Fruits

Salak’s Health Benefits

The Salak is a fruit originating from Indonesia, also known as “fruit-snake” or “snake skin” by the characteristics of its scaly bark. It is a species of palm tree originated from the Arecaceae family and was scientifically named as Salacca Zalacca .

Its pulp has a yellow or more pinkish color. In the middle of the fruit is a medium-sized, inedible stone. Its texture on the inside can be similar to that of an apple.

Salak can be peeled off by pressing the tip, so that the peel comes off and can be peeled off. Inside the fruit there are usually three lobes, similar to large cloves of peeled garlic.

Salak fruits can grow in clusters of ten to fifteen in the same bunch. It has a bittersweet taste.

The cultivation of this exotic fruit was rapidly expanding throughout Southeast Asia, in countries like Singapore, Thailand and Malaysia. Nowadays, it is already a fruit widely consumed in the Americas and even in Japan.

Salak is well remembered for its citrus flavor, like some fruits we already know, but its moisture and peculiar texture will make you experience a new world of sensations that is worth trying!

In addition to its special appearance and innovative flavor, salak fruit has many properties and benefits for your body. It contains calcium, vitamin C, phosphorus, among others.

Its tree is native to Indonesia and Malaysia, in low-lying tropical forests. Despite their origin, they are also able to adapt very well to the tropical forests of the Americas.

The salak tree is small and can be 4 to 5 meters high. Its production usually starts two years after its planting. Their trunks and branches may have thorns.

It has long leaves and small flowers. Salak fruit, which is produced in bunches, can have about 5cm, both in width and in length.

The salak tree and fruit can withstand temperatures between 19°C and 32°C and are sensitive to cold, preferring tropical, moist soils. With seed propagation, it can also be developed by water layering, when the branches are well rooted in the ground. Its shoots are difficult to remove to better form seedlings.

Now that you know this attractive fruit better, let’s look at its benefits and properties.

SALAK BENEFITS

The benefits of salak are many. It contains properties and various nutrients that promote better health and well-being, and can be used extensively for treatments and cures in traditional medicinal methods.

In this fruit, there are a variety of substances that are very useful for health, such as Calcium, Iron, Phosphorus, Fiber, Vitamins of the B complex and Vitamin C. to our food.

The vitamins and minerals in the fruit please our body, helping to increase our self-sustainability, and its antioxidant can help recover from any damage to the skin, by treating the cells and possibly having coatings.

The consumption of this excellent fruit can prevent or treat hemorrhoids thanks to its rich nutrients, in addition to its significant benefits for the health of the stomach and intestines.

Its substances, known as saponins, tannins and flavonoids are great allies for our digestive system. They prevent digestive and stomach upsets.

Its consistency in antioxidants, fiber and calcium makes salak highly recommended for the treatment of diabetes. They also provide us with plenty of energy for periods of diet and healthy eating.

Research supports the fact that salak fruit, in addition to helping to maintain good eyesight by containing sources of vitamin A, is also famous for helping to improve our memory.

Fruit also helps to treat premature aging. Its benefits placed in the diet act with its fiber and antioxidants, helping to rebuild cells and delaying aging processes, whether normal or premature.

In addition, salak also promotes better cardiovascular health. This makes its consumption recommendable especially for people who tend to ingest a lot of caffeine, oily and fatty foods, and especially cigarette users. Daily consumption of the fruit would be very helpful under these circumstances.

Salak fruit is still beneficial for women during periods of pregnancy. Its varied properties are able to prevent or alleviate continuous pain and symptoms.

And for people who want to lose weight and localized fat, the consumption of Salacca Zalacca, with its rich nutrients, both in the fruit and also in the skin, can help if placed in your diet. And another, it also helps to maintain your vigor!

After understanding the properties and benefits of “snake fruit”, we know how important it can become in our daily lives. So let’s see how we can add it to our diet!

HOW TO CONSUME SALAK

You can consume fresh salak by simply removing the rind by squeezing the tip, which is easily removable. It can also be added to salads and pies.

You can also try or even apply some salak recipes to your diets.

SALAK RECIPES

Salak can be used in fillings and other recipes, where a sweet with crushed fruit is very desirable. For many, the flavor is characterized as a mixture of pineapple and apple and is an excellent complement to a full range of fillings, and can be refined into different forms of food.

SALAK’S COOKIE:

Salak biscuits can be prepared using an exclusive frying pan.

→ Cut the salak fruit into pieces or slices and place in the freezer, leaving until pre-frozen. Wait around 2 hours or more depending on power.

→ Remove from freezer and fry in a pan with enough oil not to burn.

→ After frying, you can already consume them.

SALAK’S CANDY:

Preparing a salak candy is very simple, and you can combine it with several candies, providing a unique flavor.

You will only need water, sugar, salak and any other fruit you want:

→ Place the fruits in a pan with enough water to cover them.

→ Add a cup of sugar.

→ Bring to a boil and mix until the water turns to broth.

→ If desired, add a little powdered cinnamon.

→ For better taste and aesthetics, you can store it in a container and let it sit in the fridge for three days or more.

SALAK PICKLES

Salak pickles can be a very tasty recipe and match with many exotic dishes, or even in your diets.

To prepare it, you will need water, whiting (preferred), pepper paste (green or red), salt, sugar and vinegar:

→ Peel the salak, divide it in two and remove the seeds. Put as many as you want.

→ Soak the fruit in a glass container with water and salt. Let it sit for 1h. Wash and drain afterwards.

→ Now, do the same procedure with the fruits dipped in water, vinegar, whiting and salt to taste. Let it sit for two days or more.

→ After that, Salak Pickles will be ready to be enjoyed.

SALAK CAKE

This recipe will bring you an amazing experience of taste and texture, leaving you and your friends with your mouth watering! 

You will need eggs, milk, wheat flour, cornstarch, butter, baking powder and of course the salak in small pieces. If you prefer, you can add some more fruit or essence, and sweeten it to your liking.

→ Mix everything for a few minutes until it becomes uniform without leaving it flattened.

→ Pour everything into a suitable form and bake at 160°C. Bake for 50 minutes.

→ Then remove from oven and add stock if preferred.

These delicious recipes, in addition to being tasty, are very nutritious! So don’t hesitate to try them or add them to your diet!

SALAK CULTIVATION

Growing salak depends a lot on how you are going to germinate, so a few simple considerations are important to avoid mistakes.

You can dip the seeds in a container of warm water and let it sit for a week for better germination. Change the water whenever you feel it is necessary.

Bury the seeds in a pot with moist earth and keep at a temperature of about 25°C. Germination can be slow, with around 3 to 4 months to start germination.

The temperature should always be between 20°C and 32°C for the best salak cultivation. In periods of drought, there can also be good results for the fruits.

Any soil with good drainage and fertility will suffice. Remember that the tree is sensitive to cold, especially at first. It is recommended to irrigate it regularly.

SALAK CONSIDERATIONS

Salak fruit should be consumed within a few days after removal. Always keep it fresh and in a clean environment.

Its pulp is slightly acidic and can cause a citrus tingling on the tongue, like some fruits we know, like oranges and lemons. Its excessive and uncontrolled consumption can cause constipation.

In countries where salak originated, it is also used for wine making. Salak is fermented and processed. The alcohol content can be approximately 13%, similar to wine made from grapes.

If you want to know where to buy salak, you can find it in health food stores or online. You will hardly find it at fairs in Brazil, as it is still considered a rare and not widely cultivated fruit.

 

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Robert Asprin, APD is a non-dieting Accredited Practicing Dietitian passionate about inspiring positive changes in eating and lifestyle behaviors to help improve health while nurturing relationships with food and body.

Robert Asprin

Robert Asprin, APD is a non-dieting Accredited Practicing Dietitian passionate about inspiring positive changes in eating and lifestyle behaviors to help improve health while nurturing relationships with food and body.

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