5 February 2012, by gj
If you read yesterday’s post, you’ll know that Mandolin and I are cutting out most animal products from our diets- to see if our health improves.
And although I do have some fresh veggies left from last season, as well and frozen, canned and dried- we wanted to add to that selection.
So off we went to the closest market that had a decent sized produce department.
It was actually fun- the only thing I normally buy in a produce section is reduced priced veggies for treats for the Ladies.
Mandolin picked out a nice variety of fresh greens, some fruits and a few veggies while I trolled (like a gardenaholic in a farm and garden store) for things we have never had.
I was picking up a Papaya (hard to believe, but it’s true) I saw a very unusual looking veggie.
Just them a woman came up next to me, picked one of these up and snapped it in half.
It was as white as coconut on the inside.
“What is that?” I asked her- not quite used to being on this end of a veggie question,
“Yuca” she said, as she snapped another in half and place them in her bag.
“How do you prepare it?” I continued.
She then proceeded to not only share a few recipes, but gave me a brief history of where it grows and primarily which cultures eat it, additionally expressing her surprise to find it in this area.
Excited to learn more, I did a little research when we got home and found out two major things:
1. It naturally contains cyanide, and eaten raw can be toxic.
2. If you live in Zone 7 or lower, you can just forget about growing it.
Now I found #2 to be a challenge (not #1).
So this is how I made:
I simply washed the root, peeled it, and cut into fairly thin chips.
I tossed these in a little olive oil, with lemon juice and Grillmates Five Pepper Flakes.
I put them on a cookie sheet and into a preheated 350F oven.
After about 5 minutes or so I flipped them over, and continued to bake until they started to get brown.
It took mine almost 15 minutes all together, it would depend on how thick you slice them.
We dipped them into spicy hummus, and ate with some marinated olives and jalapenos.
The hummus helped cut the heat a little.
They were really very good- much better than store bought potato chips, and as I understand it, yuca is a little healthier than potatoes.
And you know I’m going to give growing it a try!
Have you ever grown or eaten Yuca?
Yuca AKA Cassava
Botanical name: Manihot esculenta
Grown in Zones 8 and higher (I scoff at that!)
Perennial in these areas and can be invasive.
Storing: Does not store fresh well, can be dehydrated or covered in water and frozen.