This week in my spare time, (Ha) I am consumed up with a project. I am working (well not at the moment) on a speaking engagement for next week. Writing, practicing and tamping down all the nervous energy. As I have learned many times Mother Nature and her gifts from the garden wait for no woman. If you have it in your garden, you must deal with it as nature presents her gifts. Loquats- Eat, Ferment, Freeze, Preserve, Steep and share.
Loquat trees are beautiful to look at but they also offer a world of food and flavor. Grill Man planted our trees about five years ago. As with most who visit the area, my trees love Fairhope and all it has to offer on our acreage. Lots of clean air, warm sunshine, rain and space to grow. My trees are fat and happy.
Driving around the county, I have noticed other loquat trees everywhere fully loaded with fruit. Granted, dealing with produce on any grand scale is alot of work. It is ready when its ready and it doesn’t matter what you have going on in your life. Produce demands to be picked or it will ripen and fall on the ground. Fruit on the ground will attract rodents and other uninvited guests to your garden.
I am happy to share my loquats but not everyone wants to pick, wash, and process the fruit. I get it, it is labor intensive but what a great way to teach your little ones about nature. A good way to spend quality time with your children and teach then about Mother Earth. Grab scissors to cut the loquats from the tree and large baskets for your fruit. Now, where do I get them?
What if I don’t have Loquat Trees?
So if you don’t have any loquat trees, drive around they are everywhere and maybe the home owner will share. It is possible they will be happy to have you pick them from the tree before they have to remove loquats from the ground. Offer to purchase them first, although they may be happy to give them to you. If they say no, thank them and move on to another tree loaded with fruit.
If your homeowner says yes, be sure to thank them before you leave and don’t make a mess in their yard. Mail them a thank you note to show your appreciation for sharing.
Use the scissors to cut the loquats from the tree and place gently in the basket. The fruit will bruise easily and lose its freshness quickly. DO NOT PICK GREEN LOQUATS OR EAT THEM. Green loquats are toxic and not ready to eat. Only pick what you will be able to eat and process. You can always pick more later.
Prior to our trees, I was not very familiar with loquats. Trees grown from a seed take 8-10 years to bear fruit. Loquat trees grafted from plants may produce in 2-3 years. Definitely go the grafted plant route, so that you’re not waiting forever. Visit the local nurseries to purchase loquat trees.Once you have secured your loquats, what’s next? Before you get your hands dirty, turn on your favorite music. Loquats- Eat, Ferment, Freeze, Preserve, Steep and Share. Wash the loquats several times before you eat any loquat fruit. Do not eat the seeds without researching.
What do I do with loquat seeds?
With a knife cut a slice into the loguat and pop out the seeds. Loquat seeds are brown and you may find one or many. Set seeds aside. I have not made loquat liqueur yet but its on my list for this season. Check out the recipes on Eat The Weeds web site. This recipe looks interesting to me, Getting a Grip on Grappa.
What do I do with Loquat Fruit?
Place loquat fruit into a bowl. Drizzle with lemon and toss occasionally so that the fruit does not change color. Eat while you work. Give your little one an apron and allow them to pop out the seeds and place into a bowl. Explain that they may eat the fruit but not the seeds. They will enjoy cooking with Mommie and making memories.
With the fruit, your options are endless at this point. Eat loquats. Make smoothies. Freeze loquats to process later. Learn to preserve and make jelly, marmalade, loquat leather, margaritas or chutney. Leaves from Loquat tree leaves may be used to make tea. I am sure that they would be good in a cake, fruit bread, salsa for fish, fruit salad, etc
This week I made a Loquat cheescake using my St Germain Creamy Cheesecake recipe with the following changes:
-do not add St Germain
-Add 3 Tablespoons of pureed loquat fruit Bake at 325 for 50 minutes. (Use the waterbath method to prevent cracking)
Internet has a world of information about loquats and only waiting for you to google. Loquats are good to eat and offer lots of nutritional benefits. What are you waiting for? Pick em’ if you got em’. If not, go loquat hunting but please remember your manners. I would love to hear all about it.
For more information check out Loquat World.