Lilikoi fruit cut in half with two glasses of Lilikoi Mint Cooler

Lilikoi Fruit: Everything You Need to Know About This Popular Hawaiian Fruit

You’ve probably heard about lilikoi fruit, but you’re not sure what it is, where to find it or how to eat it.

Lilikoi is a delicious and nutritious tropical fruit that can be found in many parts of the world, including Hawaii, South America, and parts of Australia and New Zealand.

This blog post will tell you everything you need to know about Lilikoi fruit. We’ll cover the taste, how to eat it, some recommended recipes, and more!

Overview of Lilikoi Fruit

Lilikoi is a small, yellow or purple fruit that grows on vine-like plants. The scientific name for lilikoi is Passiflora edulis, and it’s part of the passion fruit family.

The fruit’s exterior is covered in thin, yellow-orange, or purple skin. The fruit’s flesh is light-yellow with black seeds, and the interior is white when the seeds and flesh are removed.

The plant’s flowers can grow up to 3 inches wide and have a beautiful, intricate design. Lilikois are usually 6-8 cm long and 5 cm wide, with the yellow lilikoi bearing bigger fruits than the purple. Also, the vine of the yellow lilikoi grows more vigorously than the purple.

Lilikoi fruit is very popular in Hawaii, where it’s also known as “passion fruit.” In Hawaii, Lilikoi is also a popular flavor for ice cream, malasada filling, yogurt, and other desserts.

Purple Lilikoi fruits cut in half
Yellow Lilikoi fruits cut in half

Meaning of Lilikoi in Hawaii

The word “lilikoi” comes from the Hawaiian language, and it means “passion fruit.” It’s named after the Passionflower plant, where lilikoi fruit comes from.

Lilikoi is considered a “superfood” because of its many nutritional benefits.

See Also: 11 Tropical Flowers That Will Remind You of Hawaii

A bucket of yellow Lilikoi fruits

Pronunciation of Lilikoi

In Hawaiian, it’s pronounced “lee-lee-koy.”


Lilikoi is typically in season from July to December, but it can be found year-round in other parts of the world.

Taste of Lilikoi

Lilikoi has a tart and tangy flavor with a hint of sweetness. The riper the fruit, the sweeter it is. The yellow skin lilikoi is more tart than the purple skin one. The fruit is often used in sweet and savory dishes alike.

How to Eat Lilikoi

There are many ways to enjoy lilikoi fruit. The most straightforward way is to eat it raw. Cut it in half, scoop it out with a spoon, and enjoy!

You can eat the seeds or spit them out. Some people say that eating the seeds makes it a little tangier, but we prefer it with the seeds.

You can also add lilikoi to smoothies and juices or use it as a topping on yogurt or ice cream.

The fruit can also be used in savory dishes like lilikoi chicken or lilikoi sauce.

Lilikoi is a versatile fruit that can be used in many different recipes. Get creative and find put your taste buds to the test!

Below are some more Lilikoi food Ideas you can create at home:

Lilikoi Mousse with some cherries on top and two Lilikoi Fruits
Lilikoi Mousse
  • Lilikoi Margarita
  • Lilikoi Martini
  • Lilikoi Cheesecake
  • Lilikoi Butter
  • Passion Fruit Jam
  • Lilikoi Passion Fruit Crème Brûlée 

Health Benefits of Lilikoi

Lilikoi is a nutritious fruit that offers a variety of health benefits. According to Healthline, below are some health benefits for lilikoi.

Vitamin C: The high levels of vitamin C in lilikoi help boost the immune system, fight off infection, and promote healthy skin.

Vitamin A: Vitamin A in lilikoi is essential for vision health, and the potassium in lilikoi can help lower blood pressure.

Fiber: Lilikoi is also a good source of fiber, which can help to regulate digestion.

Iron: Lilikoi is rich in iron, which is essential for energy levels, healthy blood cells, and cognitive function.

Magnesium: This mineral is essential for bone health, muscle function, and a healthy nervous system.

Phosphorus: Phosphorus is essential for cell health, kidney function, and energy production.

Potassium: Potassium helps to lower blood pressure, and it’s also essential for muscle function and heart health.

Folate: Lilikoi is also a good source of folate, which is the natural form of vitamin B9. This helps in the creation of red blood cells and supplements your body’s use of iron.

See Also: The Most Popular Leis in Hawaii

How to Store Lilikoi

Lilikoi can be stored at room temperature or in the fridge. If you’re going to keep it in the refrigerator, put it in a sealed bag or container.

Lilikoi can last up to two weeks at room temperature when stored properly. In the refrigerator, it can last up to a month.

You also can freeze the fruit, and it will last up to three months in the freezer if stored correctly.

The best way we have found is to remove the pulp first, place it in icecube trays, then put them in a freezer-safe bag and pop them in the freezer.

Where to Buy Lilikoi

Lilikoi is available at many grocery stores, farmer’s markets, and online.
If you’re having trouble finding lilikoi, you can try looking for it under its other name, “passion fruit.”

How Much Does Lilikoi Cost?

The price of lilikoi can vary depending on where you buy it and the time of year. Generally speaking, lilikoi costs about $2-$4 per fruit on the mainland.

However, in Hawaii, you can find it at farmers’ markets and grocery stores for cheaper than on the mainland, or for free! Many people grow it in their yards, and you can often find it on the side of the road.

Remember to ask the owners before picking the fruit from someone’s yard. We have done this many times while picking guavas, and it always works out well when we ask.

History of Lilikoi

The purple lilikoi fruit is native to South America, Brazil, and Argentina, and it was introduced to Hawaii in the early 1900s. The yellow Lilikoi came to Hawaii from Australia in the 1800s.

Lilikoi was first grown on the island of Maui in a town called Lilikoi and later spread to other Hawaiian islands, hence why the fruit is called lilikoi in Hawaii.

It is said that Spanish missionaries gave it the name passion fruit because the flowers resembled the Passion of Christ.

Frequently Asked Questions

Are lilikoi and passion fruit the same thing?

Yes, they are the same fruit, although technically yellow passion fruits are called lilikoi. Lilikoi is the Hawaiian name for passion fruit.

Is lilikoi a Hawaiian word?

Yes, lilikoi is a Hawaiian word.

Is lilikoi a citrus fruit?

No, lilikoi is not a citrus fruit. It is in the Passifloraceae (passion-flower) family.

How many calories are in lilikoi?

There are about 110 calories in one lilikoi.

The Wrap Up

If you’re looking for a new fruit to try, we highly recommend lilikoi! Lilikoi is a delicious fruit that can be enjoyed in many different ways. It’s also nutritious and offers a variety of health benefits.

Next time you see a lilikoi for sale at your local supermarket, do yourself a favor and give it a try!

Mahalo for reaching our post. Until next time, Aloha!


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