Remember the movie Cool Runnings and the famous theme song: “nuff people say they know they can’t believe, Jamaica we have a bobsled team”?
I know I do. That movie is one of my all time favorites, period.
Guinep is popular favorite fruity snack in Jamaica, and hopefully the reason behind the Jamaica’s bobsled team strength and motivation came from the health benefits of this amazing and delicious tropical fruit.
Green in color, guinep fruit is a tropical fruit that grows in bunches on a Mamoncillo tree. The outer skin of the fruit is peeled away making way to a jelly-like fruit inside that has a large pit. Guinep has a big hard seed leaving only a little layer of for the pulp.
What is Guinep Fruit?
The fruit has different names mostly depending on the region; skinip, honey berry, mammon, mamoncillo, quenepa, and it’s commonly known as Spanish lime. It is a seasonal exotic fruit which is most abundant in the summer.
From the Trinidad, and naturalized in the tropical and subtropical areas of Southern America, Guinep has fast grown to different parts of the world, at the moment it is available even in the supermarkets and grocery stores.
The delicious fruit is low in fat and calories making it one of the best nutritional fruits available in the market today. According to Proactive Health, half cup of guinep has a healthy composition; 1g Protein, 13.5-19.2g carbohydrates, 0.07-2.60g fiber, 15g calcium, 23.9 mg phosphorus.
Guinep grows best in warm environments as it is affected by freezing temperatures through frost damages.
Other than the fruits, the guinep tree leaves can be boiled and taken as tea, which is good for treating intestinal problems.
There are four types of guinep depending on the size and shape of the fruit’s seed and skin, and one of the sweetest seems to be the Jamaican Guinep.
What are the Health Benefits of Guinep?
Guinep fruit holds a place at the hall of fame of exotic fruits. Although, there isn’t enough scientific research available, based on Its nutritional composition, holistic nutritionist and herbalists will classify Guinep as on of the best fruits you can put your hands on. Fruit that comes with surprising health benefits such as:
- Helps lower blood pressure due to the presence of amino acids (tryptophan and lysine)
- The presence of Vitamin A and C in the guinep fruit is essential for boosting the immune system
- Vitamin A also prevents the formation of Urinary stones
- The fruit is a source of dietary fiber and ferulic acid (found in the pulp tissues) which reduces the colon transit time hence it’s great in treating constipation and lowering cholesterol in the body
- Guinep has Calcium for strengthening bones and teeth
- Antioxidants (phenolic compounds) preventing cardiovascular disease and strokes
- Phosphorus, digestion and regulating hormones
- The presence of tryptophan makes the fruit a “sleep booster” as it helps in producing serotonin, the hormone that can affect sleep in the humans. This makes Guinep to be great for your mental health as serotonin is also responsible for improving your mood
- The fruit can be roasted then mixed with honey to treat digestive problems, such as stomach ache and diarrhea, due to its strong antioxidants properties
- Guinep has been used for some time by patients to treat herpes. This is due to the presence of amino acid called L-lysine which is known to inhibit the virus
Best way to enjoy Guinep
How do you eat Guinep?
The easiest way to eat your guinep is to bite through the fruit skin until you get to the pulp. You put the entire fruit into your mouth and you suck the pulp on the pit until you get to the seed.
You can boil the seed and eat it, or get it roasted and crushed to use in baking bread and other foods. You can make guinep juice which is made from the jelly and tastes like a sweet lemonade.
Many people prefer to eat the fruit with salt, lime, powder and chili to spice it up.
Make sure that you eat only the ripe guinep, as the raw ones contain a lot of toxins. The seed of the raw guinep contains cyanogenic glycoside which changes into the poisonous hydrogen cyanide when consumed. Avoid giving the guinep to children, not even half the fruit as its big seed size is consider to be a choking hazard. (source)
Delicious Ways to Try it
What does Guinep fruit taste like?
The guinep fruit has different taste depending on the form it is taken, whether sucked direct as the fruit, mixed with honey or as juice.
It tastes like a citrus pitches, the sour and sweet taste, when you peel the skin then suck the fruit.
How to make Guinep Juice?
Making guinep is not much of a task, you do not require any special skills or special know how. Just follow this simple direction for your perfect juice.
This is the process according to Chef Noel Cunningham;
Among the ingredients you need to have; guinep, ginger, water, lime, and sugar.
- Peel away the guinep skin to get the berry
- Place the berry in a medium container of hot boiled drinking water for 20 minutes or till cold
- Using a clean hand, get your hands in the bowl holding the seeds and rub the pulp off the seeds
- Add a little lime to the mixture for a sweet taste
Where to buy Guinep
Grown mostly in South America, South Florida and Puerto Rico, the Spanish lime has continued to have a wider market share with local groceries stores stocking it. Since Guinep is a seasonal fruit it’s mostly available between June and September.
Getting rid of guinep stain
Guinep has a strong stain that is hard to remove from clothes in case of spillage. In order to avoid ruining your clothes, you need to get rid of the stain as soon as possible.
Removing the guinep stain can be as easy as consistently pressing an ice cube on the surface using a paper towel or a rag until the stain lifts.
There you have it. What do you think is it fair saying that this tropical fruit has probably one of the best nutritional values, but yet left behing in the fruit hall of fame?