Not a lot of people know that you can eat parts of a palm tree, now you may be wondering how to eat hearts of palm! Surprisingly, there are a lot of innovative and special ways you can eat this healthy delicacy. This hearty delicacy is a favorite and is surprisingly easy to cook!
After you finish this post, you will have a better understanding of how to eat hearts of palm and what hearts of palm is. The tender and young shoots do not look like a fruit or vegetable and yet are edible and regarded as a super food in Mexico and Latin America.
What Is Hearts Of Palm?
Hearts of palm is actually just a heart-shaped part of a palm tree. Not a lot of people know that this is an edible part that is high in nutrients and delicious. The exact plant that produces this edible and delicious heart-shaped vegetable is the cabbage palm, also known as the Sabal Palmetto.
Not only can you plant this vegetable tree at home for its beautiful looks, but also enjoy it with your meal! Some people see this plant as a weed because of how large it is and how quickly it spreads! The Cabbage palm is typically found on the coast. This coastal tree is native to the Americas!
The Benefits of Hearts of Palm
As soon as we dive into how to eat hearts of palm, we will start to see the health benefits from this small vegetable plant. Although there is not a huge or sweet fruit that is produced, the vegetable from the palm tree has lots of nutrients and unique flavors.
In just one serving, which is approximately half of a cup, this vegetable contains 2 grams of proteins and only 20 calories. Possibly the most impressive thing about this vegetable is how healthy it is! It is made up of amino acids that aid in many functions in our bodies.
Amino acids help our bodies repair tissues! Surprisingly this small and unknown vegetable grows abundantly throughout the world and contains all of the nine essential amino acids our bodies need to repair and grow skin and other body parts.
Harvesting Hearts Of Palm
We can’t answer the question on how to eat hearts of palm before listing how to purchase or harvest this super food. There are three main ways you can get your hands of hearts of palm, which include buying them already pre-cooked in a can, raw and fresh, or harvested from your own tree.
There is nothing wrong with buying this product canned, however, it is important to keep in mind that the hearts of palm go through a long process with added salts and sodium to preserve the hearts of palm. Sodium is okay in small amounts, but too much can cause severe issues to your heart and blood pressure!
You can also look for this product raw and fresh in grocery stores. They are not easy to come by though in stores. I have had the most luck finding them in Hispanic and Latin American local stores as well as specialized farmers’ markets.
Did you know that you can actually make your own hearts of palm? It is best to learn how to eat hearts of palm after growing the palm tree that produces the vegetables. To harvest this vegetable, you will need to slice down a young palm tree. The heart or vegetable is in the center of the palm tree. It is white and squishy.
How To Cook Hearts Of Palm
How do you cook hearts of palm and what are the ways on how to eat hearts of palm? It really depends on the recipe you are choosing to make. For example, some hearts of palm recipes call for the vegetables or ‘hearts’ to be sautéed with onions and garlic.
However, other recipes call for them hearts of palm to be boiled. When boiling hearts of palm, it only takes thirty to forty minutes in a pot of water on high. Sautéing takes longer because the heat on the pan should be lower so you don’t accidentally burn the outside without cooking the inside.
3 Ways How To Eat Hearts of Palm
There are many common ways of how to eat hearts of palm, but listed below are three specific ways with brief recipes that are easy to follow!
1. Hearts of Palm Salad
There is an authentic Mexican dish that uses Hearts of Palm. It is a salad that is hearty and really good for you! It is not common in the U.S other then the southern states that border Mexico. In this salad, you can either chop the hearts of palm to thin pieces to eat raw, or you can cook it with olive oil and herbs before adding it.
The salad you make, you can add your own twists, vegetables, and flavors you’d like. Usually though, there are beets and a vinegar and lime dressing.
If you are curious about how to eat Hearts of Palm, you won’t have to wonder anymore! It is perfectly okay to eat raw Hearts of Palm, although many people do not prefer this style! Raw is not dangerous, but does have a thicker crunch and a milder flavor.
3. Rice Stir Fry
Did you know you can make a stir fry out of the palm of hearts? Rice soaks in flavors and you can add this vegetable to the mix to add a different texture!
All in all, throughout this article, you have learned about how to eat hearts of palm. These hearts of palm are a delicacy in Mexico and a favorite. You can eat them raw or buy them pre-cooked in a can! Although it takes longer to cook, they are healthier fresh!
Learning how to eat hearts of palm is fun and I encourage you to try a new recipe with this interesting ingredients. Know anyone else who is looking for a food adventure? Share this article with them!
Can you eat hearts of palm raw?
Although it is not a preference among many, you can still eat hearts of palm raw, it does not cause you any health issues.
How do you eat canned hearts of palm?
Since the canned version of this vegetable is pre-cooked, you don't have to do much. Always rinse the water out and the hearts of palm after you bring it home and want to use it though.
What is the best way to cook heart of palm?
There is no one best way to cook heart of palm. If you like a special crunch try sautéing the food! Interested in a mushy texture? You can also boil heart of palm!
What is heart of palm?
Heart of palm is a delicious type of vegetable derived from a baby or young palm tree. It is in the center, after the bark and is strangely sweet.