JUJUBE

lat. Ziziphus jujube
hrv. Žižula

Jujube is a small deciduous tree or shrub of the Rhamnaceae family, reaching a height of 5-12 metres, usually with thorny branches and often referred to as red date.

History and Origin

Jujube was domesticated in south Asia as early as 9000 BC. The tree tolerates a wide range of temperatures and rainfall, because of these reasons jujube has over 400 cultivars, all of them in common culinary and medical use all over the world.

In some Himalayan regions, it is a custom for young boys to take a stem of a sweet-smelling jujube flower with them to attract girls. As there is the belief that the plants sweet smell has the power to make teenagers fall in love.

In Croatia, especially Dalmatia, jujubes are famous for their use in marmalades, juices, and rakija (fruit brandy).

Properties

The powerful antioxidants and organic compounds found in this fruit will grant you a wide range of health benefits.
Being a rich source of both iron and phosphorous, the jujube is ideal for treating anaemia as well as muscle weakness, fatigue and overall improvement of circulation.

Jujube Butter Oatmeal Bars

Jujube fruit simmered with apple cider to make a fruit butter,
sandwiched between layers of pecan oatmeal bar cookie
in a fruit dessert.

Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 50 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 10 minutes

Ingredients:
2 cups chopped pitted jujube fruit (size of chop doesn’t matter)
1 cup apple cider
1+½ cups rolled oats
1+½ cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1 cup brown sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon salt
1+½ sticks butter (6 ounces)
1 cup chopped pecans

Instructions

  • In a medium-sized saucepan combine the jujubes and apple cider over a medium heat. Bring to the boil, then reduce the heat and simmer for 20 minutes until the fruit is softened.
    Puree (I used my immersion blender) until reasonably smooth, small pieces of jujube skin are just fine. You’ll have about 1 cup. Set aside.
  • In a food processor with a metal blade (or mixing bowl with wooden spoon, your choice) combine oats, flour, sugar, baking powder and salt.
    Add in the butter and process or stir until dough comes together without dry patches.
  • Remove half of the dough and reserve. Add in the pecans to the remainder. Process to incorporate.
  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit and grease pan (see Note above, I prefer 9×9 but you can also use the same amount of ingredients for a 9×13 pan). Pat the reserved (without nuts) dough into the bottom of the pan. Spread jujube butter across dough. Top with remaining (with nuts) dough, spreading evenly over jujube butter and patting down. Bake for 20 to 30 minutes until top is lightly browned.
  • Cool completely, and even chill for an hour before cutting for neater edges.