Chayote is a member of the squash, melon and cucurbit family. Chayote is native to Mexico. The fruits are pear shaped with thin green prickly or smooth skin. The root, stem, seed, and leaves of the plant are all edible. Chayote is probably one of the most versatile vegetables available. Whatever you do with a cucumber, melon or squash you can do with the chayote. The white flesh is quite crisp and tastes a bit like a water chestnut.
Calcium, Copper, Fiber, Magnesium, Manganese, Potassium, Pantothenic, Acid, Niacin, Iron, Zinc, Vitamin C, B6, and K.
Slice the chayote through the folds between the ridges. Then peel of the skin with a vegetable peeler and cut into quarters. Don't remove the single large tender seed, whose flavor has been compared to something between an almond and a lima bean. This will add extra flavor. The peeled chayote is now ready to be eaten raw, or cooked. The vegetable can be steamed, boiled, fried or baked.
Chayotes are sometimes eaten raw in salads and salsas, but are more often cooked by boiling, steaming or baking it. Chayote is a versatile vegetable, whatever you do with a cucumber, melon or squash you can do with the chayote. The vegetable is popular for stews and stuffing. Although very young fruits can be eaten in their entirety, it is usually best to peel the older, more mature fruits.
When to eat
The chayotes is ripe when it has a green skin. When ripe the vegetable can be kept for a few weeks.
Did you know?
- Chayote is also referred to as “vegetable pear” or Chaw-chaw.
- The starchy root is eaten by humans, but also used as cattle fodder.