Individuals with food allergies can benefit from using cassava root in cooking and baking because it’s free of gluten, grains, and nuts.
It’s important to note is that you must cook cassava root before eating it, as it can be poisonous if consumed raw. Cassava is a significant source of carbs. It also provides a little fibre, vitamins, and minerals. It contains health benefits: cassava is a good source of resistant starch, which supports gut health and blood sugar management. It also contains vitamin C, a key micronutrient that can enhance immune function and collagen production.
Here are some ways you can make cassava safe to eat :
- Peel it. The peel of cassava root contains most of its cyanide-producing compounds, so it’s a good idea to discard it before cooking and eating the vegetable.
- Soak it. Soaking cassava by submerging it in water for 48–60 hours before cooking it may reduce its content of harmful chemicals.
- Cook it. Since harmful chemicals are found in raw cassava, it’s essential to cook it thoroughly before eating, for example by boiling, roasting, or baking it.
- Pair it with protein. Eating protein along with cassava may be beneficial, as this macronutrient helps rid your body of toxic cyanide.
- Maintain a balanced diet. You can prevent adverse effects from cassava by including a variety of foods in your diet rather than relying on it as your main source of nutrition.
There are many ways to incorporate cassava into your diet.
For example, you can use it to make snacks and side dishes. It’s commonly sliced and then baked or roasted, similarly to how you’d prepare potatoes.
Additionally, you can mash it or add it to stir-fries, omelettes, and soups. It’s also sometimes ground into flour and used in grain-free bread, crackers, tortillas, and pancakes.
Other popular dishes that feature cassava include:
- Cassava cake: a Filipino dessert made with grated cassava root
- Farofa: a Brazilian side dish that uses toasted cassava flour
- Fufu: a dough-like food eaten in many African countries, made from fermented and puréed cassava
- Tapai: a fermented food often enjoyed in Southeast Asia, prepared from cassava, rice, or other starches
- Kabkab: a traditional Filipino wafer made from ground cassava