Medlar fruit is ornamental, flowering trees with pretty blossom, good autumn color and fruits which are edible, although not to everyone’s taste. Their fruit is tart if eaten raw, but makes pleasantly flavored jellies or can be used in desserts. Left to soften the fruit mellows and is a traditional, if unusual, treat.
Health Benefits of Medlar Fruit
- The main ingredient in medlar fruits is thiamine, or B1 vitamin, which is involved in many body functions including the nervous system, heart and muscles. It is also important for the flow of electrolytes in and out of nerve and muscle cells, enzymatic processes and carbohydrate metabolism.
- Medlar fruit pack only 47 calories per 100g; on the other hand, they are abundant in insoluble dietary fiber, pectin, which preserves moisture in the colon, thus acting as laxative. By reducing exposure time to toxic substances as well as binding to cancer-causing chemicals in the colon, it helps to protect the colon mucous membrane.
Pectin is also beneficial for reducing blood cholesterol levels due to its ability to decrease cholesterol re-absorption in the colon by binding bile acids, thus excreting it from the body.
- Its high content of molecular water stimulates hydration and detoxification of the body, thus naturally eliminating toxins from the body.
- Medlar is also rich in ascorbic acid, which acts as a natural antioxidant promoting a healthy immune system. Ascorbic acid stimulates iron absorption and is highly efficient in fighting common cold and other ailments.
- In addition, the fruit is a rich source of many minerals, including iron, copper, calcium, and manganese. Iron is a vital co factor in cellular oxidation as well in red blood cell formation. Copper is needed for the production of red blood cells. Manganese is an important co-factor for the antioxidant enzyme, superoxide dismutase. Calcium is an essential mineral for building bones and keeping them healthy; plus, it helps our blood clot, nerves send messages and muscles contract.
- Finally, medlar’s health benefits are not only limited to the fruit. For one thing, the leaves have astringent properties and can be used as mouthwash. Moreover, the bark of a medlar tree can be used as replacement for quinine due to its anti-inflammatory effects.
There’s a variety of ways to consume medlars. Apart from eating them raw, you can make this fruit into a cheese by combining its pulp with with eggs and butter. It can even be used to make wine.
Storage medlar fruit until ripe
The fruits are unpalatable immediately after picking, but can be used to pleasantly flavored jellies, can be used in desserts and for wine-making. To be eaten raw they must be stored before using.
Ideally briefly dip the stalks in a saturated salt solution to prevent rotting. Store fruit eye downwards and not touching in trays in a cool, dark, frost-free place. Use when the fruit is ‘bleated’, that is, the flesh softens and turns brown, but not rotten. This will usually take about two or three weeks.