The loquat is a species of flowering plant in the family Rosaceae, a native to the cooler hill regions of China to south-central China. The fruit is also common in Japan, Korea, the hilly regions of India, northern areas of Pakistan and northern parts of the Philippines. Take a look below for 25 more interesting and fascinating facts about loquat.
Loquat is a large evergreen shrub or tree, grown commercially for its yellow fruit, and also cultivated as an ornamental plant. The loquat fruit begins to ripen during spring to summer depending on the temperature of the area. The leaves of the loquat tree are alternate, simple, 10 to 25 centimeters, or 4 to 10 inches, long, dark green, tough and leathery in texture. Loquats are unusual among fruit trees in that the flowers appear in the autumn or early winter, and the fruits are ripe at any time from early spring to early summer.
Loquat flowers are 2 centimeters, or 1 inch, in diameter, white, with five petals and are produced in stiff panicles of 3 to 10 flowers. Loquats grow in clusters, are oval, rounded or pear shape, 3 to 5 centimeters, or 1 to 2 inches, long, with a smooth or downy, yellow or orange, sometimes red-blushed skin. Loquats are sweetest when soft and orange. The flavor is a mixture of peach, citrus and mild mango.
The loquat is originally from China where related species can be found growing in the wild. The fruit was introduced into Japan and became naturalized there in very early times. Loquat has been cultivated in Japan for over 1, years. Loquat has often been mentioned in ancient Chinese literature, such as the poems of Li Bai. The fruit propagates through seed and grafting. The plant starts to produce fruit 8 to 10 years after planting. It can also be consumed fresh or in the forms of pies, jellies, jams, marmalades and syrups.
Loquat is used for the manufacture of plum wine, while dried leaves of loquat can be used for the preparation of herbal tea. Unlike the fruit, loquat seeds contain cyanogenic glycosides, which is a group of toxic compounds, that can induce milk intoxication after consumption.Our loquat harvest was incredibly small last summer, and something special seemed to be required. Liqueur making takes patience and it felt a long way from summer when I finally bottled the loquat liqueur this chilly morning.
The flavor is subtle, but sweet and well-rounded.
Read on for my original recipe and notes. Store in a cool, dark place, and continue to shake occasionally over 6 months. After 6 months, secure cheesecloth to a container, and strain liqueur through cheesecloth. Allow fruit solids to sit in cheesecloth overnight. In my original recipe, I used a medium handful of green coriander sprigs cilantro plants gone to seed, before seed dries.
You can leave out the coriander, or substitute a different spice or herb. Obviously, you can adjust the quantity of shochu and sugar, depending on how much loquat fruit you have on hand. When I first started making liqueurs, I aimed for a ratio of fruit to sugar by weight. I then add alcohol to fill whatever jar I am using. Be sure the lid to the jar has a good seal.
You can use cheesecloth or any similar type of cloth or bag to strain the finished liqueur. The tighter the weave, the better: this helps strain out the sediment. I let my liqueurs steep for six months. When I made my very first plum liqueurthe recipe called for six months. The results were awesome. They have a very subtle flavor, and the timing allows for maximum flavor extraction.
Loquats and coriander after six months in shochu. We usually discard the fruit after straining. We make lots of other yummy home alcohols, and you can too! This sounds fantastic! Ooh, dried loquats! Do you leave the skins on when you dry them? We have had fun playing around with herbs in our liqueurs. Sorry to take so long to reply — I only just now saw your response, for some reason! Apples and persimmons are two examples.
Hi Carol—Apologies for not responding sooner. We never refrigerate our liqueurs, and I think the alcohol does a good job of preserving them. This is great! We have a bumper crop right now so I guess I know what I will be doing this weekend.
Thank you so much! Enjoy, Keri! I have made loquat sauce like applesauce by simply blanching gently for a minute or twocoolingremoving seeds and puree in blender.
Then freezer. It works well with other fruit added to it since the loquat does not have strong flavor. I love the liquer idea. Do you think the discarded fruit from the liquer process could be used for a sauce?
Do you seal your jars using canning methods boiling, pressure-sealing?All rights reserved. Part of the Whirlpool Corp.
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Evidence shows that our early ancestors actively dried food as early as 12, B. Here is a timeline about the history of food preservation. This was thousands of years before the invention of electricity, leave alone the modern-day dehydrators.
For those who live off the grid, I also have a few techniques of how to dry food without electricity. An oven is a common appliance in most homes. You only need to know how to play with the temperature and time settings. Mind you, if you are yet to eat dehydrated foods, your oven will offer a great way to experiment and let you decide whether to invest in a dehydrator or not.
The next step is to prepare your oven for the task. This should do for most foods. If you are not planning to dehydrate lots of food at once, then your toaster oven should do just fine. I also find it more reliable since most of them have much lower temperature settings than regular ovens.
We all know that this appliance works by sealing in the moisture content which is quite the opposite of dehydrating. But with a few tricks, you can dry your apples and herbs in no time. Instead use a dehydrator machine for jerky. This method requires foods that dehydrate quickly such as apples and herbs. This is one of the oldest methods. It works best for meat although vegetables and fruits can also be dried by placing them on the ground near the fire.
Do you live in a dry area that gets quite hot? Simply look for a good spot free of bugs and pests. Ideally, this spot should have a good airflow and should reach temperatures of F during the day. To keep the bugs out, simply use a net to create a bag. This method works best for flowers, small fruits such as cranberries, and leafy items. Besides taking you where you need to be, you could use your vehicle as a dehydrator.
Vehicles tend to build up a lot of heat when parked in the sun. They also get quite warm even in winter thereby making them ideal for dehydrating food throughout the year.
To do this, you could run several strings through the windows by hanging a small weight on either side. It might take a day or two for the food to dry completely depending on how hot the inside of your car gets. For those who live in extremely sunny areas, you could simply place your food in trays and put them on the top of the car.
A light cloth or a net could be used to keep the pests out. Black tarp and trash bins accumulate a lot of heat when spread on the ground in the sun. This helps in creating a perfect drying zone for a variety of foods. Your food will need some form of protection from flies and other bugs. Spreading a net or light cloth on top might help.
A food dehydrator works by creating heat using a heating element. The heat is then circulated across the food to remove moisture by a fan.Freezing Loquats Loquats Preparation - Select firm, ripe loquats. Wash, remove stem, blossom end and seeds. Syrup Pack - Pack into containers and cover with a 30 percent syrup. Leave headspace. Seal and freeze.
A larger proportion of corn syrup may be used if a very bland, light-colored typed is selected. To make the syrup, dissolve sugar in lukewarm water, mixing until the solution is clear. Chill syrup before using. To keep fruit under the syrup, place a small piece of crumpled parchment paper or other water-resistant wrapping material on top, and press fruit down into the syrup before sealing the container.
The dry pack is good for small whole fruits such as berries, that give a good quality product without sugar. Simply pack the fruit into a container, seal and freeze. A tray pack is an alternative that may make the fruit easier to remove from the container.
Simply spread a single layer of prepared fruit on shallow trays and freeze. When frozen, promptly package and return to the freezer. The fruit pieces remain loose and can be poured from the container and the package re-closed. Be sure to package the fruit as soon as it is frozen, to prevent freezer burn. In addition to a dry pack, unsweetened fruit can be packed in water, unsweetened juice or pectin syrup.
Unsweetened packs generally yield a product that does not have the plump texture and good color of those packed with sugar. The fruits freeze harder and take longer to thaw. However, some fruits such as raspberries, blueberries, steamed apples, gooseberries, currants, cranberries, rhubarb and figs give a good quality product without sugar. The pectin syrup is often used for fruits such as strawberries or peaches, that retain their texture better than if frozen in water or juice. Revised by Elizabeth L.
Harrison, Ph. Freezing Loquats The definitive website on homesteading and self sufficiency. The Home Stores. Loquats Preparation - Select firm, ripe loquats.May 3, References. This article was co-authored by our trained team of editors and researchers who validated it for accuracy and comprehensiveness.
There are 16 references cited in this article, which can be found at the bottom of the page. This article has been viewed 16, times. Learn more With a flavor similar to peaches, apricots, and mangoes, loquats are versatile enough to be put to many different culinary uses. To open a loquat, simply cut it down the middle, pry it open, and remove the seeds.
Once that's done, you can enjoy the fruit on its own or use it in any number of tasty recipes. Every day at wikiHow, we work hard to give you access to instructions and information that will help you live a better life, whether it's keeping you safer, healthier, or improving your well-being.
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How to Make Loquat Liqueur
Wash the loquat under a stream of cool water. While rinsing the fruit, use your fingertips to gently brush off any dirt or debris clinging to the skin. Once it's nice and clean, shake off the excess water or pat it dry with a paper towel.Image Source. Living in a part of the world where loquat is grown, I was more familiar with loquat as a tasty, juicy fruit than with the medicinal properties of its leaves. However, a little research tells me that we should not be so quick to dismiss the other parts of the tree and that we can make plenty of use of its leaves which have a variety of proven benefits for your health.
The tree which bears the delicious loquat fruit is an evergreen native to China and Japan but now grown in many parts of South East Asia. The fruit is eaten alone either fresh or dried but is also used to make delicious jams. While many people will be familiar with the fruit, fewer are aware of the many benefits that can be taken from its leaves.
The Japanese, in particular, use the leaves to make a healthful tea while it is also possible to make healing ointments and poultices from the crushed and ground leaves before applying it to treat minor wounds.
Both the loquat fruit and its leaves contain a rich variety of important vitamins and other nutrients. These include pectin, potassium, iron, and fiber as well as vitamins A and C. This diverse array of vital nutrients is excellent for general health purposes but loquat leaves also confer certain specific health benefits that we will look at in detail below.
Loquat leaves have been fairly well studied over recent years and research has revealed that many of its health benefits are related to its powerful antioxidant capacity. By now, most people are aware of the importance of getting as many natural antioxidants into our system as possible in order to prevent the free radical damage that wreaks havoc on our health and leads to serious illness.
As well as their antioxidant activity, loquat leaves contain triterpenoid acid which can help reduce swelling and redness on the skin. The benefits of the loquat leaf include the following:. One of the most significant findings regarding loquat leaves is that it might help the body to combat diabetes. It has anti-diabetic potential because the leaves produce chemicals known as triterpenes including an acid called tormentic acid.
In addition, the Chinese Government has approved the use of loquat leaves to support blood-sugar levels because they help produce polysaccharides which are known to stimulate the production of insulin in the pancreas. Sometimes your liver gets overloaded with work and needs help in order to perform its important functions as well as possible.
Loquat leaves can help because they contain an antioxidant compound called Amygdalin which can support the liver and help it function better. In addition, research shows that loquat leaves are a rich source of plant sterols linoleic acids which help the liver perform properly. One of the traditional uses of loquat leaves was as a natural remedy for a variety of respiratory problems including congestion, coughing, allergic reaction and lung irritation. Recent scientific research has gone some way to confirming that this historical use had merit.
A study published in found that when rats were fed with loquat leaf they experienced a slower allergic reaction than those not given the leaf. Other experiments on animals have found that loquat leaf had a natural anti-histamine effect and reduced sneezing. Another study published in the same year found that loquat leaves helped reduce redness and inflammation by disrupting the communication of the swelling response after cells have detected an allergen.
Drinking a nice soothing cup of loquat leaf tea also has an expectorant effect which means it helps loosen mucus and relieve congestion helping you to breathe more freely. Loquat leaves can be applied topically in cream form as a remedy for redness and irritation caused by environmental allergens especially when the reaction is caused by histamines. When applied topically, loquat leaf can combat the reaction from histamine production which both soothes inflamed skin and helps general skin health.
Its antioxidant properties make it ideal for staving off the unwanted effects of free radical damage to the skin. By getting more antioxidants into your system, you can help protect against many of the signs of premature aging like wrinkles and fine lines. Drinking loquat leaf tea can provide general skin benefits because of its antioxidant and anti-inflammatory ability while it can also help soothe painful and inflamed gums.
Experts believe that oxidative stress as a result of free radical exposure is one of the main causes of neurological degeneration. Because of its powerful antioxidant effects, loquat leaves may prove beneficial in maintaining brain health. A study published in demonstrated that mice fed with extracts of loquat leaf exhibited significant improvements in memory tests suggesting that it helps protect against oxidative damage.
There is scientific evidence that loquat leaf has antiviral properties as a result of antigens produced by the acids in the leaf. In addition to these antigens, the triterpenes contained in the leaf might help to protect against the cold.