In my ever continuing search for unusual ingredients, today I bring you the Aloe Vera plant. I have lathered my body in the past with many Aloe Vera enhanced creams and lotions in my life, even broke of a leaf from a house Aloe plant to help ease a burn…but I never saw it as something I could really consume.
NOTE: I would not recommend trying this with your houseplant. There are about 200 species of Aloe…stick to the one sold in the markets grown for consumption…just to be sure!
Well apparently it can be eaten…or sipped. A few month ago I discovered Aloe juice bottles from an Asian grocery store. They always have the coolest weird drinks! I really liked it and I loved the fact that the juice contained tiny slivers of Aloe flesh. On a side note it’s great with Tequila too as a cocktail. But back to serious business, when I was hunting down those un-findable white asparagus for the 5 Star makeover challenge I found myself again in another Asian market. No white asparagus in sight but they did sell giant leaves (or stalk?) of Aloe Vera. I had to get one.
As you can see it is very big: here it is with my home cordless phone which is maybe 6 or 7 inches long. I barely could get it in the fridge comfortably. great so now what do I do with it I thought. I started searching online and guess what, there are not many appealing or edible recipes out there for Aloe. Finally I settled on Poached Aloe that I found here. Unfortunately I cooked it too much and I wound up with a mass of sticky sweet Aloe gel….so let’s make Aloe candy! This was inspired by the ginger chewy candies I adore that you can find in Chinatown. But let’s start at the beginning and let me show you how to prepare the flesh.
Get a good knife, a big cutting board and get ready to get slimmed. Start of by cutting along leaf edge where there are sharp points. Cut also the bottom part off…you can see below the gel in cross section. After a little nudge with the knife the flat top part will peel right off.
Next you have the bottom curved edge of the leave. This is a bit more tricky. You have 2 choices: either run knife under the gel (you may miss a lot of meat) and/or scoop out with a spoon. Make sure to remove all rind or yellow parts which are bitter. You can see below the translucent strips of solid gel. Cool eh?
Now you can cut up your strips of flesh into small cubes. Oh did I mention this stuff is slimy? Like think Ghostbusters slimy. try to keep things as clean as possible…good luck! Slimy and stretchy. Now your flesh is ready for making candy.
1 large aloe leaves peeled and cubed
1/2 cup sugar
1 tbs lime juice
Cook the aloe over medium low heat stirring occasionally until the liquid is no longer slimy and a candy thermometer reads firm ball stage 245ºF (118ºC). Allow to cool to touch. Spread some cornstarch on your counter so the aloe does not stick and roll it out into a cylinder. Cut into pieces and roll them out into balls with some cornstarch.
Yep, all that gave me 7 candies. As you can see it is very similar to the ginger chew that I placed in the upper right corner. The taste is hard to describe, sweet aloe but not overpowering. I would totally eat Aloe candy if I could buy it but I am not planning on making this recipe again. It was cool trying it once.
Looking for more unique candy ideas?:
I had no idea aloe was edible! Learn something new everyday! I’d love to try this sometime. I’m so curious what it tastes like. Your candies look wonderful, by the way! 🙂
Thank you all for your fabulous comments!
whao that was really huge! I’ve never consumed it before; only applied to the part of body. This is really interesting for what you come up with.
Once again, you manage to surprise us with a strange ingredient! I had no idea aloe could be made into candy, I only know it as a moisturizer. Very cool!
Wow Evelyne, I like the idea of aloe candy…I have an aloe plant and just repotted…would love to try these candies out. Like your step-by-step pictures. Hope you are having a great week 🙂
Great blog! I too did not know of it’s many uses up until I got to culinary school and was dazzled by it’s many uses, I was used to seeing my grandmother and every older hispanic woman with one of those plants whipping it out the moment someone came to them with a symptom. Love the site =]
I never knew that aloe was edible…. you learn something new every day!
What a fantastic idea…these sound delightful! I love to make candied ginger and I grow aloe plants in my garden, will have to give this a try 🙂
P.S. Great step by step instructions!
Heyyyy, this is really unique, it’s the first time I’ve seen a post on the gooey aloe and you really got your pics, and hands on the wonderfully versatile stuffs!~ The aloe candy must taste really good, and I am impressed with your creativity too 😀
Wow, you are such a fun, adventuresome cook! I’d love to try these, too!
Coolest candy ever. I had no idea you aloe could be consumed. What a fun ingredient to play around with.
I did buy some aloe agar-agar dessert at the Asian market and also some aloe vera drink; but I never saw the actual leaf! How cool! And thanks to you I will try making these candies, maybe adding another flavor like ginger?
The Aloe candy looks delicious and the picture of the phone cracked me up! I would love to try the candy sometime.
This is so neat, I’ve never seen aloe used for anything but sunburns! I’ll have to be on the lookout for aloe plants!
That’s funny, I was looking at my potted aloe vera plants yesterday, wondering what to do with them…only to find you posting this interesting candy recipe! Normally, I just slather the aloe slime all over my face before I go to bed (it makes your skin glow with health, apparently), but once, I did make a dessert out of my fresh aloe. If you’re interested you can check it out here: http://foodivakitchen.blogspot.com/2011/01/aloe-vera-and-grapefruit-jellywith.html.
One guy actually commented that he’d be too scared to eat my creation! LOL.
I would never think of this in a million years. Great job! So much work for just 7 pieces. Amazing
How unique! I never knew you could even do this! Thanks!
How neat – Aloe candy! Would love to try it for sure! I’ve been seen the aloe vera leaves in Wegmans actually but haven’t picked them up because I didn’t really know what to do with them. In Kai they added to a lime sorbet.