Lo Han Guo AKA Monk Fruit: So Sweet, it’s Wrong

My husband likes balls. Chewy balls, creamy balls, fuzzy balls, and now, hard balls filled with dried pods. Should I be concerned?

Monk Fruit

Balls du jour

Lo Han Guo is the Chinese name for Monk Fruit, a super-sweet fruit indigenous to China and Thailand. Recently, monk fruit has gained notoriety as a low-calorie alternative sweetener and can be found in granulated form alongside stevia.

Monk fruit

Or, you could do it the old-fashioned way

Meanwhile, the Chinese have been using lo han guo for centuries to improve longevity, balance internal heat, clear the respiratory system, and, oh yeah, sweeten things. 

Here’s how they do it:

Smash open the balls with a knife. Place in a pot of boiling water and simmer for an hour. Strain the liquid and let cool. 

monk fruit drink

For three fruits, I used about a liter and a half of water. As soon as the fruits began to simmer, the water turned dark brown and began to emit a smell of burnt hot chocolate, herbs, and coffee. After an hour, the liquid became freakishly sweet and caramely — like a cup of coffee you’d serve to a 5-year-old.

In my opinion, monk fruit is far too sweet to drink on its own, however small amounts could be added to other beverages if desired. That said, I don’t see why anyone would go through the hassle of boiling dried monk fruits unless they are using them for medicinal purposes. Otherwise, I’d just stick to the stevia…

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