Bring in some Mexican flavor this Cinco De Mayo

It is always great to explore new foods and flavors. This Cinco de Mayo introduce chayote into your diet.

Chayote

Pronounced [chah-YOH-teh], the chayote is a member of the squash family and is native Mexican plant. Around the world it is known by various names including merliton, christophene and chowchow. It is a member of the squash family and is referred to as the “vegetable pear”. It’s quite crunchy flesh can be eaten both raw and cooked. The chayote is seen in two forms, smooth and prickly. It is a rich a source of dietary fiber, anti-oxidants, minerals, vitamins.

The whole plant including the fruit, stem and leaves contains multiple nutrients and has anti-inflammatory properties that can aid in the treatment of high-blood pressure, kidney stones and heart disease.

Selection

Select firm, smooth, unwrinkled chayote.  Old chayote become very wrinkled and become dry and tough.  Chayote will keep refrigerated for many days but it is best to use as quickly as possible.

Health Benefits

Chayote can help support weight loss efforts, as it is low in calories and fibrous. The high water content and fiber help keep you fuller for longer without taking in a lot of calories. You can eat chayote as a snack to keep hunger at bay and stay within your daily calorie intake. Due to the fruit’s soft texture, you can use chayote to bulk up a salad or add it to a smoothie

Chayote is an abundant source of folate and vitamin C.Vitamin C is an important antioxidant that helps fight free radicals, which may increase the risk of heart disease and some forms of cancer.

Trace minerals are required in small amounts on a daily basis to help maintain a healthy metabolism, immune system and strong bones. Chayote contains the trace minerals zinc, magnesium, calcium, phosphorus and potassium. Trace minerals make up part of the body’s hormones and enzymes

Culinary uses

The chayote can be eaten raw in salads, or stuffed and baked.  Other preparations include mashing, pickling, frying or boiling. The plain squash tends to be bland and benefits from “aggressive” seasoning.

Here is an awesome recipe that you could use in a taco or add on to a salad or eat with some cooked quinoa. It has lots of flavor and very easy to make:

chayote-with-sauce Healthy Tacos recipes avochoco-pudding-closeup
Roasted Chayote and Black
Bean Tacos
Fiesta Lettuce Shrimp Tacos
with Green Chili Sauce
Avo Choco Mousse