Tuesday, March 1, 2011
Food Highlight: Guyabano (Soursop)
The Guyabano has long been used in the Philippines and other parts of the world as a food and medicine. With a prickly appearance on the outside, and a wonderful flavor on the inside, this "wonder fruit" is high in carbohydrates, with considerable amounts of Vitamin C, Vitamin B1, Vitamin B2, Potassium and dietary fiber. Guyabano is known to be low in cholesterol, saturated fat and sodium.
Independent clinical studies have shown that guyabano extracts are effective in killing cancer cells while leaving healthy cells intact, suggesting that it might have less adverse effects than regular chemotherapy (which kills healthy reproducing cells as well as cancer cells, which results in hair loss, fatigue, and nausea). However, for some reason, no double-blind clinical tests or trials have been executed as of yet.
Having been raised on natural remedies and the use of herbs and foods for health, I remember my father adding Guyabano to Ginataan* for a delicious dessert, or eating it fresh. With its spiky rind, its a prehistoric looking thing, which made it a fun fruit to eat. Filipinos use the leaves by boiling into a decoction that is used as a tea to help reduce fevers, leaves in a bath help with reducing fever or used in a hot foot soak to relieve foot swelling and pain. Crushed leaves can be applied as a type of compress for rheumatism or skin afflictions such a eczema.
The seeds, by the way, can be crushed and boiled to make a natural bedbugs and mites killer. Just spray onto linens and let dry, then wash the linens. Spray liberally onto mattresses, being sure to spray into the box spring as well. No odors or harmful residues like chemical insecticides.
Medicinal and home uses aside....give Soursop a try. Try it in a refreshing blended bubble tea, Ginataan* (yum!), or even in fried Guyababo (yes, I know fried *anything* can be bad for you, but a little treat every now and then wouldn't hurt, right?)
Fried Guyabano--easy to make!
--Peel Guyabano, slice into pieces and discard the seeds (or use for the bedbugs/mites spray)
-- Dip the pieces in beaten egg & water mixture then dip into flour (some people add cinnamon).
-- Fry in light oil on both sides till brown. Some people like to sprinkle a bit of cinnamon or brown sugar on top, or serve with a splash of honey.
I hope you like Guyabano/soursop!
*Ginataan: Typically a thick dessert "soup" made with thick coconut milk, taro, jackfruit, sweet potato and tapioca pearls. Other fruits are added to taste. Great served hot on cool days, or served cold with a splash of sweet evaporated milk on hot days. Ginataan is also a word sometimes referred to *anything* cooked in coconut milk.