Lychee fruits are easy to pop out of their thin, leathery peel. The lychee’s pit isn't very fussy, and is easier to remove than lots of other fruit seeds. Peeling a lychee couldn’t be easier. Using your clean fingers, gently pinch the skin and it will easily peel off. The brightly colored peel and hard pit are inedible, but the plump fruit inside is refreshing and delicious.
At the center of every lychee fruit is a hard, brown pit that is inedible. These large seeds are known to be toxic inside. When chowing down on lychee, be sure to avoid those pits. Your tummy (and your dentist) will thank you.
These dense, watery fruits are delicious raw, but also take well to cooking. In cuisines around the world, lychee can be found in both sweet and savory dishes. Here are just a few of the ways you can cook lychee into your recipes:
- Baking: Lychee can be baked into cakes, breads, creams and pastries.
- Confection: The lychee is delicious in jams, jellies, ice cream and candy making. Lychee can also be steeped in milk to make creamy infusions
- Salads: Warm or cold, with fruit, vegetables or protein, lychee adds sweetness, crunchy, jellylike texture and freshness.
- Main Dishes: Fragrant rice dishes, dumplings, sauces and meat dishes are all welcoming to fresh lychee.
Intensely drinkable, lychee is made of about 85% water and 100% tastiness.
- Cocktails: From the iconic Lychee Martini to tropical takes on sangria, lychee just makes great cocktails. Whole lychee or fruit made into a basic syrup are easy to add to classic cocktails and mocktails.
- Juicing: Lychee should be removed from the peel before juicing. Then, simply feed the delicate fruit into your juicer for a sweet and floral juice. It takes a lotta lychee to make a full glass, so it’s best to pair it with other delicately flavored juices.
- Smoothies: To prepare your Lychee for smoothies, pop the fruit from the pod and remove the seed. You can freeze separated fruit in ice trays to easily pop frozen Lychee cubes into smoothies.
Water: Chopped, chunky lychee flesh is a refreshing and sweet way to make everyday water more luxurious.
Fresh lychees are hard to find and have a pretty short shelf life. The good news is that they freeze beautifully. Simply set your lychees on a cookie sheet with a little space in between each one so that they don’t form frozen clumps, which can harm the peel and fruit. Once frozen, store lychees in an airtight container in the freezer for up to three months.
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