Yucca: characteristics of the tuber, properties and recipes

Yucca: characteristics of the tuber, properties and recipes

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Yucca is one of the many names of Manioc, not the most used, there are also cassava, casava, and yuca, with a single "c". This also creates some problems because of the name Yucca is already "busy" from another plant whose roots should not be eaten and which more than anything else in Italy is used for ornamental purposes. We for Yucca here mean the Yucca Cassava, a plant with ancient origins, already used 6,600 years ago and which was the basis of diet of the Maya. There are many exhibits to testify.

Yucca: characteristics

Our Yucca - Cassava, also indicated by the scientific name Manihot esculenta, comes from central and southern America and is a shrub grown in tropical forests. Its root, the most known part of this plant, resembles one carrot with a rough, brown rind. This must not "deceive" or discourage, because within it, this "raw" aspect contains one hard and white pulp. On trust, let's say white, because as soon as it comes into contact with the air, due to oxidation, it becomes reddish.

Only the root of this plant is edible, it can also measure 80 cm in length and 5 in diameter. The category to which it belongs is that of Euphorbiaceae, whether it produces the bitter root, smooth-skinned, either the sweet one, with wrinkled skin.

Yucca: tuber

Let's see better the properties of the tuber that the Maya loved so much and that today in South America it is the basis of many traditional recipes, as we will see in a few paragraphs. The Yucca root better known as Cassava contains amino acids important for humans such as fenilalanine, methionine and tryptophan, and many carbohydrates. Rich in iron, calcium and vitamin B3, it does not have much starch and not even a lot proteins, it is also low in glucose and sucrose, dextrin and fat. It is also suitable for celiac disease sufferers, as it is gluten-free.

Yucca: properties

This root has a really nice flavor, and of the therapeutic virtues not to be underestimated, especially in its bitter variety. In fact, we find it as a natural remedy against dysentery. Fresh and chopped it is a anti-inflammatory, an antiseptic and an effective diuretic.

Contains a lot of water (60%) and carbohydrates, little protein, very few sugars and almost zero fat but there are various mineral salts including phosphorus, magnesium, calcium, potassium, manganese and selenium.

Yucca: contraindications

Without going back to what has been said about the goodness of Yucca aka Cassava, be careful not to bite into it as it is without cooking it. In fact, it contains a toxin in the peel, also present inside the pulp in the case of the bitter variety.

Yucca: recipes

We find this root both fried and cooked in stews, used to thicken soups or baby food but also in desserts. In desserts, in truth, a flour obtained from the Yucca, called tapioca or also cassava flour, widely used in South America.

Also from this root we get the polvilho, basic ingredient of pão de queljo. These are soft rolls with cheese. Among the recipes based on tapioca and cheese, is the cassava cake. With the farinha, obtained from the same tuber, it is cooked farofa which accompanies the famous feijoada. In Brazil we find Cassava in beiju, a South American crepe with coconut flour, dried meat and cheese.

Video: Yucca Plant Propagation from Cutting. Houseplant Vlog Ep. 5 (July 2022).


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