Time to talk about one of my all-time favorite and more expensive trees, the Jujube fruit, also known as the Chinese Date tree.
The Jujube fruit is one of those fruits that not a whole lot of westerners know about, but they should! I love learning about new and exotic fruits. I first heard about these in 2017 and am glad that I did. It is another amazing fruit tree that grows well in places like Phoenix.
In this article, you will learn all bout the jujube fruit or Chinese date, where it comes from and grows, what the nutritional benefits are, how to eat it, and what it tastes like. Let’s get started!
Where does the Jujube fruit or Chinese date come from and where does it grow?
The Ziziphus jujuba, more commonly called the Jujube, Chinese date, red date, or Chinese jujube, is said to have originated in South Asia particularly China or between Lebanon, northern India, and China, hence the name Chinese date. There are quite a few cultivars on estimate puts it at over 400 over the past several thousand years.
Yes, this fruit has been around for a very long time. They are commonly cultivated in Beijing and other varieties are spread throughout Asia and Africa. The jujube fruit is also cultivated in Madagascar, parts of South-Eastern Europe, Bulgaria.
These are not to be confused with the related Indian jujube. It is also cultivated in parts of California. However, home gardeners can grow it in Arizona, Texas, and most southern States. They are drought tolerant and fairly easy to manage and grow.
Above is a picture of my Jujube fruit tree that I used to have growing in a pot on my patio in Phoenix. After my parents moved to Arizona, I planted it in their backyard where it is doing very well.
The more common varieties are the Li, Lang, Sherwood, So, Shui Men, GA 8dd, and the Silverhill. At my local nursery that specializes in exotics I normally only see the Li and Lang varieties of trees for sale. And they are normally around $60 to $80 for a pretty small sapling.
What are the nutritional benefits for the Chinese Date?
The jujube fruit is loaded with nutritional benefits, some of those include the following:
- May improve sleep
- May decrease anxiety
- Low in calories
- Rich in fiber
- 1g of protein for every three fruit
- High in vitamin C
- Moderate amount of potassium
- Rich in antioxidants
- May boost immunity
Because of the high fiber and low calories, this makes an excellent snack throughout the day. For more health information about this amazing fruit, visit healthline.com.
How to eat Jujube fruit?
One thing I find pretty amazing about the Jujube fruit is that you can eat it at different stages of ripeness. You can eat them when they are green. You can eat them with they are yellow/pale. And most commonly you can eat them when they are dark red and shriveled.
You can pop the whole thing in your mouth and chew, but be careful there is a pit inside. Or just take small bites out of it and eat around the pit.
When they are green they will be crunchy like an apple. When they are red and shriveled they will be chewier like a date.
You can eat them fresh or they are also commonly candied. Other uses include putting it in a tea and used in other recipes, like cakes, marmalades, and juices.
There are several uses for this amazing fruit, and they vary depending on the region of the world.
If you would like to try some Jujube fruit, most likely here in the United States you can find them at your local Asian/International market. When I have seen them, they were the dried red kind, not the fresh ones.
Also, I want to point out, you do not remove the skin, you eat it.
What does Jujube fruit or Chinese dates taste like?
Now I bet you are wondering what they taste like? They taste a little different depending on what stage you eat them at. The green/yellow ones are crisp like an apple and mildly sweet sometimes tart with an apple flavor.
The red dried ones are much sweeter, and taste kind of like dates. They are chewy with a bit of a spongelike texture as well and have a syrupy flavor to them but not quite like the caramel flavor of dates.
I hope you liked learning about this amazing Jujube Fruit or Chinese Date. More westerners need to know about this awesome fruit.
Drop a comment down below and let me know if you have ever tried them. Enjoy!
Watch the video I made about the Jujube fruit!
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