Chokos turn to shine

By: Judy Davie - The Food Coach

Yesterday I bought an electric spiraliser and with great excitement brought it home, assembled and tried out various veggies, and my finger (ouch), through the machine.

I tried carrots and zucchini which work well and baked spiralised potato with garlic, rosemary and sea salt which was delish! What I'm excited to try next is spiralised choko, a vegetable-type fruit which according to a blog I found on the internet spiralises extremely well.

The thing is, now that Autumn is upon us, I don't want to eat cold salads, but I do want to lose a bit of weight and spiralised veggies are a way to pretend you're eating pasta without loading up on energy carbs.

Some of you may remember an interview from years ago when Andrew Denton presented Jamie Oliver with a choko and asked him what he would do with in. Jamie reckoned it looked terrible, like haemorrhoids and the conversation went on to include the audience who told him they were dunny fruits and grew on the side of outside toilets. Given that these days there are no outside toilets I wouldn't let that put you off; instead, I would charge down to your local greengrocer and buy a choko or two and see what you can do with these sadly maligned fruits.

Chokos are native to South America where they are known as chayote. The fruit has pale green slightly spiky skin and virtually no flavour. That may not sound like a great selling point but, noodles made from wheat don't taste of much either. The point of noodles is to add flavour with the sauce you serve with them. Also, in these days when we're making wheat and gluten free cakes, bread and dessert by substituting vegetables and fruit, it may be the choko's time to shine. Perhaps it can be turned into choko cheese, or pasta, or used as a pizza base in the way some people use cauliflower.

During the depression years, chokos were used to add bulk to fruit jam or pies, that's easy to do when sugar is the dominant flavour, but in our health obsessed, sugar phobic world we'll need to come up with some healthier alternatives.

Speaking of health benefits, chokos have a few: They're a good source of fibre, vitamin C, folate, potassium, manganese and some amino acids.

Chokos keep well in the fridge crisper but if kept for too long they may start to sprout and become tough.

Right now, chokos are in season so why don't you give them a try.


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