Local tips & secrets

Food & Drink, Local products

Fruit and vegetable grown on the island

Do you know that Canary Islands is a perfect place for cultivating tropical fruit and vegetable all over the year? Get to know the MUST-TRY local fruits and their benefits.

1. BANANAS (platanos – esp.)

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If you ask a typical canarian which fruit should one try in the island – you will definitely hear a Platano Canario! Indeed, local people are very proud of this tropical fruit due to the difference and specialities while comparing them to the typical bananas. The bananas grown in the Canary islands are very well known worldwide for its specific and more juicy flavour and the smaller size than one’s imported from Latin America. Because of the smaller distance between banana plantations and consumer market, the bananas have a higher degree of moisture index which leads to a juicer flavor. And therefore, due to the mild canarian climate, it takes more time in growing – about 6 months which leads to a greater aroma of the fruit. One can enjoy this fruit whenever visits the islands – the season of the fruit is throughout the whole year! You cannot miss trying Platano Canario!

FACTS:

Bananas are good for your heart and nerves. Bananas contain a high dose of potassium – an essential ingredient to keep your heart and nervous system in good shape and reduce a heart stroke risk.

Help depression. Due to the high level of amino acids which help to boost our mood and happiness!

Bananas are good for your blood. Bananas are the only fruit that provides the major amount of vitamin B6 which makes 18% of the day dosis. It contributes to boosting your immune system!

Bananas don’t make you fat! On the contrary, they high level of potassium in bananas helps to regulate the body fluids counteracting the sodium and eliminating the unnecessary liquids.

Bananas are good for your mind and memory! The fruit is rich in Vitamin A, C and phosphorus which makes a perfect combination of vitamins for your brain.

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A TIP OF A CANARIAN: how to choose good bananas? Ready-to-eat bananas are yellow coloured, therefore if you plan to consume them in a few days, it is advisable to buy ones slightly lime-yellow, because canarian bananas ripen in one to two days. Be careful not to buy totally green ones! Never conserve them in the fridge to keep the best flavour and aroma.

2. PAPAYAS

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Have you tried this tropical fruit straight from the farm? In Canary islands it is possible! The local papayas are a sweet orange fruit with a variety of nutritional benefits. From March to July the Canary islands enjoy the best cultivation of the tropical fruit Papaya. Although, in local markets you may find papayas throughout the year.

FACTS:

Papaya has twice as much of the vitamins A and C as an orange.

It facilitates the digestion and helps to combat the stomach pains thanks to the enzymes called Papain.

Helps for you to get tanned thanks to the great quantity of Retinin.

Due to the loads of vitamin C it strengthens your immune system preventing the recurrent colds and flu.

Christopher Columbus called this highly loved fruit ¨The fruit of Angels¨.

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A TIP OF A CANARIAN: how to choose a good papaya? When buying papayas, be aware that the one’s that are ready-to-eat shouldn’t be green coloured on the opposite – should have a yellow colour and it must not be rock-hard when pressing lightly.

A trick – if you happen to buy a bit green papaya – put it in a plastic bag together with a banana it will mature in a day!

3. MANGOES

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Widely known as a ¨king of the fruit¨ mango is one of the most likeable fruits worldwide. Mangoes vary in size, shape, and colors range from green, yellow, red or purple, but usually it is a combination of several shades. In the Canary islands you have a chance to try fresh, locally cultivated mangos! You can find this fruit all year long, but the best season in the island is from August to November.

FACTS:

Mangoes are one of the best sources of beta-carotene which functions as an antioxidant and is beneficial for your eyes and skin.

Prevents Cancer: research has shown antioxidant compounds in mango fruit have been found to protect against colon, breast, leukemia and prostate cancers.

Lowers Cholesterol: The high levels of fiber, pectin and vitamin C help to lower serum cholesterol levels

Clears the Skin: Can be used both internally and externally for the skin. Mangos clear clogged pores and eliminate pimples.

Remedy for Heat Stroke: Juicing the fruit from green mango and mixing with water and a sweetener helps to cool down the body and prevent harm to the body. From an ayurvedic viewpoint, the reason people often get diuretic and exhausted when visiting equatorial climates is because the strong “sun energy” is burning up your body, particularly the muscles.  The kidneys then become overloaded with the toxins from this process.

Boosts Immune system: The generous amounts of vitamin C and vitamin A in mangos, plus 25 different kinds of carotenoids keep your immune system healthy and strong.

A TIP OF A CANARIAN: how to choose a good mango? Selecting the ripeness of mangos can be determined by either smelling or squeezing. A ripe mango will have a full, fruity aroma emiting from the stem end. Mangos can be considered ready to eat when slightly soft to the touch and yielding to gentle pressure, like a ripe peach. The best flavored fruit have a yellow tinge when ripe; however, color may be red, yellow, green, orange or any combination.

A trick: A mango can stay fresh up to two weeks in a mild room temperature – but it is crucial not to store it in a refrigerator!

4. CHERIMOYAS

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This tropical fruit, originally coming from South America is successfully cultivated in Canary islands. The creamy, vanilla-colored flesh of the cherimoya fruit tastes “like a combination of mango, vanilla, banana, pineapple and coconut,” according to Renée Loux Underkoffler, author of “Living Cuisine: The Art and Spirit of Raw Food.” It is eaten with a spoon and due to this has nickname of “ice-cream fruit”.

FACTS:

Cherimoya is rich in Vitamin C which is a powerful natural antioxidant. Consumption of fruits rich in vitamin C helps body develop resistance against infectious agents and scavenge harmful, pro-inflammatory free radicals from the body.

In addition, cherimoya fruit is a good source of B-complex vitamins, especially vitamin B-6 (pyridoxine). 100 g fresh fruit provides 0.257 mg or 20% of daily-recommended levels.  help keep up GABA neuro chemical in the brain. High GABA levels.

Cherimoya against cancer. New investigation showed that chirimoya has anti-cancerogenous qualities and in future it might be a natural medicine replacing chemotherapy!

Calms down nervous irritability, tension, and headache ailments due to the pyridoxine that it contains.

Helps to control heart rate and blood pressure due to the well balanced sodium-potassium ratio.

For the glowing skin. Helps increase the elasticity, firmness, and suppleness of the skin.

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A TIP OF A CANARIAN: how to choose a good chirimoya? Cherimoyas are ripe when the skin is a dark brown color. When carefully touched should be slightly soft. To eat, remove the seeds and scoop out of the skin with a spoon, and be aware of the black seeds that shouldn’t be eaten.

5. DRAGON FRUIT

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Dragon fruit is also known for a pitaya name.  It is a beautiful colourful and amazingly aromatic fruit with an interesting shape, Its plant gives dazzling blossoms. As it blooms in night, it is also called Moonflower, Queen of the night and Lady of the Night.

Usually the fruit is in dark red color, it may also be found in yellow or pink color. Besides its exotic appearance the fruit has a lot of nutritional value. In the center of the fruit, sweet pulp is present in white or red color, with small black seeds. The fruit is cultivated in Canarias in the local gardens, you can get it in bigger markets!

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FACTS:

Prevents you from cancer. As dragon fruit is a good source of antioxidants, it prevents free radicals and protects from causing cancer and other health detriments from entering your body.

It helps to reduce high blood pressure and cholesterol levels due to the vitamin B3.

Protects you from viruses. Regular consumption of this aids in fighting against cough and asthma.

Boosts your immune system. Dragon fruit  has high amounts of vitamin C and helps in healing bruises and cuts quickly, and enhancing the immune system.

Speeds up digestion. Vitamin B1 in this fruit helps in increasing the energy production and also in metabolizing carbohydrates.

Improves the appearance of your skin by smoothing and moisturizing it.

Improves eyesight and prevents hypertension.

It is a good source of phosphorus and calcium.

Helps you to lose weight.Regular consumption of dragon fruit decreases weight, thereby creates a well-balanced body.

6. TOMATOES

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The Canary islands are proud to offer you the most common vegetable – tomatoes! Locally harvested canarian tomatoes have an especially intense and aromatic flavour due to the conditions that they are grown in. Not like in other countries – in Canary islands tomatoes enjoy the sun 365 days a year with no need of an artificial sunlight for them to be cultivated. Don’t miss to enjoy this natural and really cheap local vegetable while staying in the island!

FACTS:

Tomatoes make your skin look great. Beta-carotene, also found in carrots and sweet potatoes, helps protect skin against sun damage.

Reduce the Risk of Heart Disease. Tomatoes contain important nutrients, such as niacin, folate and vitamin B6, that have associated with the reduction of heart disease risk.

Protects you from cancer. Tomatoes contain loads of Lycopene which is a vital anti-oxidant that helps in the fight against cancerous cell formation as well as other kinds of health complications and diseases. It takes as little as 540 milliliters of liquid tomato product to get the full benefits of Lycopene. This means that a daily glass of tomato juice has the potential to keep a person healthy for life.

Tomatoes build strong bones. The vitamin K and calcium in tomatoes are both very good for strengthening and repairing bones.

7. AVOCADOS

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The friendly canarian climate, fresh air, great water and earth provide perfect conditions to cultivate avocados all year round. Those avocados have more nutritional value and a deeper flavour than ones sold in Europe, because it takes less time to transport them to the ultimate client. And finally, knowing that avocados are one of the most beneficial vegetables you shouldn’t miss trying locally grown avocados!

FACTS

Avocados prevent from heart diseases. Avocados are one of the fruits that provide “good fats” which help to reduce blood cholesterol and reduce the heart risk.

Avocado is considered the world’s healthiest fruit, because of its nutrient contents such as vitamin K, dietary fiber, potassium, folic acid, vitamin B6, vitamin C, copper, and reasonable calories in it.

It regulates your blood pressure, due to the high level of potassium.

It is colloquially called an Alligator Pear for its shape and the leather look alike skin.

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A TIP OF A CANARIAN – how to choose avocados? To get the best nutritional value of the avocado, avoid those which are over-ripe. A ripe avocado should have no dents in its skin and will feel slightly soft when squeezed.

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