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During my 62 Outrageous Things to do for My 62nd Birthday, one of my activities read: try a new vegetable. I noticed bright green gourds in the produce section of my local supermarket. And I wondered about them. Is it a fruit? Is it a vegetable? They are a bit of both! Chayote squash is a fruit that is prepared and eaten like a vegetable.
Cooking with chayote became an interesting first experience. And I love the simple Chayote Mexican Skillet that I created.
What Are Chayotes?
Chayote are a type of squash, originally grown in central Mexico and parts of Latin America. Also known as the mirliton squash or chocho, it is now grown around the world. Technically considered a fruit, chayote tastes like a vegetable. It is delicious raw or cooked.
The squash is full of nutrients including vitamins B6, B9, C and K, manganese, copper, zinc, potassium, magnesium and fiber. It is rich in antioxidants that fight inflammation, lower stress in the body and protect against cellular damage.
Benefits of chayote include:
- promotes heart health
- controls blood sugar
- supports a healthy pregnancy
- provides anticancer properties
- slows aging
- supports liver health
- promotes digestive health
Cooking With Chayote
After purchasing this new-to-me fruit, I felt inspired to create a Mexican themed recipe. Versatile and easy to prepare, the squash has a mild flavor that pairs well with other foods. Peel and dice chayote to add raw to salads. Add to soups or stir fries or steam alone for a cooked treat.
This festive Chayote Mexican Skillet came together in minutes.
Chayote Mexican Skillet
- 1 large chayote, peeled and diced
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 1/2 large yellow onion, diced
- 1 can diced tomatoes in juice
- 1 can black beans, drained
- 1 can non GMO corn, drained
- 1 small can chopped green chile peppers, mild or hot
- pinch red pepper flakes
- 1/4 cup water
- 1 tbsp coconut oil
- In a large non stick skillet, saute onion, garlic and chayote in coconut oil, until onions are softened and chayote crisp tender.
- Add remaining ingredients and bring to a boil. Reduce heat, cover and simmer for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. Season with sea salt, if desired, and serve over cooked brown rice. Makes 4 - 6 servings.
How Did Chayote Taste?
While chopping up the chayote, I sampled a sliver. It reminds me in texture of a cucumber, however the flavor is much more mild. I peeled the squash using my favorite knife, as I would a potato. Some chayote are extemely wrinkled with deep folds, making peel removal more difficult. I deliberately chose smoother fruit.
The Chayote Mexican Skillet was excellent! Greg is my taste tester. Chayote is new to him as well however he trusts my creations and sampled this recipe without fear. He declared the meal delicious. I served the completed skillet dinner over cooked brown rice. (Prepare the rice in this easy to make vegetable broth for a rich flavor.)
I loved this chayote dinner. The recipe is quick and easy to prepare, making it a wonderful meal after a busy day. And clean up is a breeze, using only one skillet.
I think cooking with chayote will become a regular occurrence in my kitchen. I’ll try adding it to a chopped veggie salad next.
Have you tried chayote? If so, do you have a favorite recipe?
Try out this non stick ceramic skillet set from Amazon:
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