Tag Archives: caribbeancooking

Vegetarian Super Foods Of the Caribbean 2

Cassava

File:Manihot esculenta - Köhler–s Medizinal-Pflanzen-090.jpg

Cassava (Manihot esculenta), is also called manioc, yuca, balinghoy, mogo, mandioca, kamoteng kahoy, tapioca-root (predominantly in India) and manioc root, a woody shrub of the Euphorbiaceae (spurge) family native to South America, is extensively cultivated as an annual crop in tropical and subtropical regions for its edible starchy tuberous root, a major source of carbohydrates. It differs from the similarly spelled yucca, an unrelated fruit-bearing shrub in the Asparagaceae family. Cassava, when dried to a powdery (or pearly) extract, is called tapioca; its fermented, flaky version is named garri.

File:Manihot esculenta 001.jpg

Cassava is the third largest source of food carbohydrates in the tropics, after rice and maize.[1][2] Cassava is a major staple food in the developing world, providing a basic diet for over half a billion people.[3] It is one of the most drought tolerant crops, capable of growing on marginal soils. Nigeria is the world’s largest producer of cassava, while Thailand is the largest exporting country of dried cassava.

Cassava root is a good source of carbohydrates, but a poor source of protein. A diet consisting predominantly of cassava root can cause protein-energy malnutrition.[4]

Cassava is classified as sweet or bitter. Like other roots and tubers, cassava contains antinutritional factors and toxins.[5] It must be properly prepared before consumption. Improper preparation of cassava can leave enough residual cyanide to cause acute cyanide intoxication and goiters, and may even cause ataxia or partial paralysis.[6] Nevertheless, farmers often prefer the bitter varieties because they deter pests, animals, and thieves.[7] The more toxic varieties of cassava are a fall-back resource (a “food security crop”) in times of famine in some places. (WIKI)

trinidad-cassava-recipe-1  Cassava and Saltfish Pie

Above two photos of the traditional cassava and salt-fish buljol and cassava and salt-fish pie. Cassava is a melt in your mouth experience with a sweet, nutty flavour, and despite it’s “dark-side”, remains a safe carbohydrate source in many cultures. Traditionally prepared with fried salted cod or in a buljol which is a salted cod salad. It is also excellent in soups and can be served with meat and fish stews, however personally eaten hot with a knob of butter, is just heavenly! Cassava is also used in sweet dishes in the Caribbean, and similar dishes I have found in the Phillipines and Vietnam. In the Caribbean they are called pone, which is a cassava cake and pamee, a steamed cassava paste in a banana leaf.

cassava-pone-12  cassava-suman-recipe

Here are some wonderful new ways of serving cassava from Conde Nast:

http://parade.condenast.com/156299/ericadinho/10-sweet-and-savory-yuca-recipes/

Caribbeanpot provides two lovely recipes for you to enjoy!

Have a read:

http://caribbeanpot.com/tag/caribbean-cassava-recipes/

Next Yams and Eddoes….

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Vegetarian Super Foods of the Caribbean 1

One of the best places in the world to be a vegetarian is in the Caribbean. The creole and indian kitchen has always been one of the primary sources of delicious tasting and healthy Caribbean food that is vegetarian, with fish or totally vegan. In recent times the Ital or Rastafarian cuisine has added new and refreshing ways to enjoy vegetarian food with the emphasis on power punches (drinks :-)) and meals rich in energy and flavour.

Provisions11

Ground provisions or “blue foods” as they are called on some islands are one of the most important components of a good creole plate. Here is a photo of some of them in their raw state, along with traditional accompaniments like green banana, plantains. These foods traditionally the staple of slaves is accredited with longevity and strength. They are high in fibre and are slow-releasing carbohydrates, very low in fat. Prepared traditionally in soups they are also served with rice, lentils, beans or callaloo and other vegetables as well as salted-fish (salt-cod), fish and meat.

cassava  GPPlate with Prawns

Ground provisions is the term used in West Indian nations to describe a number of traditional vegetable and fruit staples that are planted in the ground, such as yams and cassava. They are often cooked and served as a side dish in local cuisine. Caribbean recipes will often simply call for ground provisions rather than specify specific vegetables. (Wiki)

Here is some basic information on tubular/ root vegetables found in most caribbean and South American countries:

http://latinfood.about.com/od/latincaribbeancuisine101/a/Ground-Provisions.htm

The most well known of the ground provision is sweet potatoes, and possibly yam in some cultures. They are easily found today in many groceries and markets in UK, Canada and America, where large West Indian populations live.

As you can see below there are various kinds of sweet potato:

Sweet potato

http://www.saveur.com/article/Techniques/16-Shades-of-Sweet

Roasted, boiled, mashed, fried, the sweet potato is a wonderful staple dish that is a good alternative to rice and pasta.

Here is a beautiful winter warmer, or just a hearty lunch soup from Caribbeanpot:

Check out for more ideas:

http://www.bbcgoodfood.com/recipes/collection/sweet-potato

 

NEXT: CASSAVA