Have you heard about bitter melon? Have you eaten this healthy vegetable?
I was thinking about what to write today in my kitchen blog without cooking. I was thinking of what food I have missed. Food that I have not eaten for almost 2 years while staying here in Germany. I have missed a lot of Filipino vegetables like Kangkong (water spinach), Ganas (sweet potato leaves) and bitter melon or bitter gourd.
Bitter Melon, Ampalaya, Bitter Gourd or Goya is a tropical and subtropical vine with a long edible pod and has a soft warty skin. It has light to dark green color. There are many variations of bitter melon but I am describing here the Ampalaya, a Filipino variation.
Writing about bitter melon makes me hungry. It reminded me of how my late mother and my late grandmother used to grill this food on a coconut charcoal fire. Then they sliced it into pieces and dunk each pieces into coconut vinegar before eating. As I can remember, it was only me who joined them eating this bitter food. I did not know at that time then that this food was so healthy. Until now!
Health benefits of bitter melon:
Through my research, I have found out that bitter melon
- lowers blood sugar. This vegetable is good for those who have Type 2 Diabetes.
- helps break down kidney stones naturally by drinking bitter melon tea.
- lower cholesterol. It reduces the possibility of having a stroke, heart attack and other heart diseases.
- a liver tonic, especially good for alcohol drinkers.
- it´s beneficial for the skin. Good for those who have acne and eczema problems.
- it helps when having constipation.
- It has lots of vitamins and minerals besides low in calories. 100 gram of bitter melon has only 19 calories.
How does the bitter melon taste?
Bitter melon is indeed bitter but if you squeeze salt in this sliced veggie before cooking, the bitterness is lesser than before.
How to cook bitter melon?
- Making scrambled eggs with this veggie.
- Stir frying this with eggplant, squash, okra, string beans and pork meat. This Filipino recipe is called Pinakbet. Instead of pork, you can also use beef, chicken or shrimps meat.
- Grilling it on an open fire and eat it with vinegar and soy sauce.
- Making pickled bitter melon.
- Making tea from sun dried bitter melon.
I hope I have encouraged you to eat this bitter edible pod vegetable. I hope I can go to the Asian shop soon to buy this healthy food and I will cook for you to see how I make it. Thanks for reading😀
P.S. I will upload the photo later when the “Add Image” is functioning. Update : Photo is uploaded but I had to change the theme of this site.
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