Wednesday, August 31, 2011

What is Malabar?

 Good question.

Is Malabar a:
a)     castle in Ireland?
b)    Middle Eastern city?
c)     Name for a famous cartoon dog?
d)    Delicious, nutritious leafy vegetable?

Those of you who are familiar with me and my healthy lifestyle choices here at livelife365 no doubt opted for D.  Yup, Malabar is a spinach-like, leafy veggie that not only tastes delicious (and a bit like asparagus), but is loaded with vitamins and minerals that will help change your life for the better.



A member of the Basellaceae family, Malabar looks and tastes a bit like spinach, but is not—even though it is often referred to as vine spinach, given that it grows vine-like, up to dozens of feet in warm weather climes (like right here in Northern California, where I call home). 

As you may have surmised, Malabar thrives in heat, growing mostly in tropical regions of Asia, India, and Indonesia, as well as right here in some North American hot spots.

Besides being a good source of fiber and low in calories, Malabar is also high in antioxidants, vitamins C and A, iron and calcium.



Eat it raw in salads, stir fry it with your favorite Asian wok recipe, or steam or boil the leaves and stems for a tasty side dish.  No matter how you serve it up, Malabar is a wonderful addition to your summer vegetable harvest.  Just this season I discovered Malabar and love this healthy and delectable vegetable.  I think you will too.

Until next time…

peace,

Mike

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