Loquats are special little fruits. Even though they’re not stone fruits (in fact, loquats are considered pomes), their outer appearance and sweet, tangy fruit is quite reminiscent of them. Their flavor brings to mind tart apricot and a citrusy sourness, with a sweet, fruity fragrance.
When you first set eyes on a loquat, they look similar to an oblong peach or apricot. Starting out green when they’re young, loquats mature into small, soft fruits boasting a peachy, cantaloupe color. You can typically find loquats in season from April through September.
Much like a pear or apple, loquats can be eaten raw, skin and all. Just discard the few large seeds in the middle. If you don't like the skin, it can be easily peeled and discarded with your fingers. Loquats make a refreshing snack that packs a more flavorful punch than your everyday apple.
Loquats are a welcome addition to tons of your favorite fruity recipes! From jams to juice, salads and savory dishes, loquat adds a bright flavor dimension to countless dishes. Loquats go well in fruit salads, eaten on their own, alongside a cheese or charcuterie tray, and into desserts. Try using loquats as a substitute for peaches or apricots in cakes, tarts, and pies. They even go well in savory cooked dishes paired with chicken.
Nutritionally speaking, loquats are also a good source of fiber, potassium, calcium, and manganese. Their unique orange color from plant chemicals called carotenoids that are high in vitamin A, which are essential for healthy eyes and a strong immune system.
Here are the most common ways to prepare loquats for all kinds of meals:
Fresh slices of loquat are a perfect snack for kids of all ages. They’re also perfect for a fruit salad, arranged atop a bowl of granola, or nestled into a cheese and charcuterie platter. Here’s how.
- Simply slice from top to bottom all the way around the fruit – like you would a peach. The seeds will be revealed in the center and can be removed easily with your fingers or the tip of your knife. You can remove the flesh from the peels at this point or eat them.
- Dice the loquat into half inch chunks as a snack or to add to your morning yogurt.
The exceptional flavor of loquat comes alive with a little heat. Try cooking your loquats into recipes where you may use peaches or apricots, or anywhere a sour-sweet fruity flavor is welcome. Their complex flavor is especially delicious with warm spices like cinnamon and cardamom.
- Grilling: This summer fruit is begging to be sliced, skewered and caramelized at the next barbeque. You can also grill thick slices of loquat along with your peaches and plums for a unique grilled fruit salad.
- Baking: Loquat is exceptional when baked into cakes, pies and creamy desserts.
- Confection: Their high pectin content makes loquats a great choice for jams and jellies.
Because loquats have a distinct sourness, they make for delicious juices and cocktail additions. Some people even use their loquats to make a refreshing fruit wine!
Here are some easy ways use loquat in your drinks:
- Juicing: Loquat seeds should be removed from the fruit first. Then simply feed the fruit, skin included, into your machine for a sweet, nectar-like juice. Loquat tends to play well with other produce like strawberry, blueberry and ginger.
- Smoothies: Ripe loquat is delicious in smoothies. Whether you have leftover loquat or want to use a whole loquat in smoothies, we recommend freezing it for the best smoothie consistency. To prepare your loquat for smoothies, slice the fruit in half, remove the seeds, then freeze them on a cookie sheet with space in between each piece. Once frozen, store them in an airtight container in the freezer. You can easily pop frozen loquat cubes into smoothies!
- Water: Add diced loquat to your water bottle along with fresh herbs like mint or basil for an eye catching and delicious refresher.
- On the Counter: You can store ripe loquat at a cool room temperature for about a week.
- Refrigerate: If your home is a little warmer, loquats can be stored in the refrigerator for up to a month.
- Freezing: If you’d like to enjoy your loquats a little longer, they can be frozen for up to three months. We recommend slicing them in half and removing the seeds first, then freezing them on a cookie sheet. Once the loquat halves are frozen, store them in a tightly sealed, freezer-safe container.