Hearty Yuca Root

yuccaThis recipe is great for an occasional carb-refeed.  Particularly, if you do glycogen-demanding sports as a post-workout meal (i.e. Cross fit, Combat Sports, hockey or football, etc…),  those competitive athletes (high training volumes) in these sports or even those who do high intensity workouts (HIIT/Tabatas) for more than 5 hours per week.  Again, not an everyday staple, but as an occasional re-feed or treat, absolutely phenomenal.

The Yuca Root, also known as Cassava (and listed as such in most stores in Ontario, Canada, that I’ve seen so far) is a tubular warm weather root vegetable that is high in carbohydrates, but much less processed and not Genetically modified like potatoes.  Important note, Yuca/Cassava are often confused with Yucca (an ornamental plant) (here).

Nutritionally, other than being a significant carb source, it is high in vitamin C and Manganese (here).  It has a moderate amount of dietary fiber, but let’s face it, it is a delicious natural carb source that should be thought of as occasional replenishment or even a treat!

Here’s how to do it.

Hearty Yuca Root

What you’ll need for this recipe:

2-6 Yuca Roots/Cassavas (depending on their size – they vary alot – go with 2-3 large or 3-6 smaller ones).

4-6 Tbsp pastured butter OR you could use 4-6 Tbsp coconut oil (depending on your flavor preference).

Optional – 1 onion + 2 cloves garlic OR cinnamon to taste.

Salt & Pepper to taste

Preparation:

1) Cut the Yuca into smaller cylindrical sections probably about 1-2 inches long, this will allow them to soften faster in the boiling water.

2) Peel the sections of Yuca root, so that the white flesh is showing.

3) Bring a pot of water to a boil & place the cut & peeled sections into the water and boil until softened.  The time will vary, but will likely be between 20 and 40 minutes.

4) Drain the water & replace with cold until the Yuca roots are cool enough to touch with your hands.

5) Remove the thick spine from the middle of the Yuca root sections, as this is inedible – you can also remove the outer, tougher layer of flesh if it annoys you, but it is edible.  This concludes the first preparation section.  Essentially, the Yuca are mostly cooked now, so feel free to taste their starchy goodness.  You can either chop them into smaller chunks or just mash them all together, your choice. Sometimes, I will do this part first, then continue with number 6 right before we’re ready to eat them, so they are fresh & yummy!

6) Heat a frying or sauce pan over medium heat.

7) Melt butter/coconut oil in pan.

8) If you are adding onion & garlic, then sautee those now until they are wilted and browned & the butter has that amazing fragrance.

9) Put your Yuca into the pan with the butter/oil (onion & garlic) and then fry it for about 10-15 minutes, stirring regularly.  Really let the Yuca absorb the butter/oil.  You can even add 1-2 Tbsp towards the end to liven up the flavor even more.   If you are adding cinnamon, add this to your melted butter & mix it, just before you add in the Yuca, then mix that in.  Don’t leave the butter/oil or the Yuca too long or it will burn.

Optional bacon-goodness – One other extra I added last night, was we slow-cooked a whole chicken as per my prior recipe (here) and I put 2 nice strips of farm-fresh bacon on the chicken in the slow-cooker for the last 6 hours of cooking (on high), and then I took the bacon & chopped it up & mixed it into the Yuca just prior to serving (our Yuca had butter, salt & pepper only last night).

That’s it!  Now serve warm & enjoy!  It really is an incredible carb-replenishing treat!

I hope that you and your family enjoy it as much as my family & I do!

Please feel free to comment with your experiences with Yuca and your twists on this recipe so we can share it with all!

Till next time.

Dan T

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