My New Obsession: Hearts of Palm

Sitting near the side of my refrigerator, I noticed an interesting little jar last week. It was filled with something called hearts of palm, and I’ll admit, they were kind of weird looking. Each one was about 3-4 inches long, and half an inch think.

Milky white in color, they almost reminded me extra large cigarettes. When I touched them, I was a little put off by the slippery, slimy texture, but when I noticed that there was a mini cylinder within the outer shell, I was like, “I need to try this!” Keep reading to see what I thought!

I make salads pretty regularly, and the hearts of palm seemed like a perfect fit in my spinach salad. But first, I wanted to try the vegetable myself. I took one big chunk, and I was hooked. I loved the fact that there was a big cylinder and a small one!

Here’s my salad pic:

Here’s what’s in my salad:

- Spinach
- Red bell pepper
- Cherry tomatoes
- Zucchini
- Green olives
- Hearts of palm
- Feta cheese
- Balsamic vinaigrette

It was so delicious!! The hearts of palm have an interesting flavor, kind of like an artichoke, but better!

I did a little bit of research after I devoured my salad, and here are some of the interesting things I discovered about my new favorite ingredient:

- Hearts of palm can also be called palm heart, palmito, burglar’s thigh, chonta, palm cabbage and swamp cabbage.
- Hearts of palm is a vegetable harvested from the soft inner core and bud of certain palm trees
- They’re very popular in Latin American cuisine.

Here are some other salad recipes I found that include hearts of palm that I want to try:

Shrimp and Hearts of Palm Salad – This simple seafood salad is flavorful with a homemade peanut and ginger Thai dressing.

Artichoke and Hearts of Palm Salad – This is a great side dish with plenty of nutrition!

Apple, Avocado and Hearts of Palm Salad – A nice, refreshing and original salad that goes well with roasted or grilled chicken or beef brisket.

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  • Suzy

    I checked out the nutritional value of hearts of palm because I was curious. Here are the results:

    The Good News:

    •No cholesterol
    •No sugar
    •Very high in calcium
    •Very high in dietary fiber
    •Very high in iron
    •Very high in manganese
    •Very high in magnesium
    •Very high in phosphorus
    •High in potassium
    •Very high in vitamin C
    •Very high in zinc

    The Bad News:

    •Very high in sodium

    The salad looks great and would add even more nutritional value.


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