If there’s one tree that I would recommend you have at home when you have a child, it’s KAMIAS!
Kamias is one of our local fruits (native to Southeast Asia, I think) and rich in vitamins B and C, iron, phosphorus, and antioxidants.
But those aren’t the only reasons I would recommend having this tree in your home.
For children’s sake, it’s simply because Kamias (in English, it’s called Bilimbi, Tree Sorrel, or Cucumber Tree) is the only fruit free I know of (of course, feel free to correct me!) that bears fruits from the very bottom of its trunk all the way up! If you take good care of it, it can even cover the whole trunk with its fruits!
My toddler loves picking from “his” kamias tree because he can reach it without any help. He was picking the fruits he could reach all the time, so when I took his photos for this post, it was already the nth time he was picking, and we were telling him to leave the ones he could reach because they were still small – so his dad brought out his ladder and we picked from the higher section of the tree.
Another great thing about this tree is that you can pick the fruits with your hands! No need for special tools. All you need is a bucket / container/ basket for your picks!
Oh, it bears fruits almost non-stop, too. Just a little after picking, you’ll see flowers blooming again. And it’s a low maintenance plant!
After picking, we go straight to washing. Fresh kamias is sticky, which is a great reminder for us to wash. We wash the fruits with a little salt and soak it for a while.
After washing, we cut it in half and dry it under the sun for a few days! When you cut it, you’ll see some parts turn red. Quite cool. I think it can be used as natural dye. Some also make a shake out of this. I have to figure out how to lessen the sourness without putting too much sugar. 😛
I discovered that by drying it under the sun, the sourness is a lot more bearable and actually really yummy. I personally love putting it as toppings for my Fried Cauliflower with Salted Egg recipe. We also use it as replacement for tamarind for Sinigang.
Kamias season is definitely my toddler’s favorite. Hope your child enjoys it, too!
NOTE: If you don’t have access to kamias, no worries! Fruit picking in general is a fun activity for children. In colder countries, you may start with berries in general, grapes, and other small fruits or those on the ground that they can easily reach. You can also start with tomatoes, too. Tomatoes are fruits, after all! Good luck!:)