Monday | November 20, 2017
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Benefits of mangosteen

Lanny Neel brought me a bag of lemon-drop mangosteen, Garinia Madruno or intermedia, to “play” with. They are yellow-orange and about 1 inch in diameter, much smaller than the purple mangosteen, Garcina mangostana.L. I ate some and it did remind me of lemonade — sweet, yet tart. I then placed them in a large pot to extract the juice to make jam. Since there is not much juice to the fruit, a large bag only yielded about 7 cups of lemon-drop mangosteen juice. The trees produce up to three times a year and each tree can produce about 10 to 15 pounds of fruit. They grow well along the Hamakua coastline as the weather conditions are ideal for this tree.

What I found interesting was that it does not attract the red-eyed fruit flies, or drosophila, as does other fruits. Lanny said he can leave the fruit out for 10 days and there will be no fruit flies hovering around. Many people are aware of the health benefits of the purple mangosteen as it has gained much popularity in recent years. There are claims of antihistamine and anti-inflammatory properties. In Asian medicine, this fruit was said to inhibit breast cancer, liver cancer and leukemia. Mangosteen is used to treat diarrhea, skin infection and wounds throughout Southeast Asia.

Many companies have been selling mangosteen juices because of the antioxidant xanthone, which is found in the skin of the mangosteen. Xanthone is recognized as being beneficial to the cardiovascular system, being antibiotic, antiviral and strengthening the immune system. Hydroxycitric acid in the rind seems to be an appetite suppressant and is now being looked at as a possible natural medication for weight loss, a several million dollar industry. There is also research being done on the whole fruit juice for treatment of autism and other symptoms where the illness may be linked to a chemically toxic environment.

So Lanny has more than 120 lemon-drop mangosteen trees in his orchard. Because the skin has so much benefits, I first washed the fruit and placed the fruits in very little water and boiled them. After they started to boil, I smashed them down with a mallet to be sure that I got complete extraction of the juice and smashed the skins to get its health benefit also. I strained the juice out and with equal amounts of sugar, made lemon-drop mangosteen jam. If this fruit is as good as it claims, I may have to rub the jam on my body!

Update on


Smoke Alarms:

I had written several months ago about the new “intelligent” smoke alarms that can distinguish between a real fire and cooking smoke so we ran down to buy one. It is not very intelligent, and with the amount I cook, it went off almost daily. A woman’s voice was screaming to us, “FIRE! FIRE! FIRE!” The other day, while I was cooking some jam, it was the final straw. The “intelligent” smoke alarm is now disconnected until we find a replacement. Maybe the old-fashioned, not-so-intelligent ones are better.

My mother used to keep a container of used oil next to her stove. There was a fire recently in Honolulu at an elderly couple’s apartment when the can of used oil next to the stove caught on fire. I do not recommend keeping any used oil anywhere near your stove. Throw it away!


If you shop weekly and use your recyclable bags, please wash them every other month. I just washed a bunch that were starting to smell. Can you imagine the poor bag person at the supermarket who puts your groceries in your bag and it has an odor. I would not be able to do that without saying something!

Frequently Asked Questions:

Q: Food sometimes sticks to my nonstick pan, why does it happen?

A: If you do not heat the pan first before adding oil, then your food will tend to stick to your pan. The “warm” pan does not allow a crust to form on meat, fish or poultry and they will stick to your pan. Try it with eggs. Heat the pan, then add a little oil. Place the egg in the pan. It should not stick.

Q: I took my banana bread out of the oven and the middle fell. What happened?

A: I have done this in the past and learned that I did not allow the banana bread to fully cook. When you remove it from the oven, it will drop in the middle where it is not quite cooked, and no matter if you place it back in the oven, it will not raise again. Make sure you have given the bread enough time to bake, usually one hour will work and do not rush the time. It is not worth it.


It is time to start looking at your pantry and smelling your spices before you start baking for the holidays. Remember, if it smells musty, replace it. Ground spices last about six months, whole spices a year or more.

Please feel free to e-mail me at if you have a question. Bon appetit until next week.


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