Hello Cocinacas! Today we want to introduce you to an exotic fruit called Physalis. It is still not very well known in Spain but during its seasonal months (from August to November) it can be found in the markets. We want you to know it because it is a fruit that stands out for its nutritional and healing properties, in addition to its exquisite flavor.
Through our food section we like to help you discover which ones are best suited to your diet, based on their properties and health benefits. In addition, we encourage you to fruits and vegetables what do you buy be seasonal and organic. So you will enjoy your flavor, their properties and you will contribute to reduce pollution generated by its transport. You may not know it, but tropical fruits such as papaya are grown in Spain, specifically in the Canary Islands, Malaga, Granada, Almería and Murcia. So it is also interesting to look at the origin of the products before you buy them.
The same goes for physalis. Also know as alquejenje or cape gooseberry, is a fruit whose origin is found in the warm areas of South America. It arrived in Europe after the discovery of America and currently the countries in which it is grown are mainly South Africa, Colombia, Peru and Spain (Galicia and Asturias).
Its appearance and size are similar to the cherry tomato although, unlike the previous one, this fruit comes wrapped in a capsule as a membrane, similar to paper, whose function is to protect the fruit against pests, insects and inclement weather. Ripe fruits are of yellow color and its flavor is bittersweet, because they contain an acid juice like that of the grape.
As we will see below, in addition to being a very beautiful fruit, it has excellent properties and benefits, as well as being a very versatile fruit in the kitchen.
Physalis properties and health benefits
The first known written references to physalis are found in old medieval medicine texts, since with it they obtained a special wine used as a diuretic and laxative.
To this day, among its properties are the diuretic, so it is recommended to take this fruit at people who usually suffer from any type of urinary inflammation and fluid retention. What’s more, It favors the treatment of people with prostate problems and is used against intestinal parasites.
It is also worth noting its high content in vitamins A, B and C, as well as its high contribution of calcium and iron. Vitamin A helps maintain proper eye health, rebuilds and fortifies the optic nerve, and is effective in treating cataracts. This complex also helps prevent degenerative diseases. While vitamin B makes the nervous system work properly.
Other benefits attributed to physalis is that it purifies the blood due to its excellent antioxidants. It helps, not only to activate collagen, but also to the proper functioning of the immune system. And it is taken as a natural tranquilizer for its content of flavonoids. These relieve premenstrual symptoms and menopausal symptoms.
Last but not least, physalis is considered a fruit low calorie, which makes it suitable for weight loss treatments. Too improves blood glucose of diabetics because it contains a substance that helps in the absorption of glucose and accelerates the uric acid excretion, which prevents problems such as gout.
Uses in the kitchen of this exotic fruit
Being considered as an exotic fruit, it can be consumed alone, What ingredient in various elaborations or even as decor in cocktails, cakes or meat and fish dishes.
In many countries it is used to make jams, marmalades, jellies and sauces due to its high pectin content. And it can also be used in desserts, to prepare ice cream, yogurt, glazes and chutneys, as well as in juice and in syrup.
Our last recommendation is that, if you like the contrast of flavors, try the physalis by dipping it in hot chocolate. It will surprise you.
Tell us through the comments if you have ever tried this fruit or if you have ever seen it in the market but have not dared to buy it due to ignorance. If this is the case, we encourage you to buy a few of these round fruits next time to try them and enjoy cooking with them.
We hope you like them as much as we do and that you try to include this fruit in your diet, so that you can feel the benefits it will bring to your health. And remember that your season in Spain is only concentrated during the autumn months. You are still on time.