B ack in the years when I was little, tapioca was limited to my recognition as pudding. Tapioca pudding was okay. It had an interesting taste, being kind of chewy, soft, and always served ice cold at the local diner. Mom mom would either order that, or opt for bread pudding since it was easy to digest and chew due to her teeth. I never cared or either. I never even liked ice cream that much. I liked pudding and jello with whipped cream, but, that was about it. I think, if I recall correctly, I always ordered jello. The desserts there were never good. The cookies and cupcakes were always dry and gritty, I know for a fact. I also know that I make moister goods than that produced there and at the local Italian bakeries. That aside, tapioca never played any other portion in my life until recently. I never thought I would be eating whole tapioca or using tapioca starch as a flour. Tapioca is more commonly recognized as cassava or yucca, a long, brown, and cone shaped root vegetable. It is produced mostly in Africa where many of the tribes grind up the tapioca into flour, bake it, and serve it similar as to how we use polenta, but, it is also popular in Asia, Latin America, and the Caribbean. In Asia, it is used as pearls in dessert such as the popular bubble tea. Those giant black globs at the bottom of your cup are, in fact, tapioca pearls. In Latina America, Yucca con mojo is yuca served in garlic sauce, a popular preparation method as well as often being served as a fried or boiled appetizer and side dish. In the Caribbean, cassava oiled down is a popular dish combining fish, the sweet yuca, and coconut milk. Even in India, the root appears throughout. The root is more popular than you think and, ironically enough, I can find it fresh and raw in the grocery store next to the jicama and daikon. Funny, huh? I recall purchasing bags of it frozen only to find it local months later. In fact, it is stated that cassava is the third most consumed carbohydrate in the world; yet, there are also many health risks that come with the sweet potato-y-like root. The root, like most, cannot be consumed raw. Not only is it difficult to digest, but it contains cyanide-like enzymes that are toxic and can cause konzo, a nerve disease that can lead to paralysis. Of course, cooking is the easy way to eliminate these hazards and it really is difficult to screw up unless you actually bite into it like a raw potato. In contrast, the correctly consumed cassava can treat IBS, malaria, and hypertension. Think of it like the taro: you have to do the same thing, otherwise, its like eating needles.
So, my question is: what to do with all this yucca in my freezer? Time for some brain storm.
Menu Plan for September 7th Breakfast Mango Crostini with yogurt sauce and roasted squash Bubble Chai Tea Pudding Cassava Rosti Lunch Asian Succotash Tuscan Buckwheat Salad Yucca Salad ala France Padishah Salad Broiled Trout Salad with Tartar Dressing Dinner Deconstructed Stuffed Squash w/ DF Mornay sauce Pepita Crusted Tofu with Roasted Vegetables over Molasses Mustard Polenta Vegan TV Dinner (National TV Dinner Day on Thursday): Salisbury Mushroom Steak, Mac n’ cheese, and veggies Broccoli, Quorn, & Cheese Noodle Soup Other Meringue Cookies Granola And if you get sick and tired of my yuca recipes, here are a few other menus from fellow bloggers that can satisfy your taste buds! Heather at Celiac Family has a gluten free kid’s menu planned. Thanks to her, I now know that Chick-Fil-A’s amazing waffle fries are GLUTEN FREE. Who knew?! I didn’t! But now I am happy. I loved those things. A small box of those with a salad and fruit is a great option for me when the family wants to eat out. I always look for emergency options when dining out. Usually, it’s a baked potato and a side salad but - waffle fries! Her menu sounds mm-mm good, gosh her kids are lucky!I also need to try a King Cake recipe since, after all, I’ll be going to New Orleans for our honey moon. That’s also why I’m teaching myself some French. Kimberly at Gluten Free is Life has a ‘slacker’s menu planned, so she claims. I don’t, however, see any bit of slacking off in flavor and food combinations. Anything with kabocha is a winner in my book, so, pairing that with veggies and a fish is a fine meal. In addition, she has all time favorite items planned: BBQ, pizza, and pasta. Yup. Who cares if it isn’t fancy? It’s good and that’s all that matters.
At Celiac’s in the House, Wendy had some issues with her freezer which, in turn, required her to use storage items in her freezer before they defrosted. I’m so sorry! That’s a nightmare to any organizer and pre-planning cook. To compenstate, she’s following last week’s menu plan and there is no problem with that. I do, however, apologize for using yuca when her child may have developed a tapioca allergy. I should have realized that grain and starch allergies can vary between everything. Perhaps, maybe yuca-less baked good recipes can be a good challenge as yuca starch is a primary stabilizer in a lot of baked goods due to the texture it provides. I think a combination of potato starch and cornstarch should compensate with weight and water requirements.
Cheryl, at GF Goodness our temp swap HQ, she is coated in sugar. If it’s not canning, it’s cake and if it’s not cakes, she has a torts. She has a yummy simple menu planned but it all compensates to the saccharine laced goodies she has in store. The blueberry lemon crumble sounds good and, why, do I see pudding? I’m so upset that my yogurt sucked because I didn’t have the machine and I ran out of agar agar. I hate having to travel to whole foods just for soygurt, so, either I purchase it online, or, I buy the yogurt maker. I actually think the maker would be cheaper. Yeah. Sigh. I’m also going to be her competition! Since my new house will have HUGE amounts of land, I’m going to out garden her! (or try to…) Good luck on the Challah~