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Spring has officially sprung in my corner of the world. But even if you're entering the cooler months this nifty trick is one for the bookmark bar.
When it comes to eating, spring is definitely my favourite season. There is something about the sun getting brighter, coupled with fruit and fresh veggies that tickles me pink.
I love when I can use my off cuts in a recipe, but I love it even more when fruit and vegetables give me sneaky parts of their DNA that mean I don't have to buy more, and can simply plant my own.
In a world where we're running between responsibilities, aside from giving us an appreciation of nature, gardening can also be incredibly meditative. There's beauty in the way that tending to plants that slows us down, and makes us appreciate our surroundings.Passionfruit is a versatile fruit; I particularly love it in smoothies and banana ice cream. Once we've learnt how to grow them I'm also going to gift you my plant-based passionfruit ice-cream recipe. You're welcome.
First things first, passionfruit is not a tree but a climbing vine. They climb quickly and will go as high as possible.
Passionfruit comes in two varieties; Purple passionfruit is slightly sweeter and better suited to a climate with cooler winters. Golden passionfruit loves warm weather and is best suited to tropical environments.
My suggestion is to buy a couple of different fruits and start your plant from the most delicious one!
You'll need at least half a dozen ripe passionfruit.
Once you've found a delicious passionfruit, you want to act quickly. The fresher the seeds, the quicker they will produce fruit.
Open the passionfruit and spread them onto a length of hessian fabric rubbing them until the juice sacs burst open.
Tip: I do this on a baking tray so I can transfer the juice for delicious desserts
Next, wash the seeds in water and then leave them to dry for three to four days.
Once dried, give them another wash, and then dry them outside in the shade.
Ideally, you want to start the plant off in a container that's about 90 square centimetres and transfer it to your garden later.
Fill the container with a soil mixture; the best mixture should be equal parts compost, top soil and coarse sand. You'll want a good 10 centimetres of the mixture.
Next, grab a stick from the garden and create some 'furrows', which are little trenches, or rows.
Make sure your furrows are about 5 centimetres apart. These furrows are going to act as shallow drains to prevent moisture from drowning your seeds and roots.
Sow the seeds!
Place them 1 centimetre apart from one another inside each furrow, then cover them with a very thin layer of your soil mixture.
Once you've sown your seeds they need to be watered straight away; make sure the soil is moist but not drenched (I like to use an old spray bottle).
Now that they're in the soil, they need a spray of water occasionally when the surface of the soil dries out.
Once your little seedlings are about 20-25 centimetres high, they're ready to be transferred to a permanent location in the garden!
Repeat the same process on your allocated garden spot, making sure that they have something to climb; A wall, a fence or even some sticks that you can dig into the ground.
If you've planted fresh seeds, you should start to see them grow within 10-20 days and around 12-18 months for fruit. Once you've got a good vine growing, they just need a little love, water and sunshine.
And be careful! Once they start to fruit, you're going to have more passionfruit than you can give away, passionfruit vines love producing fruit so let all your friends know they no longer need to buy it.
Passionfruit Banana Ice cream recipe
2 large frozen bananas (the riper, the better!)
The fruit of 3 passionfruits
Agave to taste (or sugar, or honey)
1. I like to cut my bananas first and then freeze them, pop the frozen pieces of banana in a food processor and blend (about 1 minute)2. The banana should be nearly smooth, with a few chunks, add the passionfruit juice and slowly add your sweetener, tasting as you go.3. Blend until smooth
4. Enjoy the most amazing Banana Ice-cream that has the most delectable consistency!
The great thing about this recipe is you can eat ice-cream and count it towards your fruit and veg intake for the day!