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Digging Into Caribbean Root Vegetables

Posted Apr 06 2009 7:37pm

Part of the joy of the veggie diet is variety and finding exploring exotic options.  Last week Groovy Vegetarian called upon readers to submit their recipes and nutritional findings about Puerto Rican root vegetables.

To dig into this theme a little more, lets look at some nutritional info on Puerto Rican root vegetables:

Cassava:

cassava

Cassava is packed with healthy carbs, fiber, Folate, Choline, Maganese, and Vitamin C.  It even has a bit of protein and Omega Fatty acids.

Green Plantains

plantain

Plantains also feature a balance of carbs and fiber.  In addition they have a lot of Vitamin A, Vitamin B6, Magnesium, Potassium, and Vitamin C.

Batata (sweet potato)

sweet_potato

Raw batata/sweet potato is absolutely PACKED with Vitamin A.  One serving gives you 377% of your daily value.  It also has a lot of fiber.

Yautia

yautia

Yautia provides carbs and a bit of Vitamin C and copper, however it lacks some of the nutritional punch of its root competitors, though a tasty addition.

Llame (”name root”/yam)

yam

Yams/llame are packed with fiber.  They also are a good source of Vitamin C, Vitamin B6, Potassium and Maganese.

Here’s a quick recipe to get you started (based on a slight modified version of this one ):

A yummy yam (llame) salad!

A yummy yam (llame) salad!

  • 1 pound of Llame/Yams, peeled and cut into 1 inch chunks
  • 1 pound of Batata/Sweet Potatoes, peeled and cut into 1 inch chunks
  • 1/3 cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 2 tablespoons Organic Lime juice, freshly squeezed
  • 1 teaspoon Chile Powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon Ground Cumin
  • 1/4 cup Cilantro leaves finely chopped
  • Salt and Fresh Ground Black Pepper
  • 1/2 medium Organic Bell Pepper (use Red Bell Pepper) seeded and cut into 1/4 in dice
  • 4 whole Scallions (white and light green parts) finely chopped

Directions:

Place the roots in a large saucepan and cover with water. Bring to a boil and cook until just tender, 7 to 10 minutes. Drain and transfer to a large bowl.

While the roots is cooking, make the dressing. Whisk together the olive oil, lime juice, chili powder, cumin, cilantro, salt, and pepper in a small bowl. Add the red bell pepper and scallions to the potatoes and toss with the dressing. Season again with salt and pepper. Serve warm or refrigerate and bring to room temperature before serving.

A thanks to NutritionData.com for the nutritional tables.  For detailed figures on the nutritional content of each root, go to their webpage and search for the food, using the English name when necessary.  Note nutritional information may differ from that in the recipe, due to raw values versus cooked values.

(((Editor Note: Awesome article, Jason. - Thanxs!)))

Readers:

Any questions on root vegetables from Puerto Rico? Ask away!

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