Up & Coming Chokos – Chasing Crusoe.

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Chokos…easy to grow, prolific producers and so versatile! They may just be the new ‘black’ of the culinary world.

Chokos are part of the gourd family and have a mild taste, similar to cucumber or zucchinis. They are nutritionally beneficial and contain fibre, vitamin C and manganese.

They are ready to eat in autumn/early winter, so the perfect time of the year when similar summer vegetables such as cucumbers and zucchinis are no longer readily available.

The fruit produced is the seed to plant to create a future plant. This is how…

Pop a choko(s) in a dark cupboard, standing upright in a container on moist paper towels. Make sure the paper towels stay moist and within approximately 3 weeks, they should sprout. After the final winter frost, plant in free draining soil. Plant the whole plant in the ground leaving just the sprouted end exposed. Chokos are climbers so will spread & ramble over a trellis or fence, whatever you have available. If you have space constraints, be sure to keep an eye on them as they can take over!

Chokos are versatile, you could use them in so many ways. Here are 7 easy options:

1)Slice into pieces and eat as you would a piece of fruit.

2)Peel strips or grate or chop into a salad.

3)Grate and substitute them in your favourite zucchini loaf recipe.

4)Grate them into mince, casseroles or soups to frugally stretch your meal out.

5)Cut alongside carrots etc and eat with your favourite dip eg. hummus.

6)Chop and add to your favourite salsa or chutney recipe.

7)Cut into strips and add to stir fries.

Alongside zucchinis, this kind of vegetable is a dream come true for me! With a family of 6, all with healthy appetites, I’m always looking for ways to nutritionally stretch our meals. I currently have 2 chokos in a dark cupboard rooting ready to plant in late winter/early spring.

I’d love to hear how you eat chokos, or if they’re new to you, why not give them a try!

~Rebecca

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