A Midseason Crop Of Soursop

Farmer Edelle Sher

What’s in the orchard?

Edelle Sher grows avocados, citrus, black sapote, egg fruit, jackfruit, lychee, longan, mango, rambutan, soursop and star apple.

SOURSOP

Season:

In Hawaii, an early crop occurs from January to April; midseason crop June to August, with peak in July; and there can be a late crop in October or November.

Soursop is a staple in many regions including South America, Central America, the Caribbean, West Africa and Asia.

The fruit is heart-shaped and can weigh up to 15 pounds. It has a mild pineapple aroma and unique taste ranging from acidic to sweet.

What to look for:

Look for slightly yellow-green fruit with a soft give to it. The skin may turn black, but the flesh is still edible. Ripe fruit is easily bruised and punctured, so handle with care. The optimum stage for eating is five to six days after harvest.

Storage:

If the soursop is soft, Sher recommends removing the seeds and storing the flesh in a container in the refrigerator for up to five days, or freeze for two months.

The soursop skin, soft and spiky, is not edible. Daniel Lane photos

Tip:

To remove seeds: Cut soursop in half lengthwise and scoop out the juicy flesh – which separates or flakes – and pop the seeds out. The seeds are mildly toxic, and when pulverized can be used to eliminate head lice.

Preparation:

Soursop can be added raw and diced into salads, and is suitable for making jam. Sher especially likes soursop in a smoothie.

Combine water from a fresh coconut with two cups of soursop pulp in a blender; add lemon juice and agave to taste. You can replace the coconut water with coconut milk. Cow, goat, almond, soy, rice or hemp milk make fine substitutions. This mixture can be frozen into popsicles. Immature soursop can be added to soups, roasted or fried.

Health benefits:

Soursop is rich in ascorbic acid and lysine, and 100 grams of flesh is 61 calories.

The fruit, seeds, leaves, bark and wood of the soursop tree have numerous medicinal uses. Soursop juice is known for reducing swelling and inflammation of the urethra. Consumption while fasting is believed to relieve liver ailments. To draw out chiggers and speed healing, apply a poultice made from the pulp of an acidic fruit, and leave on for three days.

Edelle Sher’s exotic fruit can be found at Coconut Experience fruit stand in Kilauea, Papaya’s Natural Foods and Cafe and Harvest Market. Call 828-0808.

SOURSOP PIE

This pie is a snap to make. Bake the graham cracker crust, fill it with the soursop mixture and chill. Sher likes to add minced dates and almonds to the crust for extra nutrition, texture and flavor.

Sher’s exotic fruit orchards total eight acres

For Graham Cracker Crust:

* 1 1/2 cups finely ground graham cracker crumbs
* 1/3 cup sugar
* 6 tablespoons butter, melted
* 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
* 1/4 cup minced dates
* 1/4 cup minced or ground almonds

Mix graham cracker crumbs, sugar and cinnamon before adding melted butter, dates and nuts. Press mixture into an 8-or 9-inch pie plate. Bake at 375 degrees for 7 minutes. Cool.

For Filling:

* 2 cups soursop flesh
* 1 box silken tofu
* 1/2 cup honey
* 1 tablespoon lemon juice

Place all ingredients into a blender and blend until smooth and creamy. Every fruit is different, so taste the mixture and add more honey or lemon to your liking.

Pour into prepared pie crust and chill for two hours or until firm.

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