Cassava. Yuca. Manioc. Tapioca. Manihot esculenta.Known around the world by a variety of names, cassava — as we call it in Trinidad and Tobago — is the third largest source of carbohydrates in the world and is a staple food for more than 500 million people. Among crop plants, the cassava plant provides the highest yield of food energy per cultivated area per day, next to sugarcane. Together with other tropical roots like yam, plantains, and potato; cassava is an integral part of the diet in many Caribbean, African, Asian and South American countries. Cassava offers many health benefits because of its vitamin, mineral and fibre content.
Cassava is loaded with carbohydrates, including the especially beneficial carbohydrate dietary fibre. Consuming fibre is linked to a number of health benefits, including lowered blood pressure, reduced cholesterol levels, better control over your blood sugar levels and a lower risk of obesity.
Cassava also helps you consume more magnesium and copper, which helps to lower your blood pressure and reduce your risk of osteoporosis, and to support healthy nerve function.
Cassava contains a signifiant percentage of the recommended requirement for Vitamin C and Folate, which protects against colon cancer, reduces the risk of complications during pregnancy and offers protection against coronary heart disease and several types of cancer.
Cassava flour does not contain gluten, an allergenic protein found in wheat, barley, oats and rye. Also known as tapioca flour, it can be used by gluten intolerant people to replace wheat flour in bread, cake, cookies, etc.
Serving & Storage Tips
Prepare cassava similarly to how you’d prepare potatoes.
Try peeling it and cutting it into chunks, and then roast it, coated lightly in olive oil. Alternatively, boil pieces of peeled cassava and then mash for a dish similar to mashed potatoes. If you want to add more flavour, try mixing the mashed cassava with roasted garlic, or mash it with boiled carrots to add natural sweetness.