Chayote, commonly called vegetable pear, is a member of the gourd family and is native to Central America – an amazing addition to the green superfoods family. Various Central American cultures have been using this plant as a staple in their diet and, believe it or not, as a way to dissolve kidney stones and treat other urinary disorders. Aztec tribes, in particular, boiled the leaves of the plant and drank the strained water three to five times a day to treat kidney stones.
Modern science suggests that the ability to heal kidney stones and relieve other urinary complications comes from the diuretic properties in both the leaves and fruit of the plant. Interestingly enough, the same remedy is also used to treat arthrosclerosis and hypertension—yet another reason this plant should make an appearance on everyone’s list of superfoods for health and disease prevention.
Add Chayote to Your List of ‘Superfoods’
If you hadn’t added Chayote to your list of “10 superfoods” yet, jump on it! Other great benefits of the chayote plant are that it is really a very common plant and nearly all of its parts are edible. People enjoy the fruit either raw or cooked. The leaves are commonly boiled down for tea, and the tuberous root is starchy, like yucca, and provides an excellent source of carbohydrates. Kudos for low-waste plant consumption!
Mild and Fresh Taste
The fruit of the chayote plant gathers the most culinary attention because of the versatility of its mild and fresh taste. It can be consumed straight from the plant unpeeled and unseeded, although you may want to dust it off on your shirt! And, it can also be cooked in a variety of different ways: steamed, stewed, fried, baked, etc. Because it has a mild taste, the fruit welcomes a diverse palate of seasonings and is used in vegetarian and meat dishes alike. So, this superfood gets extra bonus points for being easy to use in the kitchen.
In the meantime, I found this nice recipe for making Stuffed Chayotes on the Brookhaven Marketplace site that I’m sharing below:
Preparation Time: 10 min. | Cooking Time: 90 min. | Total Time: 100 min.
You will need:
- 6 small chayotes, cut lengthwise in half
- 2 quarts water
- 1 cup low fat cheddar cheese
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1 Tbsp margarine or butter
- 1/2 cup plain breadcrumbs
- Wash chayotes and bring to a boil in water.
- Cover and boil at low to moderate heat for 60 minutes or until tender.
- Preheat oven to 350°F.
- Drain chayotes, remove seeds and fibrous area around seeds.
- Scoop out the flesh without braking the shells.
- Place shells on a cookie sheet.
- Mash the flesh and mix in the cheddar cheese, salt, and butter (or margarine).
- Stuff shells with this mixture.
- Sprinkle plain breadcrumbs over the top and bake for 30 minutes.
- Calories – 81 Cal
- Fat – 3.2 g
- Carbs – 6.9 g
- Protein – 5.8 g
- Fiber – 0.4 g
- Sugar – 0.66 g
- Cholesterol – 4 mg
- Sodium – 310 mg
Enjoy and stay healthy!
Jocelyn Eide is a writer-researcher from Montana, USA, and writes on a variety of insightful topics, including natural health. When she is not working, she is likely doing Yoga.