WORLD’S RAREST TRUE YAM SUPERFOOD

MY EXOTIC SECRETS DIOSCOREA ALATA DARK NIGHT ST VINCENT PURPLE YAM COOKED
Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail

PURPLE YAM – HOW WE BECAME FRIENDS

MY EXOTIC SECRETS DIOSCOREA ALATA DARK NIGHT ST VINCENT PURPLE YAM COOKEDDioscorea alata sp. Dark Night St. Vincent purple yams – When I was a little girl, we lived up in our own slice of Eutopia. Nestled in the cool mountains of the Cockpit country in pristine Trelawny, Jamaica was our slice of paradise and on it, we planted.

 

My parents had created a lovely backyard production of corn (Maize), callaloo (Amaranthus), cucumbers (Cucumis), Otaheite apples (Syzygium Malaccense), sugarcane (Saccharum officinarum), dasheen (Colocasia), badu (Colocasia), tomatoes(Solanum), sorrel (Hibiscus sabdariffa), Jamaican Almonds (Terminalia catappa) and so much more. Among this lot was one root of Dark Night St. Vincent Purple yam (Dioscorea alata sp.).

 

DIOSCOREA ALATA – SURPRISE AT THE MARKET

MY EXOTIC SECRETS DIOSCOREA ALATA DARK NIGHT ST VINCENT PURPLE YAM SERVEDWe’d had the rare sighting of the dark night St. Vincent purple yam at the market. It was piled in a display and mom had purchased a piece from the woman who owned the stall. After cooking some, I guess she was inspired to replicate it because she had dad procure a post to support the rampant vine that would dance up from the earth with seemingly unmatched passion and she planted the head of the yam we had bought.

 

The vine was glorious and beautiful with it’s purple and green, heart-shaped leaves shining in the sun as it wound its’ purple tendrils up and down and about the post it had been provided. It hung gracefully, a thick mass of purple and bright green hearts all about that the post was no longer visible by the time the plant had matured.

 

DARK NIGHT HARVEST

 MY EXOTIC SECRETS DIOSCOREA ALATA DARK NIGHT ST VINCENT PURPLE YAM HARVESTING

I remember us attempting to dig up the massive root it had produced without breaking it or separating any of the pieces. We failed. It was simply too much. I don’t know if it was because it had been grown in what was known as the yam parish of Jamaica (where most of the yam production takes place) but it was massive! That was the day I became entranced by the dark night St. Vincent purple yam – Dioscorea Alata.

MY EXOTIC SECRETS DIOSCOREA ALATA DARK NIGHT ST VINCENT PURPLE YAM HARVEST

It wasn’t my first experience with the purple yam. I’d eaten it many times before. It was, my first time growing it and I guess just being a part of the process and watching it flourish so well under our care made it exceptional for me. What I hadn’t known then was that the rest of the world was yet to catch on, but boy, did they!

 

DIOSCOREA ALATA PURPLE YAM: THE SUPERFOOD

It doesn’t surprise me now that it is among the long list of things I was blessed to grow up with that the world now refers to as Superfoods. With the number of superfoods that have been part of my diet all my life, I’m just waiting for a big “S” to be burned into my chest any day now; forget the cape… Seriously speaking though, Dioscorea alata is truly a treasure and I’m going to give you all the reasons why you want this amazing Dark Night St. Vincent yam and simply don’t know it yet.

 

HEALTH BENEFITS OF PURPLE YAM: DIOSCOREA ALATA

MY EXOTIC SECRETS DIOSCOREA ALATA DARK NIGHT ST VINCENT PURPLE YAM PLATEDI bet you didn’t know that the Dioscorea alata Dark Night St. Vincent yam was rich in riboflavin, vitamin B6, thiamine, vitamin A, niacin, magnesium, calcium, potassium, phosphorous, and Vitamin K. It also offers up zinc, protein and iron. One serving could provide up to 50% of your daily recommended consumption of fiber!

PROTECT YOUR BODY WITH PURPLE YAM

Consuming the dark night St. Vincent purple yam can help you counteract infections such as flu and colds and speeds up the healing process, immune function. It also helps you build stronger bones. In fact, members of the Asian community have been known to traditionally apply Dioscorea alata in a poultice to wounds to sooth and speed up the healing process. It has also been used as a holistic way of treating depression If that’s not a superfood, I don’t know what is!

MY EXOTIC SECRETS DIOSCOREA ALATA DARK NIGHT ST VINCENT PURPLE YAM HARVEST PLANT

That’s not all! Dioscorea alata Dark night St. Vincent purple yams are very rich in antioxidants. Antioxidants, on a whole, play an integral role in protecting us from the inside, building strong bodies and extending the years of long, healthy, enjoyable lives.

 

 

OF ANTIOXIDANTS & DIOSCOREA

 

MY EXOTIC SECRETS DIOSCOREA ALATA DARK NIGHT ST VINCENT PURPLE YAM LEAVESAntioxidants called anthocyanins -which dark night St. Vincent purple yams provide in abundance – are specifically linked to a range of health benefits. Purple yams can help you maintain a healthy urinary and respiratory system and the high manganese content increases your energy level and can positively impact not just your mood but your productivity.

According to the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC), previous research has linked anthocyanins to a wide variety of health claims, including increased longevity, cardiovascular health, cancer prevention and dementia. A study in the European Journal of Nutrition found it improved brain power in children between the ages of seven to ten years old. Additionally, the pace of converting the carbohydrates present in Dioscorea Alata into sugar is very sluggish which helps to curb the increase of blood sugar level in the human body and makes it a perfect food for diabetics to add to their diet.

 

CHARACTERISTICS OF THE DIOSCOREA ALATA PURPLE YAM PLANT

This thing grows more rapidly than anything you’ve ever seen! I knew I was going to share this with you guys but I still made a few videos so could follow the journey of our Dark Night St. Vincent purple yam plants this season because I knew some of you simply would not believe me unless you saw it for yourselves. Dioscorea alata is no joke. Our vines will put out anywhere from one to five feet of new growth weekly!

 

PLANTING PURPLE YAM

 MY EXOTIC SECRETS DIOSCOREA ALATA DARK NIGHT ST VINCENT PURPLE YAM SEEDLING

Needless to say, the dark night St. Vincent purple yam is a tropical. It thrives naturally in warm, dry areas with moderate rainfall and proper drainage. As a matter of fact, our farmers would always plant the yams in a mound instead of a hole. We’ve had clients grow them outdoors in subtropical regions. We’ve also had others grow them in huge pots, greenhouses or start them indoors each year and transplant after the last threat of frost. All of those are options you can exercise depending on where you live.

The good thing is, since we’ve seen it ourselves, done it ourselves and had clients share their testimonials with us, you know it’s possible. I mean, unless you’re in Greenland somewhere kissing the North Pole, it’s possible to grow this plant successfully wherever you are. Ensure you’re able to provide proper aerial support. It is not a runner but a climber.

DIOSCOREA ALATA: BEHAVIOR

Dioscoea alata doesn’t sprawl unless untrained which is why it’s ideal to provide a harbor that’s mostly vertical. One year, we grew ours in the greenhouse and it literally grew like a garland along the rails and supporting beams down the center of the greenhouse roof. It was gorgeous though and we enjoyed the experiment. For the clients in subtropical regions, I’m told the MY EXOTIC SECRETS DIOSCOREA ALATA DARK NIGHT ST VINCENT PURPLE YAMvine dies back in the fall and the roots produce new vines in the spring. Those in colder regions save bulbils from their mature vines for planting the following spring and start them indoors to get a head-start on the growing season. As always, you know if you ever have any questions or desire assistance with anything at all we are at your disposal.

 

PURPLE YAM HARVESTTIME

So when we’ve dug up this thing what do we do with it? Well, firstly, it needs to be cooked before consumption. Eating raw Dioscorea of any kind is bound to give you an itch. It is highly unlikely you will enjoy that so please, don’t do it. You can peel the skin away or wash the dirt away thoroughly before slicing or chopping and boiling, steaming, baking, roasting, grilling, or stewing.

MY EXOTIC SECRETS DIOSCOREA ALATA DARK NIGHT ST VINCENT PURPLE YAM ROOT

DIOSCOREA ALATA USES

 

After the yam has been cooked the possibilities are endless. You can spice it and make a stir fry. You can make ice-cream. You can serve slices of purple yam with your favorite meat or seafood dishes. You can make pies, cookies, cakes, punches, smoothies, sauces… the possibilities are truly endless! Feel free to experiment with other traditional dishes you may have and share them with us! You won’t regret adding this versatile and beneficial conversation piece to your table. Happy gardening!

JAMAICAN MORINGA: WORLD’S GREATEST SUPERFOOD

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail

INTRODUCTION TO JAMAICAN MORINGA

The Jamaican moringa, merengeh, merengue, drumstick tree, ben oil tree, or benzoil tree is a special plant. The rest of the world seems to carry the perception that moringa is medicine but that’s not entirely true. Yes, moringa is overflowing with a host of medicinal properties but it’s simply good, delectable food!

 

Graceful trees of tender branches laden with clusters of relatively small, green leaves sway in the Jamaican breeze. They’re peppered with gorgeous pearlesque fountains for blooms. These blooms are followed by long seed pods, reminiscent of drumsticks (hence the name drumstick tree, and the cycle continues. I, for one, can think of several tropical trees that can be admired and should be obtained solely for their ornamental value, so what makes the moringa plant so special that the whole world wants a taste of it?

 

MORINGA & JAMAICAN CULTURE

Jamaicans refer to the moringa plant as merengeh. I’ve also heard other West Indians use the name merengeh. Believe it or not, it isn’t something that was widely cultivated when I was a child. The thing just grew wild. This may seem strange to some of you but understand that Jamaica isn’t deemed the “land of wood and water” for no reason. Wild, uncultivated and flourishing fruit trees and other edibles rise up in abundance throughout the island and bear witness to several generations of people. In fact, the land is so rich, you could go out into the forest on any given day you felt idle with nothing but your machete and a crocus bag (fine bag) in hand. You’re guaranteed to return home with an abundance of exotic foods cared for by only God and mother nature. The merengeh was among often among them.

 

MORINGA: MY JOURNEY TO DISCOVERY

My uncle would go up into the mountain to his farm and pass by our house on his way home with a bag full of moringa seeds just for me! If they were tender they were like sweet peanuts without the aftertaste. If they were mature, the flavor was much the same but they were better enjoyed by chewing and discarding the fiber afterward.

The first time I tried moringa leaves I was walking by a tree I’d passed hundreds of times. It grew by the side of the road about a quarter of a mile from where our family went to fellowship. I’m not sure why my interest was piqued on this particular day. I picked a few leaves and gingerly bit down on them. I was expecting something bitter but was delighted to discover something reminiscent of tender, baby spinach and arugula leaves with a hint of almond. The leaves were delicious and so began my present addiction to fresh moringa leaves.

 

MERENGEH: THE REAL MIRACLE PLANT

I believe moringa was created close to the heart of The Garden of Eden as that would explain why this one plant embodies such perfection. By the end of this article you’ll share my perspective. It’s not only good for you but delicious! What part of the plant is good for consumption? All of it! Yes, you read that right – all of it is edible: roots, shoots, leaves, and flowers.

 

The flowers and leaves make excellent substitutes in salads that call for ingredients like leafy greens or cucumbers. Moringa leaves carry an unmatched flavor. It’s like having greens with a nutty twist in one package. The pearlesque flowers taste a lot like sweet cucumbers. Careful – m you may become addicted but even if you do, that’s not a problem. Moringa is not only wholesome but nutrient dense in ways that astound scientists and researchers worldwide.

 

HEALTH BENEFITS OF MORINGA

Merengeh is very rich in healthy antioxidants and bioactive plant compounds. Antioxidants are compounds that act against free radicals in our bodies. High levels of free radicals cause oxidative stress, which may contribute to chronic diseases like heart disease and type 2 diabetes. So far, scientists have only investigated a fraction of the many reputed health benefits but I’ve always had my grandparents to teach me what they are now discovering.

 

Moringa leaves are a great source of protein, vitamin B6, riboflavin, vitamin C, iron, vitamin A, magnesium. With moringa, you’ll see improved energy levels and vision, lower blood sugar, lower cholesterol, lower risk of heart disease and cancer. Moringa leaves, pods and seeds have also been shown to have anti-inflammatory properties and can even protect against arsenic toxicity. Moringa leaves are also highly nutritious, and should be particularly beneficial for people who are lacking in essential nutrients.

 

MERENGEH: USES

Moringa’s flavors are complimentary to a wide range of dishes. Don’t hesitate to incorporate different parts of the plant in your meals, especially the leaves. Add moringa to soups, sauces, salads, juices, dips, stir-fry, wraps, chips and so much more. You can utilize flowers, leaves and stem shoots for garnishing as well. Merengeh is also used in poultices and consumed in capsulated form for its’ many medicinal properties. Moringa leaf extract may also be used as a food preservative. It increases the shelf life of meat by reducing oxidation

 

Considering the plant is a tropical, you’ll be glad to have moringa in your landscape if you’re close to the equator. A mature merengeh plant is gloriously appealing to the eye which makes it a marvelous ornamental. If you’re training your moringa plant as a bonsai, you’ll be happy to learn that this works in your favor. When the roots of the merengeh plant are restricted, the plant produces an even greater profusion of flower showers.

 

GROWING MERENGEH

Moringa loves warmth. 75° F is paradise for these tropical beauties. Ensure you select mature seeds, preferably from pods that have dried on the plant. Plant your moringa seeds in rich, loamy soil with good drainage. I like to mix some ash, sawdust and cow manure into my soil. Water liberally and plant your seeds an inch deep and at least fifteen feet apart. If you’re planting your moringa in a pot, ensure your pot is at least two feet deep and two feet across with proper drainage.

 

Germination usually occurs within 10 days and the plants grow very quickly. You’ll be able to harvest fresh moringa seeds for your dishes within two years. How cool is that? – Your own renewable source of the world’s richest plant at your fingertips!

 

MORINGA NOW!

If you’re working in a smaller space, you can consider having a moringa bonsai. Training these plants are really easy. You can see some of our instructional YouTube videos on training plants. If you’re one of those people who generally have difficulty getting seeds to germinate, we’ve thought of a solution to that too. You can find mature moringa plants here. You’ll be able to begin harvesting leaves in a matter of days. We’ve received reviews with incredible testimonials of improved health within days of meeting moringa. I’m sure your experience will be similar. Feel free to share your story with Jamaica’s merengeh with us! We enjoy your testimonials and ideas.

POWERFUL JAMAICAN GINGER – ZINGIBER

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail

You haven’t really had a good cup of ginger tea until you’ve had one made with Jamaican ginger. I grew up on the stuff and I’ve got to tell you, it’s far more potent than any others I’ve had. Why is that? I’m not quite sure where to place the credit but I’m elated to share more about it with you.

HISTORY

The part of the plant we use and incorrectly label “ginger root” (if we’re being really technical) is the rhizome of some variety of the zingiber plant. For the purposes of this article, I will be using the term “ginger root” since it is what most of us are familiar with and I have no intention of complicating your comprehension of this wonderful plant when we leave here today.

There is a book by one of my favorite writers of works I believe every West Indian child should have. It’s called The Cloud with the Silver Lining by C. Everard Palmer. His books paint the most vivid recollections of the colorful and flavorful Jamaican culture, usually through the eyes of a local child as the rhythms of the people erupt from the pages. The Jamaican ginger plays a critical role in this particular book. It relates how traditionally, the Jamaican ginger wasn’t a plant cultivated in or near places inhabited. Young boys would look forward to harvesting their ginger in the mountains and forests before Christmastime. This would be used for treats like cakes, candy, ice-cream, juices and so much more. In more recent years, this zingiber is grown closer to home and cultivated on a much larger scale as the demand is very high among the locals, despite the fact that local markets offer other imported varieties. There is a reason for that.

GROWTH CYCLE

It’s a terrific plant that serves culinary, cosmetic and ornamental purposes. The ginger plant erupts from the soil in single stems that grow to an average of three feet. The slender, green leaves release the pleasant ginger aroma when crushed or sprayed with rain. The leave and stems can also be steeped in hot water to make teas and refreshing drinks. When the roots are mature, the gorgeous inflorescence rises from the ground – not from the stems – and can possess an array of colors including cream, peach, yellow, orange, pink, red, or pomegranate. If you live in colder areas where frost is expected, your ginger stems will die back at the end of the season and you can harvest your roots but store a few in an old newspaper for planting next season.

PLANTING & CARE

Plant your ginger in a partially shaded area with filtered or indirect sunlight and away from strong winds. You can plant it in your garden, landscape or in a pot. I’ve harvested ginger from my pots in a New York apartment several times over and you can too. It’s a really easy plant to grow. It is very important that the ginger is planted in breathable earth. If your soil is heavy and rich that has its’ benefits but it isn’t good enough. Mix in some sand, peanut shells, and sawdust for better breathability. Do not overwater and try to allow the soil to dry out a little between watering.

USES & BENEFITS

Ginger has been used for centuries for its’ culinary and its’ medicinal purposes. It adds flavor unmatched to juices, teas, stews, sauces, soups, ice-cream, pastries, sweets and more. It can be powdered or dried and stored for longer periods as well. Ginger oil is extracted not only for culinary use but also for topical application in massages and treatment of burns, bites other sources of skin irritation. Yet, there is still so much more to appreciate about this ginger thing.

The Jamaican ginger is a good source of an array of antioxidants and nutrients like B-Complex Vitamins, Vitamin C, Magnesium, Phosphorus, Potassium, Iron, and Zinc. These help to relieve digestive problems including nausea, loss of appetite, compromised respiratory function, bacterial infections, fungal infections, ulcers, motion sickness and pain and has been used in the treatment of morning sickness and cancer. The Jamaican ginger can also help decrease the risk of obesity, diabetes, heart disease and overall mortality. It encourages healthy, supple skin, mouth and hair and boosts your energy levels!

This ginger promotes sweating as it is a diuretic so if you live in an icebox this is a great way to warm the body from the inside out. Moreover, it is an excellent way to treat cold and flu symptoms. In our article – Winter is Coming – we highlight some of the ways ginger can be used to arm yourself and your loved ones against the onslaught of bugs and illnesses that are likely to attack during colder seasons.

Let’s not forget that the Jamaican ginger is also pleasantly fragrant and can be used in aroma therapy. Ginger oil is one of my favorite recommendations for massages and skin treatments. My beloved grandmother has been living with arthritis for years. A good massage of problem areas with some ginger oil provides soothing relief of pain and discomfort and is appealing to the senses in the same breath. Best of all, there is no research to suggest that there are health risks to using this ginger in any way so your inclusion of the Jamaican ginger in your lifestyle can be worry-free… so go on, get to know the Jamaican zingiber and have fun with it!

AMAZING CEREUS – SECRETS OF THE OTHER MOONFLOWER PERUVIAN APPLE CACTUS

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail

The Peruvian apple cactus fruit bears very similar properties to another superfood – its relative, the dragon fruit. They are both known by the names pitaya and moonflower though the Peruvian apple is also called Olala in Peru. Have you ever had a dragon fruit? Good, isn’t it? … and that’s an understatement. It’s amazing! If you haven’t had one you are certainly missing out. If you have and are as in love with it as my family is, then you ought to meet the Peruvian apple.

WHAT IS A SUPERFOOD
Essentially, a superfood is one that’s extremely nutrient-rich; one that aids in the preservation of or restoration of good health when consumed. They’re basically nature’s medicine except they usually don’t carry an unpleasant taste which is unlike most of the medicines my mother (a nurse) introduced me to as a child. If a food that was entirely good to your body was appealing to the eyes, wonderfully fragrant and deliciously refreshing and satisfying all in one, wouldn’t you want to have it? Well, there are quite a few foods that carry these properties and the Peruvian apple is one of them.

What most of us may not be aware of is that most of the Peruvian apple is the fruit of a cacti known scientifically as cereus. Most ornamental cactus plants on which we heap praises and adoration for their uniquely alluring blooms and strong fragrance after a sprinkling of rain or dew, bear fruit that are both pleasing to the tongue and nourishing to your body. Olala is no exception.

Cereus cactus are some of the easiest plants to grow. It is a columnar cactus producing tall, four to eight-lobed columns that average nine inches at their widest point in a mature plant grown in the wild. Potted, household columns may average six inches across. They’re relatively easy to work with because they produce much fewer spines than most of their relatives like opuntia and trichocereus varieties. Additionally, the spines are gathered to joints along the columns that are usually between one and three inches apart, giving you plenty of opportunity to avoid contact with them. Nonetheless I try to always use my gloves when pruning, treating, or harvesting our fruit.

Now, understand that while it is a cactus and can survive long periods of extreme neglect and without water, it is not ideal to suffer your cereus plants to prolonged periods without some love. Mine are happiest in rich soil with proper drainage. Mix in some sand and sawdust for proper balance and breathability. You can water liberally but try to allow the soil to dry between watering. A little stress is good for your cactus. Before long, you’ll start to notice gorgeous, magnificent, white blooms of pearlesque petals dipped in gold, forming all over your cactus. If you’re excited about enjoying that bit, I’m sorry to say you may not unless you are a nocturnal creature. The cereus fruit is one of a group of fruiting cactus plants more commonly called moonflower. It carries that name for a reason – the blooms open up at dusk and stay open through the night. This poses a challenge for pollination as nocturnal winged creatures tend to gravitate toward light sources and we cannot have fruit without pollination so what do we do? I suggest moving your Peruvian apple pot under a lamp post or any bright source of light. You can also course some string lights around your plant to attract pollinators. Be sure to lay them carefully so as not to disturb your flowers and fruit. You can also pollinate them by hand.

Now I won’t give you an exact time within which to start looking for blooms because climatic conditions and treatment bear great influence on how soon your cereus begins to flower. I can personally attest to two-foot plants fruiting in six to eighteen months. As you may know, we were living in New York when Exotic Secrets was born. I’ve shared the story several times over but if you haven’t heard it yet and would like to, you can find it here. It was while living in New York that I grew our first Peruvian apple and they took about nine months to flower Some of our clients have sent photos and testimonials of flowers and fruit within two months of receipt though that tends to happen in more tropical regions.

Your flowers will be followed by green fruit that are spine-free and completely smooth. The skin will slowly change from green to pink, yellow, violet or red when ripening – depending on the variety as some ripe fruit can carry any of the colors listed above. Now comes the most rewarding part of the Peruvian apple experience – harvesttime!

The possessions on which we place the greatest value in this life usually come at greater cost or expense – that dream car, your perfect home, the job of a lifetime you climbed ladder after ladder to get to… I say all that to encourage you. Like I’d mentioned before, cactus plants have their own line of defense, especially some of our family’s favorites like opuntia and trichocereus. Their defense is wrought with spines and glochids that can prove painful and annoying to deal with if they get hooked into your skin but what they protect is worth the trouble and I believe they are treasures we should all the luxury of enjoying so come harvesttime, do not be daunted. I’m not saying you should be prepared for pain. I’m imploring you to be prepared so you won’t have to encounter pain because it is a very real risk. Ensure you have, thick, rubber gloves just for use with your cactus plants before tackling the establishment or maintenance of a cactus pot or garden. Do not use the gloves for any other activities. Always store them away from common areas, especially if you have children or pets that aren’t immersed in water.

Fortunately, the cereus only has a few spines along the edges of the columns of the plant. There are none on the fruit themselves so you can remove and store your gloves immediately after harvesting. Now comes the fun part! The fruit is crunchy but juicy like a freshly picked watermelon but with more density and a generous distribution of seeds reminiscent of the kiwi seeds’ faultless crunch! The easiest way to enjoy it is to cut your fruit into quarters vertically and peel back the skin. They separate from the fruit almost effortlessly. Sometimes, the ripe fruit might even split open on the plant, especially if they are well watered.

Don’t underestimate your Peruvian apple cactus fruit. Olala is very versatile so don’t be afraid to experiment with juices, punch, sherbet, sauces, pastries, salads teas, and so much more… AND you can do it with a clear conscience. Peruvian apple cactus fruit is entirely wholesome. It means your body no harm in any way. They are some of the richest sources of Vitamin C, that help to lower cholesterol, boost the immune system, prevent cancer and heart disease, aid in weight loss, improve digestion, boost energy, defend against bacteria and fungi, and help in the overall functioning of the body’s systems. They contain no cholesterol and almost no unhealthy, cholesterol-producing fats. They can reduce your chances of conditions like constipation, Irritable Bowel Syndrome, and diseases like colorectal cancer. Carotene is another component of olala fruits, and carotene has been linked to a number of anti-carcinogenic qualities, as well as reducing the size of tumors (OrganicFacts). They help maintain healthy teeth, hair, bones, skin and so much more and can also help you nullify stress. If you’re pregnant, worry not. My doctor allowed me to eat as much of the fruit as I liked (and Lord knows there wasn’t much I liked besides pitaya) while I was pregnant with my daughter. Studies have found no harmful substances in Peruvian apples, not even for women who are pregnant or nursing. There is no loss or trade. You don’t have to give up something to enjoy this moonflower fruit. It’s delicious and refreshing and perfectly low-calorie and the few calories it has are all good for you… so dive in and I hope you enjoy the journey to discovery as much as I have!

GET TO KNOW YOUR MOONFLOWER CACTUS – TRICHOCEREUS

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail

If you’ve read our articles on the Peruvian Apple cactus and the Opuntia/Prickly pear cactus then much of this is going to sound familiar as you’ll find most edible types of fruit-bearing cacti share many properties. I believe trichocereus is certainly one of the more noteworthy groups that deserve some in-depth exploration.

What most of us may not be aware of is that most of the trichocereus cactus bears edible and delicious fruit. Most ornamental cactus plants on which we heap praises and adoration for their uniquely alluring blooms and strong fragrance after a sprinkling of rain or dew, bear fruit that are both pleasing to the tongue and nourishing to your body. Trichocereus is no exception.

Trichocereus cactus are some of the easiest plants to grow. It is a columnar cactus producing tall, multi-lobed columns that average nine inches at their widest point in a mature plant grown in the wild. Potted, household columns may average six inches across. Admittedly, they’re not as easy to work with as the Peruvian apple or hylocereus groups because they produce much more spines than most of those relatives but they’re all quite rewarding. Additionally, the spines are generously scattered all about the columns so this plant does not intend to make harvesting easy but we’ve found ways around that which we’ll expound on a little later on.

Now, understand that while it is a cactus and can survive long periods of extreme neglect and without water, it is not ideal to suffer your trichocereus plants to prolonged periods without some love. Mine are happiest in rich soil with proper drainage. Mix in some sand and sawdust for proper balance and breathability. You can water liberally but try to allow the soil to dry between watering. A little stress is good for your cactus. Before long, you’ll start to notice gorgeous, magnificent, white blooms of pearlesque petals dipped in gold, forming all over your cactus. If you’re excited about enjoying that bit, I’m sorry to say you may not unless you are a nocturnal creature. The trichocereus fruit is one of a group of fruiting cactus plants more commonly called moonflower. It carries that name for a reason – the blooms open up at dusk and stay open through the night. This poses a challenge for pollination as nocturnal winged creatures tend to gravitate toward light sources and we cannot have fruit without pollination so what do we do? I suggest moving your trichocereus pot under a lamp post or any bright source of light. You can also course some string lights around your plant to attract pollinators. Be sure to lay them carefully so as not to disturb your flowers and fruit. You can also pollinate them by hand. If you intend to try that, always wear your thick, rubber gloves.

You can start looking for blooms within six to eighteen months depending on your climatic conditions. Treatment also bears great influence on how soon your thrichocereus begins to flower. I can personally attest to two-foot plants fruiting in six to eighteen months. Some of our clients have sent photos and testimonials of flowers and fruit within six months of receipt and that tends to happen in more tropical regions. Our first was in New York and it took almost two years to flower although it was a very young plant. Your results may vary.

Your flowers will be followed by green fruit that are spine-free and completely smooth. The skin will slowly change from green to dark-green, yellow, violet or red when ripening – depending on the variety as some ripe fruit can carry any of the colors listed above. Now comes the most rewarding part of the trichocereus experience – harvesttime!

The possessions on which we place the greatest value in this life usually come at greater cost or expense – that dream car, your perfect home, the job of a lifetime you climbed ladder after ladder to get to… I say all that to encourage you. Like I’d mentioned before, cactus plants have their own line of defense, especially some of our family’s favorites like opuntia and trichocereus. Their defense is wrought with spines and glochids that can prove painful and annoying to deal with if they get hooked into your skin but what they protect is worth the trouble and I believe they are treasures we should all the luxury of enjoying so come harvesttime, do not be daunted. I’m not saying you should be prepared for pain. I’m imploring you to be prepared so you won’t have to encounter pain because it is a very real risk. Ensure you have, thick, rubber gloves just for use with your cactus plants before tackling the establishment or maintenance of a cactus pot or garden. Do not use the gloves for any other activities. Always store them away from common areas, especially if you have children or pets that aren’t immersed in water.

After picking your fruit – while still wearing your gloves – use a knife or garden shears to remove all spines and glochids then set your fruit aside. I like to lay out a few sheets of old newspapers or magazines before I get started so those pesky bits will fall onto them and cleanup will be easy afterward. When you’ve folded and discarded your collection of thorns and glochids, you can carefully remove your gloves and store them. Now, all that’s left is to enjoy your fruit.

Here comes the fun part! The fruit is crunchy but juicy like a freshly picked watermelon but with more density and a generous distribution of seeds reminiscent of the kiwi seeds’ faultless crunch! The easiest way to enjoy it is to cut your fruit into quarters vertically and peel back the skin. They separate from the fruit almost effortlessly. Sometimes, the ripe fruit might even split open on the plant, especially if they are well watered.

Don’t underestimate your trichocereus fruit. It is very versatile so don’t be afraid to experiment with juices, punch, sherbet, sauces, pastries, salads teas, and so much more… AND you can do it with a clear conscience. The cactus fruit is entirely wholesome. It means your body no harm in any way. They are some of the richest sources of Vitamin C, that help to lower cholesterol, boost the immune system, prevent cancer and heart disease, aid in weight loss, improve digestion, boost energy, defend against bacteria and fungi, and help in the overall functioning of the body’s systems. They contain no cholesterol and almost no unhealthy, cholesterol-producing fats. They can reduce your chances of conditions like constipation, Irritable Bowel Syndrome, and diseases like colorectal cancer. Carotene is another component of trichocereus fruits, and carotene has been linked to a number of anti-carcinogenic qualities, as well as reducing the size of tumors (OrganicFacts). They help maintain healthy teeth, hair, bones, skin and so much more and can also help you nullify stress. If you’re pregnant, worry not. My doctor allowed me to eat as much of the fruit as I liked (and Lord knows there wasn’t much I liked besides cactus fruit) while I was pregnant with my daughter. Studies have found no harmful substances in the fruits, not even for women who are pregnant or nursing. There is no loss or trade. You don’t have to give up something to enjoy this moonflower fruit. It’s delicious and refreshing and perfectly low-calorie and the few calories it has are all good for you… so dive in and I hope you enjoy the journey to discovery as much as as I did.

Introduction to the Mild Red-Pulp Passiflora Caerulea Passionfruit

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail

This golden variety shares a host of similarities with the much larger passiflora edulis. The pulp itself is – like all passionfruit – juicy. It’s fat free, cholesterol free, low in calories and is a great source of fiber, vitamins and minerals like vitamin C, vitamin A, and iron. It can improve eyesight, digestion, skin health, circulation, bone mineral health, energy, sleeplessness, asthma, high blood pressure and can even prevent the growth of cancer in the body. Unlike the passiflora edulis varieties, the pulp is bright crimson with a milder, less tangy flavor which more people tend to find favorable when eating out of hand.

Another interesting fact about the passiflora caerulea is that similarto the passiflora edulis, the pit of the fruit is full of a substance called pectin which acts like a gum and is an excellent replacement for starches used to thicken sauces and jams. Unlike the pulp itself, the pectin in the pit is not richly flavored so it does not affect the dish you’re making negatively. It will not affect the flavor of your sauces, stirs, dips, jams, custards or jellies. Another notable diference between this variety and the purple passionfruit is that the skin is softer, thinner and more easily broken that it seldom requires cutting but it also sometimes used for serving refreshments and appetizers, and in artistic creations.
Passionfruitflowers are some beautifully painted works of art, full of intricate details. There’s also nothing like strolling through the garden after a light rain and having the perfume of the passionfruit blossoms assail you. Use flowers in perfume oils, candles, aroma therapy, the bath, potpourri or bouquets. Still, that’s not the extent of it’s uses either. If you’re having trouble sleeping, steep a flower or two in hot water for a couple minutes and sweeten with honey or agave if you like (I wouldn’t recommend coconut sugar for this simply because the flavors don’t compliment each other in my opinion.) This brew has worked it’s charm on helping me and mine unwind an settle in for bed for a long time. The leaves and stems of the passionfruit can also be used.

…so you must think I’m cruel going on and on about how fantastic this plant is and how blessed I’ve now come to have some real passion in my life. What difference does it make if you can’t have it, right? Well, Exotic Secrets’ goal is to help you bring paradise home, even if you live in a tiny apartment in the most remote part of Alaska – it is still possible for you to maintain your tropical garden. Trust me. My first passionfruit harvest after moving away from Jamaica came to me in a one-bedroom apartment in New York and it wasn’t the only thing I harvested that year – far from it – so I can tell you firsthand that paradise is possible. If you’d like to learn more about these options, you can read our article on Taking Paradise Home. Right now, I’m going to share with you the climatic and care preference of this treasure but I do not want you to be discouraged if home is California, Florida, Maine or Norway so I hope you find clarity in the article suggested.

Now, understand that the passionfruit is a vine – a hardy one but a vine nonetheless. It loves rich, loamy soil and a tree, trellis, harbor or fence to climb on, in-between and all over! Under ideal conditions It thrives in warm conditions. The sweet spot is usually somewhere between 60 and 90 degrees Fahrenheit. It prefers at least 4 hours of direct sunlight daily. At least that’s beenmy experience.I wish I could encapsulate a sniff of the air at dawn before the sun collects the night dew and drop it here for you to sample. You’d be hooked. That said, it’s a pretty resilient plant. It can thrive in a pot with support, a hanging basket or anywhere in the landscape that offers light. It requires very little attention once established. If you’re growing in a pot, especially if it’s indoors, add a scoop of cow, or horse manure (or compost – I prefer manure) to the soil every couple months to replenish nutrients because it uses a lot. Ensure it get’s lots of water but do not leave standing water in your pot. If you’d like to see more of a profusion of blooms, it’s best to grow it in a gallon pot where the roots are more restricted but be sure to plant support in the pot as well. You can weave new growth back into the trellis you’ve planted from time to time to make it more compact. A terrific project might include training passionfruit vine up your garden gazebo.
You can experiment with using parts of this plant in your cakes, custard, ice-cream, juices, sauces, jams, jellies, dips, salads, meats, cookies, biscuits, scrubs, skin treatments, massages, teas, juices, punch, cocktails, candles, jewelry, furniture and so much more. Explore our other articles for recipe ideas and always remember to have fun!
God bless you!

Introduction to the Purple Passiflora Edulis Passionfruit

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail
This purple variety shares a host of similarities with it’s golden, much larger relative. The pulp itself is – like all passionfruit – juicy. It’s fat free, cholesterol free, low in calories and is a great source of fiber, vitamins and minerals like vitamin C, vitamin A, and iron. It can improve eyesight, digestion, skin health, circulation, bone mineral health, energy, sleeplessness, asthma, high blood pressure and can even prevent the growth of cancer in the body. It’s rich in flavor – almost like a mango, a pineapple, honey, and a tangerine had a purple baby and named it passionfruit – but there’s more to this variety than the pulp.

The pit of the fruit is full of a substance called pectin which acts like a gum and is an excellent replacement for starches used to thicken sauces and jams. Unlike the pulp itself, the pectin in the pit is not richly flavored so it does not affect the dish you’re making negatively. It will not affect the flavor of your sauces, stirs, dips, jams, custards or jellies. Additionally, the passionfruit skin is hard, shiny and attractive and can be used for serving refreshments and appetizers. it can also be used in artistic creations.

Passionfruitflowers are some beautifully painted works of art, full of intricate details. There’s also nothing like strolling through the garden after a light rain and having the perfume of the passionfruit blossoms assail you. Use flowers in perfume oils, candles, aroma therapy, the bath, potpourri or bouquets. Still, that’s not the extent of it’s uses either. If you’re having trouble sleeping, steep a flower or two in hot water for a couple minutes and sweeten with honey or agave if you like (I wouldn’t recommend coconut sugar for this simply because the flavors don’t compliment each other in my opinion.) This brew has worked it’s charm on helping me and mine unwind an settle in for bed for a long time. The leaves and stems of the passionfruit can also be used.
…so you must think I’m cruel going on and on about how fantastic this plant is and how blessed I’ve now come to have some real passion in my life. What difference does it make if you can’t have it, right? Well, Exotic Secrets’ goal is to help you bring paradise home, even if you live in a tiny apartment in the most remote part of Alaska – it is still possible for you to maintain your tropical garden. Trust me. My first passionfruit harvest after moving away from Jamaica came to me in a one-bedroom apartment in New York and it wasn’t the only thing I harvested that year – far from it – so I can tell you firsthand that paradise is possible. If you’d like to learn more about these options, you can read our article on Taking Paradise Home. Right now, I’m goingto share with you the climatic and care preference of this treasure but I do not want you to be discouraged if home is California, Florida, Maine or Norway so I hope you find clarity in the article suggested.

Now, understand that the passionfruit is a vine – a hardy one but a vine nonetheless. It loves rich, loamy soil and a tree, trellis, harbor or fence to climb on, in-between and all over! Under ideal conditions It thrives in warm conditions. Thesweet spot is usually somewhere between 60 and 90 degrees Fahrenheit. It prefers at least 4 hours of direct sunlight daily. At least that’s been my experience.I wish I could encapsulate a sniff of the air at dawn before the sun collects the night dew and drop it here for you to sample. You’d be hooked. That said, it’s a pretty resilient plant. It can thrive in a pot with support, a hanging basket or anywhere in the landscape that offers light. It requires very little attention once established. If you’re growing in a pot, especially if it’s indoors, add a scoop of cow, or horse manure (or compost – I prefer manure) to the soil every couple months to replenish nutrients because it uses a lot. Ensure it get’s lots of water but do not leave standing water in your pot. If you’d like to see more of a profusion of blooms, it’s best to grow it in a gallon pot where the roots are more restricted but be sure to plant support in the pot as well. You can weave new growth back into the trellis you’ve planted from time to time to make it more compact. A terrific project might include training passionfruit vine up your garden gazebo.

You can experiment with using parts of this plant in your cakes, custard, ice-cream, juices, sauces, jams, jellies, dips, salads, meats, cookies, biscuits, scrubs, skin treatments, massages, teas, juices, punch, cocktails, candles, jewelry, furniture and so much more. Explore our other articles for recipe ideas and always remember to have fun!
God bless you!

Golden Passiflora Foetida – The Sweetest & Most Rewarding Passionfruit To Grow In Small Spaces

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail

I’ve heard people from different countries refer to Passiflora Foetida as maypop, mini-passionfruit, wild passionfruit, barbadine, granadilla and sweet passionfruit but where I’m from we call this juicy ball of goodness sweetcup. Having now had much more experience with other passiflora varieties than I did as a child, I think it’s justified because it happens to be one of the few varieties that’s light on being tangy which really allows you to enjoy the sweetness of the small fruit (and I’m not exaggerating when I say it’s small). Sweetcup fruits mature at about half an inch to a full inch in diameter. The good thing is that the compact vine is a prolific bearer of the little jewels so there’s always a host of ripe fruit for you to harvest and enjoy. Moreover, the skin is very thin with ridges that meet at a point in the very bottom of the fruit which makes it easy to pop it open between your thumb and forefinger. A young child could do it with ease.
All passionfruit flowers are some beautifully painted works of art, full of intricate details. There’s also nothing like strolling through the garden after a light rain and having the perfume of the passionfruit blossoms assail you. Use flowers in perfume oils, candles, aroma therapy, the bath, potpourri or bouquets. Still, that’s not the extent of it’s uses either. If you’re having trouble sleeping, steep a flower or two in hot water for a couple minutes and sweeten with honey or agave if you like (I wouldn’t recommend coconut sugar for this simply because the flavors don’t compliment each other in my opinion.) This brew has worked it’s charm on helping me and mine unwind and settle in for bed for a long time. The leaves and stems of the sweetcup vine can also be used.

One unique feature of this plant is that nature has  devised an effective way of getting the flower pollinated by bees and butterflies but mother nature has also found a way to protect the fruit that comes after from pests. The flower is gorgeous and colorful with hues of purple, pink, gold, and green bursting like a fountain from pearlesque white petals. Do you know what else is bursting from this work of art? Perfume. It may be an inch and a half to two inches across but it packs a fragrance so sweet it can not be ignored. Additionally, it’s the only edible passionflower that starts as a little green ball wrapped in a strange-looking, sticky mass that resembles moss. When the flower opens, it sits atop this sticky mass and when it is pollinated, it closes and is again encased by this strange nest. That sticky mass is a web of glandular hairs designed to give off a scent that repels pests. It’s also quite sticky so if an insect does not heed the warning to stay away, it becomes trapped in the web which protects the fruit once the pollinated flower closes.
…so you must think I’m cruel going on and on about how fantastic this plant is and how blessed I’ve now come to realize I’ve been to have had it throughout my youth. What difference does it make if you can’t have it, right? Well, Exotic Secrets’ goal is to help you bring paradise home, even if you live in a tiny apartment in the most remote part of Alaska – it is still possible for you to maintain your tropical garden. Trust me. My first passinfruit harvest after moving away from Jamaica came to me in a one-bedroom apartment in New York and it wasn’t the only thing I harvested that year – far from it – so I can tell you firsthand that paradise is possible. If you’d like to learn more about these options, you can read our article on Taking Paradise Home. Right now, I’m going to share with you the climatic and care preference of this treasure but I do not want you to be discouraged if home is California, Florida, Maine or Norway so I hope you find clarity in the article suggested.

Where I’m from, we didn’t actually cultivate these beauties. They would just seemingly materialize on a fence, outside a gate or in a bush somewhere. They’re extremely easy to germinate and thrive on neglect once the right conditions are afforded them. What are the right conditions? Sweetcup – like all passionfruit – finds ambient temperatures between 65 and 90 degrees Fahrenheit ideal. It loves rich, loamy soil but I’ve seen some plants thrive in the wild on rocky ground with very little water except for rainfall.It’s a pretty resilient plant. It can thrive in a pot with support, a hanging basket or anywhere in the landscape that offers light. It requires very little attention once established. If you’re growing in a pot, especially if it’s indoors, add a scoop of cow, or horse manure (or compost – I prefer manure) to the soil every couple months to replenish nutrients because it uses a lot. Ensure it get’s lots of water but do not leave standing water in your pot. If you’d like to see more of a profusion of blooms, it’s best to grow it in a gallon pot where the roots are more restricted but be sure to plant support in the pot as well. You can weave new growth back into the trellis you’ve planted from time to time to make it more compact. Another great way to grow indoors and stimulate blooming is by planting it in a hanging basket. Allow the soil to dry a bit between watering but when you water, be liberal. A terrific project might include training a sweetcup vine over a garden archway.
Now, passiflora foetida may be the smallest and most compact of the edible passionfruit varieties but it is saturated with nutrients and health benefits all around. The fruit is fat free, cholesterol free, low in calories and is a great source of fiber, vitamins and minerals like vitamin C, vitamin A, and iron. Different parts of this plant can improve eyesight, digestion, skin health, circulation, bone mineral health, energy, sleeplessness, asthma, regulation, liver conditions, anxiety, high blood pressure, aid in healing wounds, and can even prevent the growth of cancer in the body.

You can experiment with using parts of this plant in your cakes, custard, ice-cream, juices, sauces, jams, jellies, dips, salads, meats, cookies, biscuits, scrubs, skin treatments, massages, teas, juices, punch, cocktails, candles, jewelry, furniture and so much more. Explore our other articles for recipe ideas and lways remember to have fun!

Introduction to the Large Golden Jamaican Passiflora Edulis Passionfruit

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail

The idea that there would ever be a time when passionfruit wasn’t readily available to me had never formed in my mind. You see, this delicious and alluring orb of golden perfection was a constant throughout my childhood. My grandmother had a plant in the yard; so did my mom and cousins. Frankly, the presence of the Jamaican golden passionfruit seemed so commonplace to us that sometimes the fruit would fall and go to waste if not for the birds around. I was already an adult when I left Jamaica and nothing I’ve been introduced to since can be considered comparable to our passionfruit as far as I’m concerned. I’ve conjured up this theory that one accidentally fell from heaven’s table long ago and that’s how it wound up here but enough about that.

Now that I’ve had much more experience exploring the passiflora family, I’ve concluded that this is still my favorite. The pulp itself is – like all passionfruit – juicy. It’s fat free, cholesterol free, low in calories and is a great source of fiber, vitamins and minerals like vitamin C, vitamin A, and iron. It can improve eyesight, digestion, skin health, circulation, bone mineral health, energy, sleeplessness, asthma, high blood pressure and can even prevent the growth of cancer in the body. It’s rich in flavor – almost like a mango, a pineapple, honey, and a tangerine had a golden baby and named it passionfruit – but there’s more to this variety than the pulp.
The pit of the fruit is full of a substance called pectin which acts like a gum and is an excellent replacement for starches used to thicken sauces and jams. Unlike the pulp itself, the pectin in the pit is strong richly flavored so it does not affect the dish you’re making negatively. It will not affect the flavor of your sauces, stirs, dips, jams, custards or jellies. Additionally, the passionfruit skin is hard, shiny and attractive and can be used for serving refreshments and appetizers. it can also be used in artistic creations.

Passionfruit flowers are some beautifully painted works of art, full of intricate details. There’s also nothing like strolling through the garden after a light rain and having the perfume of the passionfruit blossoms assail you. Use flowers in perfume oils, candles, aroma therapy, the bath, potpourri or bouquets. Still, that’s not the extent of it’s uses either. Ifyou’re having trouble sleeping, steep a flower or two in hot water for a couple minutes and sweeten with honey or agave if you like (I wouldn’t recommend coconut sugar for this simply because the flavors don’t compliment each other in my opinion.) This brew has worked it’s charm on helping me and mine unwind an settle in for bed for a long time. The leaves and stems of the passionfruit can also be used.
…so you must think I’m cruel going on and on about how fantastic this plant is and how blessed I’ve now come to realize I’ve been to have had it throughout my youth. What difference does it make if you can’t have it, right? Well, Exotic Secrets’ goal is to help you bring paradise home, even if you live in a tiny apartment in the most remote part of Alaska – it is still possible for you to maintain your tropical garden. Trust me. My first passinfruit harvest aftermoving away from Jamaica came to me in a one-bedroom aprtment in New York and it wasn’t the only thing I harvested that year – far from it – so i can tell you firsthand that paradise is possible. If you’d like to learn more about these options, you can read our article on Taking Paradise Home. Right now, I’m goingto share with you the climatic and care preference of this treasure but I do not want you to be discouraged if home is California, Florida, Maine or Norway so I hope you find clarity in the article suggested.

Now, understand that the passionfruit is a vine – a hardy one but a vine nonetheless. It loves rich, loamy soil and a tree, trellis, harbor or fence to climb on, in-between and all over! Under idealconditions It thrives in warm conditions. The sweet spot is usually somewhere between 60 and 90 degrees Fahrenheit. It prefers at least 4 hours of direct sunlight daily. At least that’s been my experience. Funny enough, Mamas’ (my grandmothers’) vine started out in a place where it only got about seven hours of filtered sun. Did you notice I said it "started out" there? That’s because it has since moved down a whole side of the back of the yard all the way to the front, growing along fences and large treesto form a gorgeous canopy of glossy, bright, green leaves with splashes of rainbow nestled in white along one side of her home. I wish I could encapsulate a sniff of the air at dawn before the sun collect the night dew and drop it here for you to sample. You’d be hooked. That said, it’s a pretty resilient plant. It can thrive in a pot with support, a hanging basket or anywhere in the landscape that offers light. It requires very little attention once established. If you’re growing in a pot, especially if it’s indoors, add a scoop of cow, or horse manure (or compost – I prefer manure) to the soil every couple months to replenish nutrients because it uses a lot. Ensure it get’s lots of water but do not leave standing water in your pot. If you’d like to see more of a profusion of blooms, it’s best to grow it in a gallon pot where the roots are more restricted but be sure to plant support in the pot as well. You can weave new growth back into the trellis you’ve planted from time to time to make it more compact. A terrific project might include training passionfruit vine up your garden gazebo.
You can experiment with using parts of this plant in your cakes, custard, ice-cream, juices, sauces, jams, jellies, dips, salads, meats, cookies, biscuits, scrubs, skin treatments, massages, teas, juices, punch, cocktails, candles, jewelry, furniture and so much more. Explore our other articles for recipe ideas and lways remember to have fun!
God bless you!

RECIPE: Spiced Mamey Sapote Punch

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail

The naseberry/sapodilla was one of my favorite fruits growing up. That warm, super-sweet flavor; the smooth texture; that fragrance reminiscent of a wildflower field on the edge of a rose apple (Syzygium jambos) orchard… all melting into your senses is just too hard to beat. Mamey sapote is another member of the Sapotaceae family that’s basically a ginormous naseberry on steroids in my opinion. The texture and flavor make it an excellent candidate for ice-cream. I’ve also created a version of what Jamaicans call "blen up" using mamey that’s simply amazing! I had to share it with you!

This recipe makes an enormous pitcher so if you’re serving a gathering of  8 or less you can use half the quantities  of ingredients specified. Whatever you do, have fun!
WHAT YOU’LL NEED:
A blender
That pitcher I was telling you about
5 pounds of Ripe Mamey sapote fruit
96 ounces of unsweetened almond milk
1 bottle of Guinness extra stout (you can use a bottle of Malta if you intend to serve to minors)
8 – 10 ounces of agave syrup – light, medium or raw are all acceptable
(You can use condensed milk if you prefer)
2 ounces of molasses
1 teaspoon of grated nutmeg
a pinch of cinnamon powder
WHAT YOU’LL DO:
Blend mamey fruit, almond milk, molasses, nutmeg and cinnamon together into a smooth puree, then pour into pitcher. Add your bottle of Guinness and stir in. Add sweetener to taste. You can chill before serving and/or pour over crushed ice to serve. I hope you enjoy! We certainly do!