Close-relative of the popular mamey sapote, the green sapote is slightly smaller in size, with green-yellow or brownish skin and an orange-red pulp much like its cousin. Strangely, the fruit is little known outside of Central America, even though its flavor is often described as superior to the mamey sapote.
The trees range from 5–16 m (16–52 ft) tall and are evergreen. The leaves are alternate, palmately compound with three to five leaflets, the leaflets 6–13 cm long and 2.5–5 cm broad with an entire margin. The leaf petiole 10–15 cm long. The fruit is an ovoid drupe, 5–10 cm in diameter, with a thin, inedible skin turning from green to yellow when ripe, and an edible pulp, which can range in flavor from bland to banana-like to peach to pear to vanilla. The pulp can be creamy-white in green-skin varieties or a beige-yellow in yellow-skin varieties and has a smooth texture similar to ripe avocado. It contains one to five seeds that are said to have narcotic properties. A slight color change is often the best indication of maturity. The fruit must be clipped from the branch. If it is pulled from the branch, the area around the stem insert will spoil before the rest of the flesh ripens. The fruit is ready to eat when slightly soft to the touch.
Green Sapote Benefits:
sapotes are best eaten uncooked. Cooking makes them limp and less flavorful.
- Sapotes can be eaten alone or combined with other fresh fruits in salads for added interest.
- Puree peeled, seeded sapote and mix with orange juice or milk and a few drops of vanilla to make a refreshing drink.
- Fruit has a remarkably high food value, almost as rich in protein, carbohydrate and vitamins as bananas.
- The bark, seeds and leaves contain a glucoside called Casimirosine that has proved to have an hypnotic and sedative effect.
- Regionally, it is used medicinally to induce sleep
- A decoction of the leaves is also used to treat diabetes, while in China it is popularly used to lower blood pressure.