Sunday, September 18, 2011

What is passion fruit?

Maracuya is a fruit with a variety of external color of skins
and internal varieties of seeds and flavors.
If you have ever watched Jeopardy on TV, you know that every answer has to be given as if it is a question. So if Alex Trebek was asking you, under the Letter M, for $200, "Tell me the other name for maracuyá?" I hope you all are smart enough to say, "What is passion fruit?" But I certainly would not qualify, because I did not know much about this fruit until I came to Colombia. Averaging in size from a typical orange to a slightly larger than normal avocado, the fruit is truly ripe when the skin becomes slightly wrinkled.

Once you cut open the fruit, you can see the seed pods,
filled with juice. It's kinda slimy, but they slide right off
and out of the inside and into a bowl,
The fruit holds quite a bit of water and almost 1/3 of its weight is water weight. It is a good fruit juice to drink for healthy hair, skin, eyesight and for the immune system since it is rich in vitamins and minerals: potassium, phosphorus and magnesium, Vit C, pro-vitamin A and beta carotenes. It is also low in calories and great for constipation because it has a high-fiber content as well. It's a good juice to drink if you've had a bout of diarrhea or stomach upset to replace electrolytes.
The inside of the fruit after the seeds have been removed
looks like something used for packing... it did. It kept
the seeds from bouncing around and damaging the juice.
In order to make the juice (jugo in espanol), you have to break the juice out from the seeds without breaking up the seeds because breaking them makes the juice bitter. Some of the juice will be yellowish and some of the juice is more orange in color, depending on the type of fruit used. Most of the fruits I find here tend to have yellowish to green skins with orange colored juice.

Once the seeds have been separated from the juice, it is
advisable to put them into a colander and get all the juice.
Other claimed or reported benefits of this strange, but aptly named, fruit are: to reduce depression and anxiety, a pain reliever, reduces inflammation, enhances the libido, and is good for urinary tract infections. The indigenous peoples use the leaves as a tranquilizer and the juice for a heart tonic and to calm coughs. It is on a level of sub-acid to acid (about the same as cranberry juice) and apparently there are over 200 varieties, but mostly the yellow version is grown in Colombia. I have friends who have small trees growing in their yards here in Barichara.

After collecting the juice - about three of the fruits will generate about three small glasses of juice - and in most cases you will want to add water plus a sweetener. I like to use Stevia powder or liquid. The flavor is nice, hard to describe, but it is refreshing. I make ice cubes of the juice and then add them to iced tea.  Hope you will be able to find passion fruit where you are and can try this different kind of 'orange juice.'


  1. Hi there! I THINK we have some of those on the property. Do they produce gorgeous purple flowers? The next time I see one, I'll cut it open. Great post, baby!

  2. I have a question,do these passion fruit has a health benefit in terms of gallbladder problems?
    Well this is a good web page...Hope it will produce more information about this and related in medicinal properties. have a nice day!!!