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What does crystalline ice plant actually taste like…

By: Reading Time: 2 Minutes

Healthy and good: With its slightly salty taste, crystalline ice plant is full of surprises and vitamins.

The green pearl

Although it almost sounds like a cheesy declaration of love, crystalline ice plant is arguably one of the most impressive of vegetables, thanks to its unique surface texture.

The leaves and stems are covered in crystal-like pearls as if small drops of dew were frozen on them. This idiosyncratic feature has also earned the green plant the nickname ice flower.

 

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Less romantic people naturally might think that it somewhat resembles tetrahydrocannabinol, in other words, the THC found in marijuana plants. However, no one should try to smoke crystalline ice plant – that’s bound to backfire.

Origin: South Africa

Crystalline ice plant, which goes by the melodious botanical name Mesembryanthemum crystallinum, has its origins in South Africa. It can grow between roughly 30 to 40 inches long and belongs to the family of midday flowers.

Despite its name, ice flower prefers warmer regions due to its origins. However, thanks to a complex chromosome number, it is adaptable and can also be grown in northern climates.

 

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Demanding, outstanding in taste and healthy

However, it is very demanding and needs a nutrient-rich soil and a sunny spot to grow. But this beauty did not make its way here simply because of its captivating appearance: Crystalline ice plant also has a lot to offer in the way of culinary delights. In terms of taste, the green pearl has a refreshingly salty note and is somewhat reminiscent of spinach.

Like the similarly colored spinach, you can also cook the stalks and leaves by briefly steaming them. Crystalline ice plant (available from R&S Gourmet Express) is definitely at its best when served as a salad. Any wilted leaves and coarse stems are first removed and then blanched in salted water for about two minutes. Together with beet, ginger and dill, the juicy vegetables make a refreshing salad with a salty aromatic kick.

By the way, crystalline ice plant is also rich in valuable ingredients such as magnesium and sodium salts as well as minerals and vitamins.

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