Lychee – sweet and crisp

The lychee fruit has many nutritional benefits, such as fiber, phosphorus, calcium, iron, thiamine, riboflavin and riboflavin.

Lychee is a fruit found native in Southern China. It is translated as “gift for a joyful life” by the Chinese. Lychee is commonly found on the dessert menu and is known as “lychee nuts.” It is surrounded by a bumpy, leathery rind that is easily removed as it is not edible. The flesh is a translucent pearly-white color that produces a sweet and crisp fruit that many like to eat fresh. The center of the lychee fruit contains a pit that is non-edible and slightly toxic, like the outside rind.

Lychee is a bit smaller than an apricot and can be purchased fresh, canned and dried. Canned Lychee can be used in an exotic fruit cocktail. The fruit is also spiced or pickled and made into preserves, sauces and wine. Lychee is eaten like raisins and the Chinese enjoy using the dried flesh as a sweetener in tea. Lychee fruit is commonly used in dessert dishes but can also be used with main dishes as an enhancer, such as cooked on top of ham and steak.

Honey that is harvested from hives near the lychee tree in Florida is a light amber color with a rich, delicious flavor like that of the juice and it does not granulate.

Nutritionally, the lychee fruit contains fiber, phosphorus, calcium, iron, thiamine, riboflavin and riboflavin. The fruit can be stored in the refrigerator in a Ziploc bag for five to 10 days, frozen whole in the peel or dried in the peel for later use. Dried Lychee will store for up to one year in a tin container at room temperature with no change in texture or flavor. You can learn about more ways to preserve fruits and vegetables through the Michigan State University Extension online home food preservation course.

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