Not so many people will recognise these little gems called Hurnap or Hünap in Turkish. You may have heard of them, known as Jujubes, Chinese Dates or Custard Apples. They are definitely not your everyday fruit. But they do rather sound like the latest release from Haribo with a name like this, don’t they? Juju, Jujubes, Jujubeeeees!
They are currently available in the markets in Turkey and will be coming to the end of their season shortly. As of October 2018, the cost of a little basket will set you back 7tl … that’s 80 pence or 1 Euro.
They can be eaten in their green state or green / brown mottled form when they are not so sweet but they are crunchier, like a small apple. Once they turn red or deep brown they are then as sweet and softer, with the texture being between a date and an apple. I find them incredibly delicious especially after learning how good they are for you.
The wonderful thing about Jujubes is all the fabulous health benefits. They are full of nutrients.
Here is what you can expect from them:
LOADS OF REASONS TO EAT JUJUBES
Firstly they are low calorie and give a real energy boost. They will rid you of fatigue. They are also known as a natural anti depressant and are high in Vitamins C, A and Potassium. They also contain Calcium and Phosphorous which help strengthen bones and teeth.
They will ease stress and anxiety and promote digestion.
They are a natural, gently laxative. They also contain Niacin which helps pump the blood around your body more efficiently.
They can help inhibit cancerous cells especially with leukaemia. They contain an anti-oxident which shields again liver disease.
Due to them being low calorie and low fat, they are a perfect snack for fitness fanatics.
The antioxidants present make it anti-aging. Extracts from Jujubes are used for sunburn, skin dryness and redness.
WHY NOT PUT ONE IN YOUR GARDEN?
The jujube tree is very resilient to drought if you are thinking of planting one. They like a hot climate and do very well in Turkey and are becoming very popular to plant in Australia as their health benefits become more apparent.
If you have a chance to try them, I hope you will be more than pleasantly surprised. It might be necessary to taste a few too, because they vary in texture substantially from one day to the next.
One will be like an apple, another will be more like a date. Depending on their state of ripeness which is not always completley evident when squeezing them. Turks eat them green and red. All are delicious in my opinion but the riper ones are sweeter and my favourites.