Calabasa Flower

Calabasa or local squash has a yellow flower that Ilocanos from northern Luzon are fond of eating. The yellow Calabas flower is very similar to the Italian Zucchini flower. Some Filipinos treat the Calabasa flower as an herbal remedy for empowering the body.

Actually, Calabasa, the native pumpkin, is rich in fibers and Vitamins A and C. It's a popular veggie recommended for eye health, and for remedying eye defects like eye cataract. But nutrition experts recommend it as an antioxidant as well, especially its leaves and flowers. The fibery leaves and stems are good for aiding digestion and the yellow Casaba flower for strength and vitality. Brew the leaves and flowers and drink the water as tea.

Better if you sautee the chopped fruit, young leaves (with stems and tentacles), and flower in garlic and onions, add some preserved shrimp or fish, and then eat as a super health veggie meal. It's called Bulanlang. Ilocanos mix it with chopped eggplants, amplaya, and alugbati--a green leafy vegetable.

Not many people, even in the Philippines, know that the Calabasa leaves and flowers are edible and can be used as an herbal food or tea for health purposes. If you need a good dose of Vitamin A and C (especially Vitamin A), just boil Calabasa flowers and drink the brew.

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