“It’s like dessert. Kind of a vanilla pudding flavor when ripe.” was what one of my neighbors told me about the green fruits that we’re falling off the huge tree in our front yard. The first thing I made with the white sapotos was a Strawberry Sapote Smoothie with a bang.
The first time we heard the loud “BANG!”, we jumped up. What was that? A few hours, we were startled again. After a few times, we realized, it were the green fruits hanging in that huge tree in our front yard that were falling and banging on the roof of our house.
These green fruits with a leather-y kind of skin, some apple shaped, others more oval, kept on bouncing on our roof and we started to get curious. What are these fruits that the tree is loaded with? And .. are they edible?
We cut one open to reveal the inner white flesh. It was juicy, creamy even, and smelled sweet. Trying to find out online on a few tree determination websites didn’t gave us the answer. Following the flow chart that described the leaves, we didn’t find a match for the fruits.
So we took a few pics and posted our question on Nextdoor, the neighborhood forum where you get updated on all lost cats and dogs, decisions of the city council that people don’t agree with and everything else you might want to share with your neighbors.
“Sapotes, maybe?” “Definitely sapotes.” “White sapotes, and yes, they’re edible“. Within an hour after posting my question what these green, juicy fruits were that we’re falling off the huge tree in our front yard, I got my answers. My neighbors on Nextdoor told me all about it. “They are hard to grow, but they do well in Southern California“, one of them added.
The most appealing description came from Mike. “White sapote is like dessert. Kind of a vanilla pudding flavor when ripe.”
White sapotes have a sweet taste, with hints of vanilla, pear, banana and a slight bitterness. They’re creamy like avocados, but soft like mango’s and juicy like ripe pears.
We picked up all the fruits we could before it became too dark and collected them in a huge bin. I put them in paper bags and put them in front of my neighbors’ doors with a little note. The curious delivery guy ended up with getting a few. My friends I’m sitting down with to get this blog post out, will bring a huge bag home. And if you’re attending one of my cooking classes at my regular places (you know where they are) this month and are interested: let me know and I’ll bring a bunch!
So what can you do with white sapotes?
Not much, all advised to keep it simple and don’t cook them not to loose their flavor.
* Slice them open crosswise and spoon out like you’d do with a kiwi.
* Peel and eat like an apple. Some people eat the skin of the white sapotes, I don’t.
* Chill the ripe ones in the fridge or freezer and eat as dessert.
* Put some on your morning yogurt or granola.
* Make a smoothie, like my Strawberry Sapote Smoothie below.
* Peel, remove seeds, chop, (blend) and freeze to save for other seasons.
And that’s what I’ll be doing until the tree is empty and we don’t get aroused by the bangs on our roof anymore.
Strawberry Sapoto Smoothie (vegan)
Okay, technically it’s not a smoothie (because, no dairy), but this creamy, thick and luscious drink is just like a smoothie. You can use (nut) milk, I only used orange juice because I had some leftover after my guests had left.
* hand of strawberries
* 2-3 white sapotes, depending on size
* 1 cup orange juice.
Clean and chop the strawberries and white sapotes into smaller pieces.
Tip: The white sapotes have multiple seeds, usually about 5, but it can be less or more. Some are full grown and as large as an almond that’s still in it’s skin, other are as small as an almond sliver. Especially when your using an (immersion/stick) blender, you want to have all seeds removed not to bite on small hard pieces that were broken up in the process. Another reason is that the seeds supposedly are poisonous.
Blend the white sapote pulp with the strawberries in your blender or with an immersion/stick blender.
Dilute with the orange juice until smooth and drinkable to your liking.