If you’ve ever wanted to try a spin on the traditional French fry, you’ve likely tried the more nutritious and filling sweet potato fries. But have you ever heard of cassava fries?
Equally as tasty, cassava fries offer a fresh take on more traditional options. With its unique nutty flavor and mineral content, cassava offers different health benefits from other root and tuber vegetables.
That said, it’s important to note that cassava (also known as yuca) must always be thoroughly cooked before consumption. Why? Well, raw cassava actually contains a chemical known as cyanogenic glycosides. And this chemical can actually result in cyanide poisoning.
So, it’s important to thoroughly cook cassava before consuming it, just as I have with these cassava fries.
I know what you’re probably thinking: Why would I use this vegetable for a dish if it can cause harm? The answer is simple: By properly preparing (peeling) and cooking cassava, you remove the chemicals that can cause harm. And the benefits are well worth the prep!
For example, did you know that cassava is rich in magnesium? As you may recall, magnesium has over 800 different essential roles within the body. It’s necessary for many bodily processes, including regulating blood pressure, blood sugar control, and building proteins.
Here’s the problem, though: About 60 percent of American adults don’t consume enough magnesium. And 45 percent of Americans are estimated to be deficient in this important mineral.
Magnesium deficiency symptoms are associated with chronic medical conditions such as diabetes, high blood pressure, stroke, heart disease, osteoporosis, asthma, and even neurological conditions such as Alzheimer’s disease, migraine headaches, and restless legs syndrome (RLS). [1, 2, 3, 4]
As you can surmise, this makes consumption of magnesium-rich foods such as cassava very important.
Cassava is also rich in fiber, potassium, and vitamin C. This makes it not only filling but a great way to help support your immune system health.
So, let’s take a look at how easy and delicious these cassava fries are! And if you’re looking for a great main dish to pair them with, check out my incredible vegan burger. These dishes are truly a match made in heaven!
Time: 50 minutes
2 pounds cassava (yuca) root
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon garlic powder
½ teaspoon paprika
Sea salt and pepper, to taste
1. Remove the skin from the cassava with a vegetable peeler or sharp knife. Slice the cassava in half lengthwise, then cut those halves in half lengthwise to make sticks.
2. In a large pot, cover the cassava slices with water. Heat over high heat. Bring to a boil and cook 8-10 minutes, or until fork tender.
3. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F.
4. Drain the cassava sticks and gently rinse them with cold water. Transfer them to a paper towel and pat dry.
5. On a baking sheet, toss the cassava sticks with the olive oil, garlic powder, paprika, and salt and pepper. Arrange in a single layer, leaving space between each stick to avoid overcrowding.
6. Put the baking sheet to oven and bake for 30 minutes, carefully flipping halfway through until golden brown.
7. Serve warm with your favorite dip.