Jujube botanically known as Ziziphus jujube is red inside and out, with a crispy texture, edible skin, and a sweet-tart, apple-like flavour. When ripe, they can be stored at room temperature for about a week. The fruit is a drupe, varying from round to elongate and from cherry-size to plum-size, depending on the cultivar. It has a thin, edible dark red skin surrounding whitish flesh.
The fruit of the jujube has been used in ancient Chinese medicine for many nutritional remedies for thousands of years. Jujubes were used by Gerard in Europe as a medicinal herb in the 1600’s to treat ailments of the kidneys, lungs, and liver. The jujube originated in China where they have been cultivated for more than 4,000 years and where there are over 400 cultivars. The plants travelled beyond Asia centuries ago and today are grown to some extent in Russia, northern Africa, southern Europe, the Middle East and south-western United States. Jujube seedlings, inferior to the Chinese cultivars, were introduced into Europe at the beginning of the Christian era and carried to the U. S. in 1837.
The best fresh jujube varieties to look for include Sugar Cane, Li, Sherwood, Chico, and Honey Jar (the latter reportedly the smallest and juiciest). The best drying varieties are Lang and Shanxi Li. Dried jujube varieties can be used to substitute dates or apples in recipes. Just peel the fruit and remove the single seed inside. Jujubes can also be pickled whole or used to make tea.
Dried jujubes contain more carbohydrates, but have less fiber than fresh ones. They are much higher in calories, although they are more nutritious and an excellent source of energy. The antioxidants present in the fruit makes it a natural anti-ageing agent, thus keeping your skin younger. The extracts of Chinese dates are widely used as remedies for skin redness, sunburns, and dryness.
The soothing effect of this wonderful fruit enables it to be used as a natural anti-depressant and sedative. The fruit is also ideal when it comes to easing anxiety and stress. The presence of calcium and phosphorous in this magical fruit have proven to aid in strengthening your bones and teeth. This fabulous fruit contains around 3 milligrams magnesium per serving [28 grams] that helps in toning up the muscles.
Last, the 0.5 milligram niacin obtained from each jujube serving ensures effective and efficient pumping of blood, thus keeping your energy levels intact.