Jujubes in the United States?

by Kevin Liu

Jujubes, otherwise known as Chinese dates, have been grown across the U.S. for over 175 years, with different varieties spread across Pennsylvania, California, and other regions. While its sweetness may differs slightly based on the variety, there is no disputing their status as a healthy, quick snack. With just a quick rinse of water, these fruits are completely edible, save for the pit.[1]

Why are they an amazing superfruit?

In addition to being easy to prepare in a variety of ways, jujubes are low in calories and fat. While jujubes contain over 15 vitamins and minerals, it is most well-known for containing high amounts of vitamin C, antioxidants, and fiber.

Can You See the Vitamin C?

Vitamin C, your immune system, and the Vitamin-C-rich are just peas in a pod! One serving of about 3 jujubees has 77% of the daily recommended amount of Vitamin C [2]. Outside of your immune system, it also prevents wrinkles in your skin [3].

Antioxidants – From Flavonoids to Polysaccharides

The antioxidants in jujube fruits critically counteract free radicals, which are molecules that disrupt the DNA in our cells through a chemical process called oxidation [4]. By preventing oxidation in our cells (hence its name), the antioxidants in jujubes protect us from various diseases like type 2 diabetes, heart disease, breast cancer, etc. [5]. Vitamin C is also an antioxidant, but jujube fruits also contain other antioxidants such as flavonoids, which are also found in blueberries [6].

A Healthy Stomach Feeds on Fiber

Fruits with high fiber content helps relieve constipation and keep you full for longer; just one serving has 6 of the recommended 25-35 grams of fiber recommended daily [7]. In addition to helping general digestive processes, jujube lignins are a type of fiber with antioxidant properties that promotes the production of immune cells [8].

Where does it stand relative to other fruits?

Jujubes aren’t the only dates on Leprendo; check out medjool dates, the “fruit of kings.” Both jujubes and medjool dates are convenient, healthy snacks, but differ most drastically in sugar content (27 grams in one serving of 2 medjool dates to 0 grams in one serving of 10 jujubes) [9]. Because of its high sugar content, medjool dates can be a healthy energy booster when eaten in moderation. However, the sugar content for jujubes can vary; when dried, sugar is concentrated, so both fruits should be eaten in moderation [10].

[1] https://crfg.org/wiki/fruit/jujube/

[2] https://www.webmd.com/diet/are-there-health-benefits-of-jujube-fruit

[3] https://www.medindia.net/dietandnutrition/top-12-health-benefits-of-jujube-fruit.htm

[4] https://theconversation.com/what-are-antioxidants-and-are-they-truly-good-for-us-86062#:

[5] https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/jujube#nutrition

[6] https://www.webmd.com/diet/foods-high-in-flavonoids#1

[7] https://www.webmd.com/diet/are-there-health-benefits-of-jujube-fruit

[8] https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/jujube#benefits

[9] https://leprendo.com/blog/a-date-with-the-medjool-dates/

[10] https://www.webmd.com/diet/medjool-dates-health-benefits#

A Date with the Medjool (Dates)

by Kevin Liu

Every type of date could turn out the same, but that’s not the case for medjool dates—the caramel-sweet, fiber-rich fruit, not the kind at a nice cafe or restaurant. 

They’re the only dates known as the “fruit of kings,” owing to their high nutritional value of nutrients like potassium and fiber. And you don’t even have to eat a lot; in fact, WebMD recommends a serving size of just two medjool dates for a research-proven energy boost! While medjool dates have a lot of sugar (27 grams per serving), their high fiber content (3 grams per serving) helps you stay fuller for longer, so you’re not craving sugary snacks one after the other. 

And speaking of restaurants, and by extension, kitchens, the high sugar content of these dates makes them a great alternative to sugar. Chopping them up and adding them to a dish can add a sweet, caramel flavor to oatmeal, salads and more. Alternatively, you could blend them into a paste for sweetening up early morning lattes, pastries in the afternoon, and hot chocolate at night.

With such versatility, why not buy some medjool dates; especially when they’re so conveniently right here?

Visit Medjool Days to get some dates of your own!

Edible Bird's Nests: Saliva in my Soup?

by Kevin Liu

If you could imagine eating a bird’s nest, you would probably gag from trying to stomach down some leaves, twigs, and whatever the bird fancied at the time. But in some Asian cultures, that bird’s nest is not a collection of twigs and leaves; it’s a delicacy made of the solidified saliva of species of swiftlets, a bird native to Southeast Asia.

For reference on what a bird’s nest looks like, see these pictures.

To understand where the idea of eating a bird’s nest came from, some may reference this famous Chinese myth. During the Ming Dynasty (1386-1644 AD), famed Chinese admiral Zheng He was supposedly shipwrecked, and his sailors had found these nests while scavenging for food. He ordered his sailors to clean and cook them, and his sailors were so full of vitality that he reported his findings to the emperor. From there emerged the tales of bird’s nests medicinal properties, garnering a reputation for boosting immune systems and helping one maintain youth.

Digging into its reputation, edible bird’s nests have recently been studied by researchers to verify its supposed medicinal properties. In 2006, researchers from Japan concluded that edible bird’s nests are a “safe and valid natural source for the prevention of influenza [flu] viruses,” and researchers from Malaysia and California later confirmed upon in 2017.

However, this rare ingredient is not easily acquired; the swiftlets that make these naturally live in dark caves, making their harvest difficult and often dangerous. However, companies such as Yến Sào Xẻo Lá in Ho Chi Minh City have built their own aviaries to meet the demand, as conventional harvesting in the wild has depleted the supply of edible bird’s nests.

Edible bird’s nests today are most commonly used in bird’s nest soups, though they can be used in other dishes such as congee or added to desserts such as egg tarts.

For reference on dishes with bird’s nest, see Steamy Kitchen’s Chinese Bird’s Nest Soup.

Due to a combination of both high demand and limited supply, bird’s nest have continued to be a luxury food in the modern era. According to Insider, bird’s nests typically retail for $3,500 per kilogram depending on quality, comparable to CaviarPassion’s prices of various types of caviar available for purchase online ranging from about 1,656€ ($1,600) to 4.300€ ($4,200). This is why it’s often nicknamed “the Caviar of the East.” A box of bird’s nest as featured on our website retails for $474.99 for 100 grams, and its quality is guaranteed by Yến Sào Xẻo Lá.

To purchase edible bird’s nest from Yến Sào Xẻo Lá, see this link.


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