What the yuca?
In an effort to improve my health, I recently hit the produce section looking to accomplish two things:
- Diversify my diet
- Include more prebiotic-type foods
My doctor suggested simply grabbing some produce that I don’t typically eat or that may be entirely new to me. I saw the yuca and immediately recalled it as being an excellent prebiotic food, so I swiped one up and set out to experiment.
I’m so glad that I did a quick google search to learn a few important tips regarding the preparation of this starchy tuber. First, you must peel before cooking and eating. Unlike a potato, yuca root contains cyanide in it’s hard, waxy exterior. When you peel it, be sure to go through the tough outer white layer too. You can use a peeler, but I chose to cut a line lengthwise through the skin and white layer. After this, I used my fingers and a butter knife to pull away, in large chunks, the peel that is not desirable or safe for consumption.
Always peel, remove tough core, boil first!
The second important tip for cooking yuca root is to first give it a boil before you bake or fry it. I was planning to make baked yuca fries, so I cut it into the shape and size I wanted before boiling. I also made sure to remove the tough, fibrous core as well. I boiled mine for about 10 minutes, until fork tender, before preparing to bake it.
After draining my par-boiled yuca, I seasoned with coconut oil, salt, pepper, and berbere spice. Then, I simply baked on 425 F for about 25 minutes until they were crisp and golden. I finished them off with a little sprinkle of salt and lemon juice. It was really quite delicious, a little sweeter and firmer than a potato. It made the perfect prebiotic side to my burger (also topped with onion and radicchio, good prebiotics.)