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What Is Jujube Fruit?

What Is Jujube Fruit?

Ever wondered what is jujube? Then this guide is for you! Learn everything you need to know about this versatile fruit, from its origin, how to store jujube to its culinary uses. 

Not to be mistaken for their candy counterpart, Jujubes are sweet, juicy fruits cultivated for thousands of years and have a long history in Chinese medicine. 

The jujube fruit is native to China and parts of Asia, but it has been cultivated worldwide for thousands of years. 

In fact, its cultivation was considered one of the four major fruits in ancient China

The jujube fruit has a sweet, juicy flesh often used for making jams and juices. 

The skin of the fruit can be bitter and astringent before it’s ripe, but many people enjoy eating it as well. 

It’s also commonly dried into raisins or preserved in sugar syrup.

Although they’re often eaten fresh or used to make jams and jellies, they can also be boiled down into syrup that can be used as an alternative sweetener.

Jujubes are small fruits with a sweet taste that are eaten fresh or used to make jams and jellies. 

While they’re often sold as dried fruits in grocery stores, jujubes can be boiled down into a syrup that can be used as an alternative sweetener. 

Learn more about Jujubes here!

As mentioned, jujubes are small to medium-sized fruit native to China, Europe, and southern and eastern Asia. 

They belong to the Rhamnaceae family and are closely related to another family, Vitaceae

Also known as red date or Chinese date, jujube fruit is very akin in taste and texture to that of an apple. 

According to the USDA, jujube fruits have a short shelf life and can be stored for no more than 10 days under non-controlled conditions. 

Aside from eating them raw, the fruits are versatile–you can turn them into jams, sauces, and dips–the possibilities are endless, really!

Where does Jujube fruit come from?

The jujube (Ziziphus jujuba Mill) is native to the northern hemisphere, and its fruit is enjoyed in many places worldwide. 

The jujube tree is a deciduous, thorny shrub that grows up to 20 meters tall. 

Its leaves are simple and pinnate with 3-5 leaflets, which are dark green on top and lighter on the underside. 

The flowers are small and white with five petals. 

The fruit is a reddish purple drupe that turns into a deep rust color when ripe. 

It can be eaten fresh or dried as a snack or tea ingredient.

Jujubes come from the Rhamnaceae family, which includes some of the first cultivated fruit trees in history—such as apples, peaches, plums, almonds, and pistachios. 

The Yellow River (Huang He) is considered the “Mother River” in China—the source where these trees were first cultivated by humans thousands of years ago.

How to know if Jujube fruit is ripe

Jujube fruit is one of the most delicious and versatile fruits you can find. 

It’s a great addition to your morning smoothie, it makes an excellent addition to your oatmeal in the morning, and it’s even perfect for snacking on throughout the day.

But how do you know when they’re ripe?

Look for a deep, rusty tint.

Jujubes are usually a deep red color when they’re ripe. 

When they aren’t ready for picking, however, they’re usually a bright lime green color. 

If you see this color in your jujubes, it means they’re ready to eat!

Be careful about picking too early!

If you pick them too early, their flavor won’t be as good—and if you let them sit too long after being picked, their texture will change from firm to mushy and soft. 

You should wait until the lime green tint starts to fade and a rusty brown tinge emerges before picking them up from your tree or bush!

Early morning pickings are optimal for taste!

You’ll want to go out as early as possible to get the best-tasting fruit—and you’ll want to pick them before the sun gets too hot. 

If you go out too late in the day, your jujubes will have a softer texture and less flavor than if they were picked early in the morning!

What does Jujube fruit taste like?

You may compare the flavor of a jujube fruit to that of an apple and a date.

After drying, which you’ll typically find them as, they take on a chewy, date-like texture and flavor. 

They’re sweet, but not too sweet—a good snack for when you want something healthy and tasty!

The fruits of the jujube tree are small and delicious. 

These fruits have an apple-like sweetness and make for a quick snack. 

They have a pit in the middle that contains two seeds, and you’ll want to get rid of those before eating the fruit.

How to store Jujube fruit

Jujube fruit has a pretty short shelf life, unfortunately. It’s best to keep fresh jujube fruit in the refrigerator.

If you’re wondering how to store jujube fruit, whether on your counter or in the refrigerator, let them come to full ripeness (about two days on the counter, or red at the stem) and then transfer them to a vented polybag or cloth produce bag and keep in the fridge.

Here’s how to properly store jujube fruit 

Tools needed:

Instructions for storing jujube fruit

  1. Vent your poly (plastic) bag with a few holes or transfer ripe jujubes to a cloth produce bag.
  2. Store in the fruit drawer with moderate humidity for up to a month. 
  3. You can also place them in an airtight container and keep in the refrigerator for up to a week.

Here’s how to freeze jujube fruit

Planning to freeze your jujubes for future use (or to preserve them)? 

Wait until they’re fully ripe, and then freeze them on a cookie sheet with parchment paper, keeping at least an inch between each jujube. Once frozen, transfer them into freezer bags or containers and return them to the freezer for up to six months.

Does Jujube fruit have a core?

Jujube fruit does have a core. 

The pit inside the jujube is two seeds, which are removed before eating. 

These seeds are very bitter, so they’re not suitable for eating alone–so if you happen to eat the fruit raw, it’s recommended to remove them.

How to eat Jujube fruit

Jujube fruit is an excellent addition to your daily diet.

Jujubes can be eaten raw, baked, or used in soups and sauces. 

They can also be made into confections and teas.

You can juice them and add them to smoothies or nut milk. 

You can even use them to make cocktails!

Here are some tried and true ways to eat Jujube fruit:

  • Raw: Jujubes are delicious and eaten raw as a snack or dessert. Try pairing them with cheese or drizzling honey for an extra sweet treat!
  • Baked: Jujubes can be baked into cakes, cookies, and other desserts for a delicious treat. Remove the seeds before baking them, so they don’t burn!
  • Soups: Jujubes have a unique flavor that lends itself well to soups and stews. Try adding a few diced jujubes to your following soup recipe for something different!
  • Sauces and dips: Jujubes are great in sauces and dips because of their sweet flavor, which pairs well with savory dishes like eggplant parmesan or grilled chicken breast. The seeds may need to be removed before use as they tend not.
  • Confections: Jujubes can be used to make candy, ice cream, and other treats. Try making your jujube candy or adding them to a homemade ice cream recipe for an extra sweet treat! 
  • Tea: Some people enjoy jujube tea, but others find it too sweet. To make jujube tea, steep a handful of jujubes in hot water for 5-10 minutes and add honey or sugar to taste. 
  • Juices: Jujubes can be used to make juices, including apple juice and other fruit blends. Try adding jujubes to sparkling water for an easy spritzer!
  • Smoothies: Jujubes can be used in smoothies, especially fruit smoothies. Add them to a combination of your favorite fruits and juice or water if desired.
  • Cocktails: Jujubes can be used in cocktail recipes. Try adding them to ginger ale or ginger beer for a spicy twist on the classic drink. Add some honey or sugar if desired. Or incorporate whiskey, vodka, or tequila for an easy cocktail!

Ways to use Jujube fruit

Jujube fruit is one of the most commonly used fruits in the world. 

It is available in many countries, and you can find it easily at local grocery stores. 

Here are some ways to use jujube fruit:

This Vegan Rice Pudding With Jujube Fruit is a great way to eat your dessert and feel good about it!

What’s more? 

You can make this vegan rice pudding with jujube fruit in less than an hour! 

And it’s so simple: just boil the rice, add the milk and other ingredients, then cook until thickened. 

Top with some fresh fruit for extra sweetness and texture, then enjoy!

Autumn Jujube Jam is a unique blend of fresh, juicy autumn jujubes and the sweet, fragrant taste of ripe apples. 

It’s so delicious on toast or bagels—or you can try it as a glaze for chicken or fish!

If you’re looking for a dessert that’s both sweet and savory, look no further than Fresh Jujube Tart With Walnut Cream topping.

This recipe is simple, but it takes advantage of the best ingredients.

The tart shell is made of walnut paste, which makes it crunchy yet buttery. 

It pairs perfectly with the sweet jujube filling.

The walnut paste is also used as a topping for this tart—it adds a layer of sweetness to the dessert without being too overpowering. 

The result is an elegant dessert that your guests will love!

The bottom line

Jujube fruit is not just a tasty treat, and if you’re looking for an alternative to sugar or other sweeteners, it’s an excellent choice!

Its natural sweetness can be used in place of sugar or artificial sweeteners without sacrificing the taste or texture of your food!

How To Store Jujube Fruit

How To Store Jujube Fruit

If you're wondering how to store jujube fruit, here's how to properly do it!


  • Jujube fruit
  • Polybag or cloth produce bag


  1. Vent your poly (plastic) bag with a few holes or transfer ripe jujubes to a cloth produce bag.
  2. Store in the fruit drawer with moderate humidity for up to a month. 
  3. You can also place them in an airtight container and keep in the refrigerator for up to a week.
  4. To freeze jujubes, place them on a cookie sheet covered in parchment at least an inch apart. Freeze completely, then transfer them to zipper bags and freeze for up to six months.

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