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What exactly is chayote squash?

Updated: Feb 2

Recently I decided to try some new produce and ventured through the store’s fresh produce offerings to find things we hadn’t tried. I was surprised at the amount of fresh produce I had never even heard of.

I decided to try all of it and included some produce I had heard of, but had never tried, like eggplant. Some of these produce items need to be fixed in a very specific way to bring out their flavors and have just the right texture. You will find there are several great recipes available online.

The first vegetable I decided to try was chayote squash. Chayote squash is light green and shaped similarly to a pear, but it has several lumpy/bumpy areas. It grows on vines in tropical and subtropical regions. It originates from Central America, it is now grown in Mexico, Central and South America, as well as, in parts of Florida and the Dominican Republic. Chayote squash was cultivated long ago by the Aztecs, that called them chayotli.

Chayote’s flavor closely resembles that of its gourd cousin, the cucumber. Some say it resembles jicama, thanks to its high-water content. It has a subtle sweetness, but less than that of spaghetti squash, yet strong enough for chayote to be enjoyed raw and on its own.

So, what is the nutritional content of chayote squash? It is high in fiber and packed with folate, choline, and magnesium. It is low in calories and carbs and a great compliment to your protein-filled foods and rounds off a healthy meal. A delicious way to fix this mildly sweet squash is by breading it and frying it in a high-heat oil (avocado, peanut, canola, sunflower, or sesame oil).

Recipe (4 servings):

2 chayote squash

1/4 cup + gluten free flour (I prefer almond or cassava flour)

2/3 + cup of dairy free milk (I prefer Good Karma flax milk)

1 cup of crushed crackers of your choosing

1. Wash and slice the squash into thin slices.

2. Dip the squash in the gluten free flour, then the milk substitute, followed by the crushed crackers (coating well).

3. In a large skillet that is preheated with your high-heat oil, place the breaded squash slices in a single layer. Turn each slice over as it browns on the underside.

4. Serve warm as a side to your meal or as a snack or appetizer.

*For low FODMAP stick to one-half serving, which is 1/2 cup. Most flours are low FODMAP up to 1/4 cup.

#NutFree (using cassava flour)

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