Are you looking to introduce a range of nutritious and mouthwatering options to your fruit collection? Prepare yourself for an exploration of 33 red fruits that are guaranteed to delight your taste buds!
Get ready to dive into a world of vibrant red fruits that will make your taste buds dance with joy! From juicy strawberries to luscious watermelons, there’s an abundance of delectable options to explore.
Not only do these crimson delights add a pop of color and flavor to your meals, but they also pack a powerful nutritional punch. You may have heard the saying, “Eat fruits and vegetables in all the colors of the rainbow,” and red fruits are an essential part of this nutritious palette. So, let’s celebrate the health benefits and deliciousness that red fruits bring to your table!
Red Fruit Benefits
Red fruits are generally high in antioxidants and vitamin C, which can help boost your immune system and protect against cellular damage. They also contain fiber and other beneficial nutrients.
Some red fruits, such as tomatoes and watermelon, also contain high levels of lycopene, which may have additional health benefits. Note that in the chart below most red fruits don’t provide much Vitamin A. This just supports the recommendation to eat a variety of different colored fruits and vegetables to cover a wide range of vitamins and micronutrients.
In 2021, which fruit was bought by the highest percentage of Americans? (The answer is at the end of this post!)
Red Fruit Varieties
- Blood Orange
- Cherry Tomato
- Chilli Pepper
- Desert Quandong
- Dragon Fruit
- Five Flavor Berry
- Hala Fruit
- Highbush Cranberry
- Java Apple
- Jujube Fruit
- Prickly Pear Cactus
- Red Banana
- Red Bayberry
- Red Bell Pepper
- Red Currant
- Red Grapefruit
- Red Grapes
- Red Mango
- Red Mulberry
- Red Passion Fruit
- Red Pear
- Red Plum
Apples – the iconic red fruit that has been a staple in our lives for centuries. Originating from the temperate regions of Central Asia, apples have conquered the world with their crisp texture and sweet-tart taste. There may be as many as 30,000 apple varieties worldwide today, and 2,500 of these are grown in the United States.
Not only are they visually appealing with their vibrant red skin, but they also offer a treasure trove of health benefits. Packed with dietary fiber, antioxidants, and essential vitamins, apples are known to support heart health, aid in digestion, and boost the immune system. With a multitude of varieties to choose from, each apple brings its own unique flavor profile, making it a versatile ingredient in both sweet and savory apple recipes. (My personal favorite are these stuffed apples!)
Blood Oranges are a natural orange mutation (vs. a human induced hybrid) that gives us this unique fruit. They contain anthocyanins which creates their blood red pulp, but is also a beneficial antioxidant. The anthocyanins develop due to a combination of warm days and cool nights. Besides their extra health benefits, blood oranges are generally easier to peel than other types of oranges, have fewer or no seeds, and are quite sweet. Their distinct colors make them great in fruit salads, cheese boards (combine them with other orange or mandarin varieties for a nice color presentation), or just eat them raw.
Cherries are another red fruit that is packed with nutrients. They are a good source of vitamin C, potassium, and antioxidants. Cherries are also known to help improve sleep and reduce inflammation. They can be enjoyed fresh or dried and they are also a great ingredient for jams and pies. Cherries grow well in cool climates. In the United States the leading producers are Washington State, California, Oregon, Wisconsin and Michigan. Hungry for inspiration? Try this Cherry Cheesecake Oat Cookies Recipe!
We feel rather like listing cherry tomatoes as a separate fruit is doubling up on tomatoes, but they are such a uniquely different tomato it seems appropriate. They are certainly worthy of their own recipes and if you want to try some different uses for these little delights check out 15 Ways to Use Cherry Tomatoes. Cherry tomatoes are small and sweet. They grow in clusters, and are pretty easy to grow at home. Throw them over a salad or roast them into flavorful perfection.
Chilli Pepper is a term that can be used to describe a variety of hot peppers. We show the cayenne pepper in the photo below as it is one that most people have heard of and are familiar with its level of heat.
Cayenne peppers definitely are “quick give me that water bottle” hot. They are usually red or green and popular throughout North and South America. They are most commonly ground into a dried spice or into chili flakes which is the form you will generally find them in at the grocery. Most hot sauces sold in the United States use cayenne pepper. If you want to know a whole lot more about still hotter peppers, check out our 29 Types of Peppers from Mild to OMG!
Cranberries, unlike mashed potatoes and the traditional sweet potato casserole, were very likely served at the first Thanksgiving in 1621. They’re one of a few commercial fruits that is actually native to North America (along with blueberries and Concord grapes). They were long eaten by native Americans, who mashed them with game meat and fats to create in effect little energy bites. We haven’t tried to resurrect those 17th Century bites, but our Chocolate-Dipped Chewy Granola Bars would likely be a fine substitute. For more on Cranberry nutrition and a whole lot more check out Cranberries 101.
Desert Quandong or Native Peach is a “bush food” native to the deserts of Central and South Australia. The term Bush Food generally refers to foods most often harvested wild and eaten by the native people of Australia though there are some that have transitioned to cultivation. The Desert Quandong is not in that latter group. It is fairly popular as an exotic flavoring which has led to failed attempts to cultivate the plants. Like many bright red fruits, they are high in vitamin C. They are said to taste like peaches or apricots.
Sometimes known as the Pitaya, the red dragon fruit is native to Southern Mexico and Central America, but it is now grown worldwide. The name, obviously, comes from their exotic scaly look. The dragon fruit tastes something like a cross between kiwi and pears. They are most commonly eaten by cutting the dragonfruit in half and eating out of the skin, or peeling them and cutting them into chunks to eat plain, with yogurt, or perhaps on a salad.
Five Flavor Berry
The five flavor berry is also known as Chisandra Chinensis which appears to be Chinese for five flavor fruit. This vine borne fruit is said to have five different flavors: salty, bitter, sweet, pungent, and sour. While this sounds incredibly flexible, the fruit is rarely used in cooking, but instead is important in Chinese medicine. Some Chinese consider it beneficial to the Qi (the life force or energy in all living things). There are also Western studies showing positive effects on Alzheimer’s, depression, and liver disease. We obviously didn’t include this berry as a recommendation that you find it for use in recipes, but simply as an item of interest.
The hala fruit is found in tropical regions around the world to include Southeast Asia, Florida, Hawaii, and several Pacific Islands. It has a mildly sweet taste said to be a cross between mango and pineapple. Unfortunately, much of the fruit is wasted as you peel it, making it expensive by weight. If you want to try this exotic fruit look for it in a local international market.
Highbush Cranberries aren’t actually cranberries. They look and taste like cranberries, but are actually from the honeysuckle family. They grow on bushes that grow from 8-15’ tall, so they aren’t harvested by flooding their fields as lowbush cranberries are. Click here for the everything guide to cranberries, and for a treat as good as its name try Cranberry Bliss Bites.
The Java Apple or Rose apple is native to Southeast Asia. They are a dietary staple in Vietnam where, like most apples, they are often eaten out of hand. The Java type of apple has a distinctive bell shape with colors ranging from pink to bright red.
The Jujube is also known as the Red or Chinese Date and is native to Southern Asia. Jujube are chewy with a sweet taste making them good in candies and as a dried fruit. In parts of Asia they are used as a sleep aid in traditional medicine. Jujube is a high fiber fruit with a reasonable nutrition profile.
Nectarines originated in China over 2,000 years ago, and are actually a natural peach mutation. They are the same fruit except for one gene which causes peaches to be fuzzy and nectarines smooth. In fact, these two fruits are so related that it is possible to find nectarines and peaches growing on the same tree. The USDA says it online, so it must be true. In the USA 95% of our nectarines are grown in California.
Pluots are a hybrid between plums and apricots developed around 1980. They are arguably more plum than apricot, and look very much like a plum. Pluots are quite sweet and don’t suffer from that occasional tartness you find in some plums. They are a good plum substitute for recipes in which you want a sweeter fruit like this Homemade Plum Fruit Roll-Up.
Pomegranates are another red fruit that is gaining popularity due to its health benefits. Pomegranates are rich in antioxidants, vitamin C, and potassium. They also contain compounds that have been shown to have anti-inflammatory and anti-cancer properties. Pomegranates can be enjoyed fresh, as juice, or in a variety of dishes.
The “pome” in pomegranate comes from the Latin word for apple, and “granate” from the word for seed. But “granate” may also have come from the Old French word for “grenat”, which describes the deep red color of the fruit. Need some ideas on how to use pomegranates as well as how to deseed, store, and a whole lot more? Just check out Pomegranate 101 and definitely try this Pomegranate Sangria!
Prickly Pear Cactus
The prickly pear cactus is also known as the Nopal. It is native to Mexico and the SW United States. It has been used in Mexican cuisine for hundreds of years, but has only recently increased in use in the United States. The red prickly pear can be eaten raw or cooked as it is a versatile fruit used in salads, soups, tacos, and a variety of other Mexican cuisine. Unless you live in the American Southwest you will probably have to go to an international market to find the prickly pear.
Rambutan originated in SE Asia, and is a truly unique fruit. Its skin is a bright red coat of hair like spines. The inner flesh is off white to pink, sweet, and mildly acidic. They are said to taste somewhat like grapes.
Another delicious red fruit is the raspberry. Raspberries are a great source of vitamin C, manganese, and dietary fiber. They also contain antioxidants and anti-inflammatory compounds that can help improve overall health. They are a low calorie yet nutritionally dense fruit with a myriad of uses. Raspberries can be enjoyed fresh, frozen, or in a variety of baked goods and desserts. Raspberries are grown around the world in home gardens, the wild, and under commercial cultivation. Want to try these healthy gems in combination with an equally healthy veggie? Try this Berry Cabbage Smoothie. Of course the traditional use of raspberries is in jellies and jam. Give this No Pectin Jam a try.
One final note. What is the difference between a Raspberry and a Black Berry? It is all about the stem. When you pick a blackberry the stem stays with the fruit. Conversely the stem on a raspberry remains on the plant. With that you should be all set for Jeopardy.
Red bananas are a variety with a reddish-purple peel. They are generally creamy with a light pink pulp. Shorter and fatter than Cavendish, they are an aesthetically pleasing variety grown in Asia, South America, and East Africa. Like so many exotic fruits, they are believed in some regions to have extraordinary health or medicinal benefits. In some Central American nations they are believed to have an aphrodisiac effect and in India the ability to improve fertility. Other than these “uses” they are a multi-purpose banana eaten raw, cooked, dried, you name it.
The Red Bayberry is also known as the Chinese Strawberry as it has been grown along the Yangtze River for over 2,000 years. In China bayberries are eaten raw, dried, canned, and in drinks like beer, cocktails, and liquors. A bayberry juice sold as Yumberry is exported to Europe.
Red Bell Pepper
Bell Peppers are the least spicy pepper you can grow or buy which is to say they aren’t spicy at all. Still they are one of America’s favorites in all manner of cuisine. I don’t think I would even consider eating Fajitas without bell peppers. Bell peppers are native to Mexico and Central America, but China is today the world’s leading producer of bell peppers.
Bell peppers are classified as a fruit, but of course, we eat them like vegetables. If you are looking for a new idea or two for using bell peppers, check out 14 of Our Favorite Bell Pepper Recipes. At Live Eat Learn we like to experiment with all the colors, and bell peppers are a good choice for this. They are most commonly available in green, red, yellow, and orange, but they can also be found in white, brown, and purple (Check international markets). Use as many colors as you can find in this Roasted Bell Peppers Recipe for a colorful and impressive display.
Red currants are native to Europe where the small red berries are both cultivated and grow wild. Uses for them differ by nation. In the UK they are made into a jelly used with lamb, venison, or fowl. In France they are used to make Lorraine jelly, and in the Scandinavian nations fruit soups and puddings appear to be the preferred uses.
Grapefruits are actually a relatively recent discovery. They originated in Barbados in the 18th century, and are believed to be a cross between an orange and a pomelo. The name comes from how they grow in clusters like grapes. They come in three common types:
- Red: With a red-blushed skin, these are the sweetest, and also have the most lycopene (an effective antioxidant)
- Pink: Which are not as sweet as red, but great for juicing.
- White: With a pale/yellow skin are the least sweet.
For more on how to select, store, cut, and more on grapefruit check out Grapefruit 101: What you need to know about your favorite winter citrus.
Grapes are believed to have originated in the Middle-East where cultivation likely began as long as 8,000 years ago. The first evidence of winemaking was in Georgia (the country, not the home of the Atlanta Falcons). Grapes have one of the highest concentrations of sugars among all fruits. Combining that with the fact that yeast occurs naturally on the skin of grapes, and wine making was a natural use of grapes. I don’t think we need to ask how people thought to make wine, it just happened.
Mangoes are originally from South Asia, but made their way to the United States around 1880. Today, mangoes are one of the most commonly eaten fruits in the world, with India being the leading producer. The mango is a stone fruit, meaning it has one hard seed surrounded by pulp. Peaches, cherries, and plums are all stone fruits as well. For information on how to select, store, and cut mangoes plus a whole lot more check out Mangoes 101: Everything You need to know about Mangoes. If you just want to skip ahead to a decadent summer treat try the Best Mango Smoothie Recipe (3 Ingredients).
The red mulberry is a variety of mulberry found in Eastern and Central North America from Canada to Florida. While they grow across a large region, they aren’t often cultivated. When you find these they can be used as a substitute berry in most recipes. Perhaps give this Plum Cobbler Smoothie with Berries and Oats a try.
Red Passion Fruit
Passion Fruit is a tropical fruit native to Brazil, Paraguay, and Argentina, though you can now find it growing in many places around the world, to include Hawaii and Florida! On the outside, passion fruits are typically dark purple to red, generally wrinkly, and round. On the inside, passion fruits are bright yellow, with a lot of seeds. The pulp is the edible portion of the fruit, and tastes tart and sweet, with a strong tropical aroma great in a number of passion fruit recipes. Obviously, we have a passion for this fruit, but should you want to know even more check out Passion Fruit 101: Buying, Health Benefits and More!
There are several great varieties of red pears to include the popular Anjou and Crimson pears. Pears are grown and consumed in much of the world, and there are around 3,000 varieties. It is a high fiber fruit that can be eaten in so many ways, raw, dried, candied, juiced, in wine, schnapps, etc. Check out our pear variety guide, and perhaps consider yet another way to enjoy pears in Pear Pizza with Gorgonzola and Thyme.
Plums are believed to be one of the first fruits cultivated by humans. In the intervening thousands of years we have developed many varieties of this worldwide favorite. There are way too many to list them all here, but here are some of the main varieties you may come across as well as nutrition information, how to select, store, and a whole lot more. Plums 101: Everything You Need To Know. A little primer: they are really healthy with a good amount of fiber and vitamin C but only about 13 calories per ounce. Despite being low in calories, they are naturally sweet and make great sweets like this Homemade Plum Fruit Roll Ups Recipe.
One of the most popular red fruits is the strawberry. Strawberries are not only sweet and delicious, but they are also packed with vitamin C, manganese, and folate. They also contain antioxidants and anti-inflammatory compounds that can help protect against cellular damage and reduce the risk of certain diseases. For more on how to select, cut, store, and a whole lot more, check out our Everything Strawberry Guide, and these strawberry recipes are about as All-American as apple pie.
We are often asked Are Strawberries Keto Friendly? Yes, in moderation they are. According to the USDA, 1 cup of sliced strawberries contains 9g of carbs. As fruits go, this is on the low side, so a limited amount of strawberries is certainly manageable in a keto diet. The advantage of strawberries is that the vitamins and minerals provided can be difficult to get otherwise in a high fat diet.
Tomatoes are native to the Andes Mountains or Peru and Ecuador, but are now one of the world’s favorite foods grown on all continents except Antarctica and in thousands of varieties Types of Tomatoes: Which is Best? The most common varieties of tomatoes sold in the USA are:
- Cherry Tomatoes (mini tomatoes)
- Standard Globe Tomatoes (regular-sized slicer tomatoes)
- Beefsteak Tomatoes (large slicer tomatoes)
- Roma Tomatoes (paste tomatoes)
Tomatoes have a wonderful nutrition profile that is more like a vegetable than a fruit with only 5 calories per ounce and loads of vitamins and minerals.
Watermelon is a juicy and refreshing red fruit that is perfect for summertime. Watermelons are high in hydration and contain vitamin C, vitamin A, and antioxidants. They are also low in calories, making them a great option for those looking to maintain a healthy weight.
Watermelons are only loosely defined as melons. They’re botanically classified as a type of berry called a pepo. But if you’re from Oklahoma, you likely don’t consider it a fruit at all, as the watermelon is the official Oklahoma state vegetable! Whether we know what to call watermelon at all, it is a definite summer favorite. Give this Watermelon Rind Smoothie a try.
The Answer is B tomatoes! But if you call that a vegetable the runner up is strawberries.
In conclusion, red fruits are not only delicious, but they are also packed with essential nutrients and antioxidants that can help improve overall health. Incorporating a variety of red fruits into your diet can help boost your immune system, protect against cellular damage and provide a host of other health benefits. So next time you’re at the grocery store, be sure to pick up some red fruits and enjoy the many health benefits they have to offer. And, as always, Happy Cooking!