Salsa sales surpass ketchup sales. Tortillas are selling at a faster pace than potato chips. A growing U.S. Hispanic population and America’s appetite for new Hispanic flavors have boosted the availability and sales of Hispanic foods. The craving for Hispanic foods is not just limited to Mexican foods. There is an interest in the gastronomy of South America and the Caribbean.
Peruvian cuisine has emerged as a hot culinary trend. Quinoa, a high-protein grain of high nutritional value has grown in popularity. Most of the Quinoa consumed in the United States is imported from Peru and Bolivia. Quinoa is not the only nutritional star, there are other foods hailing from Latin America that deserve attention. Here they are:
- Purple potatoes: Blue and purple potatoes originate from South America. Whether baked, boiled or cooked in the microwave, these potatoes have a nutty, yet subtle flavor. Purple potatoes contain about the same number of calories and fiber and 4 times as much antioxidants as other types of potatoes.
- Yacon: Yacon is a tuber grown in Peru. It is known for its health properties, especially to manage high blood glucose levels. Yacon is eaten raw and it is sweet and juicy. According to Manuel Villacorta, MS, RD, and author of the book Peruvian Power Foods, yacon’s low glycemic index and soluble fiber content make it a “diabetes friendly food.”
- Black Beans: Brazil, along with India, is the major producer of black beans worldwide. Black beans are popular in Cuban and Brazil fares. At 15 grams per cup, black beans provide equal amounts of dietary fiber and protein. A low-glycemic index/load food, black beans are also “diabetes friendly.”
- Guava: At just 60 calories per serving with 5 grams of fiber, guava contains about 4 times the amount of vitamin C as a medium-sized orange. Guavas are also a good source of potassium, vitamin A, and folic acid. Buy guavas that are firm to the touch but yield to soft pressure. You can eat the skin and seeds.
Try this delicious Quinoa Bites recipe here.