New Food Friday – Chayote

4 Jan

Although they’re spelled and pronounced similarly, Chayote and Coyote are two different animals. In fact, Chayote is a fruit! You already know what a Coyote looks like

and that is why I’m posting Chayote as the new food for New Food Friday.

Chayote, pronounced Cha-i-O-tee, is a fruit that is used like a vegetable.  It is originally native to Mexico or Central America.ChayoteIt is a very pretty pale green and the easiest produce I have ever peeled, fruit or vegetable! My paring knife just glides and therefore it is a pleasure to prepare.

As far as texture, it is like a cucumber or pickle: juicy and crunchy. But it doesn’t taste like a cucumber or pickle. It’s one of those fruits that has a taste that is hard to describe. It’s a pleasant taste, and mild flavored. I thought I detected a slightly peppery aftertaste on my first bite which was raw. It can be eaten raw in salads but I chose to roast it along with a medley of other vegetables. 

Chayote with Mixed Veggies

Chayote with Mixed Veggies, Olive Oil, Salt & Pepper

When I roast vegetables, I usually roast them with chicken. I didn’t have any chicken on hand this time but that’s OK.  Roasted vegetables are very good on their own. If you can call all the spices I put on them “on their own”!

Chayote on the Vine - wikipedia - Thuydaonguyen

Chayote on the Vine – wikipedia – Thuydaonguyen

I drizzled olive oil on cut brussels sprouts, russet potatoes, sweet potatoes, carrots, and piled the Chayote pieces on top. Everything got a spattering of salt and pepper. One side of the pan got dill, the other side got some other spice. The sweet potatoes got dashes of cinnamon, and since I had fresh mint on hand, I tore up some mint leaves and sprinkled them over top too. I also had fresh tarragon and sprinkled those leaves over top too. I shook some cayenne pepper over everything.

This is how I usually prepare roasted veggies with chicken: I line the pan with parchment paper, add a mixture of spices, whatever strikes my fancy, and roast them at 425F for about 45 minutes or until the vegetables are charred and the chicken skin is crispy and to my liking. This is a very healthful way to eat vegetables.

Chayote with Mixed Veggies & Spices

Chayote with Mixed Veggies, Olive Oil, Spices & Herbs

Chayote with Mixed Veggies & Spices Roasted

Chayote with Mixed Veggies, Olive Oil, & Spices Roasted

I did this batch with my new convection toaster oven which cooks 25% quicker. I’m still getting used to it. The results were delicious! So, what tasted the best? Here are the results in order of preference:

1. The brussels sprouts (mmm, very good!)

2. The Chayote

3. The sweet potatoes

4. The russet potatoes

5. The carrots

Usually, I also add an onion quartered but as you can see from the photos, I had no room! Sometimes I add an apple, other times a quartered tomato.

I paid $.99/lb for my Chayote at Meijer or $.52 since it was a small one.

Chayote has a small soft seed which is edible but I removed it.

Chayote halved with Seed - Wikipedia

Chayote halved with Seed - Wikipedia

Nutritional Facts (from USDA)

Serving Size: 3.5 oz

Calories: 19

Sodium: 2mg

Carbs:  5g

Fiber: 2g

Sugar: 2g

Protein: 1g

Vitamin C: 1%

Calcium: 2%

Iron: 2%

Vitamin B6: 4%

Folate: 23%

Manganese: 9%

To see a further breakdown of nutrients, go to this USDA webpage. 

Chayote has a pleasing texture and a mild taste. It is low in calories and very versatile because it can be added raw to a salad, made into a soup, or stuffed and baked. Chayote is worth trying.

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14 Responses to “New Food Friday – Chayote”

  1. P. C. Zick January 9, 2013 at 9:02 am #

    Reblogged this on Living lightly upon this earth and commented:
    I’m on hiatus right now while I recover from a virus. This is an interesting post from one of my favorite bloggers. Enjoy.

    Like

    • Marcella Rousseau January 9, 2013 at 6:30 pm #

      Hi P.C., Thank you for reblogging my post. I’m sorry to hear that you are under the weather. The flu has hit Indiana pretty hard. So far, I’ve managed to escape it! Usually, I’m the first to get it! Although I must say I didn’t feel so great yesterday and was really dragging it. I thought I might be coming down with it but I’m back to normal today so I dodged it yet another day. I hope you are back to feeling yourself again very soon. Eat some chicken soup! I’ve had some yesterday and today. Maybe it has preventative possibilities!

      Like

      • P. C. Zick January 10, 2013 at 8:25 am #

        Yes, done the chicken soup route once I could eat. This is second virus in a month and it’s not the flu. It leaves me with numbness and tingling in extremities and pain in muscles. I’ve been diagnosed with a rare condition where my liver is producing too much protein in my blood and the viral symptoms are the result. Working on all sorts of natural remedies now as the medical pros do their thing. Right now my biggest challenge is typing because I have no feeling in two fingers. But I’m remaining positive and doing my part with nutrition, etc. Thanks for such a nice post I could reblog.

        Like

        • Marcella Rousseau January 11, 2013 at 3:57 pm #

          It sounds like you’re doing everything you can. Keep us posted on your recovery. I’m glad you liked my post ; – )

          Like

  2. reocochran January 4, 2013 at 5:07 pm #

    I like chili pepper on my sweet potatoes when roasting them! My daughter uses swiss cheese in a cream sauce and sliced sweet onions layered with the sweet potatoes.
    Your variety including the chayote squash is so cool: I will try to look for them at the store!

    Like

    • Marcella Rousseau January 4, 2013 at 5:45 pm #

      Only the young can eat cream sauce! I like it but it doesn’t do my waistline any good! chili pepper sounds good. I will have to try that.

      Like

  3. silverbells2012 January 4, 2013 at 3:57 pm #

    Sounds interesting but not available in the UK – or at least I’ve never seen it!

    Like

    • camparigirl January 4, 2013 at 7:33 pm #

      I don’t think you will find it in the UK. There are so many more vegetables and fruits here originating either in Latin America or Polynesia (and now grown in the US) that are not available in Europe. My family always marvels when we go to farmer’s markets.

      Like

      • silverbells2012 January 28, 2013 at 10:58 am #

        Well, one day I might finally make it across the Atlantic and see the joys of your famers markets!

        Like

  4. Green Door Hospitality January 4, 2013 at 11:30 am #

    This sounds very interesting and mixed with roasted vegetables (which are always a big favorite of mine) looks excellent!
    Kenley

    Like

    • Marcella Rousseau January 4, 2013 at 11:42 am #

      Thank you! I thoroughly enjoyed it! It’s so fun to experiment with new foods and a variety of spices and herbs. I never realized how good cinnamon was with sweet potatoes and that was a happy experiment!

      Like

  5. soulofspice January 4, 2013 at 11:26 am #

    love chayote squash & your version of it..I also like it cooked more than raw.. I made a different dish with it & hope to share soon

    Like

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. New Food Friday – Yuca Root or Cassava « For Your Good Health - January 25, 2013

    […] melissas.com website offers a soup recipe for Yuca Root along with Chayote (Remember that post?). I made the soup. Here is the […]

    Like

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