(NaturalNews) Cassava or yucca is a nutty flavored, starchy tuber of the spurge family (Euphorbiaceae) from the South-American origin. This sweet, crunchy underground tuber has been a popular edible root for centuries in many parts of Africa, Asia and South America; it is an indispensable part of the carbohydrate diet of millions of inhabitants living in these regions.
Cassava can grow in poor soil and can withstand drought. It is an important famine reserve crop in countries with unreliable rainfall. According to the Food and Agriculture Organization
of the United Nations Global Cassava Development Strategy, cassava is the third most important source of calories in the tropics, after rice and corn. Millions of people depend on cassava in Africa, Asia and Latin America. It is grown by poor farmers, many of them women, often on marginal land. This crop is vital for both food security and income generation.
Health benefits of cassava
Cassava has nearly twice the calories than potatoes, perhaps highest for any tropical starch-rich tubers and roots. Like other roots and tubers, cassava too is free from gluten. Young, tender cassava (yucca) leaves are a good source of dietary proteins and vitamin K. Vitamin K has a suspected role in bone mass building by promoting osteotrophic activity in the bones. It also has an established role in the treatment of Alzheimer's disease patients by limiting neuronal damage in the brain. Cassava is a moderate source of some of the valuable B-complex group of vitamins such as folates, thiamin, pyridoxine (vitamin B-6), riboflavin, and pantothenic acid. The root is the chief source of some important minerals like zinc, magnesium, copper, iron, and manganese for many inhabitants in the tropical belts. In addition, it has adequate amounts of potassium (271 mg per 100 grams or six percent of RDA). Potassium is an important component of cell and body fluids that help regulate heart rate and blood pressure. Other health benefits cassava
is linked to are: increased immune function, DNA repair and protection, reduced frequency of migraines, relief from PMS, epileptic seizures, and alopecia.
Mama Z's homemade tapioca
Organic tapioca pearls are delicious in puddings, pies, and bubble tea.
Prep: 10 min
Bake: 2 hours
Stand: 15 min
2 cups water
3 Tsp organic tapioca
2 Tsp honey granules, coconut crystals or equivalent
1/8 tsp pink Himalayan sea salt
2/3 cup organic coconut milk
In saucepan, bring water to boil. Use whisk or fork to add tapioca (this prevents them from sticking together. Let the pearls cook for about 17 minutes or until they have lost their opaque appearance stirring with a whisk. The mixture should be slightly thickened and the liquid cloudy. In a separate bowl, whisk the honey granules, salt, and milk. When the tapioca has finished cooking, whisk in milk mixture, stir, and cook for 10 more minutes. Place contents in a greased glass casserole pan at 350 degrees and cook for one and a half hours stirring every 15-20 minutes.
Let cool, serve, and enjoy!Sources for this article include:http://www.nutrition-and-you.com/cassava.htmlhttp://www.foodsafety.ksu.edu/articles/533/cassava_factsheet.pdfhttp://www.healthaliciousness.com/vegetables/cassava-yucca.phpAbout the author:
Journalist, medical researcher, speaker, and life coach, Eric L. Zielinski has been writing prolifically since 1998. Formerly trained as primary care provider and peer-review researcher, he has published an eclectic selection of health content for several print and online publications. Zielinski earned his Bachelor of Arts in English from Wayne State University in 2002 and is currently wrapping up his Doctorate of Chiropractic at Life University along with a Masters of Public Health at Emory University. Visit his blog. Track his work on facebook. Read Eric's other naturalnews.com articles.