Mashed potatoes and candy potatoes by no means get previous, however there are extra root veggies to discover, as additionally they supply diet, nice taste, and flexibility if you’re cooking at dwelling.
Take cassava, an edible starchy root with a nutty taste that may be a staple of West African, Latin American, and Caribbean cuisines. (It’s also referred to as yuca, manioc, mandioca, casabe, and tapioca.) “Relationship again to over 8,000 years in the past, cassava was the first supply of carbohydrates in Central and South America, and at present, it stays a staple crop in lots of creating nations as it’s extremely versatile, nutrient-packed and energy-dense,” says Ilyse Schapiro, RD, CDN. “Plus, cassava is portrayed in Indigenous artwork at present attributable to its profound influence on the pre-Colombian individuals,” she provides.
Whereas the plant originated in what’s now Peru and Bolivia, “its use unfold to and thrives in Africa and Thailand as effectively, because it’s very drought-resistant,” says Kelly Jones, RD. “However whereas an incredible supply of power, uncooked cassava is poisonous so have to be ready correctly by soaking for lengthy intervals of time, cooking, or fermenting for security and dietary advantages.” Why? Uncooked cassava incorporates a naturally-occuring type of cyanide. (These compounds break down whereas cooking to non-toxic, protected ranges.)
You possibly can prepare dinner cassava in methods just like starchy greens, like potatoes, however it has gained recognition lately as a substitute flour for baking—making it a superb choice for individuals with celiac illness or who observe a Paleo food regimen. (You should buy the flour or discover it utilized in merchandise like healthy cheese puffs and grain-free tortillas.) Cassava additionally has plenty of different makes use of, says Jones. “Tapioca starch, a typical additive, comes from cassava and it’s additionally used as an animal feed. Just lately some nations have begun changing it to biofuel as effectively,” says Jones.
However does cassava have any distinctive advantages you must find out about? Right here’s the complete lowdown from Schapiro and Jones.
What are the cassava advantages for well being and diet?
1. It’s wealthy in vitamin C
Cassava is a wonderful supply of vitamin C, which is nice for supporting immune well being in addition to pure collagen manufacturing. One cup of the cooked root vegetable incorporates 29 milligrams of vitamin C, which is roughly 39 p.c of your really useful each day consumption. “The hyperlink between Vitamin C and improved immune well being has been well-established and contemplating cassava incorporates a big quantity of ascorbic acid,” Schapiro says, it may well simply provide help to meet your each day wants.
2. Cassava is excessive in different antioxidants, too
Each serving of cassava additionally provides antioxidants together with anti-inflammatory phenolic compounds. “Together with many alternative meals sources of phenolic compounds in your food regimen is useful to offer a wide range of antioxidants that may work collectively to help short- and long-term inflammatory-related well being processes,” says Jones.
3. It’s a supply of helpful complicated carbohydrates
“Starchy meals usually get a foul popularity, however carbohydrates are the preferred and most efficient energy source for the central nervous system and muscle groups,” says Jones. Cassava is a starch that gives power whereas additionally providing nutritional vitamins, antioxidants, and insoluble fiber, making it a fancy carbohydrate.
4. It’s additionally filled with fiber
As talked about above, cassava is a superb supply of gut-healthy fiber. “At 4 grams of fiber per cup of cassava in its complete kind, cassava can contribute to satisfactory dietary fiber consumption, which is related to higher blood sugar management, decreased blood levels of cholesterol, and general improved intestine well being,” says Jones. And in case your intestine is completely satisfied, your immune system is just too!
5. It would help wholesome eyesight
“Vitamin A performs an important position eye well being, and new sorts of cassava are fortified with provitamin A carotenoids, which helps to extend the absorption of Vitamin A,” says Schapiro. “Researchers recommend consuming cassava can considerably enhance Vitamin A consumption and cut back the danger of deficiency related well being dangers,” she provides, however extra research are nonetheless wanted to attract a greater conclusion.
Methods to prepare dinner with cassava
To totally take pleasure in cassava advantages, you gotta prepare dinner it. “For human consumption, cassava is utilized in related methods to potatoes, for making flour, bread, or starch,” says Schapiro. Many baked items, stews, sauces, and snacks might include it too.
You possibly can bake with cassava flour, making something from waffles and pancakes to flatbreads, cookies and pie crust, suggests Jones. If it’s not the flour however relatively the starchy veggie itself you should use a couple of totally different strategies.
“To prepare dinner with cassava and make conventional yuca dishes, boiling and frying are the most typical strategies,” says Jones. “Yuca fries are very talked-about with spicy seasonings akin to cayenne and paprika or paired with a barely spicy dipping sauce. You too can have boiled and mashed yuca with caramelized onions, just like the way you would possibly put together mashed potato, minus the dairy,” she provides.
For those who’ve by no means had this scrumptious root vegetable earlier than, strive experimenting with it within the kitchen or search for baked items and snacks that include cassava. “If you wish to strive a home made recipe, some concepts are a cassava-based beef stew, gluten-free chocolate chip cassava cookies, or cassava bread,” says Schapiro.
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