Are you looking for ways to bring a taste of the tropics right to your kitchen with exciting ingredients that breathe new life into boring everyday meals? Well, then cassava is just the thing for you! Widely cultivated in Africa and South America, cassava (also known as manioc or yuca) is a starchy root vegetable, a cousin to our own regular potato. Read on to fall in love with this delicious tuber and its health benefits!
Still relatively little known in Quebec, cassava is a cylindrical white root with a thick brown bark-like skin. Cheap and rich in carbs, it is a staple in many African countries and consumed either in the form of flour or similarly to how we use potatoes.
Its carb-heavy, gluten-free profile is exactly why you should eat more of it, especially if you are celiac or gluten-intolerant. Its high starch content makes it both filling and easy to digest, as many Africans and South Americans already know. Cassava contains 2 g of fibre for every 125 ml serving (half a cup) and is packed with vitamin C, folate (vitamin B9) and manganese, which helps strengthen bones. All of these nutrients play a key role in renewing cells in our bodies, especially red blood cells and skin cells.
Cassava is easy to cook and you can use it in a myriad of ways: from roasting to frying, from fries to chips! Its starchy, tender flesh makes for great croquettes, perfectly soft on the inside and crunchy on the outside. Mash them, and you’ll get the best of its nutty flavours in your shepherd’s pie.
While many of us may not be familiar with cassava, that doesn’t mean we’ve never eaten it! Ever had tapioca pudding or bubble tea? Well, tapioca is made from cassava flour, and so are the pearls in your boba! The flour is also gaining popularity with people who avoid gluten. What can’t cassava do?!