A few months ago I wrote about the magical leaf, the super food of the Yucatan – chaya. You can read all it here: Chaya: Overlooked Deliciousness & Wonder Green of Belize?
Chaya’s nutritional properties, where you can find it around town, a few ways to prepare it and chaya’s origins.
But last Friday, I received a few GORGEOUS bunches of chaya leaves from a new food delivery service we have in Belize called SHOOTS ALIVE. It’s a pretty amazing, relatively new farmer-to-you business that is making fresh foods from all over Belize MUCH more available.
Check out the link to their facebook page and I will get more information and write more on that later.
But I had two giant bunches of chaya…so pretty that you could just display them on your table…
So pretty that I can easily imagine Her Royal Highness the Duchess of Cambridge wearing this hat in green when she visits Belize – a member of the British Commonwealth.
She’s got to visit one day, right?
Did I tell you that I “met” Prince Harry when he was in Belize? Here is a picture that proudly hangs in Elvi’s Kitchen of the event. From left to right. Miss Elvi, Chef Jennie of Elvi’s Kitchen, MEMEMEMEMEME! and Prince Harry.
Oh yes…we are talking about chaya.
We de-stemmed one bag – chopped it, quickly sauteed it with onions and garlic, mixed it with some pesto and ate it with pasta and LOTS of feta.
The second bunch was earmarked for Jeff’s famous GREEN JUICE. I’d first tasted it at the now defunct Chaya Cafe and then at Rojo Beach Bar & Lounge and I was HOOKED.
It’s the perfect thing to do with a pineapple. Even better than just eating the pineapple.
Here is the recipe. And it is originally from the Cayo region. From a man named Saeed who works in bamboo – art and furniture – who prepared the juice many years ago.
I am told that it is best sipped freshly made while looking over the jungles of Cayo and the top of the Xunantunich Maya site.
- A pineapple
- 10 leaves of chaya – de-stemmed and any big veins removed
- a knob of ginger peeled
- a glug of honey (to taste)
- ice cubes
- juice of a lime
Chop – depends on the rigor of your blender. Add a bit of water to facilitate whirring.
Absolutely ridiculously over-the-top delicious and with the right amount of ginger, pretty zippy.
If you can’t find chaya, you can omit green. Or you can substitute a handful of spinach.
Makes 2 giant glasses…or more depending on your pina.