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#392309 - 11/09/10 11:13 AM Buying Fresh Produce in San Pedro  
Joined: Oct 2009
Posts: 31
lovetotravel Offline
lovetotravel  Offline
Will be in San Pedro in November. Will I be able to find fresh cranberries, brussel sprouts, green beans, and spinach? Guessing maybe at The Greenhouse, but open to suggestions.

#392324 - 11/09/10 02:52 PM Re: Buying Fresh Produce in San Pedro [Re: lovetotravel]  
Joined: Aug 2007
Posts: 592
GwenA Offline
GwenA  Offline
You can get frozen cranberries, sometimes fresh brussel sprouts. The spinach will be frozen, and I don't know if Chaya ( the local spinach is available this time of year, green beans may be iffy too. You can get them frozen. Also, the red sweet potatoes are a crap shoot, and the local yellow ones don't work in most Thanksgiving recipes. However, you are correct, the Geenhouse is the place to go for these items. The frozen cranberries work great for cranberry orange relish! Frozen Brussels sprouts are good too!

#392327 - 11/09/10 03:39 PM Re: Buying Fresh Produce in San Pedro [Re: lovetotravel]  
Joined: Apr 2006
Posts: 837
*I Do* Belize Weddings Offline
*I Do* Belize Weddings  Offline
Please make sure if you buy Chaya to use like Spinich that you only cook it and don't eat it as a spinich salad or raw.
Chaya can only be eaten as a cooked vegetable. It is poisonous when eaten raw. It contain a high content of hydrocyanic acid which is killed when boiling.

Pretty much everything listed will only be found frozen at Greenhouse.

#392338 - 11/09/10 07:16 PM Re: Buying Fresh Produce in San Pedro [Re: lovetotravel]  
Joined: Oct 2000
Posts: 723
SFJeff Offline
SFJeff  Offline
Do cook chaya but don't get put off by any fear of safely consuming it... Chaya is FANTASTIC and equally nutritious. You can find it all year round on the island... we grow lots of it on a small farm we have up north... use it in the restaurant almost every day.

#392570 - 11/12/10 11:11 AM Re: Buying Fresh Produce in San Pedro [Re: SFJeff]  
Joined: Jul 2008
Posts: 1,206
SnoopysMom Offline
SnoopysMom  Offline
My understanding is that the "spinach" they sell at Greenhouse is actually "Miramar". Chaya is marked as Chaya, which is a "green" and I believe it grows on a tree - I have eaten it in restaurants, but haven't mastered cooking it yet LOL

Miramar tastes very similar to regular spinach when cooked. Better cooked than raw (too slimy). It is a vine and very hearty. I grow it in pots on my patio and it is great as long as you keep the crabs away smile

#392572 - 11/12/10 11:18 AM Re: Buying Fresh Produce in San Pedro [Re: lovetotravel]  
Joined: May 2000
Posts: 6,718
Amanda Syme Offline
Amanda Syme  Offline
With chaya you need to cut out the main vein of the leaves, then pre-wilt it by pouring boiling water over it. Then you throw it into a pan and cook on low to medium heat and stir it around. Once it is cooked you might like to throw in some garlic, cooked bacon or other herbs or spices. It is a little "tougher" than spinach and the flavour is slightly bitter.

#392575 - 11/12/10 11:41 AM Re: Buying Fresh Produce in San Pedro [Re: lovetotravel]  
Joined: Apr 2007
Posts: 62
denjy Offline
denjy  Offline
The following taken from Wikipedia.

Chaya leaf
Traditionally leaves are immersed and simmered for 20 minutes and then served with oil or butter. Cooking for 20 minutes or more will render the leaves safe to eat. The stock or liquid the leaves are cooked in can also safely be consumed as the cyanide is volatilized as Hydrogen Cyanide (HCN) during cooking. Do not cook in aluminum cookware as a toxic reaction can result, causing diarrhea.

#392580 - 11/12/10 12:21 PM Re: Buying Fresh Produce in San Pedro [Re: lovetotravel]  
Joined: May 2000
Posts: 6,718
Amanda Syme Offline
Amanda Syme  Offline
Thanks for the additional info. I never really paid much attention to how long I cooked chaya - I just would kinda gauge how soft the leaves were. But I didn't know it could be poisonous. I will be more careful from now on. I love chaya.

#392621 - 11/12/10 09:30 PM Re: Buying Fresh Produce in San Pedro [Re: lovetotravel]  
Joined: Nov 2007
Posts: 46
jdittygirl Offline
jdittygirl  Offline
I am confused about this with Chaya. Although I have heard this before, and I cook mine here in Belize, they use Chaya all the time in Mexico blended in smoothies. Which is obviously not cooked. Are there 2 different types of chaya perhaps?

#392623 - 11/12/10 09:43 PM Re: Buying Fresh Produce in San Pedro [Re: lovetotravel]  
Joined: Oct 2000
Posts: 723
SFJeff Offline
SFJeff  Offline
A couple researchers at Texas A&M have done a lot of research on Chaya... Among their findings:

"Dr. Kuti has since confirmed that the hydrocyanic content of Chaya is nullified by basic processing such as chopping, blending, powdering, drying, and low-level heating in fresh or dry leaf form."

That is why a chaya agua fresca, like you'd get in MX, or fantastic chaya smoothies, like you'd get here at Rojo Lounge, are delicious, nutritious and not at ALL toxic. The chaya has been "processed" enough through blending to render the hydrocyanic content inert.

One customer of ours this eve informed us she adhered to a vegan diet... So we made for her (among other dishes) a fantastic chaya version of "Palek Paneer" (though without the paneer.) Pretty versatile ingredient!!! We uses it it a good half dozen menu items.

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