5 Unique Filipino Veggies and Herbs for Your Healthy Lifestyle

If you are a vegetarian and you would want to have an exquisite taste of the mouth watering Filipino dishes and recipes to satisfy your taste buds, try using these healthy veggies and herbs used by locals as an ingredient for your dishes.

1.    Banana Blossom – Most of us are familiar about the health benefits of banana fruit but did you know that these tubular white blossoms enclosed in a heart like purple covering found on the tip of the fruit stem is just as healthy as its fruit? This anti- oxidant vegetable is   typically used as an extender for burger patties as well as a known ingredient for Filipino dishes like Kare-Kare (Ox tail with peanut butter sauce).  The blossoms are found to be a good source of dietary fibers, proteins and unsaturated fatty acids. In addition, research also shows that the ethanol based extracts found on these flowers lessen the growth of bacteria such as Bacillus subtalis, Bacillus cereus, and Escherichia coli.  Such ingredient can also help blood sugar level be significantly reduced which means that Diabetic Patients can safely use this as an element into their prescribed dishes.

Ampalaya or bitter melon
Ampalaya or bitter melon (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

2.    Bitter Melon – This vine that bears an elongated fruit with a wrinkly texture was named after its bitter taste but Filipinos still love to have these fruit as an element into their menu. Its leaves could be served as a side dish called “ensaladang talbos ng ampalaya” (Bitter melon tops salad) and the fruit works well with a native dish called “Tinola” (Native Chicken Stew). Disregarding its taste, Bitter Melon contains mixture of flavonoids and alkanoids that aid in the formation of insulin which balances Blood sugar level for diabetics.

3.    Humming bird tree blossom ( Sesbania Grandiflora)    – “Katuday” or Agati as commonly called by locals is a perfect ingredient for “Crazy Salads” ( Assorted Local Vegetable Salad). Some locals believe that consuming an ample serving of this tree’s blossom as part of their meal lower blood pressure level.  Similarly, its juice also eliminates dullness in vision when squeezed into the eye.

4.    Lemon Grass – this is a very tasty culinary wonder herb is one of the secret ingredients of the well known “Chicken Inasal” (Roasted Chicken marinated in lemon grass mixture). Such wonder grass possess anti fungal and anti- bacterial properties.  It is also famous for its calming effect which helps ease stress and insomnia.

5.    Wild Yam  (Dioscorea luzonensis) –  called “kamangeg” by locals is an indigenous root crop found in the northern part of the Philippines. This starchy tuber is a favorite ingredient for the genuine Filipino dessert called “Guinataan” (glutinous rice in sweetened coconut milk with fruits).  Known as a good source of carbohydrates, this could work as an alternative for rice and corn.  It also helps lessen weight loss and  prevents constipation.

With these unique and healthy suggested local ingredients for your daily meal, you could always find a way to serve luscious dishes with genuine Filipino touch which could impress anyone.

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About Ron Ron 19 Articles
Ron Leyba loves to blog about anything related to Filipinos specially foods and recipes. Visit his article about the 5 Pinoy Recipes to Enhance Your Love Life at his personal blog.