The Unknown Protein - A Quick Guide to Katuk and Its Benefits
Katuk is a plant-based complete protein that grows in southwest Florida. It has been used in Southeast Asia for centuries and is now being rediscovered as an alternative to traditional meat sources. Katuk leaves, and seed pods can be eaten raw or cooked, and best when harvested young before the seeds start to harden. Here's some information on harvesting, cooking, and storing katuk so you can enjoy its benefits all year round!
* Harvesting: Picking off mature larger leaves is great when wanting to dehydrate and powder to
be used in smoothies and juices; the younger leaves make an excellent addition to salads and stirfries. Don't forget about the seed pods. Katuk seedpods can eat them at any stage, but the younger, the bette
r, as the seeds are not crunchy. I happen to like the crunch of the seeds.
* Cooking: Cook katuk leaves and pods in a stirfry or green curry. The alternative is to sprinkle them raw on salads or sandwiches. Soak any dried seed pods for 12 hours before cooking, so they are not crunchy. They soften up nicely and make a great addition to rice dishes. The leaves make a great addition to stirfries and other sauteed greens.
* Raw: Sence every part of Katuk that grows above ground is eatable raw feel free to add the tender leaves to salads, juices, and the like. The seed pods add great texture to compound salads and garnishes to prepared meals
* Storage: Store fresh katuk in an airtight container lined with a paper towel (to absorb moisture) and keep it refrigerated at all times - if you're lucky enough to harvest a bumper crop on your own, the Katuk leaves can be frozen without blanching first.
* Cooking broth: Use one part katuk seed pods to three parts liquid when preparing the cooking broth (water, vegetable stock). Add any combination of bay leaf, garlic cloves, celery chunks, onions, and spices to taste.
* Cooking: Add the katuk seed pods and any other vegetables or meat you want to cook when boiling water is added, then simmer for 30-45 minutes until tender. Use a slotted spoon, so they don't break into tiny bits in the process
* Serving Suggestions: Serve with steamed rice, quinoa, or millet as your grain of choice (or potatoes if that's what floats your boat) topped with sauteed Katuk greens with garlic, onion, and a little ajwain.
"What are some Katuk benefits?" In 100G of katuk leaves, you will find 59 cal with a protein count averaging around 6.4 g of protein and 233mg of calcium, 100mg of phosphorus, and over 10,000 mcg of vitamin A, and more Vitamin C than an orange
Katuk is an amazing plant-based complete protein that has little competition outside of soybeans--it not only contains all essential amino acids and, unlike many plants, can be eaten harvested year-round. Everything that grows above ground is delicious. The Unknown Protein is an article I am writing about a plant-based complete protein that produces year-round here in southwest Florida.