Most people do not like ampalaya also known as bitter melon or bitter gourd or bitter squash in English. This is because of the bitter taste of its fruit. But despite of its bitter taste I have been accustomed to eating them since childhood. I have always been at war with my mom when I was young because she always forced feed us the bitter food. Of course, I was a child thinking anything bitter is bad and anything sweet is good for me.Now I know better that some bitterness is good for one’s health.
These past few days, I have been eating ampalaya every other day. It is not that I am complaining but I just wanted to share how good ampalaya is for our body. Also, my five year old nephew needs its healing properties. He has been diabetic since he was three years old and lately he gets normal reading for his blood sugar. There were some research done on the effectiveness of using Momordica Charantia in the treatment of diabetes.
My mom has been able to invent a lot of delicious recipes using ampalaya over the years. From ampalaya omelette, ampalaya salad, ampalaya with ground beef, ampalaya with tuna flakes and noodles, adding it to “pinakbet” and the list goes on. She said one of the secrets to a not so bitter ampalaya is to soak it in water with salt. Few years ago, what we do is squeeze out the bitter juice but we also get rid off the medicinal qualities. Not an option now, but for those who are not prepared for it, you may use this trick it really lessens the bitter taste.
I also took some photos and realized how beautiful the ampalaya plant is. It may be a crumpled, bitter fruit but it makes a healthy, delicious dish.