Home Feature The chaya, a delicacy of the Mayas

The chaya, a delicacy of the Mayas

by Yucatan Times
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A cousin of spinach, the chaya is a bush found in the Yucatán Península. It is popular because its leaves are very tasty and nutritious, and once it is cooked and prepared, its flavor resembles spinach. 

The chaya provides wonderful benefits to the body due to its remarkable number of vitamins, mineral salts, trace elements, and enzymes, making it a very special and one-of-a-kind plant. It also is worth mentioning that it is more nutritious than spinach, with high fiber content and a very easy growing process, thanks to the perfect environment Yucatán provides.

Chaya leaves

The “Mayan spinach,” as many call it, was widely used in the traditional Mayan culture. It was prepared with corn and pumpkin seeds in a tamal. It was also prepared in soups or as a tamal wrapper because who could resist that wonderful taste?

If you are into energy drinks, try chaya leaves infusion to provide instant energy recovery and anti-stress effects. 

Nowadays, its tender leaves are cooked in many dishes. However, you must be aware that chaya should NOT be eaten raw. Instead, it should be consumed cooked, as it contains a toxic substance similar to cyanide that is easily inactivated by cooking the leaves before ingesting them.

“Chayitas” – Photo – Animal Gormet

Try breakfast with some scrambled eggs with chaya or prepare delicious food entries such as potato and chaya soup.

TYT Newsroom

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