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Cupuacu

Common name :Cupuasu, Copoasu, Cupuacu are some of the common names for cupuacu.
Scientific Name : Theobroma grandiflorum
Origin :It belongs to the family of Sterculiaceae which grows wild in the Amazon rainforest and known to be cultivated in the jungles of Colombia and Peru.
Appearance : Cupuacu fruit is oblong, fluffy and brown in color which is about 8 inches long and weighs between 1 to 2 kg. It is covered with a hard exocarp which is 4 to 7 mm thick. The pulp of the fruit is very fragrant and smells like banana.

Nutrients in Cupuacu
Cupuacu fruit is rich in antioxidants, vitamins B1, B2, B3, amino acids. Apart from this, there are other ingredients in the nutritional content of this fruit such as calcium, selenium etc. Cupuacu juice contains the fresh juice contains 10.91 percent brix, 20.89 percent amino acids, 22.97 percent vitamin C per mg and 2.98 percent reducing sugars, and that the pH is 3.3.

Cupuacu Facts
  1. Cupuacu is a small to medium sized tree which belongs to the chocolate family and can reach up to 20 meters in height.

  2. Similar to chocolate, this fruit also has a large seed pod in the center which is filled with “beans”.

  3. Seed pod is utilized by the Tikuna tribes as a cure for abdominal pains.

  4. It has an effect like caffeine, but it does not contain caffeine.

  5. The vitamins and minerals present in the fruit acts as boosters for the gastro-intestinal system.

  6. Cupuacu is also available as shampoo, lotion, butter etc.
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Health benefits of Cupuacu
  • This fruit is the primary source of food for animals and indigenous people in the rain forest.

  • Cupuacu when mixed with acai fruit will give you serious synergy in motion.

  • Since long time, it has been used a remedy for abdominal pain.

  • The fruit stimulates the immune system increasing stamina and energy equivalent to that caused by other artificial caffeine sources.

  • It also strengthens your cardiovascular system and protects the artery walls from damage which can cause heart diseases.

  • The fatty acids present in the fruit reduce the bad cholesterol and keeps the good cholesterol which helps in maintaining a healthy heart.

  • Cupuacu has a huge concentration of antioxidants which neutralizes the free radicals in the body’s tissues.

  • This antioxidants improves the circulation and lowers the blood pressure and helps in eliminating the free radicals.

Medicinal Uses of Cupuacu
  • Cupuacu was traditionally used by indigenous people to alleviate abdominal ache which helps in tough births.

  • Apart from this, it also aids in skin rejuvenation, healthy hair, weight loss, protecting artery partitions, strengthening cardio vascular system, elevated energy and stamina, boosting the immune system etc.

  • It is also helpful in curing diabetes, cataract problems and coronary heart diseases.
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On comparing Cupuacu with Acai
Cupuacu is often compared to acai. There are two major differences between these fruits. But cupuacu is better than acai.
Comparison between Acai and Cupuacu
Acai, when picked, loses most of its vitamins and antioxidants. Cupuacu is a melon-type fruit whose skin is comparatively thick. Hence there will be no nutritional loss when picked.
Acai is a well known fruit and has had many hucksters and sellers. Cupuacu trees produce more fruit per tree than Acai.
This has generated less-than-organic methods for its cultivation. But since cupuacu is outside of South America, it is not exposed to hucksterism and its sources are natural and organic.
Though these fruits have differences, they are combined into juice drinks for sale. Scientists in Brazil analyzed both the fruits and concluded that acai has less-concentrated vitamins, anti-oxidants etc than cupuacu.

Uses of Cupuacu
  • The taste of cupuacu fruit is often compared to chocolate, banana, melon or bubble gum.

  • Cupuacu is used in a wide variety of ways.

  • The seeds of the fruit are processed in a method similar to the method which is used to refine cacao seeds into chocolate, the base flavor for cupulate is obtained.

  • Cupulate is nothing but a hot drink that is related to hot chocolate.

  • In addition to jelly, ice creams and juice which are made out of sweetened pulp of the fruit, cupuacu is also used as a health supplement.
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Notes on Cupuacu

The pulp occupies one-third of the fruit and is used in making fresh juice, jam, tarts and ice cream. It is also cosmetic products such as body lotions which reduces the signs of aging and makes you look younger. It is discovered that Cupuacu is the only fruit that contains a unique compound called polyphenol which has never been seen before in Amazon rain forest.

In earlier times, the seeds of Cupuacu fruit were traded along the Rio Negro and Upper Orinoco rivers where the tribes living there cupucacu juice after it has been blessed by a Shaman to facilitate difficult births. It is also often used as a pain killer. In rain forest regions, the seeds of the fruit are dispersed by birds and monkeys which feast on the pulp of the fruit.

The fruit ripens during the rainy season from January to April. It is a popular fruit in South American cities where demand surpasses supply. Cupuacu fruit grabbed the attention of many westerners when a Japanese country attempted to trademark the name of this fruit. Hence Brazil declared cupuacu as their national fruit and made the name ineligible for trademark.

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Cupuacu Recipes

1.Cupuacu Milkshake

Ingredients:
  • 1 cup of frozen cupuacu pulp
  • Lemongrass as required
  • 2 tbsp of sugar/honey
  • 2 cups of non fat milk
Cupuacu-Milkshake
Method:
  1. Chop the lemongrass and keep it in a bowl.
  2. Blend together lemongrass, sugar and milk in a bowl for one minute
  3. Pour this mixture into a glass jar through fine filter.
  4. Refrigerate it for 30 minutes.
  5. Put half of the cupuacu fruit pulp into each of two large glasses.
  6. Then top it with the refrigerated lemongrass mixture.
  7. Cupuacu milkshake is ready to serve.
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2. Cupuacu Flan

Cupuacu flan
Ingredients:
  • 1 cup of frozen cupuacu pulp
  • 4 - 5 whole eggs
  • 1 can of sweetened condensed milk
  • 200 ml of water
  • Granulated sugar as required
  • 1 tbsp of corn starch
Method:
  1. Preheat the oven to 175C.
  2. Caramelize or oxidise the sugar and line a glass cooking dish with sugar.
  3. Add the remaining ingredients and mix it together until it becomes smooth and creamy.
  4. Pour the liquid into caramelized dish and place the dish into a large saucepan.
  5. Transfer in boiling water until water reaches the top of blender liquid.
  6. Then place it on the middle rack of the preheated oven and set for 45 minutes.
  7. Then remove the heat and allow it to cool.
  8. Set the baking dish in hot water in order to melt the caramel and reverse the dish into a serving platter.
  9. Serve it immediately.
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