Chayote is the name of a thin-skinned squash that is Mexican in origin. The wrinkly green fruit, a member of the gourd family, is expected in the Southwest but is still viewed as a novelty item in most of the rest of the country. Chayote squash, though technically a fruit (Sechium edule), is eaten as a vegetable. The gourd’s seeds, skin, and blooms can all be consumed. When raw, the chayote’s pale green flesh is gritty; when cooked, it softens. Chayote is a tasty, healthy food adored for its mild, refreshing, and mildly sweet flavor, similar to cucumber.
What is Chayote?
Summer squashes include chayotes, also known as vegetable pears or mirliton, according to Wesley McWhorter, M.S., R.D., a chef and nutritionist at the UTHealth School of Public Health. Although it’s technically a fruit, much like a tomato, you probably wouldn’t want to bite into it like an apple.
This lumpy green gourd has a mild flavor and a crunchy texture, and it grows on an extended climbing vine in warm locations worldwide. According to the Center for New Crops and Plant Products at Purdue University, chayote has grown since the pre-Columbian era even though it arrived in the United States only in the late nineteenth century.
In reality, research indicates that Sechium edule, a species of chayote squash, was widely dispersed in “Mesoamerica (the geographical and cultural area extending from Mexico down through Central America, including Guatemala, Belize, Honduras, and El Salvador).
According to the Center for New Crops and Plant Products at Purdue University, the pear-shaped squash then moved south into (and throughout) South America, further consolidating its position as a fundamental component of diets and even medical procedures. The fruit is still brimming with potential advantages, even though chayote leaves are no longer employed to remove kidney stones. And with that,
Chayote Nutrition Facts
Health Benefits of Chayote
For pregnant women or attempting to get pregnant, folate is a crucial nutrient. Folate, also referred to as vitamin B9, is essential for fetal brain and spinal cord growth. Preterm births may also be avoided with the aid of folate. One chayote squash has 40% of the daily required amount of folate.
Enhancing Liver Health
Chayote may include substances that prevent the liver from accumulating fat, resulting in fatty liver disease. According to studies, squash can lower cholesterol levels and lessen liver fatty acid accumulation. The diet may also enhance the body’s metabolism and capacity to break down fats.
Researchers have discovered that the phytochemicals in chayote can enhance blood flow and lower blood pressure, supporting the fruit’s historical use in treating heart disease in Mexico. Myricetin is one of the many antioxidants found in chayote, which can help lower cholesterol, reduce inflammation, and guard against free radicals to minimize the risk of contracting diseases like cancer and heart disease.
Improved Control Over Blood Sugar
Chayote is a food that has a good balance of fiber and carbohydrates, which might help you maintain stable blood sugar levels. Chayote’s high fiber content makes you feel fuller even after consuming fewer calories. Additionally, the fiber helps to lower the pace at which your body absorbs carbohydrates, which lowers blood sugar levels.
Additionally, studies have shown that chayote’s chemical constituents can improve insulin sensitivity, improving blood sugar management in persons with type 2 diabetes.
Consuming chayote can significantly reduce oxidative stress and inflammation, two processes that destroy bodily cells. According to research, chayote helps lower metabolic syndrome symptoms, a risk factor for cognitive decline and frailty in older persons. Chayote’s antioxidants and minerals, such as vitamin C, may also aid in shielding your body against cell deterioration and lessen outward signs of aging.
May Support Digestive Health
Several vital processes, such as detoxification, immunity, digestion, and nutrient absorption, are carried out by your digestive system. The digestive system can work better when consumed fruits and vegetables like chayote squash. Chayote has large amounts of flavonoids, which are plant components that aid digestion. According to research, foods with flavonoids support the digestive enzymes needed to eliminate and excrete waste items from your digestive system.
Additionally, regular consumption of foods high in fiber, such as chayote, helps promote good intestinal function and the maintenance of healthy gut bacteria. These advantages encourage bowel regularity and may help avoid several chronic illnesses, including colon cancer, type 2 diabetes, and heart disease.
High in Fiber
Constipation can be treated, and bowel motions can become more regular with a high-fiber diet. Consuming chayote is a healthy method to improve your intake of fiber. One chayote has 3.5 grams of fiber or 14% of the recommended daily intake of 25 grams. Additionally, fiber decreases cholesterol, which supports a healthier cardiovascular system and helps maintain blood sugar levels, which is very beneficial for people with diabetes.
How to Cook and Eat Chayote?
Chayote cooking requires a variety of techniques. All parts of the squash are edible, making it adaptable for cooking and eating (and probably should be, given that the peel contains many nutrients). Every technique will produce a variety of flavors and textures. For instance, the sugar content in chayote causes it to caramelize when grilled.
Eat it raw: Chef Saul Montiel of Cantina Rooftop in New York City uses natural and julienned to add crunch to a salad. He then finishes it with lime juice, a hot Mexican flavor called Tajin, and olive oil to create a simple (and fibrous!) chayote dish.
Apply it to the soup: Because the squash has a mild flavor, you can season it to your taste. Aromatic spices like chipotle, harissa, and curry go well with chayote. Chayote is best used in mole de olla, a classic soup that Chef Montiel’s mother used to offer at her restaurant in Mexico. Chayote squash, zucchini, green beans, maize, potato, chambered, and aguja (steak) meat are used in this dish, which is cooked with these ingredients and seasoned with epazote, garlic, and onion (a Mexican herb). Chef Montiel says the chayote balances the short rib soup’s sweetness and spiciness.
Roast it: Roasting chayote—or any new vegetable, to be honest—is one of the simplest ways to start exploring it. McWhorter suggests the following easy roasted chayote recipe: 2 tablespoons of your preferred oil, 1 pound of chopped chayote, and one teaspoon of black pepper. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes at 375°F. Once the chayote is cooked, only then should salt be added. Science tutorial Through osmosis, salt extracts moisture from plant cell walls.
In particular, with summer squash and eggplant varieties, “if you take moisture out while a water-rich vegetable (or fruit) cooks, it leads to a dry and burnt final product with poor texture,” warns McWhorter. You are waiting until after allows you to enjoy the salty flavor without endangering the chayote. The bottom line is that this advice will completely alter the way you roast meat.
How to Add it to your Diet?
Chayote is highly adaptable and reasonably simple to obtain and cook. These squashes have ridges all over their brilliant green, pear shape skin. Both sweet and savory recipes benefit from their mild flavor. Chayote squashes are prepared like vegetables despite being classed botanically as fruits.
Squash can be eaten whole, including the skin, flesh, and seeds. It can be eaten either raw or cooked, and it tastes fantastic when added raw to salads, slaws, and smoothies. It can also be boiled, roasted, or fried. You might even think about adding them to those dishes to add additional nutrients to soups, stews, and casseroles.
What does Chayote Taste Like?
Although chayotes are shaped like fists, their flavor isn’t particularly potent. Chayote is a versatile addition to the dinner plate because of its mild flavor, which combines apple and cucumber with fresh crispiness reminiscent of jicama.
The taste of ripe chayote squash is moderate and resembles a cross between a cucumber and squash. The green gourd contains a white, crisp flesh that is slightly sweet and has a texture akin to jicama. Despite being prepared and eaten like a vegetable, chayote is a fruit, and the dish can be prepared in the same way as other squash varieties.
Among the ways to consume chayote are: similar to how you would eat raw cucumbers or celery. Chayotes can be cooked or raw and have a light cucumber-like flavor. They can also be eaten fresh or cooked like summer squash. Although chayote skin is edible, it is less sensitive than meat. Thus, it is usually a good idea to peel it. The fruit’s seed in the middle can be eaten as well.
You may boil, steam, bake, or even grill chayote, just like you would any squash. Chayote’s dense flesh takes a surprising amount of time to cook—a whole one takes 30 to 40 minutes to steam or boil, a sliced one takes 6 to 8 minutes to boil, and slices that are baked take 20 to 30 minutes to bake.
Is Chayote Good for your Kidneys?
The entire plant, including the fruit, stem, and leaves, includes a variety of minerals and has anti-inflammatory characteristics that can help cure indigestion, kidney stones, and high blood pressure. Chayote is low in calories and high in fiber, both of which can promote weight loss attempts.
Chayote contains potassium and diuretic alkaloids that aid in the kidneys’ removal of excess fluid and salt from the body. Less juice in the blood will lower blood pressure since less fluid is present in the body.
Chayote’s fruit and shoots contain diuretics (smooth out urine). His outstanding cuisine has significant levels of iron and vitamin B2, two nutrients that strongly encourage the synthesis of red blood cells, a vital activity to prevent the onset of anemia.
Chayote is a delicious raw snack that tastes well on its own, with condiments or seasoned. Chayote should be cut in half like an avocado, and the seed should be removed. When roasted, the edible seed has a delicious, nutty flavor. Slice, julienne, or cube the chayote.
Is Chayote Good for the Immune System?
A large amount of vitamin C is present in chayote fruit, which helps to strengthen our immune system and prevent colds and flu. A large amount of vitamin C is present in chayote fruit, which helps to improve our immune system and prevent colds and flu.
B vitamins are also included in chayote, making it crucial for a positive outlook, energy, and the avoidance of birth abnormalities. Papaya is a superior option, but both taste great when cooked and served with tinola because both veggies become incredibly tender when boiled and cooked longer than necessary.
Sayote is frequently mashed and served as one of the first foods for infants. Vitamin K in a whole chayote squash is about eight micrograms.
That amounts to around 9% of the daily recommended intake of 90 micrograms for women and 7% of the recommended daily intake of 120 micrograms for males. According to a study, chayote juice is exceptionally high in vitamin C and antioxidants and can have a tasty flavor profile when combined with pineapple juice and stevia.
Chayote, a gourd that resembles a bright green pear, is frequently mistaken for a vegetable but is a fruit. The chayote squash, also known as mirliton, is often grown in Mexico and other warm nations. It can be eaten both raw and cooked. Both the leaves and the root of this plant are edible.
Chayote is an excellent choice to test out attractive new fruits and vegetables. Chayote is a nutritious vegetable with fiber, folate, and vitamin C, among many other vitamins and minerals. The fruit is versatile, simple, and rich in healthy nutrients. It also has an unusual flavor and texture.
Chayote can be eaten raw and cooked, but it must first be peeled. You can replace it with squash in some recipes. It can also be chopped, sliced, or julienned and used in slaws or salads containing seasonal fresh ingredients. This fruit can also be stuffed, sautéed, pickled, deep-fried, stewed, mashed, roasted, or baked like a potato. Some people use chayote instead of zucchini or other types of squash in their favored dishes.