20 Red Fruits You Should Eat (With Pictures!)
Looking for a way to add a splash of vibrant color to your menus? Or wanting to expand the range of fruits you incorporate into your dishes?
To inspire you, in this article, we look at some of the red fruits that will add a vibrant splash of color to any menu! Some are already familiar, while others may be new to the market or something to look out for and sample on your travels.
A bowl overflowing with luscious red cherries – perhaps the ultimate symbol of summer. But they’re not only delicious as a snack or to end a meal; they’re incredibly versatile.
There are endless ways you can use them to create spectacular desserts, preserves, and toppings for sundaes. Their sweet sharpness also makes them a great partner for pork and duck dishes, and they partner exceptionally well with goat’s cheese.
Cherries are packed with phytochemicals, vitamins, minerals, and fiber. In particular, they contain two powerful antioxidants: hydroxycinnamic acid and perillyl alcohol. All these nutrients can help in supporting a healthy body.
These small scarlet or orange-red berries are close relatives of blueberries. Too naturally sour to snack on, they’re popular as a juice. However, when dried, they have a tart/sweet tang, which adds a tasty burst of flavor in granola and trail mix.
Cranberries boast several helpful vitamins and minerals. These include manganese, copper, and vitamins C, E, and K. Their juice has been proven effective against urinary tract infections (UTIs).
Imagine a cross between a raspberry and a blackberry. The result is a loganberry. They’re pretty sour, so they’ll need sugar or sweetened cream to serve them raw. Loganberries make fantastic preserves and pie fillings but also partner well with rich meats such as game or duck.
Loganberries contain a virtually endless list of essential nutrients. For example, they’re a rich source of manganese and vitamin C. They also contain vitamins B1, B2, B5, E, and K, iron, and folate, as well as a long list of essential minerals and, of course, plenty of fiber.
Heart-shaped strawberries are loved worldwide for their ruby-red flesh and coat studded with tiny golden seeds. In fact, there are numerous varieties, each with a different flavor and aroma.
Fun fact: strawberries aren’t berries and are not even a fruit. Because they carry their seeds on their skin, rather than on the inside, botanically speaking, they’re part of a flower!
The ultimate ingredient for summer desserts, there’s no end to the ways you can use strawberries to create summery pavlovas, cookies, cheesecakes, ice creams, and smoothies. Or, just wash them and serve them with a massive bowl of thick cream.
Strawberries are a rich source of vitamins A, B-complex, C, E, and potassium, manganese, fluorine, copper, iron, and iodine.
Is there anything more healthy and refreshing than chilled watermelon on a hot summer’s day? The brilliant red flesh, hidden inside the thick green rind, is typically studded with shiny black seeds.
Chunks of watermelon enhance almost any summer salad, providing a vibrant color contrast to green or white ingredients (such as feta cheese). It’s also the perfect smoothie ingredient, being sweet, low in calories, and packed with health-giving nutrients.
Fun fact: did you know that not all watermelons are round or oblong? Some watermelons are square and this rare type can cost up to a whopping $800 a piece, making it one of the most expensive fruit in the world.
6. Blood Oranges
To the untrained eye, blood oranges look just like regular oranges, but inside, their flesh is deep crimson – almost maroon. In addition, blood oranges are typically sweeter and less acidic than other oranges, with undertones of raspberry or cherry.
However, they can be used in all the same ways – in cakes, ice-creams, and smoothies or to liven up chicken and duck dishes.
Blood oranges make unexpected partners for mint, tarragon, fennel, soft cheeses, seafood, olives, and chocolate! And, of course, they’ll brighten up any salad!
Like all oranges, blood oranges are a valuable source of vitamin C, potassium, and fiber.
7. Goji Berries
Fresh pinky-red goji berries, while slightly sweet, can be too bitter to snack on. When dried, they become sweeter, although they retain that sharp tang that makes them flavorsome, healthy additions to granolas and trail mixes.
Dried berries can be rehydrated overnight and used on yogurts and ice creams or, as cookery guru Martha Stewart suggested, to ‘elevate avocado on toast’.
Want your red fruits to pack a powerful nutritional punch? Compared with all other foods worldwide, goji berries contain some of the highest antioxidant levels.
Sometimes called Jamaican cherries, Muntingia is a small, sweet fruit native to the Caribbean, Mexico, and South America.
They can be difficult to find outside those areas, but if you’re looking for an unusual fruit, they’re worth tracking down. Unless you’re planning a vacation to those areas, the easiest solution is to purchase seeds or a small tree from a specialist seed grower and produce your own!
Then, you’ll be able to surprise guests and family with this exotic yet delicious cherry red fruit.
Muntingia is especially rich in potassium and calcium.
Redcurrants have been a staple of Northern European cuisine for centuries. Their flavor is somewhere between raspberries and rhubarb. Still, they’re usually a little too sour to eat raw. But served with vanilla custard or ice cream – divine!
They’re the perfect complement for cheese plates or to add a sharp tang to salads. And in common with other red fruits, they’re low-calorie and packed with antioxidants.
10. Caribbean Red Papaya
It’s easy to tell when Caribbean red papaya is ready to eat. It’s not just that the yellow skin ‘gives’ slightly when squeezed. It’s more the wonderful fragrance. Cut the papaya open to reveal succulent orangey-red surrounding tiny black seeds, glistening in the center.
Papaya is a nutrient-rich source of healthy carbs and fiber. A single serving will provide 98% of the daily recommended intake of vitamin C, in addition to potassium and vitamin A.
Sometimes called red dates, Chinese dates, or Chinese jujubes, these small red fruits are now found throughout the USA and Asia. Sweet and slightly chewy, they can be enjoyed fresh or dried, though if you use the dried version, remember that these are higher in sugar.
Jujube contains several antioxidant vitamins and essential minerals.
12. Red Pears
There are at least three common varieties of red pears: Anjou, Bartlett, and Starkrimson.
Their vibrant crimson color can add drama to any dish. Eat them raw or sliced into salads and cereals. They go particularly well with cheeses, and their brilliant color partners perfectly with pale brie or goat’s cheese.
They can also be baked, roasted, or puréed. And, partnering with blackberries, they make lovely smoothies packed with nutrients to ward off winter colds and flu.
13. Blood Limes
A red lime seems like a contradiction. But yes, this unique fruit is a mandarin and Australian finger lime hybrid. These astonishing fruits have a knobbly crimson peel, sometimes flecked with gold. They taste unlike any other citrus fruit – sweeter than regular limes.
Red limes make unusual garnishes and can be used in all the same ways as regular limes to make preserves, syrups, juices, beverages, and sauces.
14. Water Apples
Native to Asia, water apples are smaller than regular eating apples. They have a crunchy texture and sweet flavor. In addition, their succulent flesh makes them ideal thirst-quenchers. When unripe, their peel is green, and they taste much more sour.
Like many red fruits, their nutrient profile is impressive. Loaded with vitamins A & C, they’re also abundant in vital trace minerals.
15. Red Durians
Red durians are, as yet, a rare sight. They can only be harvested once per year. With the high demand and limited supplies, it’s no surprise that not many people have ever seen, let alone tried one.
And they are a sight to see! The outside is pink and covered in spikes. Cut one open, and you’ll notice substantial fleshy crimson segments protected by a thick layer of creamy white flesh. It looks like something out of a horror movie.
The taste? Sadly, red durians aren’t as sweet or creamy as their green counterparts. In fact, some of the 32 varieties offer very little taste or smell. However, their flesh is sometimes fried with onions and chilies, the seeds can be cooked, boiled, or roasted, and you may also find red durian made into chips, drinks, and sweet goods.
16. Saguaro Cactus Fruit
The Saguaro cactus is found in the Sonoran Desert in Arizona, California, and Mexico. It produces beautiful spiky fruits, which, for millennia, were a staple food for the local native American tribes. The fruits continue to be hugely popular in Mexico and Arizona.
The flesh is sweet and juicy, while the edible seeds (as many as 2,000 in each fruit) are nutty.
Saguaro cactus fruit is rich in vitamins C and B12 and is high in fiber.
17. Red Bananas
Imagine the soft, fragrant sweetness of a banana mixed with raspberries, and you have an idea of what red bananas taste like.
Use them in the same ways you’d use regular bananas. They contain vitamins C and B6 and valuable amounts of magnesium and potassium.
18. Elephant Heart Plums
Because it bruises easily, this Japanese plum variety, with its reddish-purple skin and complex flavor, has become somewhat hard to find.
However, these plums are worth looking out for. They develop a wonderful silky texture when heated, so they work well in puddings, pies, and sweet sauces. They also make great pickles. Elephant Heart plums also pair well with ‘sweet’ meats such as pork, roasted lamb, and poultry, and cheeses such as manchego.
They’re rich in vitamins A and K, fiber, copper, potassium, and magnesium.
19. Red Mulberries
Because they’re not easy to transport, you’re most likely to encounter delicate, thin-skinned red mulberries dried or in preserves or syrups. They make suitable substitutes for blackberries but are sweeter, so they need less added sugar.
As a result, they partner well with other berries, stone fruits, and citrus; fresh cheeses; rich meats such as pork, duck, or wild game; and bitter greens such as arugula.
Mulberries provide reasonable amounts of beta-carotene, iron, potassium, manganese, folic acid, and vitamins A, C, K, and B-complex. They also contain resveratrol.
20. Miyazaki Mangoes
To end our list, a bit of a novelty. Miyazaki mangoes, aka ‘Eggs of the Sun’, are named after the Japanese city where they’re produced. They have crimson skin and gorgeous pink-orange-red flesh. Expect to pay at least $50 each. A single mango has even fetched $2,000 at auction.
Far too precious to eat as a snack or mix into a fruit salad, they’re typically given as gifts on formal occasions in beautifully designed packaging.
Suppose you’re looking for the experience without the eye-watering price tag. In that case, the good news is that they’re bred from ‘Irwin’ mangoes, which are far more affordable and available in the US.
Related: 25 Naturally Red Foods
Related: 20 Orange Fruits to Add to Your Diet
Related: Discover 20 Tasty Yellow Fruits