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Winter medlar, for a sweet farewell to peaches and apricots, and to summer fruit, here is the basic ingredient. These fruits are for the most patient people, who know how to wait for winter to be able to pick and taste them. There is the well-known proverb that reads "over time and with straw medlars ripen " and that's exactly how it happens.
Nature, unlike us human beings, does not speed up time and with Winter medlar it teaches us that even in the hardest season there are good fruits to reap. We do not despair and, above all, we do not buy fruit that is not in season, we follow the advice of mother nature who knows what it does for us. The Winter medlar, adored by the peasants who savored them avidly, finding themselves without much else to grasp, they are something other than the Medlar of Japan, they belong to the same family but have very different characteristics.
Winter medlar: fruit
The Winter medlar they are the most common in our area, they grow on a thorny tree about 5 m high and very wide, deciduous and with a particularly spectacular flowering. When the fruits turn dark brown, they are ripe, in fact even their pulp is softer, biting them you will find about 5 hard and woody seeds, but Attention!
The taste of Winter medlar it is rather delicate, for those who do not know it yet, fresh and with an acidic hint that makes it clear that it is a fruit with a nice strong character. Winter resistant. We must not be in a hurry to grasp the Winter medlar to put them in fruit salads in autumn because we would find fruit with an unripe flavor, a sensation of “tied mouth” or lapped, due to the excessive content of tannins.
Winter medlar: properties
For many years the Winter medlar they are known and used as a febrifuge, astringent, diuretic and regulator of intestinal functions. The monks, as often happens, were among the first to study and use its properties by making herbal preparations with almost magical powers.
If we want something astringent, we can certainly eat these unripe fruits, even if they don't have a great taste, when they mature, know that they then have the opposite effect, they become an excellent laxative, even diuretic.
Winter medlar: benefits
Rich in vitamins of group B, potassium and magnesium, this fruit is also often chosen by athletes as a snack or snack to replenish the mineral salts lost after intense physical activity, it also contains carotenes, antioxidants and increases the sense of satiety.
Therefore, even those on a diet can enjoy the Winter medlar guilt-free, indeed, they are rich in fiber, including pectin which is great for irritable colon, as well as reducing blood cholesterol levels. Winter medlars are also good for the skin, they have a normalizer effect for particularly fat ones.
Winter medlar: calories
One hundred grams of Winter medlar contains 47 Kcal, therefore they are excellent fruits for athletes and for those on a diet as well as for those who love the taste and don't care about calories. They contain 85% water and then carbohydrates and soluble sugars for 6.1%, even lower percentages of proteins and lipids. THE mineral salts, already mentioned above, they are above all sodium, potassium, iron, calcium and phosphorus, among the vitamins stand out B1 (thiamine), B2 (riboflavin), B3 (niacin), C and A (retinol).
Winter medlar: when to harvest
From the name it is understood that these fruits ripen at the end of autumn to be picked in early winter and sold around January, February. The tree that produces it adapts to very different climates as well as to types of soil of various kinds, it belongs to Rosaceae family like many other common fruit trees: apple, pear, plum, cherry, peach, rowan, apricot, quince.
Winter medlar: recipes
The simplest and best recipe based on Winter medlar is that of jam. We can make jars and jars of them and then use them to fill cakes, pies, brioches or simply toast for breakfast.
Without additive or artificial substances, with natural ingredients, you get an excellent result: you need 2 kg of peeled and pitted medlar, 800-900 g of sugar, 1 lemon and 1 apple.
Let's start from Winter medlar peeled and pitted and cut them into pieces, then put them in a pot together with lemon juice, peeled apple and cut into pieces. We begin to cook everything and, when it boils, we lower the heat, continuing to stir often. The right consistency is the one that surpasses the test of the inclined plane: a teaspoon of jam must not slip off. Ready the gluttony, let's put it in jars screwing the cap tightly and letting them rest upside down.
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