Celebrating Spring with Carambola Candy & Cocktails

I recently had the pleasure of spending time on an incredible property in Wooli, NSW - a unique region situated on the Clarence Coast where my girlfriend Katrina's father in law has a booming organic garden. 

We spent all day in the sunshine walking through veggie patches & orchard, practicing the vinyasa sequence that she would teach that weekend. We left with arms full of fresh fruit and the highlights of the harvest were these beautiful carambolas just hanging of the tree in the garden begging to be picked. We ate more than a few of them fresh, they were so ripe and fragrant it was hard to resist. The remaining that we brought home we wanted to store & do something special with.

Commonly referred to as Starfruit, Carambola or Kamrahk in Hindi

Commonly referred to as Starfruit, Carambola or Kamrahk in Hindi

Reasons to love them ...

Carambola is rich in antioxidants, potassium, and vitamin C.
Boosting immune function, this fruit can help us eliminate the toxic free radicals in our body responsible for degenerative & chronic disease. 
A low sugar fruit, carambola helps manage diabetes & lower cholesterol
It also works to purify blood, giving the skin a healthy glow
Carambola's antimicrobial properties help ward off cold, flu, and common infection
The fruit can be eaten in its entirety and contains 2.8 grams of dietary fibre, it is a is a wonderful digestive aid

Dehydrating Star Fruit  

For this recipe I used a dehydrator - a super inexpensive tool that will be your new best friend. 

Okay, the rule is : the more ripe & juicy the fruit, the less shelf life for storage.. but also the more delicious it is. 

Depending on what you are using it for  ( cocktail or dessert garnish, muesli / granola addition, immediate snack ) adjust the dehydrating time accordingly - the longer the time & higher the temperature the harder and more storable the fruit.  

1. Wash & Slice the fruit no thicker than 1 inch. Thick is delicious for gummy like candies to be eaten right away while thin is beautiful as a garnish and can be stored longer. 
2. Place on dehydrating tray, leaving breathing room between the stars. 
3. Set the temperature to low and let it run for about 12 hours. ( I started in the afternoon and left mine over night ). You can also begin by setting the temperature higher and then lowering it after a few hours just to give it a boost. This step is all dependent on how thick you cut the pieces so have a play and experiment. 
4. Store in an air tight container & enjoy!

It's that easy. :) 

As the evening rolled in, we were invited over for a drink at our neighbour Katrina's place. Her house is the most warm & enchanting space, every room vibrates with energy from the endless crystal wands, amethyst caves, candelabras & golden statues. We drank from beautiful glass goblets with gold leafed grape vines on them while Ty kept himself busy mixing cocktails to play with. Here are some of the nights creations.

Shooting Star

1/2 oz juice squeezed from fresh bush lemon
1/2 oz vodka  
1/2 oz fresh Carambola juice

 Shaken over ice, poured & garnished with a fresh slice of carambola

Sangria Spritzer   (pictured below)

1/4 light sweet juicy red wine  
1/4 shot Ribena black current / black berry cordial
1/4 fresh squeezed lemon & lime juice

poured over ice & topped up with soda water & garnished with dehydrated carambola star  

Do you have any recipe's or ideas for how to use this delicious & versatile fruit? Leave links & comments below, I would love to read them :)