Posted on

How to cook taro root using a pressure cooker

This simple recipe explains how to cook taro with a pressure cooker. If you don’t have a pressure cooker you can boil it, but it takes much longer 1-2 hours. You must be careful to fully cook all parts of the taro plant because it contains calcium oxalate. This will make your mouth feel numb, itchy, scratchy and very uncomfortable, with possibly worse side effects if you eat too much or are very sensitive.

Taro, or known in Hawaii as Kalo, is an amazing plant. The roots, stems and leaves are all edible and have unique distinct character.  It is also extremely nutritionally dense. Compared to a potato, the taro root has more fiber and is a good source of calcium, potassium, and Vitamins C, E and Bs as well as trace minerals.

Taro is most known in Hawaii for Poi, a slightly fermented paste of cooked and mashed taro. However, taro is used to make many more things. You can dehydrate it and make flour, you can eat the steam stems as a vegetable, and the cooked greens are versatile in curries, wrapped around meat, in soups etc. This staple crop for tropical climates cannot be over estimated.

Recipe for how to cook taro with a pressure cooker

 

Equipment: Pressure cooker and steam basket to go with it.

Steps:

  1. Wash and scrub taro. I like to peel mine before I cook it because I feel like the scruffy skin would clog my pressure cooker. However, many others like to scrub it real good and clean the skin off after it is cooked.
  2. Cut into fist size pieces
  3. Place steam basket in pressure cooker
  4. Fill water up to right below the steam basket
  5. Place taro into basket and secure the lid
  6. Bring to pressure (you will notice the steam start coming out)
  7. Reduce to medium heat and cook 30-45 minutes depending on how much you have in there and how big the pieces are.
  8. Turn off the heat and let it cool for 10 or more minutes
  9. Release the pressure and wait until all steam has been released.
  10. Open the pressure cooker, the taro should be soft, showing a few cracks, and also be easy to slice with a knife.

There are so many ways to prepare taro. We just started harvesting them on our farm and have done little experimenting. One easy way to prepare cooked taro is just to slice it and fry it in a shallow pan with 2 tablespoons or so of oil. Just add a little salt and pepper to each side and fry each side until crispy (about 3 minutes on each side). Another recipe that we’ve made several times is our taro millet vegetable burger recipe.

 

I also found these recipes while doing a few searches.

http://www.quericavida.com/recipes/taro-root-fritters/d9c2d0c4-9bb5-4d14-959c-1f1a1a8203e4

http://raygrogan2-ivil.tripod.com/tarogrowcookeat/id9.html

http://www.kumuainafarm.com/taro-kalo-burgers/

If you like eating tropical starches that are easy to grow and gluten free- you may also like breadfruit. Here is a link to my breadfruit pancakes.

Ulu
Ulu (breadfruit) pancakes
If you like it share it:
Posted on

You must try Chico (Sapodilla) fruit

Latin Names: Manilkara Zapota, Achras sapota,

Family: Sapotaceae

Other names: Chicle tree, Zapotillo, Dilly, Nispero, Chico Zapote, Sapota, sapota, sapodilla, nose berry, sapodilla plum or chikoo sapotem, chikoo, ciku,

Varieties: Alano, Brown Sugar, Prolific, Russel, and Tikal.

Characteristics of Chico:

 

Chico is round (almost egsapodillag shaped) with a tapered end.   The diameter is 2-4 inches (5-10 cm) and its length is 2-2.5 inches. Its pulp ranges from yellow to brown and it is smooth and sometimes a little grainy in texture. The skin is papery or “scruffy”. There are usually 1-6 seeds which are black, sort of oval, with a little spike, and 3/4” or less long.

 

Taste and Culinary Uses of Sapodilla:

This fruit is aromatic, sweet and floral, and consequently it tastes sweet like brown sugar and maple syrup. The texture is similar to kiwi, juicy, gel-like and also granular. It can be eaten raw, in salads, sorbets, smoothies, juices, pancake batters, baked pies, etc. Moreover, in any of these culinary applications you can try adding a splash of lemon juice to enhance flavor.

Caution: the latex and tannins of unripe fruit may cause mouth ulcers, itchy throats, and difficulty breathing.

chico, sapodilla

 

Harvest and storage:

Chico is harvested about 6 months after flowering. To be sure it is ripe there are several clues. 1. The skin turns lighter brown and separates easily from stem (without oozing latex). 2. The color also changes from yellowish to brown. 3. You can scratch the fruit to make sure the skin is not green beneath the surface. 4. When it is ripe the skin yields to gentle thumb pressure.

A whole bunch of mature, unripe chicos can be cut and hung. Kept at room temperature the fruit will ripen in 5 – 10 days. Ripe fruit is good at room temperature for a few days. However, it will last longer  if refrigerated. Additionally, the frozen pulp stays good for a few weeks. When buying chicos in the store look for fruits that have smooth skin without bruises, cuts, cracks or wrinkles.

Shipping: Chico is durable if picked hard, can transport for a few days.

Health benefits:

Chico has 200 calories per cup or 100 g provides 83 calories. It is relatively high in Vitamin C (39.33%), Dietary Fiber (33.68%), Iron (24.13%), and Copper (23.00%).  Sapodilla is known to relieve stress, prevent colds, prevent anemia, reduce arthritis, and heal wounds (homeostatic qualities, it helps to stop the loss of blood). It is antiviral, anti-bacterial, anti-inflammatory, and an anti-parasitic agent. It is also a sedative used to relieve stress and anxiety. Chico contains significant amounts of folic acid,

Chico recipes from other sites:

Chikoo Melon Shake Recipe (http://www.medindia.net/patients/lifestyleandwellness/health-benefits-of-chikoo.htm)

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup chopper chikoo
  • 1 cup chopped muskmelon
  • 3 tbsp sugar
  • 4 cups milk
  • ½ tsp cardamom powder
  • Ice cubes as required

Ciku Smoothie (http://tropicalfruitfarm.com.my/pdf/Sapodilla-Ciku-k.pdf)

  • 125 ml milk
  • 1 tbsp honey
  • 1 tsp brandy
  • 125 ml ciku pulp
  • 4 cups of ice.

Sapodilla growth patterns:

In general, chico seedlings bear fruit in 3 to 8 years, while grafted trees bear in 2 to 4 years. Although these are slow growing trees they may reach up to 100 feet tall. However, grafted chico varieties tend to be shorter in height. Generally speaking, they bear prolifically about 2 times per year and live 50-100 years.

Interesting Facts:

Wild sapodilla trees are known for the chicle (latex) that was was originally used as the base for chewing gum.

Resources:

  1. https://www.healthbenefitstimes.com/sapodilla/
  2. http://www.nutrition-and-you.com/sapodilla.html
  3. http://www.medindia.net/patients/lifestyleandwellness/health-benefits-of-chikoo.htm
  4. http://www.ijrap.net/admin/php/uploads/1389_pdf.pdf
  5. http://tropicalfruitfarm.com.my/pdf/Sapodilla-Ciku-k.pdf
  6. http://www.healthbeckon.com/sapodilla-chikoo-benefits/
If you like it share it:
Posted on

Starfruit taste, culinary uses, health benefits and growing info

Information on starfruit

Latin Name and family:

The latin name of starfruit is Averrhoa Carambola, it is in the Oxalidaceae-Wood-Sorrel Family. Other names for starfruit are: Carambola, kambola, caramba, five corner

starfruit from the farm

Characteristics:

Starfruit ranges from about 2.5 to 6 in (6.35-15 cm) long and up to 3.5 (9 cm) wide, with 5 ribs so that it looks like star when cut crosswise, yellowish-green with high water content. The outside skin is waxy, green-orange-yellow. It has up to a dozen seeds 1/4 to 1/2 inches (6-12.5 mm) that a thin, flat and long. Sometimes there are no seeds.

 

Taste and Culinary Uses:

The fruit flesh is juicy/high water content, it is also crisp, and slightly yellow flesh when fully ripe. The sweetest varieties contain little more than 4% sugar. The fruit is most commonly, washed chopped (so it looks cool) and eaten as is, including the skin. Apart from that many people use them in fruit salads, smoothies, juice and as garnish. Many cultures use the fruit in other prepared cooking applications. many applications such as stews, curries, preserves, sherbets, cooking the green fruit or slightly under ripe fruit with various dishes, salted, stewed, pickles, relishes etc. The fruit juice has been used to remove iron rust stains. Here is a list of recipes of the Fairchild Botanical Gardens: http://www.virtualherbarium.org/tropicalfruit/carambola-recipes.html

Harvest and Storage:

This tropical fruit is tasty when picked ripe or fall to the ground ripe. The fruits naturally fall to the ground when fully ripe. For marketing, they should be handpicked when they are green with just a little yellow. Refrigeration after harvesting prolongs life, but can impede proper ripening.

Health benefits:

Starfruit is high in vitamin C, and has very high antioxidant qualities. (Fisheries, 2008). In Sri Lanka, India, Brazil and China the fruit is used to treat a variety of conditions including bleeding and halt hemorrhages, fevers, diarrhea, eye afflictions, kidney and bladder upsets and vomiting (Morton, 1987).

Contraindications:

Starfruit contains oxalic acid, avoid if you have kidney disease, kidney failure or are on dialysis, may interfere with some prescription medications.

Growth patterns:

Starfruit is tropical and sub-tropical, it grows up to 20-30 feet, (6-9 m). It thrives in any tropical low lands and bears from seed in as early as 3 years. Grafted trees will fruit in 10 months. It grows well in elevations up to 4,000 ft (1,200 m). Additionally, starfruit likes even distributions of rainfall throughout the year and does not tolerate flooding, thus it needs good drainage. They are relatively pest-free except for fruit flies.

If you enjoyed this article you may also be interested in: Rolliniamamey sapote or check out our page for info on tropical fruits and foods.

Resources:

  1. Permacopia Book II. D. Hunter Beyer Dr. Franklin Martin.
  2. Hawaiian Organic growing Guide, Shunyam Nirav. (1992)Oasis Maui inc.
  3. Morton, J.F.(1987). Fruits of warm climates. Miami, Florida, USA
  4. http://ntbg.org/plants/plant_details.php?plantid=1377
  5. .http://www.worldagroforestry.org/treedb/AFTPDFS/Averrhoa_carambola.PDF
If you like it share it:
Posted on

Mangosteen

Information on Mangosteen: the queen of fruit

Latin Name and family: (Garcinia Mangostana)

Other names: The queen of fruit

Characteristics:

The whole fruit is about the size of a small apple and the edible portion inside is about 1.5 to 2.5 inches diameter. The rind is about 1/4″ or 4 to 6 mm thick and soft when first harvested. Inside the rind there are about 4-8 segments. Some may be larger than others and contain a seed, but the smaller ones have no seeds or small underdeveloped seeds. The flesh of the mangosteen is the segments, which are pale, white and very soft. The segments, are similar to a clementine size and constitution.

mangosteen

Taste and Culinary Uses:

The taste may be compared to lychee, but it is sweeter and almost melts in the mouth. Mangosteen is being commercially produced into MANY MANY products, powders, vitamins, juice, etc. The mangosteen is best on its own. When they are freshly picked, they are easy to squeeze open, past the rind to the segments. Once they have sat a few days the rind starts to harden and to peel fruit it is best to use a small sharp knife should be used to cut past the rind showing off the pretty, luscious pieces.

Harvest and Storage:

The the developing fruit is white or very pale green and gradually turns red, then purple or a dark brown. Once picked, the mangosteen can be left at room temperature for several days. Storing it in the fridge can make the fruit last from 1-2 weeks. If you see white spots, bruises, or ruptures on on the dark purple/brown surface, the fruit has been compromised.

Health benefits:

Mangosteen is gaining A LOT of popularity lately for being a superfood with many health benefits. WebMD even has an entry for it! “Mangosteen is used for many conditions, but so far, there isn’t enough scientific evidence to determine whether or not it is effective for any of them.” Although there is scientific evidence growing as it gains popularity. In many health claims, not only the fruit but also the fruit juice, rind and bark are used. In Southeast Asia, the rind is traditionally used as a remedy for diarrhoea, dysentery and controlling fever (Fisheries, 2008).

It is also used for urinary tract infections, tuberculosis, menstrual disorders, cancer, osteoarthritis, gonorrhea, and dysentery. Additionally, as a preventative measure, it is used for stimulating the immune system and even improving mental health. WebMD also reports that some people apply mangosteen for eczema and there is evidence for mangosteen extract helping in the treatment of skin cancer (Wang, Shi, Zhang, & Sanderson, 2012).

Growth patterns:

No true varieties exist, although the fruit varies significantly depending on its environment. It is a fruit of the humid tropics, but it loves shade and is susceptible to sunburn on the leave and fruits. To some extent, the trees are considered “alternate bearing” meaning that a year of heavy fruiting is often followed by a much lighter harvest the following year. Seedling trees bear in 5-6 years, from flower to fruit it takes 5 months. The fruiting seasons changes with growing location but usually last about 4 to 10 weeks.

mangosteen katies tropical kitchen

Resources:

  1. Permacopia Book II. D. Hunter Beyer Dr. Franklin Martin.
  2. Hawaiian Organic growing Guide, Shunyam Nirav. (1992)Oasis Maui /inc
  3. http://www.mangosteen.com/Enjoyingthemangosteen.htm
  4. http://www.benefitsofmangosteen.net
  5. Wang, J. J., Shi, Q. H., Zhang, W., & Sanderson, B. J. (2012). Anti-skin cancer properties of phenolic-rich extract from the pericarp of mangosteen (Garcinia mangostana Linn.). Food Chem Toxicol, 50(9), 3004-3013. doi: 10.1016/j.fct.2012.06.003
If you like it share it:
Posted on

Taro Millet Veggie Burger

Taro or Kalo is a Hawaiian/Polynesian staple root crop. It can also be found in many places of the world. It is usually a light-medium purple in color, and has a starchy and uniquely earthy flavor. The corms (root balls), stems and leaves can all be eaten. All of these plant parts need to be cooked for a long period of time to prevent serious irritation: the leaves and stems need to be cooked for at least 45 minutes in pressure cooker, cooking the taro root or corm in a pot takes 3-4 x as long (see note  1 & 2).

Many traditional dishes made are with kalo. In Hawaiian culture the most popular are poi (a fermented mashed taro root) and kulolo (a dessert made of mostly taro and coconut milk). However, recently in tropical locales, restaurants and home cooks are developing their version of the taro burger. Maui Taro Burgers is the first large scale commercial source to make it into whole food and health food stores throughout the state of Hawaii. So I am on the mission to perfect my own taro burger recipe.

taro_banana_food_forest_feb_2017 Kalo planted in our food forest
large purple taro corm in groundPurple Taro corm in the ground

washed large taro corm

This recipe is still under construction. I’ve made it 2x now with similar delicious results. Please provide comments and helpful tips : )

Taro millet garden vegetable burger recipe

yield: 15-20 veggie patties

ingredients:

  • 3 cups cooked and mashed taro
  • 1 cup dry millet, cooked
  • 1 1/2 cups flour (e.x. spelt) for mixing in dough and another 1+ cup for dusting burgers (about 3 cups total, can make this gluten free if you use a comparable gluten free flour).
  • 2 eggs beaten
  • 1/2 onion, 2 stalks celery, 2 small carrots diced fine, 1/2 cup diced red pepper, 4 medium garlic cloves
  • handful chopped parsley and basil
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • Black pepper to taste
  • 1-2 tablespoons non-gmo soy sauce or tamari
  • Several tablespoons of refined coconut oil

steps for cooking and preparing the taro/kalo

  1. Wash and peel kalo/taro, cut into large pieces (the size of palm is fine, 1-2 inch thick) and place in pressure cooker with water 1 inch covering the kalo.roughly chopped and peeled taro
  2. Bring to pressure (about 10 minutes on high), reduce heat to simmer  (low-medium) and cook about 45 minutes until soft
  3. let cool 2o minutes and then release pressure, once cool enough to handle drain water and mash either by hand, or by blender (I use an immersion blender for easy clean up and low waste).

steps for preparing veggie burger batter

  1. In the meantime, sauté onion, celery, carrots, red pepper in olive oil until soft. Once cooked add herbs and wilt. remove from heat
  2. In a bowl combine eggs,  1 cup flour, mashed taro, and sautéed veggies, add salt and pepper, and 1-2 tablespoons soy sauce (we use non-gmo, organic tamari).
  3. Fold in millet. At this point the batter will be loose. You can add in a little more flour if it is very very loose, but don’t over do it because you will dust them in a lot of flour in the next step. taro millet batter
  4. Pour about 1/2 cup of dusting flour onto plate. Plop a large spoonful of batter into pile of flour and cover it, then gently pick it up and toss in your hands to create a patty. Place immediately and carefully into hot pan with good amount of refined coconut oil. taro burger in flourtaro burger dusted in pan
  5. Add more flour to the dusting plate as necessary, and continue to add the patties to the pan.  Fry on medium (or medium to low heat) for about 5 minutes on each side. The outside will develop a nice, golden brown crust. After frying they may still be a little mushy inside. If you prefer them more firm you can transfer your batch to the oven. Bake on 300-350 degrees F for 30 or so minutes.taro millet burgers pan fry
  6. Cool and stack in-between wax paper for best storage results. You can freeze for a few months.

 

Notes:
  1. In general, the taro refers to the widely variable species named, Colocasia esculenta (i.e. edible in latin), which are grown primarily for its roots or corms, and then its leaves. Taro is related to ornamental plants like  Xanthosoma and Caladium, and is often mistaken for elephant ear. elephant ear has a similar leaf and root shape but the root grow more above ground and is skinner and the shape of the “heart” in the leaf is more disjointed. Elephant ear may have been considered a famine food as it needs to  be boiled for many hours before it is safe to eat.
  2. The irritant in uncooked taro is the result of calcium oxalate, tiny crystals of a natural pesticide.  This info is from http://everythingisscience.blogspot.com/2007/01/why-does-taro-make-your-throat-itch.html and http://www.molokaihealthguide.com/healthtalk/display.htm?id=34
  3. This is a picture of purple taro root keikis, or starts that can be used to replant the same variety of taro : ) purple_taro_keiki
If you like it share it:
Posted on

guava passionfruit green smoothie

This truly tropical guava passionfruit green smoothie recipe is thguava passionfruit green smoothiee perfect combination of sweet, sour, creamy and packed with healthy fat, fiber and vitamins. White guava and passionfruit (lilikoi) star in this smoothie – get more than half of your daily servings of fruits and veggies in this delicious smoothie.

guava passionfruit green smoothie recipe

Yield: About 6 cups

Ingredients:

  • 1 large head of lettuce
  • 4 stalks of celery
  • 1 medium avocado
  • 2 passionfruits (pulp only)
  • 1 large white guava (peel the first 1/4 inch and include the rest of the pulp) – you can use pink guava but it will probably effect the color of your green smoothie).
  • 2-3 medium apple bananas
  • 1-2 cups water
  • 5 ice cubes

Steps:

  1. Start with lettuce in the blender, then add celery and avocado and water
  2. Blend until incorporated.
  3. Then add passionfruit, guava, banana and ice.
  4. Blend for 50 seconds on high until the seeds from the passionfruit and guava are well broken up and smoothie is plenty smooth.

Makes about 6 cups, 1 serving is 2 cups, or 16oz.

green-guava-passion

 

If you like it share it:
Posted on

Mamey Sapote

Mamey Sapotemamey sapote cross section

Latin Name and family:

Pouteria sapote; Calocarpum mammosum; Sapotaceae (Sapote family) Originated in Central America.

Other names:

Mamey or zapote colorado in Costa Rica, also called zapote rojo and nispero.

Mamey Sapote Physical Characteristics:

Elongated fruit with tapering ends, (foot ball shaped), the mamey can be about 3-10 inches in length and 3 inches and 5 inches in width. Mamey can weigh up to 6 pounds. The skin is thin, papery or scruffy and brown and it wrinkles and loosens when fruit is ripe. It has smooth, soft and creamy flesh. The color varies a little from from a pink-red or somewhat salmon colored. The black seed (usually just 1 seed) is elliptical about 1-2 inches long. The seed often contains a little sprout when ripe.

Taste and Culinary Use:

The flesh is delicious as it is, mamey sapote has sweet, creamy, smooth, almost like caramel or pumpkin pie filling. Many people add the flesh to smoothies, sorbets, and ice cream. The kernel is boiled and roasted and used with cacao in making chocolates, making confections and mixed with other ingredients for nutritional beverages. You can get more creative. Below are a few sites with some recipes:

 Here are some recipes:

http://www.virtualherbarium.org/tropicalfruit/mamey_sapote-recipes.html

http://www.kumuainafarm.com/mamey-sapote-the-mother-of-all-fruits/

Nutrition:

Actual nutritional value will vary with variety and growing conditions. However, the following analysis closely approximates other analyses found. 100 g of fresh mamey (about 1/8 of a fruit) has 107 calories, 1.0 g protein, 0.3 g fat, 28 g carbohydrates, 1.4 g fiber, 86% water, 22 mg calcium, 14 mg phosphorus, 0.9 mg iron, 6 mg sodium, 226 mg potassium, 60 IU vitamin A, and 23 mg vitamin C.

Harvest and Storage:

Pick mamey sapote when completely mature. For example, one can tell this by scrapping/lightly puncturing the skin with fingernail. The green flesh means it’s immature, while red or pink flesh means it’s mature. Additionally, a red tint may also appear on the skin. With mamey, you can pick while firm, it then let it ripen/soften for an additional few days indoors. When kept indoors to ripen, make sure you are checking for when the mamey sapote becomes softer to touch and gives a little (like an avocado), and it starts to wrinkle just a little. If it is too soft or over ripe the fruit will start to brown or blacken (also like an avocado) and will taste a bit off. When it is frozen, mamey sapote may hold its texture well. The ripe fruit should last a few days in the refrigerator.

Health benefits:

22-49% the RDI of Vitamin C and 20% the RDI of Vitamin A (Morton, 1987). 10% the Daily Intake of Fiber (Fisheries, 2008). It was traditionally used to treat gastric ulcers and dysentery (Morton, 1987) .

Mamey sapote growth patterns:

Mamey sapote grows in low to mid elevations in Hawaii (up to 2000 feet elevation). The mamey sapote trees are evergreens. Seedling trees bear fruit in 7-10 years. Grafted plants may start bearing in 1-2 years. Mameys grow to 60-100 feet tall. Frequently, the fruit ripens year round but often peaks in the Summer. They loves hot humid tropics. It takes two years from when it flowers until the fruit is ripe. Mature trees may bear 200 to 600 fruit per year.

Most commercial growers say that pruning is important because the mamey sapote is a vigorous tree and pruning helps contain possible tree damage and to ease the harvest. Generally, it’s a good idea to fertilize the tree a few times a year. However, if given a good start, frequent enough watering and some mulch the tree will be likely to still bear a large amount of fruit. Some common cultivars of mamey sapote are Pantin, Florida and Magana.

Pests: Specific pest problems may occur in some locations, but the mamey is generally regarded as having few problems.

Toxins: The white latex is an irritant.

Resources:

  1. Permacopia Book II. D. Hunter Beyer Dr. Franklin Martin.
  2. Hawaiian Organic growing Guide, Shunyam Nirav. (1992)Oasis Maui /inc.
  3. Miami Culinary Tours http://www.miamiculinarytours.com/mamey-sapote/#sthash.eAELzd5k.KujiA2sm.dpbs
  4. http://www.virtualherbarium.org/tropicalfruit/mamey_sapote-recipes.html
  5. http://www.herbs2000.com/herbs/herbs_mamey_sapote.htm
  6. http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/mg331
  7. http://www.rarefruitclub.org.au/Level2/Mamey.htm
  8. https://hort.purdue.edu/newcrop/morton/sapote_ars.html
  9. http://www.herbs2000.com/herbs/herbs_mamey_sapote.htm
  10. http://www.tfgsf.com/?page_id=556
  11. https://hort.purdue.edu/newcrop/morton/sapote_ars.html
  12. http://www.fairchildgarden.org/news-pressroom-media-center/articles/artmid/515/articleid/647
  13. http://www.kumuainafarm.com/mamey-sapote-the-mother-of-all-fruits/
If you like it share it:
Posted on

Rollinia: information on culinary uses, health benefits and more

Information on rollinia

Latin Name and family:

Rollinia Deliciousa, Rollinia mucosa. In the custard-apple or annona family (annonaceae). Other names: biriba, amazon custard apple, wild sugar apple.

Characteristics:

Rollinia “looks like a little alien fruit”. The flesh is a soft, gooey white pulp. It has a white core and several dark brown, elliptic or seeds. The inside is creamy and soft, with few fibers. Fruits vary greatly in size and can weigh up to 8 or so pounds.

rollinia weighing 3 pounds 2 ounces
rollinia weighing 3 pounds 2 ounces

Taste and culinary Use:

The taste is a lemony custard- flavor, like lemon meringue. It is eaten fresh but is also made into raw desserts, ice cream, smoothies, etc. In Brazil it is fermented to make wine. Once rollinia is cut the flesh oxidizes quickly, it will also temporarily stain white dishes. For a firmer texture eat rollinia while still a little bit green and before the soft nubs blacken. When it is completely yellow and the nubs blacken, the texture is softer and gooey, but it is still delicious. Importantly, research shows that the seeds have insecticidal properties and are poisonous to humans. Do not eat the seeds from rollinia or any other fruit in the Anonaceous (Annona) family. Be extremely careful when separating the flesh from the seeds for pureeing or putting in smoothies etc.

Harvest and storage:

Generally, rollinia is considered to have a short shelf life. The fruit ripens from green to yellow and can be picked early when they start to turn yellow. Clip the fruit leaving some stem. They still they may take approximately 4-7 days to ripen. Eat before the soft nubs blacken. Cooling the fruit after harvest can extend the shelf life but the skin will turn black. Fruits are vulnerable to bruising even under their own weight. Store at room temperature on top of cushioning such as bundled newspaper or bubble wrap. Additionally, you may store rollinia in the refrigerator to extend the shelf life a few more days.

Health benefits:

The rollinia fruit is a refrigerant and analeptic (stimulates the central nervous system). Also, due to its vitamin C content (73% RDI per 100g of Vitamin C) it is considered an antiscorbutic (effective against scurvy). The powdered seeds may be remedy for enterocolitis (inflammation of both the small intestine and the colon), but as mentioned above the seeds are also toxic to humans.  Still, research is being done on Rollicosin, a new Annonaceous acetogenin, to develop a potential antitumor agent. Additionally, in traditional medicine it is used as an anti-pyretic, a restorative and general tonic.

100 grams of rollinia has 80 calories, 2.8 grams of protein, 23 grams of carbohydrates, 2.1 grams of fat, 1.3 grams of fiber. It also contains Vitamin B1 and B2, Vitamin C, phosphorous, iron, niacin, and thiamine.

 

Growth patterns:

The first record of rollinia in Hawaii is from the 1930s. It is thought to have originated along the Amazon in Brazil, although it was also discovered in early Mexico, Peru, and Argentina. Now it grows in many tropical locations, and in Hawaii it thrives at 300 feet to 3,000 feet elevations. These trees grow fast, as much as 10 feet a year (up to about 40 feet) and fruits in as little as 2-3 years. Additionally, it is almost always propagated by seeds because they grow true to type, although grafting can ensure consistently high yielding varieties. Also, rollinia prefers heavy soil, full sun and an acid pH. Scale and mealy bugs may be problems, as well as fruit fly.

 

Resources:

  1. Love, Ken & and Paull, Robert E. Rollinia. Fruits and Nuts, June 2011. F_N-21. http://www.ctahr.hawaii.edu/oc/freepubs/pdf/F_N-21.pdf
  2. Morton, J. 1987. Biriba. p. 88–90. In: Fruits of warm climates. Julia F. Morton, Miami, FL.
  3. https://hort.purdue.edu/newcrop/morton/biriba.html
  4. Chih-Chuang Liaw , Fang-Rong Chang , Ming-Jung Wu , and Yang-Chang Wu * Graduate Institute of Natural 5. Products, Kaohsiung Medical University, Kaohsiung 807, Taiwan, Republic of ChinaJ. Nat. Prod., 2003, 66 (2), pp 279–281
  5. https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Harjeet_Khanna2/publication/265051238_Biofortification_of_Bananas/links/53fd28670cf2dca80003233a.pdf#page=210
  6. Morton, J.F., 1987. Fruits of warm climates, Miami, Florida, USA.
  7. http://vanveenorganics.com/product/brazilian-custard-apple-rollinia-sp/
  8. http://www.tradewindsfruit.com/content/biriba.htm
  9. http://www.fruitsinfo.com/Rollinia-Exotic-fruits.php
If you like it share it:
Posted on

Soursop fruits (gravioloa) are the new super fruit

Soursop or gravioloa tastes better than its sounds, and possibly even better than it looks. It’s quickly becoming one of my favorite fruits on our farm as it seems to fruit the majority of the year. Even our 3 year old tree puts out huge 8 lb fruits.

front of soursop

Latin Name and Family

The Latin name for soursop is Annona muricata. It is a species of the genus Annona and is in the custard apple tree family, Annonaceae. Other common names are Guanábana, Corossol, Graviola, Brazilian Cherimoya, and Brazilian Paw Paw.

Soursop taste and culinary uses:

Soursop tastes likes guava and pear, and has the aroma of pineapple. The fresh fruit is ideal to eat “as is” or raw, but it is also great for use in drinks, cocktails, and sorbets. You can eat the immature fruits fried or boiled, in soups etc. Alternatively, for the ripe flesh of the fruit popular recipes include soursop punch, soursop smoothies, ice creams, and even pies.

Check out this site for a few ideas: https://www.thedailymeal.com/best-recipes/soursop.  Furthermore, new leaf shoots can be boiled and added to other meat or vegetable dishes. However, please use caution to remove all seeds, especially before blending the pulp as the seeds of annona trees are toxic if ingested. Also, the leaves are used to make a tea which is gaining scientific recognition for helping prevent and reduce cancer.

2016-05-05 11.59.08.jpg

 

Harvest and storage:

You can pick graviola once starts to turn soft and change from shiny dark green to dull light green and their spines are set further apart. If it ripens on the tree it will drop and bruise too much be salvaged for food. It must be handled with extreme care. The unripe light green fruits can be kept a few days at room temperature. Then, once they yield to a little pressure of your thumb they can be kept a few more days in the fridge.  In the fridge the skin will blacken but the flesh is still unspoiled. Hawaii scientists have shown that it is ideal for consumption for 5-6 days after picking it from the tree.

Health benefits:

Soursop is high in pectin and vitamin C and B. It is antiviral, anti parasitic, and scientific evidence is beginning to show that it may slow the growth of cancer cells and help to kill cancer cells. It helps with stomach distress, relieves cough and respiratory illness, depression, arthritis.

Soursop is known to contain alkaloids that may account for the relaxing effect people feel after consumption (Bourne, 1979), (Hasrat, Pieters, De Backer, Vauquelin, & Vlietinck, 1997). In Nigeria, they use the fresh juice as an anti-pyretic (reduces fevers). Additionally, in Dominica people eat the fruit to induce lactation. Furthermore, in Trinidad and Tobago soursop is used to provide useful quantities of a range of electrolytes to combat dehydration caused by acute diarrhea (Fisheries, 2008). For more information on the scientific evidence of soursops visit: http://www.thealternativedaily.com/graviola-fruit-for-cancer/amp/.

Characteristics of the soursop fruit:

The fruit varies in shape from somewhat oval, to heart shaped, and equally it is irregular, lopsided or curved. It ranges from 4 to 12 in (10-30 cm) long and up to 6 in (15 cm) wide, and averages around 4.5 lbs but may weigh up to 15 lbs (6.8 kg).

inside of a soursop

Soursops have a reptilian appearance, with soft, short and curved spines. The skin is dark-green when the fruit is under-ripe or immature. As it ripens it becomes slightly yellowish-green and soft. Soursop’s inner surface is off-white cream-colored. In the center is a soft-pithy core and inside it has smooth, hard, oblong-ish black seeds about the size of beans.

Growth patterns:

Although soursop is a relative of cherimoya,  it grows in the tropical lowlands (for example, less than 1,000 feet). They grow to about 25-30 feet tall. Most people select seed from delicious and ideal fruits for propagation, although some people prefer to air layering, budding or grafting. Soursops begin to bear fruit at 3-5 years old. The fruit may ripen year round but tends to peak in the middle of summer.

Other related articles:

If you like soursop you should try other fruits from the Annona family like my favorite fruit, the lemon meringue pie fruit, Rollinia.  Also, equally as famous as soursop although in a different family is the queen of fruits, Mangosteen.

Resources:

1.Permacopia Book II. D. Hunter Beyer Dr. Franklin Martin.

2. Hawaiian Organic growing Guide, Shunyam Nirav. (1992)Oasis Maui /inc.

3.https://hort.purdue.edu/newcrop/morton/soursop.html

4. http://healthyeating.sfgate.com/benefits-soursop-4285.html

5. http://www.cancerresearchuk.org/about-cancer/cancers-in-general/cancer-questions/can-graviola-cure-cancer

6. Bourne, R.K. and Egbe, P.C. (1979). Preliminary study of the sedative effects of annona muricata (sour sop). A West Indian Medical Journal, 28, 106–110.

7.Queensland Primary Industries and Fisheries. (2008). Proceedings of the tropical fruits in human nutrition and health conference 2008.

8. Hasrat, J.A., Pieters, L., De Backer, J.P., Vauquelin, G. , & Vlietinck, A.J. (1997). Screening of medicinal plants from Suriname for 5-HT1A ligands: Bioactive isoquinoline alkaloids from the fruit of Annona muricata. Phytomedicine, 4(133–140)

9. Morton, J.F. . (1987). Fruits of warm climates. Miami, Florida, USA.

 

 

 

 

If you like it share it:
Posted on

Furikake Popcorn

People put a lot of things on popcorn all over the world. In Hawaii, “Hurricane Popcorn” often is sprinkled with furikake, sugar, food colorings and other seasonings. In this furikake popcorn recipe, we strip out the unessential sugar and colorings and simple toss the furikake with melted coconut oil. If you are not familiar with furikake a basic definition is a traditional Japanese seasoning that includes sea salt, toasted sesame seeds, and nori (a dried seaweed).

furikake popcorn

Furikake is a packed with nutrition. The sea salt includes magnesium. The toasted sesame seeds are high in protein, minerals, and nori contains protein fiber and many more minerals and vitamins. Seaweed also has naturally occurring iodine which is vital for developing fetuses, and in proper thyroid function. Additionally, seaweeds have more than 56 minerals and trace minerals necessary for your body in the most absorbable form.

Make sure you look for all natural varieties as often mainstream furikake contains MSG, gmo-sugars, etc. Check the ingredients and make sure you are infact making the healthy choice. Also, avoid labels with words like “stabilizers, additives etc.”

For example, this furikake pictured is made with sea salt and contains no MSG. Furikake is most often used on top of rice. Additionally it is sometimes as an additive with another Hawaiian dish called Poke, on baked or broiled fish, on top of fries etc. Try adding this savory topping to your Popcorn to up your nutrient content.

Recipe for homemade Furikake Popcorn

Ingredients:

  • Organic popcorn
  • Coconut oil
  • Furikake
  • Sea Salt

Steps:

  • Use an air popper or pop your corn in a pot just like the ol’ days using coconut oil.
  • Toss with salt, more coconut oil if needed and then the furikake.
  • As an optional extra seasoning you could add a few dashes of some hot sauce

Resources

  1. http://migrainereliefrecipes.com/unprocessed-breakfast-brown-rice-with-furikake-and-toasted-sesame-oil/
  2. http://vibrantwellnessjournal.com/2015/10/12/eating-seaweed-7-recipes-seaweed-health-benefits/

 

If you like it share it: