Is Chayote Keto?
Those looking for a change from cauliflower might be wondering is chayote keto friendly?
We get it. While cauliflower is super helpful on a low carb diet and can be incorporated into many dishes, it doesn’t take long for cauliflower burnout to set in. To help round out your keto friendly foods, we suggest adding chayote squash into the rotation. While it doesn’t have the name recognition of zucchini or cauliflower, it is growing in popularity and finding its way into more and more low carb recipes.
Chayote is a green squash that is typically eaten when it’s still young. The vegetable has a long, thin pod with edible flesh surrounding small black seeds. It can be eaten raw or cooked, and it can be used in both sweet and savory dishes. Chayote can also be used like spaghetti squash to create faux pasta dishes like alfredo sauce or spaghetti and meatballs.
So what exactly is chayote and how is chayote keto?
In simple terms, it is a gourd that is a cousin of cucumber, zucchini, squash, and melons. What is lacks in appearance, it makes up in a heavy dose of nutrients and low 3.8 net carbs per cup. Chayote is native to Central America but is now grown in many warm climates and consumed worldwide. While not the most common fruit, it is not difficult to find in most well stocked markets and grocery stores.
Chayotes are high in vitamins A and C, folate, potassium, beta-carotene, and fiber. They also contain a surprising amount of thiamin (vitamin B1) for an item that isn’t meat. Chayote is also one of the only common sources of vitamin B1 not coming from animals.
How is chayote keto friendly?
Being packed in fiber means a low net carb count for this versatile squash that delivers a low glycemic load. It is rich in manganese, vitamin c, folate, magnesium, and potassium, all of which are essential components of a well balanced keto diet. It’s also a versatile food that lends itself to many preparation methods and makes a good cauliflower substitute. For those conscious of calories, one cup of chayote only contains 25 calories, so it fits well into your macros.
In terms of health, chayote is said to help with digestive issues and even ward off cancer. Whether you are looking for a way to incorporate more low carb foods into your diet or have been struggling to find healthier food options while eating keto, that’s good news.
While it may not be the most exciting vegetable, it is undoubtedly plentiful and versatile. It may even grow in your backyard with the proper care if you live in a warm enough climate for this tropical fruit.
So don’t let chayote squash pass you by next time you browse keto-friendly foods. Instead, try incorporating it into your meal plan or your next recipe creation.
How to eat chayote
Remember how we said it makes a good cauliflower substitute? This pear shaped and bright green fruit is delicious raw or cooked. Its mild flavor is reminiscent of a mix between a potato and cucumber. This mild flavor makes it a great accent to salads, juiced, or used as a substitute in a dish. Really any method of cooking will work well. Mashed, fried, boiled, or baked are all great uses.
One of our favorites is chayote squash tacos. The meaty texture of chayote is mixed with crunchy veggies and savory spices for a winning combination. You can also be creative when it comes to making your chayote keto friendly! Try adding it to soup, smoothies, or even stuff it into peppers as an appetizer. Chances are, once you try this versatile vegetable, you will find yourself reaching for it again and again.
Chayote keto meal suggestions
Want a pasta inspired meal but need to stick to your keto macros? Spiralize chayote and used that as a base. The mild flavor will readily take on all the other flavors and give a low carb base full of vitamins and minerals. If you’re looking for an alternative to mashed or baked cauliflower, use the same recipe with chayote instead. It is a wonderfully versatile stand-in alternative for nearly all recipes that call for a starchy carb like potatoes.
We’ve already talked about the great ways you can eat chayote raw, but it also makes for a beautiful addition to dinner. Try using it in any dish that needs a starchy vegetable like potatoes, rice, or pasta.
In the end, chayote is a low carb friendly food that can substitute flavor or add depth to make another food keto. In other words, it makes for great addition and variety in your ketogenic diet by helping you keep things interesting while still sticking to your plan.
Looking for a low carb apple alternative?
As much as we would like apples to be keto macros friendly, they are not. Chayote can make a fantastic alternative, though, for your favorite apple inspired deserts. You can chop it to use in keto apple pie and crumble like desserts. Our personal favorite is a keto macros friendly apple inspired chayote cobbler. The delicate flavor in chayote combined with cinnamon, sugar substitute, and apple extract will give you a dessert that is a close match for the carb laden real thing. It will have you asking how is chayote keto friendly with how close it mirrors your old favorite desserts.
Why not try adding a bit to your breakfast? A chayote smoothie recipe would give you the perfect way to get in some fruits and veggies first thing in the morning. You could also use chayote in a low carb keto breakfast casserole or even as an omelet filling. When you find out how well it works in these keto recipes, you will be looking for more ways to add chayote to your meals.
Where to buy chayote
Chayote is more commonly found on the shelves of your local grocery store in the winter months. It can be more difficult to find in the off-season, but specialty grocers or those specializing in Latin American products will be more likely to have it on hand. When shopping, try to find one with firm and bright green skin. Wrinkles are normal, but the skin should not be loose or too soft. Once it is in your refrigerator, it can last up to four weeks if uncut. If you decide to cut and prep ahead of time, place it in a sealed airtight container and use it within 3 – 5 days.
If you can’t find chayote or need to get it, it shipped. We suggest looking up a Mexican grocer like El Rancho in your area. They are likely to have what you need, and they may even ship produce if you live far away from where they are located.