What is unique about coconut is that it is used in several forms when it comes to most Caribbean dishes. Oil, milk, water, and grated coconut can make nearly anything from sweet desserts to savory sauces and fruity drinks. When a coconut is used to its full potential, there are many different health benefits. Coconuts are high in fiber, will boost immunity, and contain an abundance of essential nutrients, such as manganese, selenium, and iron.
Pimento or Jamaica pepper, the seasoning called allspice is what is most frequently used in jerk-style cooking. Jerk cooking is a unique cooking method that is native to Jamaica and involves using an allspice and scotch bonnet pepper as a dry rub to marinate meats, poultry, vegetables, and fruit. The dish is then slow-smoked over allspice wood, which accentuates tantalizing flavors.
These non-sweet relatives of the banana are often used in the form of chips. Green and less than ripe plantains have purposes as well. They can be sliced and fried into a tasty snack. Once they’re yellow, they can be mashed into a puree or side dish. When plantains are ripe and black, they are at their sweetest and are used in desserts.
One of the many beans utilized in Caribbean cuisine, chickpeas are also one of the healthiest. These are beans that are often used in soups, rice dishes, and stews. Chickpeas are known to be rich in items like:
- Vitamin A
- Vitamin E
Surprisingly enough, today’s researchers make the recommendation that more Americans should make an effort to introduce chickpeas into their diet. Adding chickpeas can easily be done when you eat more Caribbean food, especially food available at Yaso Jamaican Grill in Indianapolis!
Introduced to the Caribbean early European colonizers, rice has been incorporated into local food into their dishes for hundreds of years. In today’s Jamaican cuisine, rice is cooked with a wide variety of vegetables, legumes, garlic and salt, and meat. One popular rendition of rice is also called dirty rice. Dirty rice is a delicious traditional Creole dish with a flavorful mix of celery, onion, spices, green peppers, and either chicken, pork, or beef.