The cassava is an excellent source of special carbohydrates, vitamins and minerals. As it is a cheap, resistant and nutritious food, the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) has been encouraging its production and consumption around the world, especially in developing countries.
Cassava, whose scientific name is Manihot esculenta, is known by different names, such as cassava or cassava, according to the region of the country. Named the “Queen of Brazil”, the origin of cassava possibly comes from the southwest region of the Amazon. As it is easy to adapt, it has spread throughout the Americas and over 100 countries and is cultivated in all Brazilian states.
Cassava cultivation is among the top eight agricultural products in the country, with Brazil being the second largest producer in the world. It can be consumed cooked, fried, in puree, tapioca, flour and flour, being a potato substitute.
When compared to potatoes, the benefits of cassava are that it is cheaper and has more vitamins A, B1, B2 and C. Despite containing almost three times more calories than the same serving of potatoes, the carbohydrates present in the cassava are released more slowly and therefore do not generate blood glucose peaks and prolong satiety.
The properties of cassava can be explained by its excellent source of carbohydrates, B vitamins, vitamin C and minerals such as magnesium, manganese, copper, potassium. It is a source of fiber and gluten free.
Despite being an energy source, it has complex carbohydrates, amylopectin and amylose, which release glucose slowly into the body, preventing blood glucose spikes and maintaining the feeling of satiety for longer.
The two main groups responsible for the anti-inflammatory and analgesic action of cassava are saponins and polyphenols. For this property, cassava can be useful in the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis.
The minerals Calcium, Manganese, Copper and Zinc, present in cassava, help to reduce the loss of bone mass, especially in women in menopause.
3. Antioxidant action
Cassava or cassava, as it is also called, has resveratrol, a polyphenol known for its antioxidant properties. The vitamin C is present in this root, in addition to strengthening the immune system, also acts as an antioxidant, fighting free radicals that can damage our cells and cause some types of cancer.
4.Improves skin health
Vitamin C helps to reduce the appearance of wrinkles and combat premature skin aging. Another substance present in cassava is resveratrol, which, according to studies, increases the skin’s resistance to damage caused by the sun. Its effect, together with the antioxidant action of vitamin C, helps to prevent skin cancer.
5.Ideal for gluten free diets
As it is gluten-free, cassava is an option for people with celiac disease or allergy sufferers. With its derivatives such as flour and flour, it is possible for celiacs to expand their menu.
6. Beneficial for the heart
Cassava has important minerals for heart health such as zinc, magnesium, copper, iron, manganese and potassium, which in particular help control blood pressure and heartbeat. As it is also a source of fiber, the consumption of cassava helps to control cholesterol levels, thus promoting an improvement in the circulatory system as a whole.
7.Helps to lose weight
Cassava has complex carbohydrates that release glucose slowly to our body, so there are no peaks of glucose and insulin where the excess is stored in the form of fat. This slow release still makes us not hungry anytime soon.
Another factor that helps in weight loss is the amount of fiber present in cassava, which in addition to prolonging the feeling of satiety, improves bowel function.
8. Beneficial for pregnant women
Cassava has folic acid, an important vitamin in the first weeks of pregnancy to prevent fetal malformations.
THE IMPORTANCE OF CASSAVA COOKING
Cassava is a vegetable, as this is a generic term for the fruits, seeds or parts that grow on edible land. When raw, cassava has toxic amounts of cyanogenic glycosides, which become innocuous, that is, it becomes safe for consumption after cooking.
These substances, cyanides, are mainly present in the root bark and any cut releases the acids, so consumption of raw cassava can cause poisoning. Symptoms are vomiting, dizziness, nausea, stomach pain and headache. We remind you again that this can happen if the cassava is consumed raw. When cooked, however, it is completely safe and beneficial.
RECIPES WITH CASSAVA
Cassava can be used in the preparation of purees, roasted on the grill, in salads, breads, cakes, appetizers and in the famous cassava broth or cassava soup. Cassava derivatives are also made, such as tapioca, flour and flour.
An appetizer much appreciated by Brazilians is fried manioc. A healthier option for this appetiser is oven-roasted cassava. To do this, first peel the cassava and cook it with plenty of water until it is soft. Allow to cool, remove the central fibers and cut into small pieces. In a greased baking dish, place the pieces of cooked cassava and season to taste. Add a little butter or oil, cover with aluminum foil and bake for 20 minutes. Remove the paper and bake another 15 minutes to crisp.
Another common appetizer is the cassava dumpling:
CASSAVA DUMPLING WITH CHEESE
- 1 kg of cassava
- 1 this
- salt to taste
- 2 tablespoons of chopped parsley
- 2 cups (tea) of wheat flour
- 150 g of mozzarella cut into strips
- 2 eggs
- 1 cup (tea) of breadcrumbs (180 g)
- frying oil
Peel the cassava and cut it into pieces. In a pot with enough water, cook until tender. Drain and mash the cooked manioc. Then mix well with egg, salt, parsley and flour. Make little balls with the dough, placing a strip of mozzarella cheese inside. Pass the balls in the beaten eggs and then in the breadcrumbs and fry.
A very common sweet, mainly in the Northeast of Brazil, is the Cassava Cake or Cassava Cake. This recipe is simple and quick and the cake is perfect to be enjoyed with a cup of coffee.
- 1 and 1/2 kg of cassava
- 5 eggs
- 2 and 1/2 cups (tea) of milk
- 2 and 1/2 cups (tea) of sugar
- 1 glass of coconut milk
- 1 dry coconut
- 1 tablespoon of baking powder
Peel the cassava and leave it for a few minutes under running water. Then grate the manioc, do the same with the coconut.
Mix all the ingredients in a deep container until you get a homogeneous mass, the last ingredient to be added is the baking powder.
Pour the cake batter onto a greased baking sheet and place in a preheated medium (180ºC) oven for approximately 40 minutes.
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