In the 19th century, its cultivation spread to a large extent in America and Europe, and today it is especially represented in Brazil, Spain, Argentina, California and southern Africa. In Croatia, it is grown mostly in the area of Dalmatia. Due to its dwarf growth, rich green crown and beautiful flowers, it is popular worldwide as an ornamental tree. Grown as a potted plant, it is an irresistible decoration of balconies and terraces. As a foodstuff, it justifies the adjective “golden”, because it is a true treasure of nutrients.
Whole edible fruits – a treasure trove of nutritional substances
The real value of this citrus fruit is its attractive small fruits, which are a rich treasure of important nutritional substances. They are yellow-orange in color, oval or round in shape, 3 to 5 cm in size. Kumquat is an excellent source of vitamins A, C and E, B1, B2, minerals calcium, potassium and iron, omega 3 and omega 6 fatty acids, carotene, tannins, pectin.
It is rich in important and much-needed phytonutrients that protect the body from the negative effects of free radicals.
It looks like miniature oranges, but unlike oranges and other citrus fruits, the peel of the kumquat fruit is edible and very tasty. That’s why kumquat is eaten whole, with the peel. Before consumption, it is recommended to rub the fruit a little, in order to release as much of the sweet aroma as possible from the peel and get a delicious sweet-sour combination, specific to this fruit.
It helps to strengthen immunity
Due to the large amount of vitamin C in its composition, kumquat is a perfect ally in the prevention and control of colds, flu and other infections. The amount of 100 g satisfies even 73% of the RDA (recommended daily amount) of this vitamin. Isn’t this fact reason enough to try this cute, unusual fruit as soon as possible?
Accelerates wound healing
Vitamin C is also known as an effective ally in the restoration of damaged cells. It has been proven that the daily consumption of this citrus significantly contributes to the healing of all types of skin injuries such as open wounds, superficial wounds, scratches and bruises. At the same time, it helps the skin in the treatment of inflammatory processes.
Protects against cancer and infections
Thanks to the high concentration of antioxidants such as vitamins A, C and E and flavonoids such as carotene, tannin and pectin, the “golden orange” protects the body from free radicals that damage DNA cells. It represents a natural protection against infections, protects against cancer and helps in the treatment of chronic diseases.
It helps to expel stones from the body
It has been proven that natural citric acid plays a major role in the prevention and treatment of diseases related to kidney and gallstones. Acidic foods mimic stomach acid and stimulate the bile to contract, which will expel the stone. They help lower cholesterol, which is what most kidney stones are made of, so kumquat also represents a natural protection against their formation in the body. The antioxidants in this fruit are responsible for the complete protection of the kidneys – they neutralize toxins in the body, break down fats and enable better absorption of nutrients.
It improves the health of the cardiovascular system
Phytonutrients hidden in kumquat fruits help lower cholesterol and triglycerides in the blood and thus reduce the risk of heart attack and stroke. They are a rich source of potassium, which is responsible for normalizing blood pressure and heart rate. Omega 3 and omega 6 fatty acids are also abundantly present in this citrus, and their importance for the health of the cardiovascular system has long been confirmed.
Natural energy for your body
Riboflavin from kumquat accelerates the metabolism of food – proteins, carbohydrates, fats, nucleic acids and vitamins. Kumquat therefore represents a natural source of energy for the body, which you can consume at any time.
It slows down the aging process
According to many studies, antioxidants greatly help in slowing down the aging process.
They are effective against wrinkles and age spots and all inflammatory processes on the skin.
They are responsible for maintaining the youthful appearance and elasticity of the skin.
Improves bone health
Due to the high concentration of vitamin A and calcium, regular consumption of this citrus fruit significantly contributes to the proper development and strengthening of bones and teeth.
It also helps with inflammatory processes such as rheumatism, arthritis, gout and is their natural prevention.
Other medicinal properties of kumquat:
normalizes digestion and bowel function
helps with inflammation
suppresses arthritis and rheumatism
stimulates blood production
prevents stroke and heart attack
relieves allergic reactions
protects the skin, eyes and hair
calms and refreshes
preserves the health of the nervous system
protects against stress and depression
Cultivation and preservation
There are several types of kumquat, and the most common are three types; oval or nagami kumquat (Fortunella margarita), round or marumi kumquat (Fortunella japonica) and egg or meiwa kumquat (Fortunella crassifolia).
In our country, this citrus fruit is grown successfully in the open air in the area of the central and southern Adriatic.
In continental regions, it is widespread as a potted plant, which is kept in moderately heated rooms during the winter.
A neutral to slightly acidic permeable soil, a sunny position sheltered from the wind and a regular amount of moisture are the ideal combination if you are considering planting it this spring.
Kumquat fruits ripen in late autumn and early winter, and can be kept on the tree for months, provided the temperature does not drop below -3°C.
The warmer the climate in which it is grown, the tastier and juicier its fruits are.
Once harvested, they can be kept at room temperature for 4-5 days, and you can store them in the refrigerator for up to 20 days.
Use in nutrition and cooking
This citrus is excellent for preparing drinks such as juices, syrups, cocktails and liqueurs.
It is irresistible in the form of jams, jellies, marmalades, compotes and ice cream.
It is a perfect addition to pies, cakes and fruit salads.
Essential oils and various extracts with the addition of kumquat are also known, which are an excellent aid for sore throats and various respiratory problems.
Attractive kumquat fruits are irreplaceable in the decoration of various sweet and savory dishes.
Simple kumquat pudding
60 g of cream cheese as desired
50 g of cream
250 g of chopped kumquat
sweetener as desired – honey, brown sugar, stevia
whipped cream (optional for decoration)
Mix all the ingredients well in a blender, decorate with whipped cream (if desired), cool and enjoy a delicious and healthy dessert.
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