If you've ever spent any time wandering around the produce section of an Asian supermarket, you've probably run across these:

The ziziphus jujube goes by many names- but most commonly it's called a red date, Chinese date or jujube. It's part of the Buckthorn botanical family and has been cultivated by the Chinese for over 4,000 years. In ancient times, it was classified as one of the five celebrated fruits of China along with peach, plum, chestnut, and apricot.  

Jujubes are a smooth, oval-shaped edible drupe with a small stone in the center. The outer layer is a bit of a pale yellow-green color and the Styrofoam-like white flesh tastes like a bland apple. Most cultures put jujubes out in the sun to dry out and as they mature they turn a golden brown and take on a sweeter taste. Eventually they take on a red color and wrinkle up like old man testicles. The fruit is used to make a multitude of items- jams, tea, wine, lozenges, a variety of desserts and even jujube butter. (Also jujubes make a great substitute for dates in recipes.) The fruit and seeds are also used in Korean and Chinese medicine to alleviate stress, help with insomnia, lower blood pressure and to help treat colds, flus and sore throats. Jujubes contain twenty times more Vitamin C than any other citrus fruit. 

Jujube Tea


8 cups water
15-20 dried jujubes, cut in half and seed removed
1/2 cup fresh ginger, peeled and sliced
1/4 cup fresh mint, sliced
4 tablespoons honey (optional)


1. Wash your dried jujubes in cold water. Discard the water.
2. Place 8 cups of water into your pot. Add in jujubes and ginger. Bring to a boil then lower to a simmer.
3. Simmer for 20 minutes. Add honey and mint. Simmer for 5 more minutes.
4. Remove from heat. Allow to steep for a few more minutes.
5. Strain. Keep the liquid and discard the solids.
6. Serve hot or chilled.

* You can also make this recipe in a slow cooker for a longer steep.
* If you want to change up the flavor, you can substitute some cinnamon sticks for the fresh mint.
1 Response
  1. grace Says:

    jujubes are neat! i had no idea! :)

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