Carambola (carom) is the fruit of an evergreen tree that hails from East and South Asia. In these regions, the fruit is a product of daily consumption. The originality of this fruit lies in an amazing taste, which combines notes of apple and cucumber, as well as in an exotic form, resembling a star shape, which is why carom is also called a star apple.
Today, carambola is popular on the entire European continent and is of great interest to those who have not had a chance to taste it. This article will tell you what this amazing fruit looks like, what it is its useful and harmful properties, as well as it will be possible to learn about how to eat cannons in food.
Description of the fruit carom
The tree on which the fruit grows, reaches a height of up to eight meters. Fragrant flowers of the plant are gathered in a whisk and have a beautiful purple color. Dark green leaves have a smooth surface and reach a length of up to thirty centimeters, and in the lower part the leaves are covered with pubescence.
Fruits, golden-yellow, have a ribbed shape, resembling a dirigible, and when cross-sectioning a carom resembles a star. The cannon has an incredible juiciness and fleshy. To size the star fruit is small - about six to eight centimeters. Carom is appreciated for its incredible taste, which combines the flavor of cucumber, apple, grapes and plums, and the sweetness of the fruit depends on its ripeness. In addition to its taste, this fruit is also valued for the fact that it is stored for a very long time.
As a rule, carom, sold in the shops of Russian cities, are fruits that were torn off even green and ripened in transportation timetherefore, their use is greatly diminished. You can benefit from the carambola only if you managed to consume a ripe fruit that was torn off recently.
Ripened cannon fruits have the following benefits:
- Thanks to ascorbic acid, the immunity is strengthened and the protective forces of the whole organism are mobilized.
- Thiamine (B1) improves the digestive and nervous system.
- Riboflavin (B2) helps to normalize the functioning of the thyroid gland, as well as to improve the overall blood composition and appearance of the skin.
- Pantothenic acid (B5) stimulates and improves the work of hormone production by the adrenal glands, normalizes hemoglobin and cholesterol levels in the blood, and is also a prevention of heart disease, allergies and colitis.
Official medicine has not conducted studies in the field of studying the benefits of this fruit, but traditional healers from Asia claim that carom helps in the treatment of the following diseases:
- dizziness and headache
- chicken pox,
- gall bladder diseases
- various skin diseases.
Carom contains sorrel acidthat makes it necessary to limit the use of this fruit to people who have been diagnosed with the following diseases:
- gastric and duodenal ulcer,
- renal pathology.
It is worth noting that only excessive use of this fruit can cause harm in the above diseases.
How to eat a carambola
It is surprising that this star fruit is consumed in each country in its own way. The cannon can be eaten raw, baked or used exclusively fruit juice. For example, Chinese people like to use a cannon along with marine productsand in some countries, star-shaped fruit is used to make jam and dry.
The beauty of the carambola is that it can be used to prepare sweet dishes, such as sorbet, puddings, juices, jellies and mashed potatoes, as well as add for the first time and second courses. Especially well immature fruits are combined with meat, stews and salads, in addition, carom can be marinated.
How to grow star fruit at home
Growing a plant on your own at home is an absolutely simple task and anyone can handle it. The cannon is easily propagated by seeds, and in five years the first fruits will appear.
In order to plant this plant at home, the seeds should be removed from the ripe star fruit and placed in a damp, loose earth. For landing well go ready soil mix for palm trees.
It often happens that carom grown at home may differ from the maternal fetus in shape, color and taste, so in order to achieve the desired result it is necessary to grow several copies at the same time. After the first fruiting, it will be possible to determine the tree, which will have the most delicious fruits.
Home care for the plant
In order for the tree to feel comfortable it is necessary to follow the following simple rules:
- It is best to plant seeds in February.
- The depth of landing should be no more than one and a half centimeters.
- After the seeds are immersed in the ground, it is necessary to cover the pot with glass or film. Before sprouting, the plant should be watered while drying the top layer of the earth.
- Every year, in May, the crown of a tree should be thinned and vertical shoots shortened.
- Before the age of five, it is necessary to repot the tree every year into a pot wider by seven centimeters, and after five years it can be transplanted once every three years.
- In summer, when the weather is hot, the plant needs daily watering and spraying of the crown, and in winter the tree must be watered twice a week and kept in a bright place at a temperature not higher than fifteen degrees.
The content of the article
- Carambola: what kind of fruit and how to eat it?
- How to eat avocado
- How to caramelize fruit
Exotic fruit is popular in Asia, but it is very common in India, Indonesia, Ghana and even grows in Hawaii. Russians may try the product in Brazil and Thailand for the first time, and Europeans are now happy to decorate their festive tables with a five-pointed edible wonder. It should just be cut across, and an unusual dish is ready to eat.
Carambola has a delicate sweet-sour taste, fresh and pleasant. Someone feels the taste of gooseberry and plum in ripe cannon. You can feel the orange with cucumber. There are many flavors. You just need to try to make your own presentation.
The pulp contains a large amount of liquid, like a cucumber, and it is often used simply to quench thirst.
What is the use
Carambola has very few calories - no more than 35 per 100 g. So you can eat and drink this fruit in unlimited quantities. In addition, it does not provoke allergies (mashed potatoes are used in Asia as the first feeding of the baby). But it is contraindicated in case of high acidity of the stomach, gastritis and ulcers, and kidney diseases (due to oxalic acid in the composition).
Despite the exotic name, bright color and unusual shape, the tropical fruit is not empty, it is rich in vitamins and minerals. For his favor, he is very valuable. So vitamin B1, entering the human body with the fruit pulp, has a positive effect on the state of the nervous system. Reception of a carambola relieves a person’s irritability and makes him balanced. And literally 3-5 minutes after the star apple has a snack, the mood improves and the person feels a surge of strength and vitality.
Acids that saturate the carambola, have a beneficial effect on the thyroid gland. If there is a "star" from time to time, then you can negate food allergies. Also an exotic specimen is an excellent prevention of cardiovascular diseases and arthritis. Thanks to thiamine in composition, it has a good effect on the work of the digestive tract. Fruit improves appetite.
Carambola is recommended by doctors for children, the elderly and especially sick patients after serious illnesses.
By the way, immunity will also say thank you, if you decide to increase it with a “starfruit”. Even if the cold has already overtaken, to increase the body's resistance will allow the daily use of this product.
Women honor fruit for rejuvenating properties. Frequent use leads to the strengthening of nail platinum, the appearance of shine and moisturizing of the skin. Dietary benefits are also a big advantage for losing weight.
Finally, carambola brilliantly copes with the worst hangover. Enough freshly squeezed 100-150 ml of drink, and thirst with a headache as a hand will remove. And thanks to microelements in its composition, the fruit removes toxins and other harmful substances from the body weakened by alcohol (or diseases).
How is it
Carambola is delicious. But only if she is mature. Like bananas, "starfruits" ripen gradually in a ripped form. They can be yellow with sweet soft pulp, and green with a dense filling. Asians prefer the second option. But preferences are individual.
A good fruit has narrow ribs clearly separated, and the edges are fleshy and moderately soft. The top coating of the edges is also used as food. It should be remembered that the product is imported to Russia immature, it matures on the shelves of stores. You can keep a carom at home for no longer than 4 weeks.
To eat a fruit, you first need to rinse it, carefully rubbing all the faces and hollows with a sponge or brush. It is in these places a lot of dust and dirt.
Properly sliced fruit across several pointed stars. And is used with bones and peel raw. If you do not want to crunch the bones, just pierce the center of the star with a sharp object and remove the soft bones from the pulp. The edges of the fruit can also be cut by removing the black veins and peel.
Carambola can decorate a dessert, ice cream, a glass of cocktail and even meat dishes. Meat is served with sweet and sour carambola sauce. Asians use fruit as a filling for stuffing baked fish.
In Hawaii, carambola learned how to make sweet sorbet by adding lemon pulp and gelatin to fruit juice. Also carambola juice will be an excellent complement to a cocktail with coconut, with orange, pineapple juice or with mango pulp.
How carambola grows
Fruit asterisk grows on the same-name evergreen trees, which are common in Southeast Asia, where it grows almost everywhere. A carambola tree can reach from three to five meters tall, and has complex acacia leaves that reach up to 50 centimeters in length. Carambola leaves have one remarkable feature: when there is a lack of sunlight or when touched, they fold up like butterfly wings. India, Sri Lanka and Indonesia is considered the birthplace of the fruit tree, but now, in addition to Asian countries, cannabis can also be found in Central and South America.
In addition, this fruit was unpretentious for growing at home, due to the fertility of seeds. All you need is a carambola seed and a free plant pot. You can grow star fruit even at home. With proper care, after two years the first fruits will appear on the tree.
What does carambola look like
The fruit of the carambol tree cannot be confused with any other. The star fruit of the carambola is like a balloon of airship with several oblong compartments. Color yellow or yellow-brown, reaches a length of up to 15 centimeters. As it was already written above, in the context the fruit has the shape of an almost perfect five-pointed star, due to which it gained popularity in cooking and in decorating cocktails.
How to choose a carambola
If you are traveling in Southeast Asia, then choosing the right fruit will not cause problems, because the locals will help you choose the right fruit. But if you decide to purchase the fruit in the nearest supermarket, then you need to know a few rules how to choose it. On the shelves of supermarkets Carambola falls into immature form, but you can find ripe fruits. This is primarily due to the fact that the fruit is transported from far away, and that it is better preserved it is sent still green.
But this is not such a big problem, as the star fruit ripens easily in room conditions for two to three days. Ripe carambola has a yellow color and brownish stripes on the ribs. It is better to choose a fruit without damage or stains on the skin. To the touch the fruit must be elastic. In addition, fresh starfruit has a characteristic smell reminiscent of jasmine. The size of the fruit does not affect the degree of ripening at all, usually carambola fruit is about the size of an average orange.
How to eat a carambola
Cannon fruit is edible completely, and peel and even seeds are used, so you can eat it fresh, after washing it thoroughly, paying particular attention to the cavities between the faces. How to eat fresh carom is correct - after cutting it into even slices of medium thickness (about one centimeter), you can cut brown tops of the faces if desired and remove the grains.
The range of this fruit in culinary terms is very diverse, in addition to decorating desserts, cocktails or salads, it is the basis for creating dishes. Carambola is used to make healthy juices, make jam and jams, make jelly and candied fruits, also use strawberry to make fish and meat, make sauces based on it, and carambola juice, among other things, is used as a filling for fruit salads. Unripe stellar fruit possesses special properties, which the inhabitants of Southeast Asia use in the likeness of a vegetable, that is, they cook stews, pickle them, and salt them.
Composition and calorie
Carambola is 90% water, so its caloric content is very low. Only 30-35 calories per 100 grams of fruit.
BJU per 100 grams of fruit is:
- proteins - 0.3-0.7 grams,
- fats - 0.3 grams,
- carbohydrates - 4-7 grams.
Star fruit is rich in vitamin C, A, beta-carotene, B1, B2, B5.
Contains such minerals: calcium, phosphorus, iron, sodium, potassium. Stems and leaves contain glutamic acid.
Carambola, like other fruits, has its beneficial properties for humans. And there are a lot of them.
- Useful for protecting immunity from viral and catarrhal diseases, due to the content of vitamin C.
- Reduces blood pressure.
- Helps with headaches.
- Lowers body temperature.
- Eliminates intestinal colic, diarrhea.
- Vitamin B1 or thiamine has a beneficial effect on the nervous system. Carambola improves mood, invigorates, improves performance.
- Vitamin beauty B2 or riboflavin, which is contained in the star fruit, strengthens hair and nails, a beneficial effect on the skin.
- Thanks to oxalic acid, muscle work is stimulated and calcium is better absorbed in the body.
- Useful for the thyroid gland.
- With the constant use of cannon reduces the risk of food allergies, cardiovascular system, arthritis.
- Thanks to thiamine, appetite is also improved, which is very important for people who have suffered serious illnesses, children and the elderly.
- Fruit is very useful for hangovers. He is able to quench his thirst, to fight against intoxication and relieve headaches.
- It contains fiber, which has a beneficial effect on the digestive system.
- Fights cancer cells.
- It is useful for diabetics, as it has a low sugar level and prevents a surge in blood glucose levels.
- It has a high content of folic acid, which is very useful for pregnant women and their future baby. And for nursing mothers, fruit miraculously stimulates milk production.
- Excretes uric acid from the body, which prevents the emergence of diseases such as gout, arthritis.
- It has a diuretic effect.
- A high content of calcium in the composition strengthens the bones, and is the prevention of osteoporosis.
- It helps with coughing, as it has an expectorant effect.
- It contains vitamin A, which is good for the eyes, as well as antioxidants that prevent cataracts and eye inflammation.
- Anti-inflammatory effect of the fruit is used in the treatment of atopic dermatitis.
- In places where stellar fruit grows, it is successfully used for polishing metal products, removing stains, and teeth whitening.
The leaves and flowers of carambola also have healing properties and are often used in the homeland of the fruit for such ailments:
- When nausea has antiemetic effect.
- Promotes the removal of parasites from the body.
- Helps with diarrhea and hemorrhoids.
- In diseases of the gallbladder.
- With skin diseases, eczema.
- Treat for chicken pox.
- With hypertension.
- Headache and dizziness.
- With ringworm.
- When poisoning help root ground with sugar.
How useful carambola
Due to this rich composition, carambola will be useful for vitamin deficiency. Vitamin C contained in it will increase the body's defenses, and magnesium will remove excess fluid from the tissues. Thiamin will energize and normalizes the activity of the nervous system. Riboflavin will ensure the health of nails, hair and skin, and pantothenic acid will serve as a good prevention of arthritis, colitis and heart disease.
In places where cannon grows, it is often used for medicinal purposes. In Brazil, antiemetic and diuretic agents are prepared from the leaves and fruits of the plant. With the help of shredded shoots fight with ringworm and chicken pox.Carambola flowers are used to get rid of worms. An antidote is made from its roots, combined with sugar, which helps in case of serious poisonings.
In India, carambola serves as a hemostatic agent. It is used to get rid of fever, reduce hangover and reduce bile levels, for the treatment of hemorrhoids and diarrhea. It can also help lower blood pressure, as well as for headaches and dizziness.
Carambola - what kind of fruit description?
Star apple, starfruit, carom and the fifth corner are all common names for the exotic carambola fruit (averrhoa carambola).
The evergreen plant itself belongs to the Kislick family and the Moluccas Islands are considered to be its homeland. The tree grows slowly and can reach from 3-5 meters in height. Interestingly, its green leaves, covered with white fuzz, are very light-sensitive and therefore collected at night.
But more gastronomic interest are the fruits of carambola, similar to oblong ribbed airships. Their flesh is not only very tasty, but also juicy. This makes carambola a great way to quench your thirst.
Currently, the fruit in its wild form and in the domestic form grows in Thailand, India, Ghana, USA (Florida), Malaysia, Indonesia, Israel, Hawaii.
Harm and contraindications
Still, carambola is not a harmless fruit. It can harm people who suffer from diseases of the stomach and intestines. If you have gastritis, gastric and duodenal ulcers, enterocolitis and kidney disease, then the star fruit should be abandoned, although you can try a lobule. All this is due to a large amount of oxalic acid, which is contained in the cannon.
The star fruit is new to us and our body is not prepared for it, therefore, in case of personal intolerance, it is also worth refusing to use cannon.
If you eat too many fruits, you can break the salt metabolism and make kidney failure. So it is good and useful that is used in moderation.
And lastly, in rare cases, the manifestation of intoxication from the cannon. It manifests itself in numbness, hiccups, insomnia, muscle weakness, vomiting.
If there are no contraindications to this fruit, then you should definitely treat yourself to an exotic fruit with a cannon. And it is best to evaluate all his taste qualities in the homeland of starfruit, where it has the greatest value and quantity of vitamins.
The motherland of exotic is tropics or subtropics. Presumably, the Moluccan archipelago or Sri Lanka. Today, star fruit is cultivated in Southeast Asia, India, and the Indonesian and Philippine archipelagoes. There are plantations in Australia, West Africa, USA, Brazil, Israel.
The number one global supplier is Malaysia.
Carambola in Russia
In Russia, carambola is available all year round: Israel, Brazil, Southeast Asia share it.
The closest relative of the unusual fruit is oxalis, the inhabitant of central Russia. Therefore, the tree can be grown at home. Despite the "star" entourage, the plant is unpretentious, does not need year-round hot sun.
With proper care, really wait for the harvest.
How to choose a carambola
There is no particular difficulty in choosing a carambola. Mature quality fruits have the following characteristics:
- smooth, without damage,
- elastic, when pressing dents does not remain,
- ribs solid, "thick", slightly separated,
- they have a dark brown stripe, it confirms: the fruit ripened on a branch,
- color is saturated yellow or yellow-golden,
- light aroma of jasmine.
Size does not matter: it depends on the variety.
Such specimens are available at home, that is, in the subtropics. Transporting them is problematic.
Carambola to taste
The taste of the “star” is a complex concept. Different varieties, ripe and unripe specimens, it is different.
All agree on the following points:
- any ripe exotic is delicious,
- the ripe sweet taste is complemented by sourness,
- It is impossible to compare a carambola with one fruit, it is a “symphony” of several notes.
Unity is not about the details. Everyone picks up his motives, the options are endless:
- grapes plus gooseberries,
- composition of apple, plum, orange,
And so on.
The aroma exuded by ripe fruits is associated with jasmine. Green exotic sour, more like a vegetable. And the smell of their "vegetable", closer to the cucumber. Sour fruits are valued by locals as more useful (in their opinion).
Asian cooks use a star fruit as an independent product, decoration or component of dishes:
- Fruit star plates look elegant, the flesh does not darken for a long time. It is not surprising that they are used as a decor for cocktails, desserts, salads.
- Juice is added to cocktails in order to give exotic drinks.
- From the fresh, ripe star fruit, the carambola is made with desserts. One of the most popular is to boil in syrup. Technology - like with watermelon crusts. In such "candied fruit" the flavor is enhanced. Jelly, sorbet, marmalade, puddings are also in demand. In Hawaii, for example, love sorbet made from carambola juice, lemon and gelatin.
- Immature specimens are used as vegetables: they are stewed, salted, pickled, and added to vegetable stews.
- In India, the “star” is an essential component of many seasonings.
- Thais prefer fruits with shrimps.
- In Chinese cuisine, sour star-shaped plates flavor fish and meat. Chopped moderately roasted fruits served on a side dish.
- Ground pulp is a component of sauces.
Mature specimens do not need treatment, but they are thoroughly washed before serving, especially the intercostal cavities. Cut off the ends, dried areas of the skin.
How to store
Fruits intended for export are removed unripe to deliver in proper form. They are present in supermarkets - greenish or yellowish, with narrow, well-defined edges. In the cold, immature fruits are stored for up to three weeks, ripe for a week. If there is no refrigerator, ripe exotics should be eaten in two or three days, unripe - in a week.
You can “reach” a green cannon at room temperature. However, it will not become sweeter or more fragrant, it will last a maximum of five days.
The composition and use of carambola
Like any tropical exotic, starfruit is good for health and beauty.
In the fruit found a bouquet of vitamins and minerals.
- A (beta carotene),
- B1 (thiamine)
- B2 (riboflavin),
- B3 (nicotinic acid)
- B5 (pantothenic acid),
- B9 (folic acid),
- C (ascorbic acid).
- E (tocopherol).
Minerals: iron, phosphorus, calcium, sodium.
The peculiarity of the “star of the tropics” is the high content of oxalic acid, potassium, and antioxidants.
Carambola is saturated with flavonoids (quercetin, epicatechin, gallic acid). Confirmed bactericidal properties.
Calories, nutritional value
The energy value of the fruit is scanty - 37-42 kcal per 100 grams of fresh pulp. Even in the sweetest varieties, no more than 4% of sugar was found. For this “star” exotic, fans of healthy eating or weight-lifting people appreciate.
In dried carambola, the calorie content is three times higher, it is useful for quick recuperation.
100 g of pulp contain (g):
The fruit seems watery, which is not surprising: almost 90% of its composition is water.
Oriental doctors use leaves, flowers, fruits of the tree:
- Drugs are prescribed for headaches (up to migraines), weakness, dizziness, hypertension.
- Pounded stones - a means of helping hypertensive patients, with colic, sudden coughing, up to asthma attacks.
- Whole leaves are applied to the forehead for headaches. Crushed stop diarrhea, treat hemorrhoids, gallbladder disease, chickenpox, lichen, other skin ailments.
- Fruits are used as a hemostatic agent.
- Juice neutralize hangover.
- The roots, ground with sugar, become an antidote, effective even with serious poisoning, anthelmintic and diuretic drugs.
Dangerous properties of a carambola
Harm of the fruit - a conceptual, incomparable in scale with useful properties.
The only thing that should alert people with problems of the stomach or intestines is the high content of oxalic acid. It can aggravate the following pathologies:
- stomach ulcer,
- duodenal ulcer,
- kidney disease.
Excessive consumption can disrupt the salt balance of the body, triggering the formation of kidney stones or renal failure.
Hiccups, vomiting, insomnia, muscle weakness, numbness are not excluded. These are markers of cannon intoxication. They can appear in half an hour or within half a day after tasting.
As with any exotic, individual intolerance is possible. Therefore, for the first tasting of one fruit is enough.
Thai housewives clean copper and brass home accessories with the pulp of unripe fruits, remove stains from their clothes. For us, this is monstrous wastefulness (given the price of fruit in supermarkets).
If you are lucky enough to visit his "homeland", do not forget to grab a few copies.
And the unripe purchased fruits will turn an ordinary fish or meat dish into an exotic dish.