Jamaican Style Callaloo

IMG_0899Tired of Spinach and Kale? So was I when I ran across a farmer in Western Mass selling fresh cut Callaloo.
 Callaloo is on many Caribbean tables from Jamaica to Puerto Rico. It is also a superfood with 1/2 cup of cooked leaves having less than 50 calories, 6.5 mgs of fiber, over 300 mgs of calcium, over 500 mgs of potassium, over 3 mgs of iron, over 3.5 mgs of protein, and some sodium. Callaloo contains 4 times the amount of calcium found in broccoli and twice the iron. Also contains Vitamin C for boosting up your immune system, B Vitamins for good mood and vitality, and Vitamin A which is a great antioxidant.

Callaloo is also full of protein such as arginine, histidine, cystine, leucine, isoleucine, lysine, phenylalanine, methionine, tryptophan, valine, glutamic acid, alanine, aspartic acid, glycine, praline, plus tyrosine and serine. Callaloo is a good source of protein and thus it’s great for building muscle.

Intrigued? Well, it also tastes fantastic. Here is a great recipe for you to enjoy, but in general you can use it as a substitute in your kale and spinach recipes and cook it in much the same way.  You can make it into a side dish, or as part of a main course stew.

Serves: 3-4 adapted from African Bites. 
Ingredients
  • 1 bunch of fresh Callaloo, kale, collard greens (about 11/2 pound)
  • 3-4 garlic cloves minced
  • 1 medium onion
  • ½ teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1 sprig of fresh thyme
  • 1 fresh tomato
  • 1 whole scotch bonnet pepper (these are HOT Jamaican peppers, you can skip, use another kind, or use hot pepper flakes)
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Instructions

  1. Cut leaves and soft stems from the callaloo branches, them soak in a bowl of cold water for about 5-10 minutes or until finish with prep.
  2. Proceed to slicing the onions, mincing the garlic and dicing the tomatoes. Set aside
  3. Remove callaloo from water cut in chunks.
  4. Place onions, garlic, thyme in pan an stir for about a minute or more
  5. Add tomatoes; scotch bonnet pepper, smoked paprika. Sauté for about 2-3 more minutes.
  6. Finally add the callaloo, salt, mix well, and steamed for about 6-8 minutes or until leaves are tender. Add a tiny bit of water as needed. Adjust seasonings and turn off the heat.
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