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.It 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.
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”!
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.
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.
Nutritional Facts (from USDA)
Serving Size: 3.5 oz
Vitamin C: 1%
Vitamin B6: 4%
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.