Unfortunately, you need to have a tree growing in your yard, or know someone who does, because they are an old-fashioned fruit and you just can't find them in stores. I sincerely hope that they come into fashion again, because I see lots of possibilities for this fruit beyond jelly and spiced or pickled crabapples-- chutney, pies, sauce, fillings, juice....
The trees evidently do well even when stressed for water. It's hard to find information about the nutritional and/or medicinal benefits of crabapple, but I was determined to find some! After much digging I finally found useful information.
Here is what I learned:
Crabapples contain pectin, which is excellent for helping clear arteries, and fiber, and that pink color is a source of antioxidants! Apples are one of the best sources of antioxidants, so it stands to reason that crabapples are, too. That tartness in crabapples indicates lots phytonutrients and loads of vitamin C, as well.
“dietary cancer prevention is proposed to provide a new alternative biomarker for future epidemiological studies in dietary cancer prevention and health promotion.” - ‘Antioxidant and antiproliferative activities of common fruits.’ Sun J, et al. Dept. of Food Science, Cornell Uv., Ithaca, New York, USA. J Agric Food Chem. 2002 Dec 4; 50(25):7449-54.
Crabapple contains 64.2% water, 18% carbohydrates, 7.1% proteins, 5.0% fiber, 3.7% fats and 1.9% mineral salts. Its mineral and living content consists of; Calcium, Phosphorus, Iron, Karyotin, Thymine, Riboflavin, Niacin and Vitamin C. Its pulp is rich in oxalic acid, citric acid and tannic acid. It provides 134 calories per 100 grams.
Okay, I can eat it. But should I?
The simple answer is that if you can find it you should eat it. (Grow your own crabapple tree!) The pulp of the unripen crabapple is effective in closing open bleeding wounds. A fully ripe crabapple is a powerful digestive agent. It gives relief from congestion. Furthermore, it is quite beneficial for scurvy patients. Eating unripen crabapple without seeds proves to be highly curative against diarrhea and piles (Hemorrhoids). This fully ripened fruit when mixed with sugar and made into syrup helps in overcoming the intense thirst during fever.
It prevents uterine cancer and infertility associated with the deficiency of the hormone, Progesterone.
If a mixture made up by mixing approximately 90 grams of the essence of the crust of the wood of the crabapple’s tree with a little quantity of pure Ghee of the cow and one tablespoon honey helps to prevent complications following childbirth. Having this mixture taken immediately after childbirth for twice a day is positively effective.
There are actually many folksy uses for crabapple such as:
- The juice of the newly sprouted leaves of the crabapple can be mixed with milk and sugar and can be given to young children to solve their bladder problems.
- These leaves can also be grinded and made into powder to be served for the same purpose. 3-4 grams of these powdered leaves should be used.
- The pulp of a fully ripened crabapple is beneficial for common stomach problems in young children. 30-60 grams of this pulp of the fruit should be given to these young children suffering from stomach issues.
- The crust of the wood of the crabapple’s tree is a very good source for curing excessive bile production. The crust should be grinded to obtain a powdered form. This powered form can be either consumed directly or it can be added to boiled water and then the solution be drunk. This depends upon the taste and wish of the person.
- A very special paste is made from the crabapple which is an effective remedy for hiccups, throat diseases and breathing problems. This paste consists of the following ingredients; Common salt; Dried ginger; Black pepper; Honey; A ripe or a non-ripe crabapple should be used (whichever is easily available). All of these ingredients should be blended to obtain a paste. This paste is also very helpful in curing gum swellings.
One more folksy use of crabapple (this one cracks me up – a shadowy place):
Crabapple has yet another rumored use which is of vital importance. It is used to solve many sexual problems usually encountered by people. The leaves of this fruit should be dried in a shadowy place. These should then be made into powder. This powder should be eaten by mixing an equal amount of sugar with it. This method has proven to be a very efficient way to overcome the very common issue of premature ejaculation. Moreover, one teaspoon of the same powder should be dissolved in cold water. This solution should be taken thrice a day. This is very much beneficial for sexually infertile individuals.
But here are the facts I did learn about the crabapple, and they are really interesting.
Everyone loves a good Granny Smith or Red Delicious apple, but these varieties of apples only contain 205 and 108 milligrams of phytonutrients per liter of juice. On the other hand, a Siberian crabapple has 4,606 milligrams of phytonutrients per liter of juice. And, Sikkim crabapples come in even higher than that, at 7,181 milligrams of health giving phytonutrients.
Over millennia, they learned which plants and grains, fruit and veggies would provide the nutrition that they needed. They lived off the Earth, and with the Earth, we really need to back into this same mindset!