A daily portion of fruit is definitely part of a healthy diet. Whether it’s as a smoothie or a salad, fruits are an important supplier of various vitamins. So it’s no surprise that Hong Kong has a vast variety of fruit on offer too. Every street market sells lots of different types, and the range is more colourful and exotic than in Germany.
Once again, the powerfood trip was very exciting and highly successful. As usual, the CARRERA powerfood expert went off the beaten track on the lookout for new discoveries. Take durian, for example: it smells diabolical, yet tastes heavenly – an interesting mix that warrants closer inspection.
Durian – eat it the wrong way and you risk a fine
Because of the unpleasant smell, you’re not allowed to transport this fruit in public enclosed spaces like trains, taxis, airplanes, hotels or restaurants. You can even be fined for eating it in public enclosed spaces.
Durian is the king of tropical fruits. In Chinese medicine, it’s described as ‘hot’. People say it quenches the ‘inner fire’ and restores the body’s natural balance. After eating it, you drink water straight from the husk.
The taste is somewhere between banana, caramel, vanilla, peach, pineapple, strawberry and almond. Durian is a real vitamin bombshell:
It’s rich in pro-vitamin A and supports good eyesight and healthy skin tone. Just 100 g contains an incredible 32 mg of vitamin A – enough for a whole month on average!
The high levels of vitamin C – 42 mg per 100 g – cover 40% of our average daily requirement (100 mg vitamin C).
Preparation: Only open this fruit outdoors! Cut it open at the seams, then remove the flesh and eat it raw, perhaps with a little sugar. It’s good for making jam with.
Rambutan, mangostan, coconut and dragon fruit
But there are other powerfood fruits to be discovered besides this smelly vitamin bombshell.
The name comes from the Indonesian word ‘Rambut’, which means hairs. The white flesh is jelly-like and tastes like grapes, litchi or peach. You can eat the stone and seeds too.
This fruit is rich in vitamin C; 100 g contains about 40% of our daily requirement:
Vitamin C is an antioxidant and protects cells from oxidative stress from free radicals
Vitamin C activates an enzyme in the liver that frees our body of toxins
The high level of minerals and fibre are good for the digestion. With practically zero fat, rambutan is suitable when dieting too.
Can be eaten raw. Use the fingers of both hands to squeeze it like a litchi until the skin bursts open. Then peel off the skin, or slurp the fruit out of the skin. You can also cut the skin with a knife.
Scientifically speaking, this is an unusual fruit that people only really noticed around ten years ago, although Asian vernacular has known it for centuries.
The nutrients in mangostan
activate the glands and organs of our body
strengthen our immune system
protect against free radicals
improve our metabolism
have a strong anti-inflammatory and painkilling effect
This fruit is also used to treat inflammation of the mucal membranes (mouth, nose, throat), gut, urinary tract and skin, as well as headaches. To apply it externally, you cover the areas concerned with the white fruit flesh. The taste is a mixture of peach, litchi and pear: sweet-and-sour, and very juicy.
Can be eaten raw. Cut horizontally and vertically down to the flesh, then break off the hard, tough skin or rind.
Pitaya or dragon fruit
Dragon fruit originated in Mexico and is currently being consumed in large quantities in Asia. The flowers grow up to 30 cm long and 25 cm in diameter, making them some of the biggest in the world. These flowers open for one night only, and emit an enchanting fragrance very reminiscent of jasmine. Pitaya contains 90 percent water. It’s low in calories, but contains plenty of power:
Iron, calcium and sulphur: iron is important for making blood, calcium and phosphorus for our bones and teeth.
Vitamins E and C: vitamin C plays a part in building connecting tissue.
The fruit helps to optimize cholesterol levels.
Excellent source of monounsaturated fats.
High in fibre (can help regulate diabetes because it stabilizes blood sugar levels by suppressing sugar spikes)
Rich in antioxidants (keep skin toned and youthful)
Can be eaten raw. Slice the dragon fruit in half lengthways, then spoon out the flesh.
Not new, but a delicious powerfruit all the same:
Boosts the metabolism and helps with weight loss
Antibacterial, combats bacteria and fungi, stabilizes cholesterol levels
The flesh can be eaten raw and is very rich in fats and nutrients
Both the flesh and the milk are rich in fibres, B-vitamins, vitamin C, calcium, amino-acids, antioxidants and electrolytes – the perfect isotonic sports drink!
Can be eaten raw. First, use a big kitchen chopper to chop off part of the upper dome if possible. Then use the blade to cut two crosses. Pour the liquid out into a glass, then split the nut open by chopping at it some more.
Our CARRERA powerfood expert’s conclusion:
Hong Kong definitely has powerfood fruits, even if they didn’t originate there. As a huge metropolitan wholesaler in the food sector, Hong Kong is a vast melting pot.
Today, countless tons of fresh fruit are sold here every day. Production is local, since the climate in Hong Kong is ideal.
If people in Hong Kong like the way something tastes, there’s a good chance it will become a global trend. But in Germany, you’ll still only find the fruits described above in selected, well-stocked Asian supermarkets.
A culinary expedition to Hong Kong is well worthwhile, and full of surprises. If you can’t go yourself, ask for the powerfruits at your favourite Asian supermarket and test the unusual powerfood recipes for yourself.
Delicious powerfood recipes with vitamin bombshells from Hong Kong
Fancy making these fruits part of your menu or beauty routine? Here are a few ideas from Hong Kong.
Puree the flesh with a little water and oil. Serve cold as a sauce or dressing.
Mangostan salad dressing:
Flesh of 5-8 mangostans
2 tsp sunflower oil (has a very neutral taste)
1-2 garlic cloves
1 pinch salt
Add a little mineral water or clear apple juice if liked
Stir all ingredients with your hand mixer to make the dressing.
Coconut vanilla milk:
Put some coconut flesh and coconut milk in the mixer. Add some spring water if liked.
Beat everything to a smooth cream at 20,000 rpm. Ideally, pour it through a sieve afterwards.
pulp of ½ a pod of of bourbon vanilla
1 tsp agave syrup
Add up to 500 ml spring water
Dragon fruit face mask:
1 dragon fruit
Juice of half a cucumber
1 tsp honey
Chill in the fridge and apply cold
The effect is similar to that of an aloe vera mask. It’s rich in vitamin B3, soothes suntanned skin, moisturizes, and draws the heat out of areas that got too much sun.
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