It’s Not a Felon To Love Bitter Melon

Bitter melon

Even though I can stop into Asian or Latino markets on any corner in Los Angeles and find fresh bitter melon or soursop, I know that most people across the country aren’t so lucky. For them, I recommend visiting melissas.com, an exotic produce company which will ship fresh and sometimes dried produce anywhere in the U.S. Melissa’s is also the largest distributor of specialty produce in the country.

Bitter gourd

Bitter gourd

Bitter melon, which resembles a wrinkly, light-green cucumber, is something of an acquired taste. Soaking it in salted water to remove the bitterness is the first step in getting people to fall in love with it. It’s worth the trouble, because boiling bitter melon in water releases its antioxidant power. Bitter melon also has beta-carotene, potassium, and fiber. Asian herbalists prescribe it to diabetes patients to help them stabilize their blood sugar.
I have a mean Bitter Melon Salad recipe in my The Age GRACEfully Cookbook that I’d like to share with you today. This salad makes an excellent side dish for grilled meat, fish, and vegetables.

Almond-blueberry

Serves 2-4
Ingredients

4 medium-size bitter melons
¼ cup kosher salt
Pinch of baking soda
1 cup seasoned rice vinegar
2 Tbs. extra-virgin olive oil
1 tsp. minced garlic
1 tsp. sea salt
¼ tsp. white pepper
2 chopped hard-boiled eggs
2 chopped medium tomatoes

Bitter Melon and Radish Salad

Instructions
1. Slice the bitter melons lengthwise and remove all white parts, including the seeds. Sprinkle with the salt and let stand for 10-15 minutes. Rinse.
2. Cut the melons crosswise into strips. Blanch the slices in boiling water with the baking soda for 5 minutes. Drain and let cool.
3. To make the dressing, mix together the rice vinegar, olive oil, garlic, salt, and pepper. Let stand for up to 1 hour to allow the flavors to blend.
4. Toss the melon slices with the dressing.
5. To assemble, arrange the melon slices on salad plates. Top with the chopped eggs and tomatoes, evenly divided.

FoodTrients
Allicin
Carotenoids
Choline
Fiber
Lutein
Lycopene
Oleocanthal
Potassium
Vitamin C

About Grace O

Grace O has been cooking and baking professionally and recreationally all of her adult life. As a child in Southeast Asia, she learned the culinary arts by her mother’s side in her family’s cooking school. She became so well versed in hospitality and the culinary arts, she eventually took over the cooking school and opened three restaurants. She is widely credited with popularizing shrimp on sugar-cane skewers and being one of the first culinarians to make tapas a global trend. She has cooked for ruling families and royalty. Grace O’s move to America precipitated a career in healthcare, inspired by her father, who was a physician. Twenty years and much hard work later, she operates skilled nursing facilities in California. Grace O strives to create flavorful food using the finest ingredients that ultimately lead to good health. Her recipes, although low in saturated fat, salt, and sugar, are high in flavor. Grace employs spices from all over the world to enliven her dishes, creating food that is different and delicious. She believes that food can be just as effective at fighting aging as the most expensive skin creams. And since she’s over 50 herself, she’s living proof of that. foodtrients.com
What Do FoodTrients Do?
Ai Anti- inflammatories

Reduce inflammatory process in cells, tissues, and blood vessels, helping to slow aging and reduce risk of long-term disease.

Ao Anti- oxidant

Prevents and repairs oxidative damage to cells caused by free radicals.

IB Immunity Boosters

Support the body’s resistance to infection and strengthen immune vigilance and response.

MB Mind

Improves mood, memory, and focus.

F Disease Prevention

Reduces risk factors for common degenerative and age-related diseases.