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Friday, November 19, 2010

WHAT IS ALITCHI? LYCHEES ( LITCHI CHINENSIS): HEALTH BENEFITS OF LYCHEES USES AND HISTORY: LYCHEE LASSI AND BLUE CHEESE AND LYCHEE DIP

LYCHEES, ALITCHI, LITCHI CHINENSIS
Lychees are a fragrant fruit that has a flowery taste, which some people don’t like; but for others lychees are a fabulous tasting fruit and smell wonderful. When the fruit is ripe you can smell them as you walk past. In Pakistan they are cultivated in the Punjab and people wait eagerly for their first appearance in April or May. They originate from southern China and possibly Vietnam. In China they have grown for around 4000 years and there is a 2000 year old grove of lychee trees in Guadong province. The trees aren’t that old, that’s how long the grove has been in existence. However in some Chinese villages there are trees that are over a thousand years old. In Thailand where they are known as “lynchee,” there are lychee festivals all over the country in May. There are now teas which use lychees and rose petals, made in China and Thailand.
    In China they have the title, “King of Fruits”, but in Pakistan that title is reserved for the mango.
    If you have never seen a fresh lychee, they are one and a half to two inches long and have a shell, usually pink which protects the delicate white of pink-tinged fruit, with a stone in the middle. They are a symbol of love and romance in their native China, as one emperor had them transported 600 miles for his favourite concubine.
    The taste alone should encourage you to eat lychees, but they are also packed full of vitamins, minerals and being chock full of vitamin C help protect of fight off colds, flu, fevers and sore throats. They are a diuretic and aid digestion and the high level of potassium means that they are good for the blood and heart. They also contain traces of selenium, and have calcium, iron, magnesium, phosphorous, zinc, copper manganese in them as well as vitamins B6, and E; thiamin, niacin, riboflavin and folate are also present in them.The zinc content means that they are good for erectile dysfunctions and explains why they are thought to have aphrodisiac qualities. Niacin also helps regulate the sex hormones and helps give you a feeling of well-being.Riboflavin is thought to protect against cancer by neutralizing the free radicals in the body. It also helps protect against cardiovascular disease.
   Lychees can help prevent the growth of some cancerous cells notably in breast cancer, and are good for the skin, bone and tissue. They also boost energy levels.
    They can be used as a glaze over meat such as chicken, and in drinks of the alcoholic kind. Here is a recipe for lychee lassi: 1 cup natural yoghurt, 1 cup chopped lychees, and honey to taste. Blend and serve chilled.
    The recipe below is for an interesting dip.


BLUE CHEESE AND LYCHEE DIP
Ingredients
60 gr blue cheese crumbled (Gorgonzola or Stilton are good)
1 cup soured cream
2 tbsps double cream
¼ cup chopped nut of your choice, (walnuts are good)
1 tsp fresh lemon juice
130 gr lychees, chopped

Method
Blend all the ingredients together, chill and serve with other dips.
This has Taste and is a Treat.

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