Due to the positive comments on the previous article on “5 Unique Filipino Veggies and Herbs for Your Healthy Lifestyle”, I got inspired to satisfy every reader’s craving towards discovering Filipino foods and recipes for healthy living. This time, I have something for those veggie bums out there. Here are the five Filipino Vegetable ingredients that are typically used for cooking Healthy “Sinabawang Gulay” (Vegetable Stew).
1. Saluyot (Jute) –“Ilocanos” (inhabitants from a Northern Province called Ilocos) are known for this vegetable as they love to cook Jute in bagoong (fish paste), garlic and vinegar. They call this “Pakbet na Saluyot”. This is also the reason why most of them stay young and physically fit because Jute is packed with the anti oxidant property of Vitamin E which combats free radicals that can cause Arthritis, hardening of the arteries, and kidney and heart diseases. Aside from that, this is also a good source of Vitamins A and C which give benefits for a healthy eyesight and blood circulation.
2. Kang-Kong (Ipomoea aquatica) – This semi aquatic tropical plant is used as an ingredient in some Chinese and Thai cuisine, but Filipinos find ways to present this ingredient in a unique way. “Kangkong” or water spinach in English works well with the famous “sinigang” (fish stew). This leafy vegetable which is a good source of iron and calcium is easily found in the market. Added to its healthy benefits, the boiled “kang-kong” tops for salad is mildly laxative and it contains insulin like substance which can help cure diabetes mellitus.
3. Siling labuyo (Capsicum frutescens) – Its name has been derived from the word “labuyo” which means wild. This is probably the reason why these small and slender chili peppers make you go wild when eating the famous Bicol dish called “Laing” (taro in coconut milk and chili pepper). This plant’s leaf, which is less spicy than the fruit, is also used for cooking “tinola” (native chicken stew). Spice lovers say that chili pepper is a good appetite booster as well as a medicine for stomach pain, gout, and dyspepsia.
4. Sampalok (tamarind) – This tree that bears a brownish pod is grown in the Philippines but rarely sold in the market, maybe because it commonly grows everywhere especially in the province. The sourness of its fruit just fits Filipino taste buds when used as an ingredient for “sinampalukang manok” (chicken stew in tamarind). It is amazing to realize that this commonly ignored fruit has wonders that could help cure rheumatism and wounds. With its laxative effect, an infusion could also be placed in the fridge and used as a cold drink for those who would want to lose weight.
5. Bamboo Shoot – So, who says only giant pandas eat bamboo? Filipinos and other Asians like Chinese and Vietnamese also eat bamboo, but not the big ones. Sometimes sold canned or fresh, the young shoot growing from the ground is mixed with jute and fish sauce and served as “Sinabawang Gulay” (Vegetable Stew). Bamboo shoots are known for its low caloric content which makes it a perfect food for those who wish to lose weight. Its fibrous nature help promote a healthy bowel movement which lessens occurrence of digestive system problems. Finally, the phytochemical content of Bamboo shoot help fight cancer, bacteria and fungi.
Now make use of these ingredients and create a healthy stew for your family.
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