Sweet granadilla (Passiflora ligularis), is a tropical fruit that is similar to, but distinct from, the more common passion fruit (Passiflora edulis). It is native to South America and is known for its sweet and aromatic flesh filled with seeds. Sweet granadilla has a unique, jelly-like texture and a sweet-tart flavor that many people find delightful. In this article, we will review its beneficial effects and see how to eat it.
What is sweet granadilla
Sweet granadilla is one of the tastiest tropical fruits. Its flavor resembles that of pomegranate and it is rich in important nutritional principles. This fruit can be enjoyed plain, to appreciate all its intense flavor, or it can become an interesting ingredient for preparing cocktails and desserts that evoke exotic countries.
It is the fruit of Passiflora ligularis, a herbaceous plant belonging to the Passifloraceae family that grows in the tropical areas of South America.
- Appearance: sweet granadilla looks like a round fruit with an intense aroma and the size of a peach. Its rind is hard and yellow to orange in colour and its seeds are covered with a gelatinous layer and its flavor is sweet with a strong acidic aftertaste.
- Origins: it is a plant native to the Andean region in the area between Bolivia and Venezuela. This variety of passion flower also grows in other subtropical regions and with due care it can be grown in areas characterized by a Mediterranean or temperate climate
Nutritional values of sweet granadilla
This fruit is an ally of well-being thanks to its being rich in vitamins, minerals and other important nutrients for maintaining a perfect psycho-physical balance.
This fruit consists of:
- water 73%
- sugars 11%
- dietary fiber 10%
- fat 2%
- proteins 1%
And in a smaller percentage from other important nutritional principles such as:
- minerals such as iron, potassium, calcium, phosphorus, sodium and zinc
- vitamin A
- B vitamins and in particular vitamin B1, B2, B3 and B6
- vitamin C, vitamin E and vitamin K
Benefits of granadilla
Consuming on a regular basis can have multiple beneficial effects on both the body and the mind.
Thanks to its notable fiber and pectin content, this fruit can help those who suffer from constipation problems and promotes a sense of satiety, a useful feature for those following a low-calorie diet.
At the same time it is very rich in iron, important for preventing frequent anemia problems especially in young women who have a very heavy menstrual cycle or during pregnancy.
Its notable vitamin C content, as well as promoting the absorption of iron, positively stimulates the immune system, therefore, this fruit can become an important ally in fighting colds and flu.
The high percentage of natural antioxidants prevents the aging of the skin and cells by counteracting the action of free radicals.
Constant consumption helps to lower cholesterol levels in the blood, preventing pathologies affecting the cardiovascular system.
Sweet granadilla is also low in calories, making it a healthy option for those watching their calorie intake.
This fruit has relaxing and calming properties that positively impact problems related to anxiety and can help fight insomnia by promoting sleep.
Sweet granadilla Vs Passion Fruit: what’s the difference?
Sweet granadilla and passion fruit are often confused due to their similar appearance and taste, but they are distinct fruits with some notable differences.
- Botanical Varieties: Sweet Granadilla is the name of Passiflora ligularis, while passion fruit is Passiflora edulis. These are different species within the Passiflora genus.
- Appearance: Sweet granadilla typically has smooth, orange-yellow or orange skin when ripe. In contrast, passion fruit has a tougher, wrinkled, and purplish or yellow skin, depending on the variety.
- Flavor and Texture: Granadilla is known for its sweet and aromatic taste, with a jelly-like pulp containing many seeds. Its flavor more similarities with that of the pomegranate. Passion fruit has a more tart and intense flavor, and its pulp is also filled with crunchy seeds.
- Culinary Uses: Both fruits are used in various culinary applications, such as juices, desserts, and jams. However, passion fruit is often preferred for its tartness in beverages, while granadilla is prized for its sweetness in desserts.
- Growing Regions: They are cultivated in different regions worldwide. Granadilla is more commonly found in South America and parts of Asia, while passion fruit is widespread and widely cultivated globally.
In summary, sweet granadilla is sweeter and smoother, while passion fruit is more tart and has a more intense flavor.
How to eat sweet granadilla?
This tropical fruit can be eaten natural, but can also lend itself to becoming a perfect ingredient for cocktails, creams and yogurt.
You can taste its pulp by taking it directly with a teaspoon from the shell cut in half.
The blended pulp can also be used to give an exotic flavor to smoothies and shakes, to prepare sauces to accompany a dessert and to flavor a low-fat yogurt.
How to store granadilla
Sweet granadilla is protected by a rather thick skin, which in consistency resembles that of a pomegranate and for this reason it keeps quite well for long periods. If placed in cool places and away from light, this fruit can last for 2 to 3 days, while in the refrigerator it can be stored for about ten days.
It is also possible to freeze its pulp and store it in the freezer in a hermetically sealed bag.
Where to find Sweet Granadilla?
Sweet granadilla is not as widely available as some other tropical fruits in the United States and in Europe, but you may find it in specialty or international grocery stores, especially in areas with diverse culinary offerings. Availability can vary depending on the region and the time of year. If you’re interested in trying granadilla, it’s worth checking with local markets, particularly those that cater to international or Latin American cuisine, and exploring farmers’ markets where exotic fruits may occasionally be sold.
This plant can be grown both to harvest its fruits and for ornamental purposes, as its flowers are characterized by beautiful bright colors and a very scenic appearance.
It needs temperatures between 18° and 27° C / 64° and 80° F in summer and not lower than 5° C / 41° F in winter. If you wish to grow this variety of passionflower, the advice is to place it in an unventilated area, where it can fully enjoy the light and heat of the sun.
It must be watered often, especially during the summer, while in winter it must be watered sparingly and it is necessary to avoid any possible water stagnation.
To grow it, also choose a mixture of peat, fertile soil and sand. During the spring season, fertilize it weekly with a preparation based on potassium and a minimum quantity of nitrogen.
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