What Is the Granadilla Fruit?
Sweet granadilla, passiflora lugaris or grenadia, is a plant species from the genus Passiflora. The plant is known as granadilla in Costa Rica, the Azores Islands, Ecuador, Bolivia, Nicaragua, Colombia, Peru, Mexico, and South Africa. In Guatemala, the plant is called granadilla cumin. In China, it’s called granadilla de; parcha dulce in Venezuela; and in Jamaica, it’s called granaditta.
Granadilla Passion Fruit
Most people confuse granadilla and passion fruit, probably because they are closely related. However, these two fruits are quite different in many ways. Some people who have seen the beautiful granadilla flower have ended up mistaking it for passion fruit. Unfortunately, they are not the same, although they come from a similar genus. Both fruits have edible seeds, but passion fruit seeds are black with soft and yellow pulp, while granadilla seeds are black but large and have transparent soft pulp. Another part where these fruits differ is in color. Passion fruit is purple or golden yellow, but granadilla is yellow. Granadilla is bright yellow and larger than most passion fruit varieties.
Giant Granadilla Passion Fruit
The giant granadilla passion fruit or Badea is the largest variety of the passion fruit. It is a neotropical species widely planted for its scented and edible fruit (specifically juices) and medicinal roots. The passion fruit giant granadilla is generally believed to be a native of tropical America, although its actual origin is still unknown. You can find this fruit in Mexico, Peru, and Brazil. It is large, grows faster, and woody at the base, climbing trees with a height of between 10 and 15 feet. It produces large tuberous roots used as a substitute for yams in Jamaica, although they are considered poisonous in other areas.
Granadilla mainly takes between 65 to 85 days to mature and grows up to 15 cm wide and between 10 and 30 cm long. Granadillas are not so popular since they are most confused with passion fruit. You can easily recognize this round to oval fruit by its orange, green, or yellow color. Granadilla also has a slightly sweeter taste with an inedible hard shell. The fruit also has deliciously sweet flesh that is gelatinous, with black edible seeds. The advantage of this fruit is that it’s available all year round. However, when it comes to storage or transporting the fruit, you have to ensure it’s well refrigerated and maintain a temperature of 100C.
When it comes to growing the granadilla plant, you should note that it will take at least 12 months after planting to bear fruit. From 12 months onwards, you can start harvesting fruits, and the plants reach a maximum age of 3 years. The cycle from flower to fruit usually takes 12 weeks. Therefore, when the skin color changes to orange, it’s a good indication that it’s time to harvest the granadillas. Like the other passion fruit varieties, granadillas also have plenty of recipes to use when you want to eat them.
We’ll get to share some of those recipes later on. But, first, let’s look at some of the differences between granadilla and passion fruit.
Granadilla vs Passion Fruit
Since people mostly confuse granadilla with passion fruit, we want to see some of these fruits’ differences. First of all, it’s important to note that both are a variety of passion fruit. Therefore, they belong to the same family but only have several differences that we’ll discuss in this section.
Granadilla and Passion Fruit Difference
Granadilla and passion fruit are closely related, but they are different. That’s because granadilla has a yellow-orange outer skin, while passion fruit has either bright yellow or deep purple outer skin. Also, passion fruit is smaller than granadilla, and they also tend to differ on the inside. Although both fruits have edible seeds, passion fruit seeds are black with soft, yellow pulp, while granadilla seeds are black but larger with transparent, soft pulp. What’s even more confusing is that some parts of the world regard beautiful, egg-shaped fruits like passion fruits. As mentioned earlier, the giant granadilla passion fruit is the largest variety of the passion fruit family.
Difference Between Passion Fruit and Granadilla
Despite the vining stems and the fruit’s flowers, the granadilla and passion fruit differ in appearance. Externally, they are encased in thick, colored skin, but each skin color is different. The granadilla fruit’s exterior color is yellow, while the passion fruit’s outer color is deep purple. Granadilla also has mucus-like inside that is clear, encased within its muculence grey seeds. The white pith of the granadilla fruit also slightly pulls away from the rind.
The design of granadilla and passion fruit is also different. The insides of the passion fruit are yellow and house black seeds within the less syrupy pulp.
Are Passion Fruit and Granadilla the Same?
No, passion fruit and granadilla are not the same. The only similarity that these fruits have is that they come from the same genus family. So, even though they are both varieties of passion fruit, they are pretty different in many ways, some of them we’ve discussed above. Another notable difference is that granadillas are sweeter than passion fruit. This is because passion fruit has a sour and acidic flavor, making it not sweet.
On the other hand, granadillas are sweet since they lack any sour taste. Therefore, when eating granadilla, you won’t need any added sugar. It’s essential to note that the rind of both granadilla and passion fruit is not edible.
Why is Granadilla Called Passion Fruit?
Granadilla is called passion fruit because it belongs to the same genus called the pentamerous Passiflora. Therefore, they are all varieties of passion fruit, so most people confuse granadillas with passion fruit. So, are passion fruit and granadilla the same? Absolute not! These fruits are far different from each other in terms of taste, appearance, and even size. Therefore, even though they belong to the same family, they have their own distinct features.
Benefits of Granadilla
Here are some of the benefits offered by granadilla.
1. Granadilla is Rich in Antioxidants
One of the notable benefits of granadilla is its rich antioxidants, which are compounds that assist in alleviating harmful free radicals in the body. Antioxidants are known to significantly play a vital role in keeping the body’s system healthy. For example, research shows that antioxidants help improve blood flow, especially in the brain and nervous system. Antioxidants also help to reduce cellular stress and inflammation in the body. Unfortunately, both of these issues have links to diseases like Alzheimer’s and heart disease.
2. Granadilla Offers Nutrients to the Body
Granadilla is a variety of passion fruit that provides excellent nutritional value. This fruit is highly rich in Vitamin A, which is beneficial for skin, vision, and boosting the immune system. It’s also rich in vitamin C, an essential antioxidant. For example, one granadilla fruit contains the nutrients below:
- Vitamin C – 5.4 mg
- Fiber – 1.9 g
- Vitamin A – 229 UI
- Potassium – 63 mg
- Iron – 0.29 mg
- Calcium – 2 mg
- Magnesium – 5 mg
Granadilla fruit also contains niacin, phosphorus, and vitamin B-6.
3. It Helps to Improve Insulin Sensitivity
Some studies show that a compound found in granadilla or any passion fruit seeds can help to improve a person’s insulin sensitivity. When insulin sensitivity is improved, it helps to reduce the risks of diseases such as diabetes. For example, a small-scale study conducted on humans in 2017 showed that a substance called piceatannol could improve the metabolism after an animal study had also found the same. The research also found out that men who were overweight and took 20 mg of piceatannol daily for eight weeks significantly improved their metabolic health, including insulin sensitivity, compared to the men who took a placebo.
4. Eating Granadilla Can Reduce Anxiety
That’s right, eating granadilla fruit often can significantly help to reduce anxiety. This is because the fruit is rich in magnesium, an essential mineral that scientists have linked with decreased anxiety and stress. Another systematic review that was conducted in 2017 showed that magnesium also helps to manage anxiety levels. However, the quality of evidence is still poor, which means researchers still need to conduct further studies.
5. Granadilla Supports Heart Health
Granadilla is fruit loaded with potassium that is good for heart health, plus it’s also low in sodium. When you eat the seeds of this fruit or any passion fruit, you will get the fiber that helps to remove excess cholesterol from the inside of blood vessels. It is believed that a high fiber diet helps to reduce any risks of heart disease. Additionally, eating granadilla fruit can also help to normalize the blood pressure in your body. Diets rich in potassium and low in sodium can decrease blood pressure.
6. Granadilla Helps to Boost the Body’s Immune System
Granadilla is rich in vitamin C, an antioxidant that helps to protect the body against damage resulting from free radicals. In addition, vitamin C boosts the body’s immune system by absorbing more iron from plant-based foods and also helps to improve your body’s ability to fight infections. Therefore, when the immune system in your body becomes stronger due to vitamin C and other nutrients provided by granadilla, it helps you stay healthy and avoid some of the common diseases such as cold and flu, among others.
7. It Has Low Glycemic Index
Granadilla is a tropical fruit with a low glycemic index (GI) value, which means that it doesn’t cause a steep increase in blood sugar after eating. Therefore, since it doesn’t increase sugar in the body, it makes granadilla fruit a good option for people who have diabetes. It’s unlike most fruits that generally add sugar to the body, which is typically not healthy. However, research shows that most fruits have a high glycemic index (GI) value, which means you need to be careful about the fruit you eat, especially if you have diabetes. Surprisingly, the America Diabetes Association warns that pineapple and melon have high glycemic index (GI) values.
8. Granadilla Fruit is a Good Source of Fiber
Granadilla pulp is rich in plenty of dietary fiber, which is a crucial component in every diet. That’s because fiber helps to regulate the digestive system, thereby keeping the gut healthy, preventing constipation, as well as bowel disorders. The American Heart Association also states that fiber helps reduce cholesterol in the body and boost the heart’s health.
Studies show that most Americans don’t get enough dietary fiber, as the recommended intake is 33.6 g for men aged 19-30 and 28 g for women aged 19-30. Unfortunately, most people get 16 g which is not that good. Therefore, eating granadilla or passion fruit often may help prevent constipation and improve your digestive system and overall health.
9. Improves Eye Health
Consuming granadilla can also improve your vision. This is because the fruit contains vitamin A that helps to prevent eye cells from deteriorating. Therefore, if you thought that only carrots are the option to improve your sight, think again. Consider taking granadilla aside from carrots and see how your vision will improve over time.
10. Granadilla Increases Blood Cell Count, and It’s a Natural Relaxant
Eating granadilla can stimulate the red and white blood cells production in your body since it contains potassium, iron, and vitamin B. Healthy red blood cells can significantly help you fight anemia in the body.
Granadilla is also a natural relaxant because it acts as a mild sedative and can be quite beneficial for people with insomnia. You can also make granadilla with tea, also known as a calming tea. To make the calming tea, brew the granadilla’s seeds along with manzanilla or chamomile. These will make a great and relaxing tea that you can have at home when.
Granadilla Recipe Ideas
You can eat granadilla in various ways or incorporate it into different foods. Here are some of the granadilla recipe ideas.
1. Granadilla Juice Recipe
If you’re looking for an easy way on how to make granadilla juice, then this is the right option to consider. Making this juice will only take 15 minutes, and it will serve two people, but you can adjust the recipe to fit more people. You can also use this recipe to make passion fruit juice.
- Five ripe granadilla fruits
- Take the granadilla fruits and cut them in half, and then pull out the flesh. When you’ve pulled out all the granadilla’s flesh, add it to a blender.
- Add water three times the amount of the fruit and then blend for one minute.
- You will see the black seeds leaving the jelly while you’re blending. Ensure you don’t blend too much as the seeds may break and create lumps.
- Separate the seeds.
- Add three times as much cold water and sugar to taste.
- Transfer the blended juice to a bottle or jug and put it inside a refrigerator for about 45 minutes.
- Consume the juice straight from the refrigerator topped with ice.
- Serve and enjoy.
If you plan on drinking the juice later, the best way to store it is in a refrigerator, but you have to put the juice inside an insulated water bottle. When you put the juice inside the insulated water bottle, it will help retain the freshness and temperature.
2. Granadilla Cake Recipe
If you need a recipe for a cake, try this granadilla cake recipe that serves up to 8 people.
- Four eggs
- 300 ml castor sugar
- 15 ml baking powder
- 500 ml flour
- 200 ml milk
- 50 ml granadilla pulp
- 5 ml vanilla essence
- 100 g stork bake
Cream cheese topping ingredients:
- 100 g stork bake
- One icing flower to decorate
- 250 g smooth cream cheese
- 500 ml icing sugar
- 60 ml granadilla pulp
- Whisk the eggs and castor sugar until the mixture is thick, white, and creamy.
- Sift the flour and baking powder together and then fold it into the egg and sugar mixture.
- Heat the milk, granadilla pulp, and stork bake together, but don’t allow them to boil.
- Add the vanilla essence and stir into butter.
- Spoon them into a large greased ring cake tin.
- Bake for 25 to 30 minutes at 1800C, and then allow them to cool.
- While cooling, mix the stork bake and cream cheese and add granadilla pulp.
- Add the icing sugar and mix them until smooth.
- Spread the granadilla topping over the baked cake and decorate with icing flowers if you wish.
- Serve and enjoy.
3. Granadilla Sorbet Recipe
If you love ice cream, here is your chance to one at home. Check out this recipe of how you can make granadilla sorbet at home.
- 250 ml of sugar
- 250 ml of fresh orange juice
- Two cups of fresh granadilla pulp
- Two large egg whites, beaten adequately to stiff peaks
How to Prepare:
- Heat the orange juice, and then add the sugar inside while stirring until it’s properly dissolved.
- Add in the granadilla pulp and chill in the fridge.
- Freeze the mixture for 60 minutes and then fold the beaten egg whites through and freeze again.
- Beat the sorbet every hour until you see the mixture forming frozen crystals, and then leave it until you’re ready to serve.
You can also use a machine to make this granadilla sorbet. When using a machine, here’s what you need to do:
- Put all the mixture inside your ice cream machine and churn it until it’s the right consistency.
- Also, add the beaten egg whites and churn for approximately 20 seconds, scraping down the sides to ensure they are well incorporated.
- Remove and freeze until they are ready to serve.
How to Plant Granadilla Seeds
Planting granadilla seeds is relatively easy. Below are essential steps you need to take.
- Ensure you use fresh seeds from freshly harvested granadilla fruits since they germinate quickly. You can buy ripe granadilla fruits a few days before planting them.
- Prepare a nursery container where you’ll plant the granadilla seeds, as this is the best option to start with. Once they grow, you can later transplant them to your garden. But, first, you must fill the container with soil mixture from equal compost, coarse sand, and topsoil.
- Dig shallow furrows and space them 2 inches apart. The furrows are meant to serve as drains to prevent moisture from drowning the seeds or their budding roots.
- The fourth step involves sowing the seeds ½ inches apart and protecting them by covering them with a thin layer of soil mixture.
- Water the granadilla plant immediately after planting the seeds and moisten the soil but don’t drench it.
- The best time to transplant granadilla seedlings is when they are between 8 and 10 feet tall, as that is a good indication that they are ready to be transplanted to a permanent location such as your garden or farm.
Granadilla Plant Leaves
So, can you eat granadilla leaves? Absolutely! You can cook or eat granadilla leaves raw. In fact, granadilla leaves are often used as substitutes for spinach in various recipes. You can also put the leaves in hot water to create a nutrient-rich tea with anxiety-relieving properties.
Granadilla Plant Lifespan
The average lifespan of a granadilla plant is approximately three years. Therefore, to ensure a high production over a short period, ensure you space the plant 1 meter apart as this will help it grow strong and healthy.
Granadilla Companion Plants
The best companions for granadilla plants are flowers and flowering herbs. This is because they will attract pollinating insects to it, which is vital for quality fruit production. Some of the other good granadilla companions include carrots, brinjals, marjoram, marigolds, and members of the onion family, potatoes, Swiss chard, strawberries, spinach, Melissa, and lettuce.
Making Granadilla Trellis
To make granadilla trellis, draw a single 12-gauge wire taut strand along the tops of wooden posts, 2 meters high and 6 meters apart along the row. Next, tie a specific piece from each granadilla vine and train it up a string until it reaches the top wire. Finally, remove all the side shoots but avoid the leaves.
Granadilla fruit is unique, sweet, and has plenty of nutritional benefits to offer. Therefore, it’s worth noting that this should be a fruit suitable to incorporate often into your diet to take advantage of everything it provides. In addition, you can conduct more research to see how this fruit stands out from the other varieties of passion fruits.