Last Monday I visited a friend who lives in Ruwa. We had dinner together with other members of his family and I was delighted to have food that someone else had prepared. I enjoy other people’s cooking and I was grateful to my friend for the lovely sausage, sadza and vegetables dinner.
All things food with Edith
However, before dinner I had the chance to walk around my friend’s house and I bumped upon a granadilla vine (yes, they grow on vines, not on trees) in their garden. The granadillas were actually rotting as no one enjoyed eating them because of the rather tart taste. I don’t enjoy granadillas straight from the vine, but I have found other creative ways to savour the fruit which I will share with you today. Before I do that, let’s take a look at what the granadilla really is.
Granadilla is actually a Spanish word for the passion fruit which is mostly made into a drink by extracting the pulp and removing the seeds. But because of its tartness it is usually blended with other fruits pulp and sweeteners to bring out a sweeter juice. It is found either as a purplish fruit or yellowish when ripe. Surprisingly, the granadilla or grandera [as we call it in Shona] has a lot of health benefits which I shall elaborate on:
Boosts the immune system
The presence of Vitamin C, carotene and cryptoxanthin enable this fruit to boost one’s immune system. Food scientists say that 100g of granadilla pulp has 30% Vitamin C and this acts as an antioxidant which neutralises free radicals from the body before they cause harm to organ systems which can result in cancers and heart problems.
Granadilla contains Vitamin A, flavonoids and phenolic compounds which help fight oral and lung cancers. Vitamin A in granadillas is also known to maintain good eye health.
Helps the digestive system
Granadillas are a good source of fibre, about 100g of granadilla pulp provides the body with 98% of its daily fibre requirement. This results in heathy regular bowel movements. The fruit is also a good source of soluble fibre in both the pulp and in the rind, which acts as a laxative, moving food through the digestive tract and reducing exposure time of the colon to any toxins.
Reduces blood pressure
If you eat 100g of granadilla every day you can satisfy ¼ of your body’s potassium needs immediately. Potassium is an important mineral in the human body mostly because of its role as a vasodilator which relaxes the tension of blood vessels and promotes increased blood flow. This reduces the strain on the heart and increases overall cardiovascular health.
How about all those benefits from a not-so-popular fruit. I know you are now wondering where you can get your hands on this marvelous fruit. Granadillas are found whole in some supermarkets or tinned and sold under the canned foods sections in supermarkets. Better still why not grow your own vine and enjoy this amazing fruit whenever you feel the need to reach out for some goodness. In our climate the granadilla takes about 12 to 15 months to grow and start fruiting, so what are you waiting for.
So I harvested a basketful of these granadillas from my friend’s place and decided to make some goodness out of them. I flipped through many recipes until I found one that I enjoyed and I hope you will enjoy it too. This will become your favourite dessert in the summer. Today we are making a Lazy Woman Granadilla Tart because it is for lazy women who want to enjoy the best in life — why toil when you can still get magnificent results?
Lazy Woman Granadilla Tart
l2 packets lemon jelly
l220g granadilla pulp
l2 tins condensed milk
l2 packets Marie biscuits
l150g margarine or butter
l1 ½ cup boiling water
In a bowl, put finely crushed biscuits and add the melted margarine. Pour into a spring form baking tin and press the mixture firmly with the bottom of a waterglass. Place in fridge to firm up. In another plastic bowl, dissolve the jelly with the boiling water. Allow to cool slightly for about five minutes. Add the granadilla pulp, reserving about 50g and the condensed milk and use whisk to mix thoroughly. You can use an electric mixer if one is at hand. Pour the mixture over the firmed up biscuit base and smoothen the top. Place in the fridge and allow to set for about two hours. Before serving pour the reserved granadilla pulp on top of the tart and smoothen. You can serve this with a dollop of whipped fresh cream for extra decadence. Hope you enjoy making this tart!