I have been on the island for five months now and I feel so blessed with all the fresh fruits and veggie’s we can buy. In this blog I am going to tell you more about the Caribbean fruit I use to make my smoothies.
Fresh mango, pineapple, avocado and oranges were not really new to me. But I had never worked with fresh passion fruit, papaya, guava and soursop before.
So I am going to share my favorite recipes with these fruits and tell you a little bit about the nutrition of these fruits.
Passion fruit is a delicious, sweet, tropical fruit. It was already known to the Aztecs. In Europe it is a relatively expensive fruit but in the tropics you can buy them everywhere. You cut the passionfruit in half so you can eat the inside with a small spoon. The flesh is very sweet and yet fresh. You can also eat the small seeds but if you don’t like it just put the flesh through a sieve.
In English and Spanish speaking countries this fruit is called Granadilla. In total there are over 200 species of passion fruit. The species have different colors. There are purple, green and yellow colored passion fruit. Passion fruit is packed with vitamins, minerals and amino acids. It is a very rich source of vitamins A, C and the mineral potassium. In addition to potassium there is a reasonable amount of iron, copper and magnesium in passion fruit.
In traditional medicine in South America the passion fruit is used against insomnia, headache, diarrhea, convulsions, hysteria, menopause symptoms, asthma, bronchitis, severe cough and hypertension. Most diseases have something to do with the nervous system. Passionfruit makes you become calm and quiet. There is a reasonable amount of fibers in passion fruit. These fruit fibers are good for the digestion and prevent constipation.
You can make fresh passiefruit juice by mixing the pulp of 3 to 4 fruits in a blender with a cup of water. Passion fruit is a nice addition to a smoothie or as a topping on icecream.
Papaya has a slightly sweet, creamy taste and has a succulent texture. If you eat papaya, put a few drops of lime over it, it improves the flavour. Papaya is my standard fruit after a long flight as it helps against bloating and constipation in my gut. The fruit has numerous other health benefits. It helps with menstrual cramps, is anti-inflammatory and is an immune booster. The fruit contains a lot of potassium and calcium. Potassium creates better blood flow through the body and heart problems can be prevented. It also ensures a stable bloodpressure. Other sources of potassium are: soybean, sweet potato, banana, tomato, spinach and Swiss chard.
Guava was the favorite food of the Aztecs and Incas. It’s originally from Central America and is widely grown in the tropics. The flesh is soft and juicy and yellowish, yellow-green or pink. The taste is pleasantly sour and resembles pear or strawberry. The fruit is rich in vitamin C, B-carotene, copper, fiber, iron, potassium and vitamin A. Cut the fruit in half vertically and scoop out the flesh. The skin can be eaten, but tastes bitter.
Guava can be eaten raw as a fruit but is usually sliced, pitted and then added to a salad. The pectin is the fruit is also delicious in a pie, jam, jelly and sauce.
Soursop is also known as guanabana (Spanish name). Soursop is a fruit tree which occurs naturally in the Caribbean and in Central America. The plant is cultivated worldwide in the tropics and can also be found in Asia. The flesh is snowy white, very soft, stringy-pulpy, juicy, sweet and sour taste. In West Sumatra (Indonesia) and Malaysia soursop is also called Durian Belanda (“Dutch Durian”), probably because the Dutch liked the delicious sweet soursop as opposed to the “smelly” real durian.
100 grams of edible zuurzak consists 82.8 grams of moisture and contains a lot of minerals, calcium, phosphorus and iron. Calcium and phosphorus play an important role in the bone formation of the body, while iron is important for blood formation. Also the presence of the vitamins from the B-complex (vitamins B1, B2 and B3) and vitamin C make soursop interesting. Soursop additionally also contains three essential amino acids, namely, tryptophan, methionine and lysine.
For years, there appear articles about the benefits of soursop as being a prevention in different forms of cancer. A study at Purdue University showed that the leaves of the soursop tree destroy cancer. Other universities are engaged in research into the effects of soursop on cancer cells.
Also in Suriname soursop has been known for centuries for its medicinal effects.
The leaves of the soursop have several functions:
– They are used against nerve disorders and in herbal baths;
– An infusion is taken for the control of asthma, high blood pressure, cough and cold.
– It also acts as a sedative, stimulant and diuretic
250g fresh or frozen soursop
Juice of 1 lemon
⅓ fresh pineapple
1 tablespoon cinnamon
2 cm fresh turmeric