Yuca root is also known as cassava root or manioc; it’s starchy in texture and is consumed in various ways. It’s grown in tropical areas of South and Central America and is eaten there in many ways, from fries to bread.
Yuca (also known as cassava) is rich in calcium, iron, and many B vitamins. It has a soft and starchy texture similar to potato or jicama. Yuca root can be used in any dish that calls for potatoes. It is also an excellent substitute for plantains and yams. Its high fiber content makes it a great choice for those looking to increase their fiber content.
Yuca root gained attention for its health benefits and ability to prevent hunger. Yuca root caught on because of its high content of carbohydrates which can be stored as glycogen in your liver. Glycogen is easily accessed by the body and broken down into glucose to release energy. This makes yuca root a convenient snack or meal replacement when you need a boost to your energy supply.
Ground and yuca flour is sold under the name of tapioca flour. The flour makes an excellent thickening agent for sauces and gravies. It is also a staple food in many parts of the world. You can prepare baked goods, soups, bread, and many other nutritious, filling, and tasty dishes. Yuca is also an excellent source of potassium, and vitamins A, B6, and C!
We’ve gathered additional information below to help you enjoy this nutritious vegetable. In this article, you’ll learn how to peel, cut, and cook the yuca root.
What is Yuca Root, and where to buy it?
Yuca is also known as cassava. The yucca root has brown, woody-looking skin and white flesh. Yuca is similar in taste and texture to potatoes.
You can purchase yuca root at Caribbean markets or Latin grocery stores. If you’ve seen yuca at your local supermarket, you probably passed it by because of its strange appearance. You might have been tempted to ask, “How in the world do I peel the skin off these root vegetables” and then get discouraged after discovering how tough it is. We will show you how to peel, slice, and cook yuca.
How to peel and slice yuca
One important thing to remember is NEVER to cook the yuca root with the skin.
- First, you will need to wash the root and cut both ends off with a sharp knife. With a steady hand, place the root upright or lay it on the cutting board, and with the vegetable peeler, remove all the brown skin until you are left with the white part.
- Next, cut the root the way you want. If you are making yuca fries, you need to remove the core as it is not chewable. Depending on the way and size of the pieces, you may want to remove the core as well if you are boiling the yuca.
- If you only have one root, rinse and cut or slice and place in freezer ziploc bag and freeze. If you have more than one root, place the pieces in water to preserve moisture and color while you are preparing the other roots. When done, rinse quickly, thoroughly dry and place in ziplock bag. Place in the freezer for later use. The yuca pieces will last up to 1 month.
Notes and Tips
- It is easier to cut the yuca lengthwise first.
- After cooking, the core/fiber will be easier to remove.
- Yuca root is usually sold by the pound in most supermarkets.
- When buying yuca, checking both ends is recommended to ensure that they are firm. A soft yuca is not a good buy. The entire root should be substantial to the touch.
Lastly, the size of the pieces will depend on the recipe and you.
How to cook yuca
Here are a few recipes you can try:
Once you have your cooked yuca, you can use it instead of potatoes in a salad or with fish and salsa. The fries go well with garlic aioli, ranch dip, and even simple ketchup.