NATURES BEAUTY - LILY

Easter is upon us, and no flower is more associated with the celebration of Jesus Christ’s resurrection than the lily. Traditional lore says white lilies emerged where drops of Christ’s sweat fell to the earth in his final hours on the cross. The ancient Greeks believed lilies came from the breast milk of Hera, the queen of the gods. In Roman mythology, Venus, the goddess of beauty, was jealous of the flower’s white loveliness. A European legend says if you approach an expectant mother holding a lily….

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NATURES BEAUTY - SQUASH

Is squash a vegetable or a fruit? You would probably call a zucchini squash a vegetable, but you would most likely call a pumpkin a fruit. The definitive answer, from a botanical view, is squash are fruits because they contain the seeds of the plant.  Squash are some of the oldest cultivated crops on earth, believed to have originated in Mexico and Central America more than 10,000 years ago. The word squash comes from the Narragansett Native American word askutasquash, which means…..

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NATURES BEAUTY - CINNAMON

One of the best-loved spices of cooks and food lovers alike is cinnamon. Made from the inner bark of the Cinnamomum tree, cinnamon has been around since the days of ancient Egypt, where it was used to embalm mummies. The tree is native to the Caribbean, South America and Southeast Asia. Indonesia and China produce three-quarters of the world’s supply of cinnamon today.

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NATURES BEAUTY - CHERIMOYA

Tuberculata (there are conical protrusions on the skin with tips resembling warts). The flesh has hard, black or brown glossy seeds that are poisonous if eaten.


Cherimoya have no saturated fat and are cholesterol free and high in vitamin C, fiber, iron and niacin. It has those powerful cytotoxins that are said to battle cancer as well as plenty of antioxidants. Cherimoya has high potassium levels, which helps control heart rate and blood pressure. The fruit contains more minerals per weight than many more common fruits, having respectable amounts of copper, magnesium, iron and manganese.


Medicinally, cherimoya has been known to ease headache pain and relieve anxiety. Researchers are optimistic about cherimoya’s ability to be used as an an antidepressant agent. Cherimoya seed oil hydrates the scalp to make the hair lustrous, shiny and manageable.


One reason we don’t see many cherimoya trees growing here in the United States is because of the plant’s rather picky nature. It does not readily grow outside of its native high- elevation tropic habitat. It is pollinated by hand in Chile.

According to Food Facts, it has been grown on a limited basis in Southern California, but it does not do well in Florida, most likely due to the summer excessive heat there; it cannot tolerate prolonged high humidity.


You can eat a cherimoya like an apple (remove the inedible peel) or the chilled flesh can be scooped out and eaten with a spoon (hence another nickname it has earned: the ice cream fruit). It can be added to fruit salads, sherbets or smoothies or used as a mousse or pie filling. Cherish the cherimoya!


Sources:


TANYA TYLER

Tanya Tyler is the Editor of Health & Wellness Magazine

more articles by Tanya Tyler

Have you ever heard of cherimoya? It’s quite all right if you haven’t; it’s our delight to discover and describe fruits, vegetables, flowers and other bits of Nature’s Beauty for you, in the hopes you will be intrigued enough to give the featured fruit, vegetable or flower a try.


No less a literary luminary than Mark Twain loved cherimoya. He called it “the most delicious fruit known to men – deliciousness itself.” A noted botanist wrote he considered the cherimoya, along with the pineapple and the mango-steen, “the finest fruits in the world.” Another said the cherimoya was “the masterpiece of Nature.”


The fruit’s name originates from the Quechua word chirimuya, which means cold seeds. Native to the Central and South American countries of Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, Bolivia and Chile, possibly originating in the Andes Mountains, cherimoya is also known as the custard apple because of its creamy white flesh, which some liken to a blend of banana, pineapple, papaya, peach and strawberry. It has been described as tasting sweetly mellow, tangy or sweetly acidic.


Cherimoya are often heart shaped. They have a bumpy green outer skin that turns brown as it ripens. The condition of the skin is used to sort the fruit into different classes: Lisa (almost smooth); Impresa (the fruit has fingerprint depressions); Umbonata (there are rounded protrusions on the fruit); Mamilata (the protrusions are like nipples); and