With scorching heat at its prime, one way that we are all dealing with is through those yummy fruits adorning our fruit basket and time and again hopping in our stomach, making us feel rejuvenated and of course, happy.
Summers are actually so full of different varieties of fruits that you can’t decide what to have as all fruits are just AMAZING!
But slowly and silently, there remains one fruit that makes its way towards our home and palate. This is our sweet and pulpy friend- Litchi!
With its rich taste and texture, litchis have been enjoying a special place in the Indian household and are loved across the nation. This is partly because India is a tropical land and here, keeping hydrated can keep you going. And so, fruits like litchis act as a good aid for people across the country.
Here, Bihar, West Bengal, Uttar Pradesh, Jharkhand, and Uttarakhand are the major areas where litchis are grown as they require specific climate for their growth.
Thus, Litchi holds a prominent place in almost every aspect of Indian food habits and culture and also traverses the boundaries of the country through its luscious taste and texture!
Nutrition Per Serving - ( Per 100 Grams)!
Following are the nutritional breakdown of Litchis that you need to be aware of when you include them in your diet:-
- Calories- 66 cal
- Protein- 0.8 gm
- Cholesterol- 0 mg
- Fat- 0.4 gm
- Carbohydrates- 17 gm
- Fiber- 1.3 gm
- Sugar- 15 gm
Litchi And Sumptuous Dishes!
Although, to think of making dishes out of litchi seem far-fetched and simply out of place, they are not. If I still confuse you, pardon me because litchi dishes are so overwhelmingly delicious, the taste still lingers in my mouth and more so in my heart.
Well, without much ado, let’s look at some of the litchi based items that you can try at homes:-
- Litchi Lemonade
Litchi lemonade is a simple yet delicious drink that makes its presence known during summers. The dish uses litchis, water, a lemon, sugar or cane sugar and a few mint leaves.
For the recipe, you first need to peel off the skin of this fruit and take out the seed that’s inside its pulp. Put the litchis into a blender and blend nicely. Now, take it out into a jar and add some water, sugar and lemon juice to the puree. Finally, drop some ice cubes into the drink and serve.
- Litchi Kheer
If you’re shocked to hear about Litchi kheer, do not be mistaken as it is not a typing error as amongst all the kheer made in India, Litchi kheer is one of the best out there.
Well, the recipe makes use of litchi, rose essence, milk, saffron, sugar and powdered cardamom. The first step involves removing the skin of the fruit and keeping it aside. Next, you need to put a pan and heat the milk over it and in a while add cardamom powder to it and let it boil until the milk gets aromatic and again keep it aside.
Now, boil the milk once more, till its quantity is reduced to half and then add saffron and sugar to it. In a while, add rose essence as well as the peeled litchis and stir them well. Once the milk attains a proper consistency, switch off the flame and take out the delectable kheer in a container and enjoy.
- Mango Litchi Lemonade
Mango litchi lemonade is a delicious drink that can be made by you in a shorter amount of time and without much hassle. The drink uses sliced mangoes, litchi pulp, lemon juice and water.
Firstly, puree the litchi pulp and make a smooth paste of it. Add the pulp in a glass and on top of it place lemon juice and water. Lastly, add the sliced mango and serve chilled.
- Litchi Custard
Custard is always a win-win when it comes to making dessert. Well, now you can enjoy this luscious dish by adding litchis to it and having it with your friends and family.
For this simple dish, you’d require litchis, vanilla custard powder, milk, 5 tbsp sugar, chopped almonds and pistas. Take out half a cup of milk aside and let the rest of the milk boil. Mix custard powder in the cup nicely and pour it into the rest of the milk. Stir it and add sugar into the milk. Keep on stirring it till the custard thickens. Now, keep it in the fridge.
On the other side, peel off the litchi skin and cut it into large sizes. Add these chunks into the custard and finally mix the chopped dry fruits to it. Serve as it is.
- Litchi Rabri
Litchi Rabri is a delicious item that simply makes up a great dish for any occasion. This exotic item uses litchi,1 litre milk, small amounts of malai, sugar, ½ tsp cardamom powder and chopped pistas and kewra essence.
To make this rabri, boil milk and add sugar to it. In a while, add cardamom powder and malai and again let it simmer. After 2 minutes, keep the boiled milk away and add essence to it. Keep it in a refrigerator.
Now, chop litchis and add a tsp of sugar on it. Refrigerate this now. Finally, add the litchis into rabri and also sprinkle pistas. Now, serve and enjoy.
Well, they all are. All you need to do is to have your mittens ready and get started!
When Not To Eat Litchis!
Loving fruits is one thing and eating them at the wrong hour of the day is another and while the first one will get you going, the second one might land you in trouble and straightaway lead you to the nearby hospital.
Well, Litchis too have some don’ts that need to be given full attention:-
- It has been found out that consuming litchis at night can prove to be problematic as they cause reduction in blood sugar levels during the night and therefore, their consumption should be minimised at that time.
- One should avoid taking litchis on an empty stomach as they might lead to high fever, seizures and even death in some cases.
- As mentioned above, one should avoid eating litchis if they have skipped the evening meal.
Thus, the best time is to have it in the morning as this is the time our body breaks down the fruit sugar quickly. You can also keep this fruit soaked overnight and then have them the next day.
The Health Benefits!
As I was consuming these pulpy fruits, sitting in my verandah, a fleeting thought crossed my mind and urged me to look up and find whether these tasty and tummy-filling fruits have any health benefits?
And to my utter amazement, they do have!
So let’s know more about this aspect of Litchi right here:-
- According to several studies, litchi helps in better digestion as they contain dietary fiber. This in turn smoothens the bowel movement and stimulates gastric and digestive juices, thus, reducing constipation as well as gastrointestinal problems.
- One of the most essential nutrients, Vitamin C is found in abundance in litchi. This strengthens the immune system as this nutrient is an important antioxidant required by the body. Vitamin C leads to the better activity of White Blood Cells (WBCs) that defend the body from different kinds of infections and diseases.
- Also, since, litchi is rich in vitamin C, it is also a great source of instant energy. They invariably help in the production of collagen and carnitine, which further leads to breakdown of fats, thereby releasing energy in the body.
- It has been found that litchis can control blood pressure as they help the body to maintain a perfect fluid balance that aids in metabolism and reduces the problem of hypertension.
- Several studies point towards the fact that these humble fruits also contain Copper, an essential nutrient that helps in a better circulation of blood. This is because Copper in addition to Iron helps in the formation of Red Blood Cells (RBCs) that are required in abundance by us. It also leads to the strengthening of the blood vessels and removes the possibility of their rupture.
- Litchis contain antiviral properties that help the body in preventing the outbreak of any kind of viruses. They also contain anti-influenza compounds that prevent cough, cold and flu.
- Amazingly enough, litchis are found to be good for those who are seeking ways to shed off their extra pounds as they contain dietary fiber. Also, since, the fruit contains more water than calories, it is considered ideal for weight loss.
Thus, in order to reap the benefits of litchi, one must consume it in proper proportion and enjoy the best of health and taste together!
Harmful Effects Of Over Consumption Of Litchis!
Every food item is good until you consume too much and from here comes their hidden side effects too. Likewise, too much of litchis can also cause certain harmful effects on your body, which you need to be aware of:-
- Spike In The Sugar Level
Since, litchi has a high sugar content, it can lead to a sudden increase in the blood sugar level if eaten too much. Therefore, it is recommended to have litchis in moderation.
- Harmful In Pregnancy
Pregnant women should avoid taking litchis as it can lead to hemorrhage and infections and might also cause harm to the baby.
- Hormonal Imbalance
Over consumption of litchis can lead to hormonal imbalance that can affect the entire body. It can also lead to fever and internal bleeding among others.
Although, the incidences of allergic reactions with this fruit is rare, however, they can lead to severe allergies amongst sensitive individuals.
One should therefore be careful while consuming this exotic fruit and must have it in moderation, so as to avoid the pain of having to go to the clinic for the treatment of the mentioned problems.
Thus, the blazing and extremely scorching summer brings in a wide array of fruits, litchi being one of the most loved. With its pulpy insides and great health benefits, it continues to hold a special place in our hearts and among the food platter of our country.