A commonly used root vegetable

caskeCassava is low on the nutrient scale and yet it's a major source of carbohydrates for over half a billion people.  It is a white fleshed tuber and is also called manioc, yuca, balinghoy, mogo, mandioca, kamoteng and kahoy root. It may be compared with taro as both have little taste and a similar texture.

Cassava is a woody shrub originally native to South America but extensively cultivated as an annual crop in most tropical and subtropical regions of Asia and Africa. It can be purchased in many Asian food stores peeled and frozen, or as a frozen pulp.

Cassava must be well cooked as it contains Prussic acid (hydrocyanic acid), which can cause cyanide poisoning. Cooking the root removes the acid and makes it safe to eat.

To cook:

  1. Peel off the outer fibrous layer as its inedible.
  2. Cut lengthwise and remove the coloured thread that runs down the middle - this is very poisonous even when cooked.
  3. Chop into bite size pieces, place in saucepan, add salt to taste and cover with with cold water
  4. Bring to the boil and simmer for 20 - 30 minutes or until soft as with potatoes.
  5. Eat as is, or mash and serve with other vegetables.

Cassava cake

A tasty treat for special occasions and this recipe is very flexible, the quantities can be changed to suit.

  1. Cut 1 kg of cassava lengthwise and remove the coloured thread that runs down the middle - this is very poisonous.
  2. Grate cassava then add:
    • 600 mls coconut cream
    • 1 tin (350mls) of condensed milk
    • 50 gms crushed coconut sugar
    • A splash of pure vanilla essence (other flavour is optional)
    • Alternatively, purée in a food processor
      • Begin with the milk products then
      • add the crated or finely chopped cassava
      • blend until smooth
      • this is a very liquid mix.
    • Mix well and pour into a well greased baking tray
  3. A topping of grated coconut and/or a sprinkle of brown sugar and cinnamon is nice.
  4. Bake in a hot (1750C)  oven for 50 - 60 minutes and you can turn the heat down to 1500C or less half way through if it looks like burning on top.
  5. Typically the cake will rise similarly to normal baking, but it rises from the sides and when the centre rises, it's cooked.
    But it always sinks to about the same level as before baking and you end up with a delicious chewy treat. When hot, the cake remains very tacky but sets as it cools.

Nutritional value of cassava per 100 gram serving:

Nutritional value of cassava per 100 gram serving:

Calorific value 600 kJ
Calories 143 kcal
Fat 0 g
Carbohydrates 30 g
Protein 1 gm
Energy 330 kcal
Protein 2.8 g
Total lipid (fat) 0.58 g
Ash 1.28 g
Carbohydrate, by difference 78.4 g
Fiber, total dietary 3.7 g
Sugars, total 3.5 g
Calcium, Ca 33 mg
Iron, Fe 0.56 mg
Magnesium, Mg 43 mg
Phosphorus, P 56 mg
Potassium, K 558 mg
Sodium, Na 29 mg
Zinc, Zn 0.7 mg
Cu 0.206 mg
Mn 0.791 mg
Selenium, Se 1.4 mcg
Vitamin C, total ascorbic acid 42.4 mg
Thiamin 0.179 mg
Riboflavin 0.099 mg
Niacin 1.759 mg
Pantothenic acid 0.22 mg
Vitamin B-6 0.181 mg
Folate, total 56 mcg
Folic acid ~ mcg
Folate, food 56 mcg
Folate, DFE 56 mcg_DFE
Choline, total 48.8 mg
Betaine 0.8 mgv
Vitamin A, IU 27 IU
Vitamin A, RAE 2 mcg_RAE
Vitamin E (alpha-tocopherol) 0.39 mg
Vitamin E, added ~ mg
Vitamin K (phylloquinone) 3.9 mcg
Fatty acids, total saturated 0.152 g
Fatty acids, total monounsaturated 0.155 g
Tryptophan 0.039 g
Threonine 0.058 gv Isoleucine 0.056 g
Leucine 0.08 g
Lysine 0.091 g
Methionine 0.023 g
Cystine 0.058 g
Phenylalanine 0.054 g
Tyrosine 0.035 g
Valine 0.072 g
Arginine 0.282 g
Histidine 0.041 g
Alanine 0.078 g
Aspartic acid 0.163 g
Glutamic acid 0.424 g
Glycine 0.058 g
Proline 0.068 g
Serine 0.068 g
Beta Carotene, 16 mcg


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