Super-Fruit from a Cactus – Garambullo

Think you are seeing blueberries? No it’s the garambullo,  one of the many cactus fruits enjoyed by locals in the central parts of Mexico. Like other  red-purple-blue fruits such as cranberry, pomegranate and blueberries, the pigment indicates high levels of anthocyanins which is among those flavanoids highly recommended for good health.
Wait- what are flavanoids again? Just think about eating a broad spectrum of color — each colour group has an important role in protecting your body’s cells against disease and boosting function of organs. This red-blue family is particularly valuable as overall being anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial; for guarding the  liver against damage, reducing blood pressure, improving eyesight. And if you have heard before of “free radicals” these anthocyanins scavenge for them. Feel better? You should– free radicals are trouble-making un-paired molecules. They cause damage to healthy cells which, in worst case scenarios leads to cancer and heart disease.
So now you know WHY to eat these… so now, HOW to enjoy garambullo fruits. Most popularly in Mexico it’s served as a paleta (popsicle) or nieve (fruit sorbet). Really, not a bad way to get healthy. While there will be added sugar, there is not much– the fresh fruit flavor is allowed to shine through and the little seeds just slip down your throat easily.
Right now, I am experimenting with making a  naturally fermented fruit vinegar. You can follow any standard recipe you like. It’s a wonderful away to enjoy the benefits of natural fermentation, too.
Try this link for some ideas
Any thoughts on other ways to use these special fruits?  I’d love to hear your ideas!

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2 Responses

  1. Sam Lemly says:

    Can you site specific research done on Garambullo?

    • Margret says:

      Hi Sam
      The purpose of the posts and the site is to encourage the exploration of Mexico’s regional foods.Motivation may be for flavor or for health, or both. It is possible to seek out imported foods (such as frozen blueberries -even fresh blueberries at Costco) because habits die hard…this post was meant to point out that this same benefit many people use blueberries for, can be found in another food worth trying. There is plenty of scientific research that these pigments contain anthocyanins.. and yes, garambullo can be found among those studies, but I don’t wish make any specific scientific claims.
      I hope that answers your question!

  1. August 7, 2016

    […] also a source of food and shelter for wildlife. Its sweet red or purple fruit, which is high in flavonoids that protect the body against free radicals, can be made into flavored water, liquor, jams, and […]

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