The Medicinal and Spiritual Properties of Passion Fruit – by Francisco G. Gómez

“From a scientific perspective, Passion fruit contains phytochemicals such as, harmine, passaflorine, harman, harmalin, harmol, vitexin, carotenoids, chrysin, isovitexin, scopoletin and theobromine. Phytochemicals are non-nutritive plant chemicalsthat have protective or disease preventive properties. They are nonessential nutrients, meaning that they are not required by the human body for sustaining life; however, it is well-known that plants produce these chemicals to protect themselves.

The leaves, flowers, peels and stems are all used as medicine in different ways. The leaves mainly contain the alkaloids. Harman, mentioned above, lowers blood pressure naturally. The flower can be made into a sedative and antispasmodic. Passion flower is also used to treat nervous disorders, bronchial conditions, arthritis, asthma, insomnia, gastrointestinal disorders and menopausal symptoms. Carotenoids and polyphenols in the yellow fruit extract can also kill cancer cells in vitro.

And for its Spiritual property, Grandma would always make me a drink of some natural herb or fruit and tell me how they were connected to nature from a religious point of view; it was just her way. According to her, catholic missionaries who accompanied the Spanish Conquistadores in their conquest of the “New World” believed that there was a religious connection between the flower and the crucifixion of Jesus Christ, hence the name “Passion.”  They associated the three stigmas of the fruit to the three nails used to pierce the hands and feet of Christ. They also saw the threads of the flower as representing the crown of thorns on Jesus’ head; the tendrils found on the vines as the whips that were used to lash him and the five anthers represented the five wounds, including the one made by the Spear of Destiny.” –FG Gomez

Not your ordinary birthday cake (Passion fruity)

Ingredients :

50g butter plus extra for greasing the tin
330g caster sugar
4 Large eggs
300g self-rising flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
90g desiccated coconut
125ml non-fat milk
3 ounces passion fruit concentrate
Frosting
400g icing sugar
50g butter
2 ounces passion fruit concentrate
1 ½ tbsp hot water

Here’s how :

1.  Preheat the oven to 180ºC. Grease a round tin with melted butter, and line the base and sides with non-stick baking paper.

2.  Mix the caster sugar and butter until nice and creamy then add the eggs one at a time and beat well.

3.  In a separate bowl, sift self-rising flour and baking powder together, and mix with the desiccated coconut.

4. In another bowl stir the milk and 3 ounces passion fruit concentrate together.

5.  Fold flour and coconut into the butter mixture in three lots, adding one-third of the passion fruit mixture each time.

6.  Pour into cake tin and bake for 45 minutes, or until skewer into cake comes out clean and the cake is golden on top. Leave in the tin for 5 minutes then turn out onto a wire rack to cool.

7.  For the frosting, beat ingredients together until smooth and creamy. Spread over the cooled cake.

Passion fruit sunny cupcakes

Ingredients :

  • 6 ounces passion fruit syrup
  • 2 Tablespoons sugar
  • 60 grams melted butter
  • 80 grams sugar
  • 3 large eggs
  • 50 grams cake flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 120 grams ground nuts (of choice)

Here’s how :

  1. Sift cake flour and baking powder into a mixing bowl. Add in ground nuts of choice and hand-mix well. Use a fork to break up the lumps if any.
  2. With an electric whisk, beat sugar and eggs at high speed till light and pale.
  3. Add in passion fruit syrup, sugar and  butter.
  4. Slowly incorporate dry ingredients with egg mixture, until completely incorporated. Make sure not to over-stir.
  5. Fill cupcake cases with batter 80-90% full. Bake in preheated oven at 180Celcius for 20 minutes or until golden brown.
  6. Let it cool and serve.

 

No-fuss Hurricane Cocktails

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup simple syrup (or make your own by heating sugar with 1/2 cup water)
  • 2 cups rum
  • 2 cups passion fruit juice
  • 2 cups pineapple juice
  • 2 cups orange juice
  • 1/2 cup orange liquor
  • 3 to 4 pieces of lime (freshly squeezed juice)
  • a dash of bitters

Here’s how:

Mix together in a pitcher all ingredients, with ice cubes. Stir well and serve.