Home Articles What Are Hearts of Palm? (+ How to Cook with Them)

What Are Hearts of Palm? (+ How to Cook with Them)

What are hearts of palm, you ask? Get ready for some yacht club vibes in your kitchen. 

It’s time to introduce yourself to this trendy little ingredient that’s gaining in popularity.

Bunch of hearts of palm with tomatoes and lettuce.

This special vegetable will make all of your meals look like they came straight from an upscale restaurant.

But what are hearts of palm, exactly?

Harvested from the inner layers of certain palm trees, these subtropical jewels are as flavorful as they are exotic.

Let’s learn more about this exciting ingredient.

What Are Hearts of Palm? 

Hearts of palm, also known as palmito, are a vegetable harvested from the inner core and growing buds of certain species of palm trees. 

While their name might conjure up images of something sweet and delicate, don’t be fooled! 

Hearts of palm are actually quite hearty, with a mild and nutty flavor similar to artichoke hearts. 

As a bonus, they’re packed with plenty of vitamins and minerals.

So, you can feel good about chowing down on them! 

Whether it’s in salads, soups, or stir-fries, hearts of palm are sure to add some deliciousness to your next meal.

Sliced heart of palm on a wooden chopping board.

What Do Hearts of Palm Taste Like?

Hearts of palm have a unique, subtly sweet flavor that can add an exciting twist to any dish. 

Contrary to its name, this vegetable is not actually related to the heart in any way.

It’s just the edible core of certain species of palm trees. 

The taste has been described as slightly similar to artichoke hearts, but with a more delicate texture and flavor profile. 

Hearts of palm also exhibit a light crunchiness when eaten raw, making them a great addition to salads and other raw foods. 

If you’re looking for something different from the ordinary, try adding some hearts of palm to your next meal.

You won’t be disappointed!

How to Use Hearts of Palm 

For starters, you should always buy the freshest hearts of palm possible.

This will ensure that your dish has maximum flavor and texture!

Look for ones that are firm but still slightly bendable when squeezed lightly.

Try to avoid any heart of palms that show signs of discoloration or shriveling. 

Next comes prepping them for cooking, which is easier than it might sound. 

To start, rinse them in cold water to remove any dirt and debris. 

Then, cut off the tough ends of each heart of palm before slicing or dicing them as desired. 

You can also opt to use a peeler to remove the thin outer layer if you want your dish to be super smooth! 

Use them in savory dishes like like a casserole or salad, or something sweet like a cake or ice cream.

Hearts of palm will give meals an extra boost in flavor and texture.

What Is Heart of Palm Pasta? 

Heart of palm pasta is quite literally pasta made from hearts of palm. 

It’s a unique vegetarian-friendly alternative to regular wheat pasta, with a subtle nutty flavor that pairs nicely with lighter sauces. 

It’s low in calories and fat, high in fiber and protein, and has a slightly crunchy texture. 

Plus, it’s totally gluten-free!

A bowl of heart of palm salad made with sliced heart of palm, olives, cherry tomatoes and lettuce.

Where to Buy Hearts of Palm 

If you’re looking to add some gourmet flair to your meals, look no further than hearts of palm. 

These delicacies are perfect for adding a unique flavor and texture to salads, and casseroles, or simply served as an appetizer. 

But how do you get your hands on them? Here’s a handy guide on where to buy hearts of palm:

In Supermarkets 

Are you lucky enough to live near a specialty grocery or large chain store?

They’ll likely have cans of hearts of palm lined up on the shelves next to their other canned veggies.

Check around the produce section too. Some stores may even display loose heart-of-palm spears in water-filled containers.

Either way, these shops make it easy to add these luxurious veggies to your grocery list.


Believe it or not, you can now buy hearts of palm through certain online retailers and websites. 

Whether you’re looking for an entire can of the stuff or smaller quantities of fresh-cut spears, these stores will have what you need! 

Just be sure to choose a reliable vendor that uses sustainable harvesting practices.

Farmer’s Markets and Local Grocers

Farmer’s markets are a great place to find seasonal produce and specialty items, like hearts of palm. 

Check with local farmers in your area to see if they sell this unique vegetable.

Many small farms may offer them at their booths during the spring and summer months.

If all else fails, try asking around at local grocers or specialty stores in your area. 

They might be able to get you the hearts of palm you need, especially if they’ve developed relationships with nearby farmers. 

What Are Hearts of Palm?

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Kim - InsanelyGood
Hey there! I'm Kim. I love running, cooking, and curling up with a good book! I share recipes for people who LOVE good food, but want to keep things simple :)

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