutrients. It's hard to separate out the nutritional benefits of the fleshy pulp and the seeds.
When you eat the interior of a Kiwano fruit, you get dietary fiber, magnesium, and potassium. The latter two minerals are important for heart health and blood pressure control, to name a few benefits. Plus, it’s a source of plant-based iron for healthy red blood cells.
Kiwano melon is also a good source of vitamins A and C, two antioxidant vitamins. It contains various other antioxidants, including lutein, a nutrient important for eye health and may lower the risk of a common cause of visual loss in older people called Age-related Macular Degeneration (AMD).
Kiwano melon contains natural sugars balanced by fiber, so it is unlikely to cause a blood sugar spike if you eat it in moderation.
With its unique texture and taste, it’s an interesting fruit to explore! When you cut into a Kiwano melon, you’re greeted with a gelatinous greenish-yellow interior with an abundance of seeds.
If you like eating all parts of a fruit, it’s natural to wonder if those seeds are edible and whether they’re safe to eat. They are!
Exploring Kiwano Melon and Its Seeds
Most people eat Kiwano melon for its fruity flesh, which remains crunchy and juicy, even when the fruit is fully ripe. People often liken the taste of the pulpy interior to a cucumber, although a bit sweeter.
But it’s hard to miss the abundance of seeds inside. The seeds of Kiwano melon are encased in the jelly-like interior of the melon and are hard to separate out – and you don’t need to. They’re part of the fruit and easy for your body to digest.
Ways to Enjoy Kiwano Melon With and Without the Seeds
To enjoy Kiwano melon without the seeds, slice off the top and scoop out the seeds with a spoon. Then cut the fruit into wedges or cubes for snacking on their own or with dip or salsa. You can also cut open the whole melon, spoon out the flesh, and use the flesh in salads or dips.
Kiwano melon is also delightful when cooked into curries and stir-fry dishes. Their texture lends itself well to this preparation, which cooks foods quickly with minimal oil or butter. You can include the seeds or not, depending upon your taste.
Kiwano melon also tastes delicious in smoothies because it has a mild flavor that blends well with other ingredients like pineapple juice, orange juice, or yogurt. Use the entire flesh, including the seeds, or separate them out. You’ll get more fiber if you include the seeds. You can also add strawberries or bananas to create a thicker texture.
How about Kiwano melon for breakfast? Simply stir the inner pulp of the fruit—seeds and all—into a cup of vanilla yogurt for a quick and satisfying breakfast. Some people even add Kiwano melon to oatmeal in the morning for a fruity taste and extra vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. You can also Kiwano pulp and seeds to a dish of vanilla ice cream for a delicious dessert.
The Bottom Line
Can you eat Kiwano melon seeds? You sure can, and there are many ways to do that. Hopefully, you’ll discover even more ways to enjoy this exotic fruit with the spiky exterior and the nutritious interior!
"7 Benefits of Kiwano (Horned Melon) — And How to Eat It." 11 Jan. 2019, https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/kiwano-melon.
"Horned Melon (Kiwano): Origins - Consumption - Nutritious Fruit." https://www.nutritiousfruit.com/horned-melon.html.
"Lutein as a Contributing Modulator of Age-related Macular Degeneration." 15 Mar. 2012, https://www.touchophthalmology.com/macular-degeneration/journal-articles/lutein-as-a-contributing-modulator-of-age-related-macular-degeneration/.
"Horned melon (Kiwano) nutrition facts and analysis.." https://www.nutritionvalue.org/Horned_melon_%28Kiwano%29_nutritional_value.html.
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and does not substitute for diagnosis, prognosis, treatment, prescription, and/or dietary advice from a licensed health professional. Drugs, supplements, and natural remedies may have dangerous side effects. If pregnant or nursing, consult with a qualified provider on an individual basis. Seek immediate help if you are experiencing a medical emergency.