Bitter Melon: What Is It?
Bitter Melon is a tropical and sub-tropical fruit grown for it’s very bitter but edible fruit. The fruit has a extremely warty exterior and is oblong in shape. It is about the size of a large cucumber. Bitter melon is typically consumed cooked in the green or early yellowing stage. The tender shoots and leaves of the bitter melon are eaten as greens. Bitter melon is used widely in Chinese cooking for it’s bitter flavor. It is a taste that grows on you! It is a favorite in soups and stir-fries. It is often used with yogurt in India and pared with curry, peanuts and coconut. It is delicious in stir-fries.
For centuries the Bitter Melon has been used in Chinese medicine to treat type 2 diabetes. It has many healthy benefits. It is acclaimed to have properties that lower blood sugar levels. It is also very high in the folates. It is also an very good source of Vitamin C. Bitter Melon aids in digestion and relieves indigestion and constipation. It has moderate amounts of the B vitamins as well as iron, zinc, potassium, manganese and magnesium. The potassium and magnesium aid in the relief of leg cramps. Currently there is research going to see if it will aid in the cure of HIV. That research is in the beginning stages and there is no verdict on that as of yet.
Bitter Melon Recipes
Karela (Indian Recipe)
This is either made as a stir-fry or stuffed with the following:
garam-masala (find in Indian grocery)
This is either stuffed and baked at 350 degrees or stir fried together and served with rice.
Goya Chanpuru (Okinawan Recipe)
Those who are health conscious make a stir-fry out of:
Hard Boiled Eggs
Stir fry together and serve with rice.
Bitter Melon is different, but you can learn to use this healthy fruit. It is good for your health. The taste takes getting used to, but the benefits are excellent. It is time to invest in your health. Certainly, it is an adventure in Asian cooking. There are so many ways to eat it. Stir-fries are the best. Just add it to what ever you like in your stir-fries. For those that are adventurous, in Florida and Hawaii you can grow like squash and melon in the garden. It is a hardy fruit. It is easy to grow. The challenge to adventure is here. Dare to add Bitter Melon to your diet for good health and variety.