Physalis is a genus of plants of the family nightshade. Fruits are orange in color and resemble small tomatoes, which are partially or completely nestled in a paper-like shell, which is formed from a dried flower of the plant. Physalis is also known as tomato in a wrap, Jewish strawberry, gooseberries and ground cherry.
Physalis can be grown to adorn your home, but also for the edible fruit. The plants of this genus are about 70 species, 20 of them are nice and edible fruits.
Peruvian Physalis comes from Brazil, but has spread naturally to Chile and Peru, where in mountainous areas it is entered in the culture of the Incas. Physalis is not a capricious plant, can grow in any soil.
Grown by direct seeding or seedling that is propagated at 30-35 days of age. The seeds germinate at temperatures 10-12 degrees. From 6 to 10 days after seeding, the seedlings themselves appear. Plants resist to -2 degrees, but at -3-4 ° need shelter. The plant reaches a height of 40 cm
Care for Physalis is standard - loosening the soil, digging, while severe drought - watering. Plant should be fed twice with mineral fertilizers.
The natural paper bag the fruits of Physalis protects them from mechanical damage, pests and provides durability up to 3 months after harvest. So when buying Physalis, note the integrity of the outer shell.
Composition of Physalis
Physalis is rich in antioxidants, pectin, vitamin A, vitamin C, organic acids, trace elements. 100g Physalis contains about 130 g calories, 0.8 mg of niacin, 3 mg Iron 90 g water, 1.7 g protein, 4.9 g fiber, 20 mg of vitamin C, '11 carbohydrates.
Selecting and storing Physalis
Choose fruit in the husk, because as already mentioned, this shell provides them with durability up to 3 months. Avoid fruit whose husk is missing. Physalis can be purchased from large food stores.
Physalis in cooking
Physalis has a specific, slightly tarty, crisp, sour to sweet taste. Used for making salads, pickles, sauces, cocktails, soups, jams, liqueurs and a variety of other drinks. In Mexico, it is a major component of green sauce salsa verde.
The fruits are also used in confectionery for decorating various desserts and cakes. Moreover, you can dry physalis and as such, it resembles raisins. Gelling properties of physalis are prized by chefs. Physalis can be consumed directly - a handful a day. You can mix them with other fruits to make a useful breakfast.
If you cook jam or jelly with Physalis, best do it outdoors or in a well ventilated area because while boiling, very unpleasant smell that can cause nausea is released from the otherwise delicious fruit.
Benefits of Physalis
Physalis is used for medical purposes as a powerful antioxidant. Has a calming effect, and you can make tea from the leaves of Physalis that act antiasthmatic and diuretic. Physalis has antiseptic properties. It helps to purify the blood and helps the removal of albumin from kidneys. Antiseptic action of the fruits of Physalis is widely recognized, it is considered to be useful in diseases in the throat.
One of the most valuable qualities of Physalis is that frequent consumption destroys internal parasites. Because of the contained in this fruit flavonoids, it has a soothing effect. Regular consumption of Physalis helps digestion. Physalis is considered a particularly useful food for children. Furthermore, there is evidence that it can be consumed by diabetics without any restrictions.
Current studies are likely to show that its immunostimulatory effect is strong enough to fight certain types of cancer. It is further alleged that physalis has antiviral effect on influenza, herpes, polio and HIV type 1.
Be very careful because the colors of physalis are highly poisonous!