People, let’s talk about Jujubes! I have a confession to make here, I didn’t know anything about Jujubes. Seriously, before I started working with Food for Thought, I primarily associated the name Jujube with a soft chewy candy that wreaked havoc on your teeth. I mean, it’s hard to take anything with the name Jujube seriously, right?
Well, actually, we should take the Jujube seriously. As in, seriously healthy, and seriously delicious. The name Jujube itself is pretty old, from Latin, but they’re also known as Chinese or Red Dates. Whatever you call them, these things have been eaten and used in traditional medicines for thousands of years, primarily in China.
And it just so happens that, located in the garden at Meiners Oaks Elementary School, lives a really big Jujube tree. And, around this time of year, this tree has lots of Jujube fruit ready to be picked. I was picking said Jujubes and sampling them right from the tree recently, and as it turns out, the bright green ones I had been eating weren’t fully ripe yet. Which explains why I was confused with their sour taste. The good folks on our staff, who know much more about this kind of stuff than I do, informed me that the brown ones were the ones to pick and eat. In all honesty, the brown ones just didn’t look as appealing as the green ones, but I took the advice. They were delicious. Flesh similar to an apple, but sweeter and softer like a pear. We picked and cleaned a bunch for the kids to try. The verdict was split, about half the kids liked Jujubes, and the other half did not.
Now here’s where the good stuff comes in: Jujubes are high in potassium, have a ton of vitamin C, are high in fiber, and have a ton of antioxidants. In traditional Chinese medicine, they were used as a sleep aid and a digestive aid. And, you can roast them, candy them, juice them, or make them into Jams!
So next time you hear the word Jujube, you can smile knowing that something with a funny name is also pretty darn good all around. Stop by our booth on Thursdays at the Ojai Community Farmers Market and we can talk Jujubes!
Thanks for reading. Until next time.