Since tonight’s family dinner was a trip to the islands, featuring Jamaican Meat Patties and Salt-fish. (…all VEGAN versions of course!), I thought it would be cool to tell you a bit about Hearts of Palm, which is a mouth-wateringly delicious and plant-based stand-in for the traditional fish in this dish. I’ll also be sharing the recipe for this simple and delicious dish. (And, I’ll also be sharing a recipe for the Jamaican Meat Patties in a later, separate post. Be sure to check it out too!)
RECIPE: Vegan Saltfish —Featuring Hearts of Palm
1. 2 jars or cans of Heart of Palm (I got mine from Costco but I have also purchased it from Trader Joe’s)
2. 1 Tbsp neutral oil (I used avocado oil but use whatever you prefer)
2. 1 Orange Bell Pepper
3. 1 Red Bell Pepper
4. 4 Cloves garlic
5. 1 Medium Yellow onion
6. 6 Scallions (I use both green and white parts)
7. 2 diced, Medium tomatoes, firm but ripe,
8. 1/3 cup chopped fresh parsley
9. 2 sprigs fresh thyme or 1 1/2 tsp dried thyme
10.. 2 tbsp Tamari
11. 1 tbsp Organic Miso
12. 1/3 cup finely shredded Nori flakes
13. 1 tbsp dulse
14. 2 Tbsp Hijiki, soaked in 1/3 cup hot water for at at least 8 minutes
15. Sea salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
1. Drain, rinse and rough chop Heart of Palm
2. Medium Dice the peppers, yellow onions, scallions. Finely chop garlic.
3. Heat a large, heavy skillet over medium high heat. Add oil.
4. Add onions and peppers. Saute for 5 minutes, until softened but not browned. Stir often.
5. Add garlic and cook for 30 seconds. Add miso, stir to make sure no clumps remain.
6. Add Heart of Palm to skillet, stirring to combine..
7. Add remaining ingredients, stir to combine. Cook for about 10 minutes more. Taste for seasoning and adjust as desired.
This Heart of Palm Salt Fish is delicious served with Jamaican Meat Pies, callaloo or a piece of roti! Or, you can just eat a big bowl of this all by itself! Hope you enjoy this recipe…..I know that I certainly did!
A BIT ABOUT HEART OF PALM
HOW DOES HEART OF PALM LOOK AND TASTE?
It’s been said that Heart of Palm looks a bit like like a white asparagus, minus the tip.
With regard to taste, Heart of Palm has a crunchy, neutral texture. Some people liken its flavor to artichokes. It is super versatile and adapts itself well to many flavors. When shredded, the texture of the heart of palm strongly resembles crabmeat or flaked white fish.
BENEFITS OF HEART OF PALM
Hearts of palm are an excellent source of protein and fiber, as well as potassium, vitamins B6 and C, calcium, niacin, phosphorus and zinc. An article found at https://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2018/04/02/hearts-of-palm-benefits.aspx provides an even more comprehensive breakdown of the health benefits of Hearts of Palm.
A 1-ounce serving of hearts of palm provides:
- 7 grams of total carbohydrates, including energy-providing complex carbs and natural sugars
- 0.23 milligrams (mg) of vitamin B6, which is rich enough to supply your body with 18 percent of your Dietary Reference Intake
- 258 mg of potassium, an “essential” nutrient that your body can’t produce on its own.5 Potassium alone helps lower your blood pressure by balancing the salt you eat
- 1.5 mg of vitamin C, a powerful antioxidant
- 0.638 mg of niacin, aka vitamin B3
- 85 mg of calcium, which strengthens bones
- 95 mg of phosphorus, which helps maintain healthy skeletal bones
- 1.68 mg of zinc, for wound healing and proper thyroid function (more than half what is required for women per day)
- In fiber, a 1-cup serving (146 grams) of hearts of palm provides 14 percent of the DRI.
- And all of these benefits come at a cost of only 32 calories per ounce!
WHAT EXACTLY IS HEARTS OF PALM?
Hearts of Palm is a vegetable harvested from, you guessed it, the heart of a palm tree. Though it is somewhat known as a trendy vegetable, Heart of Palm was actually cultivated and consumed by the ancient Mayans who lived in Mesoamerica from around 2600 B.C. Hearts of palm can be harvested from several types of palm trees, including the cabbage palm, the Royal Palm and the sabal palmetto palm, grown in Florida, Costa Rica and Brazil.
Though palm trees do grow in some areas of my home state, they are certainly not native nor prolific to the state of North Carolina. Even if I were to run across a harvestable palm tree, I would have no earthly idea what to do with it. Perhaps that is why I was so fascinated by a blog post that I ran across by the great folks at Bee Heaven Farm. Though the post was written a few years ago, it provides a great overview of what they did when they ran across a newly downed Royal Palm. They have kindly given me permission to share those pictures with you. Be sure to check out Bee Heaven Farm at:
BEE HEAVEN FARM: FINDING AND HARVESTING HEARTS OF PALM
Bee Heaven Farm’s Hearts of Palm harvest yielded an amazing 55 pounds! Now that could make enough Vegan Salt Fish for an entire army of people!! Be sure to check out Bee Heaven Farm’s blog for other ideas for cooking with Hearts of Palm.
JUST A BIT MORE: A VIDEO ABOUT HARVESTING HEARTS OF PALM
As for me, I think I’ll just head to my local Costco or Trader Joe’s for my Hearts of Palm for now. LOL!
Until later, all the best and happy cooking!