Chaya, the mayan spinach tree, spreads out rapidly in the whole garden of Mandala Eco Villas- perfect for our cuisine, as Chaya is very healthy and nutritious. It`s originated on the Yucatan Peninsula in Mexico, where the Mayas already recognized its detoxing and cell regenerating function. That´s why they included it in their daily diet- as we should do as well! Chaya leaves are very high in Protein, Potassium, Calcium, Iron, Carotene and Vitamins A, B and C. It helps to lower cholesterol, improves blood circulation and helps to digest. The tree with the botanical name Cnidoscolus Chayamansa grows fast, leaves can be harvested after a first, two-year growing period. To use them for nutritional purposes, the leaves must be cooked between 10 to 20 minutes. As their flavor is bland, they can be added to different types of food without taking influence on the flavor. At Mandala Eco Villas, we use Chaya leaves for nearly everything, from breakfast to dinner: vegetarian pizza, rice, tacos, breakfast eggs and salads are some of the dishes we add Chaya to make them even more healthy and delicious!