While the origin of the Passion Fruit plant is unknown, it is generally believed to be native to Brazil. Today, about 400 years later, passion fruit is grown nearly everywhere in the tropical belt but known by a variety of different names. Its common name is Maracujá in Brazil, Parcha in Venezuela, Lilikoi in Hawaii, and Chinola or Parchita in Puerto Rico.
Passion fruit is a member of the Passiflora and grows on a climbing-plant up to 15 to 20 feet with a lifespan of only 7-10 years.
Over five hundred cultivate types exist; however, two main types purple and yellow passion fruits are widely cultivated. Some are sweeter than others, some are the size of a egg and some are three times as large. The skin is leathery and purple or yellow. The fruit contains a yellow, jelly-like pulp with a scattering of black edible seeds.
Yellow passions are generally larger than the purple varieties, but the pulp of the purple fruit is less acid, richer in aroma and flavor, and has a higher proportion of juicy pulp.
The pulp of the fruit has a distinct aroma and has a slightly sweet taste. In tropical countries, passion fruit is primarily used for juicing. Apart from its pleasant taste and appearance, the fruit is known for its various health benefits.
Passion fruit is high in minerals, including iron, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, copper, and is also high in vitamins, containing vitamin A, C, B2, B3, B6 and folate.
It also contains a high amount of antioxidants which protect from cancer, ageing and inflammation. It contains a high amount of fiber which is effective to improve digestion. Here are some additional health benefits of the passion fruit.
- Balances the blood sugar or blood glucose
- Collaborate to strengthen the body’s bones
- Helps fight free radicals
- Helps Lose Weight
- Helps maintain healthy sight
- Helps prevent and treat constipation
- Helps prevent cancer
- Helps prevent cardiovascular disease
- Helps reduce bad cholesterol
- Helps you sleep because it has soothing qualities
- Improves digestion
- Prevents anemia
- Prevents respiratory diseases
- Promotes tissue repair
- Reduces the risk of degenerative diseases
- Relieves asthma symptoms
SELECTION AND STORAGE
Passion fruits are available year around in the super-markets in the United States. In other parts of the world, their availability is seasonal and varies.
In the stores, buy fruits that are ripe, plump and heavy for their size. Fruits with wrinkle surface are actually more flavorful and richer in sugar.
Avoid overtly mature fruits. Minor cuts and spots are common on the skin. Such small abrasions on the fruit surface usually do not influence the quality of the fruit.
Ripen passion fruit at room temperature. Refrigerate ripened passion fruit in a plastic bag up to 1 week. In addition, passion fruit freezes well. Simply scoop the pulp into a bowl, and freeze in the chillier tray.
HOW TO PREPARE AND ENJOY
Wash fruit in cold water, and pat-dry them using a soft cloth or paper. Cut the fruit lengthwise in to two equal halves. Then, scoop out the juicy pulp with a spoon. Discard the tough shell.
Passion fruit can be enjoyed fresh, in fruit salads, with yogurt, in smoothies and juices.
And are also employed in various recipes like passion fruit mousse, ice-cream, desserts, cakes, custards, soufflés and many other ways.
Here is a delicious – Mango Passion Fruit Smoothie – Recipe
- 1 cup mango
- 1/2 cup passion fruit innards (the inside of the passion fruit should scoop out – include the seeds!
- 1 cup freshly squeezed orange juice
- Water from 1 young fresh Thai coconut (Use organic juice in container, if fresh is not available)
- 1 tsp. fresh vanilla bean (or 1 tsp. fresh raw vanilla powder)
Blend in a high speed blender and serve! You can enjoy the flavor and health benefits of this delicious smoothie any time of the day!
If you get a chance also enjoy the beautiful flower that this vine produces.