Looking for a little variety for your next meal? For Week 21 of my Trying New Things challenge, I decided to give chayote (pronounced chi-yote) a try! According to the natural health website Mercola, Chayote is a rich source of dietary fiber, folate, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, vitamin C and choline. Quite the nutritional powerhouse, this green one! It is also known as mirliton squash, but is actually classified as a fruit! It’s commonly used in Latin American and some Asian cuisine as well. You may be able to find it at mainstream grocery stores, but I ended up finding it at a local Mexican grocery store.
It has an interesting appearance, similar to that of an apple or pear, and after reading about all the health benefits, I was definitely curious to see what it would taste like. I read that you can consume it raw diced up in a salad, but that the safer method for chayote newbies was roasting, so that’s what I went with! The skin contains a lot of its nutritional value, so I didn’t peel it, just washed it and sliced it. I added 2 Tablespoons of olive oil, a few dashes of black pepper and mixed it to make sure it was coated. Then, placed on parchment paper and baked for about 20 minutes at 375 degrees. AFTER it was done baking, I sprinkled salt over it (don’t add salt before baking because that will remove all its moisture).
It has a nice, mild flavor similar to summer squash, so it goes quite well with spicy flavors and hot sauce. We used it as a side dish with some spicy meatballs, and I look forward to trying it raw in a salad next time.
Do you cook with chayote? I’d love to hear your recipes for this healthy powerhouse!
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