Lychee Fruit: A Delicious and Nutrient-Packed Tropical Delight in Hawaii (updated 2023)
There’s nothing like eating Lychee Fruit when it is fresh and ripe from the local markets or even picked from your own tree if you are lucky enough to grow some. One of the favorite Hawaiian fruit on the islands, lychee fruit are treasured and sought after when they are in season. You’ll find lychees for sale at all the markets or given from your neighbors who have loaded trees of the delicious fruit to eat.
For those that haven’t tried lychee fruit from anything but canned versions, here’s a great primer below.
Lychee Fruit is so amazing when it is in season on the islands. The wonderful taste and juicy fruit is so satisfying and also nutritious to eat.
What is Lychee Fruit?
Native to China but now grown in many tropical areas including India and Southeast Asia and the United States in Florida and Hawaii, lychee is known as the “Alligator Strawberry Fruit” for its combination scaly skin and bright red color that shares the look but not the taste of either. The red bumpy skin is typically roundish with thin skin that is easy to peel with white translucent flesh that is both fragrant, sweet, flowery and very juicy.
The lychee fruit is composed of the red skin, white fleshy fruit and a dark brown seed with a thin skin and grape like fruit but even better and tasty to eat. Lychees are best eaten raw when it is ripe but can be used for smoothies, salads, blended into fancy cocktails or dressing and even used in desserts and other sweet inspirations.
How to select and eat lychee fruit
The lychee fruit is typically sold in bunches and it is easy to binge eat all of it when it is ripe and sweet tasting. The skin is easy to peel like a grape and revealing the translucent white flesh fruit. If you are preparing for a dish, it is easy to cut in half and pinch the seed out from the fruity layer or you can also chop it up into small slices.
Choose lychee that is vibrantly colored and typically a nice bright red color and sweetly smelling fruit that is slightly soft to the touch. Too mushy and musty smelling or brown fruit should be avoided because it is already overripe.
Taste of the Lychee fruit
There’s a lot of complexity but the main thing that stands out in the taste of a lychee is a blend of strawberry, rambutan and citrus taste. You’ll find lychees have this sweet smell with the floral notes, and really juicy flesh that squirts everywhere.
Nutritional benefits to lychee fruit
The lychee fruit broken down to about 82% water, 17% of Carbohydrate and 1% protein and minimal fat. Lychees are fantastic for a variety of health and diet benefits and contains important nutritional benefits including:
Lychee is loaded with Vitamin C and B complex
Lychee contain anti-oxidants and also aids in the production of red blood cells.
Lychee helps to suppress your appetite
The fruit is known to help control heart disease,
Lychee fruit help to aid in digestion and increasing your metabolism.
What to do with Lychee and some delicious recipes
You can use fresh lychees in drinks, desserts and even savory type of dishes. In Asian style cuisine, lychee fruit and the sauce can be used in a stir fry and using chicken, sea food and fish dishes. Check out some of these delicious recipes below.
Make Lychee Martini with Hawaiian Ocean Vodka
How about making a lychee / lime sorbet?
Savory lychee fried rice
Hmmmm Lychee ice cream for a luscious dessert
Other inside tips for eating, storing and preparing lychee fruit
Selecting ripe lychee: Look for lychee fruit with vibrant red or pink skin, which indicates ripeness. Avoid fruits with brown spots or blemishes.
Storing lychee: Keep fresh lychee fruit in a perforated plastic bag in the refrigerator. This helps maintain humidity while allowing some airflow, extending its shelf life for up to a week.
Freezing lychee: To freeze lychee, peel and remove the seeds. Place the fruit in an airtight container or freezer bag, and store it in the freezer for up to three months. Frozen lychee can be enjoyed as a refreshing snack or used in smoothies and desserts.
Seasonality: Lychee fruit is typically in season during the summer months, from May to August, depending on the region. This is when you’ll find the freshest and most abundant supply in markets.
Health benefits: Lychee is not only delicious but also rich in vitamin C, antioxidants, and fiber. It can support immune health, promote digestion, and contribute to healthy skin.
Culinary uses: Apart from eating lychee fresh, you can incorporate it into various recipes. It adds a sweet and tropical flavor to fruit salads, cocktails, sorbets, and sauces.
Tips for eating: To enjoy lychee, gently peel off the skin, revealing the juicy flesh. You can remove the seed before consuming or simply suck on it to extract the fruit’s sweet and tangy juice.
Remember to enjoy lychee fruit in moderation as part of a balanced diet, and consult a healthcare professional if you have any specific dietary concerns.
Check out these other delicious Hawaiian inspired food topics
If you are looking for other delicious food and fruit topics in Hawaii, check out our posts below for more inspiration.
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Conclusion on Lychee Fruit from Hawaii
In conclusion, lychee fruit is a delicious tropical delight with a vibrant red or pink exterior and juicy, sweet flesh. It is available during the summer months and can be enjoyed fresh or frozen for later use. Lychee is packed with nutrients, including vitamin C and antioxidants, and offers various health benefits. It can be incorporated into a range of culinary creations, from salads to desserts. Remember to store and select ripe lychee properly, and enjoy this exotic fruit in moderation as part of a healthy diet.
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