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6 Delicious Ways to Enjoy Hearts of Palm

May 5, 2024
Courtesy of Feasting at Home

We’re always looking for quick and easy ways to add more flavor, variety, and nutrients to our diets, and one way to do that is to expand the selection of vegetables we integrate into dishes. One to add that’s versatile, tasty, and easy to get: Hearts of palm. You’ll find these tender, tasty veggies in cans and jars in the supermarket. Whether you’ve had them before or they’re new to you, you’ll love the many ways they can add heft and nutrition to your plate.   

Though they’ve traditionally shown up in salads and dips, you’ll now find hearts of palm used as a plant-based fish substitute, and also sold as a low-carb, gluten-free pasta.

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What are hearts of palm?

As the name suggests, they’re the inner core of certain types of palm trees, such as the coconut and acai palms. 

What do hearts of palm taste like?

They have a mild, earthy, vegetal taste, similar to artichoke hearts or water chestnuts. They have a tender texture, with rings that are slightly firmer on the outside and softer inside.

Are hearts of palm good for you?

Along with their delicious, mild flavor, hearts of palm are nutritious. They’re a good source of fiber, minerals including iron, potassium, and zinc, along with vitamin C, and they have some protein. 

Related: 7 Creative Uses for Artichoke Hearts

Here are 6 delicious ways to enjoy them.

1. Tomato and Hearts of Palm Salad

Tomato and Hearts of Palm Salad

Courtesy of Foodie Crush

This bright salad combines juicy cherry tomatoes with tender hearts of palm and sharp red onion, tossed with a simple red wine vinaigrette. Swap olive oil for the vegetable oil for a healthier dressing. Topped with your favorite protein, this salad would make a light, refreshing meal.

Try this recipe from Foodie Crush.

2. Hearts of Palm Dip

Hearts of palm dip

Courtesy of Stacie Billis

This creamy dip is quick enough to make as a snack, but also so delicious, you’ll be proud to serve it at parties. Blend hearts of palm with lemon juice, olive oil, and garlic, and it becomes creamy and rich, and makes a welcome change from hummus. Add spices from your pantry or fresh herbs if you have them on hand, and serve with sliced vegetables or crackers.

Try this recipe from Stacie Billis.

3. Hearts of Palm and Avocado Salad

Hearts of palm and avocado salad

Courtesy of Kalyn’s Kitchen

Meet your new favorite side for grilled dishes or tacos. In this simple yet dress-up-feeling salad, you toss hearts of palm and avocado with lime juice, cilantro, and scallions, so every bite is a mix of creamy, briny, and bright. 

Try this recipe from Kalyn’s Kitchen.

4. Plant-Based BBQ Sandwiches

Hearts of palm BBQ sandwich

Courtesy of Eating Bird Food

Shred hearts of palm in a food processor, toss with barbecue sauce, and warm in a skillet, and in seconds, you have a meat-free version of barbecue that’s perfect for sandwiches. The dish is similar in texture to pulled pork, and it works beautifully on buns or in salads, so it would be great to serve as an option at a barbecue. Don’t forget the coleslaw.

Try this recipe from Eating Bird Food.

5. Easy Vegan Fish Tacos

vegan fish tacos

Courtesy of Plantifully Based

Hearts of palm’s tender texture and slightly briny flavor make them a popular swap for fish or seafood, as in these plant-based tacos. Roll them in a zesty spice mix, bake until crisp on the outside, then serve in tortillas with your favorite toppings. 

Try this recipe from Plantifully Based.

6. Vegetable “Ceviche”

Vegan ceviche

Courtesy of Feasting at Home

Here’s another way to use hearts of palm as a swap for fish. Instead of marinating fish or seafood in a citrus dressing to “cook” it, you combine the sliced hearts with cucumber, jalapeno, tomatoes, and scallions. It’s a fun twist on the refreshing appetizer. 

Try this recipe from Feasting at Home.

Read next: 5 Simple Ways to Eat More Healthy Vegetables at Lunch

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