There’s something so sensual about eating a litchi: the way that the rough pink skin gives way to tender white flesh, its exotic flavour, and how you pop them into your mouth whole and remove the slick dark seed with your fingers afterwards.
Fittingly, traditional Chinese medicine considers litchis to be fruit with ‘hot’ properties and recommends them to treat pain and an irregular heart rate. They are a rich source of vitamin C, are low in saturated fat and sodium, contain potassium and are cholesterol free.
This summer, don’t be afraid to attempt something a little more daring with these jelly-like gems. Exciting and fresh flavours are just waiting to be explored, so ditch the plain old fruit salad and try these more adventurous ideas:
- Muddled litchis and a squirt of honey turn classic mojitos into exotic sunset drinks.
- For a beautiful seasonal smoothie, blend a handful of litchis, a dash of rosewater, a cup of clear apple juice and some ice.
- Make a refreshing summer salad by combining peeled litchis with chunks of ripe avocado and fresh coriander. Drizzle with a mixture of lime juice, avocado oil, crushed ginger and garlic, and thinly sliced, fresh chilli.
- Sweet, tart litchis, fresh coriander, and wedges of lime make a zingy accompaniment to salmon. This char-grilled salmon, litchi and cucumber salad is a healthy and simple way to use the seasonal fruit and get your helping of Omega-3s.
- Add some freshness to your stir-fries by adding bits of litchi at the end of the cooking process.
- Fruit salad is a dessert favourite in the warmer months, but our current obsession combines a spicy syrup with shelled litchis, cubed pineapple, sliced mango, sliced papino and some blueberries. Make the syrup by bringing a cup of sugar, a cup of water and a selection of spices (we like a mixture of vanilla bean, star anise, black peppercorns, cloves and lemon rind and juice) to the boil, until the sugar dissolves. Cool, strain and pour over the fruit.
- Try this litchi Eton mess as an alternative to the traditional strawberry, meringue and cream pud.
- These litchi, vanilla bean and yoghurt ice pops will wake up your taste buds with a hit of creamy, tropical flavour.
Photograph by ibkod