Another first: Discovering the Chayote
Living life one day at a time is an exciting way to look at what can I do today that I’ve never done before… today it is trying a Chayote. I find that meandering into a Mexican vegetable and fruit stand, even though I’ve visited several Central and South American countries over the years, conjures up how much I don’t know and need to learn about food, nutrition, those who eat foods that I’ve never heard of, and what can be crafted from these unknowns. The conversation I had with the owner of the stand was well worth the stop! We will learn from each other, I am sure, for years to come!
I am looking for a food to add to my vegetable bread, the recipes of which I will share with you at some point. I am looking for something somewhat bland or sweet, but could have a consistency of firm, or when cooked, such as mashed potatoes (yum); a binding ingredient, packed with nutrients and low in sugar. In my dreams, right????
A Chayote is a is an edible plant belonging to the gourd family. Yes, the spikes are brutal so tongs are a must, at least for the preparation that I had today. Chayotes are not packed with nutrients such artichokes or spinach (which are high in protein), nor calories, but they are nutritious, with relatively low carbs and fat. Manganese, vitamin C, and folates are abundant which supports the nervous system; so it is brain food! We need all the brain foods we can get to help remove the effects of the metals and chemicals (from prescription drugs-statins specifically) drowning in our systems which cause Parkinsons, Alzheimers, and other nervous system maladies.
Long story short, I put the Chayote in a pot of boiling water (using tongs of course) for 45 minutes. I added water about every 10-15 minutes to make sure it was well submerged, until it felt slightly soft. Using the tongs, I sat it on its plump end, and peeled from the top down, skinning it of its spikes. I showered it with my special ‘Divine Hints Oil’ (bacon and jalapeno infused), and added garlic pepper.
The flavor was tasty and unique; flavorful but not strong. The texture was just right for me which means not mushy, but firm enough that it could add the crispy balance that I am always looking for in my salads. But, it could also be mashed for the consistency I need in my vegetable bread. The taste resembled a mix of turnips, potatoes, and something else that I couldn’t put my finger on…
I liked it; I will have it again, and again.
After searching the internet for other recipes, I’ve decided (did not find this one the world wide web), that I will next use it in my journey to find a recipe for fabulous ‘hashbrowns’ that are made with nutrient packed vegetables with less starch than potatoes. I’ve already discovered a couple of great ones, which I will share at some point. However, the touch of flavor that I like is common in the dishes that are made with the ‘Divine Hints Oils’, which are completely nutritious. No preservatives, gluten, or chemicals.