Tag Archives: Jamaica

Papaya: A fruit to try

I have never liked papaya, until I tried one in Hawaii. The papaya tastes entirely different there, fresh and sweet with minimal musky flavour. Perhaps it is also the freshness from the crop being grown on the islands. Papaya contains papain, an enzyme that aids in digestion, which helps the body obtain optimal levels of nutrients. Papain is is used as an ingredient in digestive aid/enzyme supplements. Papaya also contains lycopene, lutein, calcium, potassium and arginine.  I would suggest consuming fresh papaya for the taste, nutrients and digestive enzymes.

Apparently, much of the papaya crop is genetically modified. Natural, unmodified food seems ideal to me. However, this can become a complex issue, that is beyond my scope of practice. I can say that it is a best practice for us all to learn where our food comes from and pay attention to how we feel after we consume various foods. Some foods have more of a positive effect than others. I feel great after I eat fresh papaya from Hawaii and Jamaica-I enjoy the taste of these papayas best. See what types of papaya you enjoy and how you feel…

Jamaican Papaya

Jamaican Papaya

Food Inspiration: Kensington Market Tour

Kensington Market is one of my favourite spots to shop for food in Toronto. There is no other area where I can find so many unique foods that I love. I make a trip there whenever I can spare a couple hours to wander around, check out the ever changing new eateries and gather up my growing list of favourite items. Here’s my tour:

Caribbean Corner (171 Baldwin Avenue) -I stop in here for fresh callaloo they get flown in from Jamaica, caribbean hot sauce, and/or jerk sauce, among all things caribbean.

Essence of Life (50 Kensington Avenue)-is the stop for any health food or supplement you can think of with great selection and prices.

Salamanca(204 Baldwin Avenue)-I have been buying nuts and other dry goods here for over 10 years.

La Tortilleria (198 Augusta Avenue)-makes fresh tortillas daily, with organic blue available on the weekends only.

Jumbo Empanadas (245 Augusta Avenue)-I have been stopping here for a bite of lunch for over 10 years. Their homemade salsa is unbelievable. The chicken empanada with the salsa and Chilean salad are absolutely delicious.

Perola’s (247 Augusta Avenue)-This is a shop I just started frequenting this summer, as I developed serious taco obsession when I missed out on eating at Rick Bayless’ Torta in the Chicago airport. Tacos seem to be the trend of the moment as well. This shop has all the authentic fixings you could want.

Wanda’s Pie in the Sky (287 Augusta Avenue)-Sometimes I stop here first. Amazing dessert is required. This shop is even more fun here than it was when it was located in Yorkville. I love the dulche de leche coconut macaroons (gluten free) and the small fruit pies (which I cut into 4 pieces and share, maybe).

Seven Lives (69 Kensington Avenue)-My top pick for tacos in Toronto. There can be a bit of a wait, but service is quick and the tacos are incredibly flavourful and inventive.


Recipe: Sauteed Callaloo

I developed a love for callaloo while I was in Jamaica. It has to be one of the tastiest green veggies around and it is so easy to eat a good volume of it. I have found it here in Toronto at Caribbean Corner in Kensington Market, so look for it at a Caribbean grocer near you.

There is some technique to handling this plant once you have it in your hands. Separate the leaves and the stems throughout. Use a paring knife to remove the fibrous outer coating from the stems.

Sauteed Callalloo

1 bunch of callaloo, stems and leaves separated

1 clove garlic, slivered

2 tablespoons olive oil

salt and pepper to your taste

Cut the stems and leaves of callaloo into small pieces. See below for a visual:

In a large pan, heat olive oil and garlic over medium heat. Add cut callaloo, saute for 2-3 minutes or until leaves start to wilt. Cover pan and continue to cook for 3-4 minutes. Season with salt and pepper or any other seasoning to your taste. Enjoy!



Veggie Inspiration: Callaloo

Callaloo was a most delicious green veggie I tried while I was in Jamaica in March. I was told it was like spinach, but a bit milder. I first had it in a mixed vegetable curry, which I quite enjoyed. I had it again for breakfast in a dish of poached eggs and steamed callaloo.

Callaloo provides vitamin C, folic acid, iron and calcium. I found it to be delicious just steamed, so I highly recommend it as a green veggie to have regularly-it tastes good! Having more greens is a tried and true strategy for better health and fat loss. This concept gets much easier when there is a green that is this tasty.

A Jakes employee showed me callaloo growing wild by the side of the road. This is unlikely here in Canada, but be sure to try callaloo if you have the opportunity to do so in the Caribbean. Or at a West Indian restaurant in Toronto. Or try to buy some at a specialty market-I will do so and report back.

June 16, 2012

I got my hands on some callaloo at a Caribbean store in Kensington market. It was imported from Jamaica, but it was definitely a fresh cut plant. I cooked it with the help of a good friend yesterday and it was delicious!

The Jamaican Workout

On a recent trip to the south coast of Jamaica for a yoga retreat, a friend and I went for the most enjoyable 30 minute brisk walk/run. It was early, before our 8:15am yoga class and the scenery was just too wonderful to miss, so we brought a camera!

This was the general beautiful landscape just outside of the Jakes property.

Just down the road was the beach with the fishing boats.

And just a little further down the beach was the most incredible unspoiled feeling that was still part of a regular community where people live.
This was one of the most enjoyable 7am ‘workouts’ I have experienced and I am not an early morning exerciser at all!