At least once a month I try to be adventurous at the grocery store and purchase a vegetable that I'm unfamiliar with to research when I get home. Rarely do I actually end up using it in the way I'm instructed to online, but the information I read helps me to understand it's flavor, texture and properties a bit better before having a hand at it. A few weeks ago I picked up a chayote squash from the market, and was pretty pleased both with it's texture and flavor as well as how my body reacted to it. (So far, so good.) Chayote is a crisp, watery squash found in both Latin American as well as Indian cuisine. Let me half-ass this entry for a moment and give you a direct quote from Wikipedia:
"The chayote (Sechium edule), also known as christophene, vegetable pear, mirliton, alligator pear (South Louisiana), choko (Australia, New Zealand), starprecianté, citrayota, citrayote (Ecuador and Colombia), chuchu (Brazil), chow chow (India) Sayote (Philippines) ,güisquil (Guatemala, El Salvador), or pear squash, iskus (इस्कुस) (Nepal) is an edible plant that belongs to the gourd family Cucurbitaceae along with melons, cucumbers and squash."
I've used the chayote now in smoothies and sauteed with other vegetables, but my favorite discovery so far is how well it soothes my desire for a crisp raw apple. Sliced raw, not only does it look quite like a green apple, it has the same watery refreshing snap to it, and I'm really looking forward to enjoying it in the warm summer months. If you or your child suffers from fructose malabsorption, this could be the perfect substitute for you. I haven't been able to locate any information online about the fructan content in them, so don't hold me to that, but I'm quite sensitive to fructose and many fructans, and I seem to digest them without trouble.
CHAYOTE AS APPLE
RAW CHAYOTE SQUASH
FRESH SQUEEZED LEMON OR LIME JUICE
STEVIA TO TASTE
SQUEEZE THE LIME OR LEMON JUICE OVER THE CHAYOTE, SPRINKLE OR DRIZZLE WITH STEVIA TO TASTE. FOR A MORE INTENSE SWEET & SOUR FLAVOR, STORE IN A CONTAINER IN THE JUICES TO ALLOW THE CHAYOTE TO ABSORB THE FLAVOR MORE FULLY.