Hybrid Fruits: 10 Must-Know Varieties
You must have come across some curiously named fruits at the grocery store or your local market. With bizarre names, these fruits sound like some weird science, but surprisingly they are more natural and familiar than you might think.
Yes, the new era ushers you to a world of pluots and peacotums!
Resultant of an increased human desire for new tastes and varieties, these new generation of fruits are an agricultural feat that perpetuates a controlled cross-pollination between two plants from the same species or genus through meticulously monitored human intervention. These naturally disease-resistant and hearty all-weather (be it heat, cold or even drought!!) hybrid fruits yield considerable benefits through their unique, uniform fruit sizes and shapes, improved taste, increased juiciness and better nutrition.
Here are 10 hybrid fruits that are a must-add to your next shopping list for the unparalleled benefits that they bring to the food table.
Considered as one of the ugliest fruit in the world, given its lackluster appearance with a thick, greenish-yellow, leathery skin, “ugli” is a naturally-occurring hybrid of Jamaican origin –a cross between a Seville orange, grapefruit and tangerine. This mottled green citrus with its truly delectable sweet flavors is a popular Jamaican snack and finds its use in salads in combination with chicory and avocados.
Uglis provide an astounding 70% of the recommended daily dietary requirement of Vitamin C in a single serving, along with calcium and Vitamin A in good supply. Ugli is naturally zero-fat and -cholesterol hybrid fruit with a very low glycemic index. With its nutritional attributes that include anti-inflammatory, anti-allergic, antioxidant, anti-viral, and anticarcinogenic benefits, ugli is a great immunity-boosting fruit that helps fight infections and tumorous cancers, prevents kidney stones and improves brain functions. In addition, it also helps in maintaining artery elasticity and in the formation of collagen.
Jostaberry, a native to Germany, is a complex genetic cross between black currants and gooseberries. Packed with Vitamin C which is a powerful anti-oxidant, these are excellent to eat fresh or can be refrigerated and used to flavor homemade ice-cream, pie, salads, chutneys, jams, stews or even cakes.
Apart from its diversified culinary benefits, Jostaberry has several health benefiting properties too. It is found to very beneficial in preventing cardiovascular diseases, especially atherosclerosis, a dangerous condition that leads to fatty deposits within the artery walls, by improve circulation. It also helps in countering cataracts, fights signs of premature aging, regulates blood pressure and cholesterol, improves immunity and helps repair wounds.
Plumcots are first-generation 50-50 hybrids between plum and apricot first cultivated by Luther Burbank. Though tough to cultivate, they are intensely sweet to taste and can be consumed as a light snack, added to a fruit salad or substituted for plums in several recipes.
Packed with anthocyanins, the plumcots serve as an excellent source of anti-ageing antioxidants and immunity-boosting carotenoids.
First bred and patented by Floyd Zaiger, this second-generation hybrid derived from Plumcots is a cross between a plum (60-75%) and apricot (25-40%). With varieties named as Dinosaur eggs and dapper dandies, this fruit is a super juicy and sweetly fleshly fruit is a summer staple that resembles and tastes like plums. Great addition to fruit salads, these are available from May until September.
With its high antioxidant, Vitamins A and C, and nutrient content of dietary fiber, protein and beta carotene, Pluot is a great immunity booster and has several health benefits that include regulating the digestive system, increasing the overall fluid intake, boosting vision, prevent certain cancers, diabetes and helping the body in its recovery process. In addition, being zero-fat and -cholesterol fruit, it is great for diet food.
Resembling an elongated raspberry with a sweet-tart flavor, tayberry is a hybrid between a red raspberry and blackberry. An excellent addition to jams due to its high pectin content and strong tart flavor, this hybrid fruit is used in several desserts, fruit salads and smoothies.
This fruit is a favorite among the health conscious because of its immense health benefits, thanks to the high Vitamin C and flavonoid content that makes it useful in faster recovery from wounds through regeneration and repair of body cells, delaying signs of ageing and reducing cholesterol levels. In addition, it also provides high quantities of iron, helps in the growth of DNA and RNA, prevention of cancer, neural tube defects in newborns, gum problems and many such benefits.
Limequat, that resembles a miniature oval orange, is a hybrid of ripe key lime and kumquat. Eaten as whole or as an addition to jams, chutneys and other recipes, this fruit has a sweet, edible skin and a tart flavored, slightly bitter pulp.
An excellent fruit for heart health, this citrus hybrid can provide for almost 20% of your daily fiber requirement, help control blood sugar levels and reduce blood pressure and cholesterol levels.
These pineapple-flavored Southern European natives are a novel cross between red and white strawberries (native to Hawaii), typically found between early May and June. Great as snacks or for use in yogurts, fruit salads and smoothies, these are great substitutes to strawberries.
Considered to be healthier than red strawberries, pineberries are a wonderful source of essential nutrients and powerful antioxidants. They help improve your fiber, Vitamin A and antioxidants intake, can prevent birth defects, strengthen your immune system and keep your energy levels high.
A seedless, easy-to-peel hybrid of tangerine and grapefruit, tangelos or honeyballs are known for their juicy, tangerine flavor.
Tangelos provide a high nutrient and compounds intake that are found to help in decreasing several serious medical conditions. Though highly acidic in its content, tangelos provide high quantities of Vitamin C that help in lowering risks of stroke and some cancers. Being an excellent source of fiber and water, they also help increase satiety, thus, making them a good between-meal snack. In addition, their polyphenols and flavonoids content gives them good health-protective properties, such as anti-viral, anti-inflammatory, antioxidant and anticarcinogenic properties.
This strange-looking, seedless cross between a pumelo and a white grapefruit, developed by the University of Riverside in 1958, is extensively produced in both Israel and USA. Mild and sweet to taste, the Oro Blanco are used in many savory preparations.
Oro Blanco are high in Vitamin C, dietary fiber and potassium. Their bioflavonoids and potassium content is excellent for aiding circulation, while its fiber content provides pectin which assists the body by helping fight off bad cholesterol and toxins and encouraging the digestive system significantly and consequently helping in healthy weight loss.
Though not much of a looker, the Yuzu, with its bright yellow inside within an unevenly textured skin, is a delicious fruit with a strong citrus flavor reminiscent of a concentrated lemon. A hybrid of Inchang Papeda (a native hard citrus fruit from China) and sour mandarin, yuzu is most valued for its rind (zest) that finds use in everything from sauces and tea to salsas.
Considered to three times a better source of Vitamin C than lemons, Yuzu has great anti-oxidant and anti-inflammatory properties.
These hybrid fruits are not just fine to eat but come loaded with great health benefits. So, keep room on your shopping list the next time you visit your local fruit market or supermarket!