Getting the kids to like ampalaya (bitter gourd)

I can say I like this horrible thing now, as an adult, but as a kid there was nothing I hated more. I guess after repeated exposure - it's a staple food item in Asia - our palates can't help but adjust to it. Ampalaya (Filipino word for it) is a tropical vine, related to the squash. To blunt that sharp bitter taste, some people like to cut it up (remove the spongy middle and seeds), rub with salt, and leave it in salty water for half an hour before cooking with it. It's a great source of vitamin C, folate and antioxidants. There's growing evidence in western literature supporting what indigenous populations around the world use it for. It has cancer-fighting properties, helps lower cholesterol and controls blood sugar. This … [Read more...]