Ice Cream Bean (Inga edulis)
The Ice Cream Bean tree is a large, fast-growing leguminous tropical fruit tree native to South America. It can fruit within 3 years of germination.
Ice Cream Bean fruit is so unique. The pulpy interior is snow white with a cotton candy texture and a sweet flavor reminiscent of vanilla ice cream. When roasted, the seeds provide a rich source of protein. The seeds should not, however, be eaten raw. The interior cottony pulp of the Ice Cream Bean pods is an excellent source of dietary fiber, polyphenols, anti-oxidants and anti-inflammatories.
Ice Cream Bean pods average about one foot long. Trees can grow very large, reaching up to 100 feet in their native climates! They're also an amazing nitrogen fixer for surrounding soil. Prune trees in late winter or early spring to open the canopy and stimulate fruit growth.