Cassava or also known as Yuca or Yucca is an excellent root vegetables that grows easily in the tropics. The latin name is Manihot esculenta, and it is in the Euphorbiaceae (spurge family). Throughout the tropics it is grown for its use as a starch vegetable, cassava flour/tapioca starch, breads, tapioca, a laundry start and it is also distilled into an alcoholic beverage.
As I write this article on how to cook fresh cassava – I am actually experimenting with it for my first time. I’ve lived on my husband’s farm on the Big Island now for 6 years but for the first several years any time our cassava crop was ready the wild boar population on our farm would devastate them. Finally, after putting a solar electric sheep netting farm around our huge garden we decided to dedicate some space to planting cassava. We planted it last spring and now the roots are huge!
Cassava has a compound called cyanogenic glycosides which are toxic. Cooking reduces it to safe levels. Cooking water should be discarded after cooking.
Cassava is rich in complex carbohydrates, iron, and fiber and is a healthy unprocessed food choice to incorporate into a balanced diet. It is also renowned for it’s effect on fertility and is thought to increase or cause hyper ovulation, in turn increasing likelihood of twins.
Cut off the ends of the root. Cut or peel off all the waxed brown skin to expose just the white interior of the root. …
Place these in a pot and cover with water. Add salt, chili peppers and cloves. …
I was recently inspired to make this corn chowder recipe because we actually had milk in the house. Both my husband and I aren’t really milk consumers. We used to buy raw milk from a farmer here but even then we had a hard time getting through it all. Partially, because I’m sort of lactose intolerant. But I recently bought some to make ice cream from scratch with my friend’s children – and now am struggling to use up the rest of this ½ gallon of organic whole milk. Yesterday, I made cornbread using my healthy cornbread recipe. Today… chowder. I wish we had fresh corn but luckily our nearby country store had organic canned corn. And luckily we could still make it our own by added fresh red pepper, garden fresh celery and our thyme.
I imagine this recipe is somewhat flexible. Do you feel like adding carrots? Go ahead! Don’t have red pepper? Use green pepper. Want to add some peas or green beans? LOL. Have fun and enjoy in good company!
Recipe for Corn Chowder with Red Pepper & Thyme
Yield: 4 servings Equipment: Blender, Immersion Blender or Food Processor
1 tablespoon butter 1 small onion chopped 2 potatoes chopped 1 stalk celery chopped 1 large red bell pepper chopped or equivalent (we use smaller ones that grow in our area about 3-4 of them) fresh stick thyme – this is a thyme substitute that also grows well in the tropics but regular thyme can be used) 2 cups vegetable or chicken broth 1 ¼ cup whole milk 2 cups fresh corn or one 15 oz can of corn (non-GMO/Organic of course!) 2-3 tablespoons flour (optional – I also like to use tapioca starch as a gluten-free option)
Heat butter in pot over medium heat
Sauté the red pepper, onion, potatoes and celery until onions are translucent
Add broth and corn and simmer vegetables until tender
Remove half of the brother and puree briefly with immersion blender, regular blender or food processor
Replace broth in pan and add milk and thyme and heat (but not boiling)
If you want a thick chowder – remove about a cup broth ones the milk has warmed up and slowly dissolve 2-3 tablespoons flour. Return this paste to the soup and stir.
Season with salt and pepper to taste
At this point if you’d like to bulk this recipe up at little feel free to add some cubed and browned sausages (we use chicken sausage) and even small noodles like elbows, orzo, etc.
If you are looking for a good blender to use I HIGHLY recommend BlendTech.
But, a really great tool for pureeing soups, making things like my beet brownies or even hummus or guacamole is an immersion blender – called by some people stick blenders. The one we have has lasted us over 10 years. But if I had to get a new one I’d probably spring for this cool looking set:
I made this recipe for quinoa yucca veggie burgers when we had an abundance of cassava root and an abundance of quinoa from our original covid-19 stock up on protein rush. This recipe is great for making veggie burgers in bulk and then freezing a few for future snacking.
Ingredients for Quinoa Yucca Vegetable Burgers
5 cups cooked quinoa
1 can garbanzo beans
2 large handfuls of fresh herbs
2 tablespoons chopped garlic
4 cups cooked and roughly chopped casssava
1 ½ teaspoons salt or to taste
fresh ground pepper to taste
½ cup or more gluten-free flour or not to coat
Steps for Quinoa Cassava Burgers:
1. Cook the quinoa according to instructions 2. Prepare and cook cassava 3. Meanwhile, chop onion, garlic, carrot, fresh herbs and sauté in pan until soft 4. In a food processor, blend cooked cassava, onion and herb sauté and egg and process until mostly smooth 5. Put cooked quinoa in large bowl and add cassava herb mixture from food processor mix well, season as desired 6. In a separate bowl add gluten-free flour or flour of choice. Place ⅓ cup mixture or so into bowl and form a ball, then squish into a patty 7. Then you can either pan fry, air fry, or bake your patties. 8. If your are using an air fryer I recommend 14 minutes brushed with coconut oil or sprayed with olive oil before and in the middle of cooking time before flipping 7 minutes into the cooking time 9. If you prefer to bake… bake at 425 and coat the pan in oil and brush the burgers in oil. You may then choose to flip halfway through baking at around 15 minutes. 10. If you are pan frying, they need about 3-5 minutes on each side to make sure the egg is cooked through.
It has been a while since I have made this ginger beef stew for my hunny. For some reason I was re-inspired. Maybe it was the fresh shipment of Big Island Beef stew sent to my corner grocery store here in Pāpaʻaloa. I used to make this ginger & squash version of beef stew almost weekly for my hunny. My method is pretty dialed. I hope you find this recipe easy to follow. It is pretty forgiving. The most important part is that you cook the beef long enough. If you use tamari instead of soy sauce, and a gluten-free thickener this recipe is gluten-free and dairy free.
Ingredients for Pumpkin & Ginger Beef Stew
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 pound grass-fed beef stew meat
3 cloves of garlic roughly chopped
1 large carrot, sliced in whole, thin rounds
1 medium onion roughly chopped
1-2 inches thick ginger, peeled and chopped in big slices
about ½ cup dry red wine
½ medium size tropical winter squash like Kabocha.
2 potatoes, washed, skinned, quartered and chopped
2 tablespoons organic soy sauce
1 tablespoon pure maple syrup
salt and pepper
about 2 tablespoons flour or thickener of your choice (I alternate with whatever is closest to reach – tapioca starch, cassava flour, rice flour)
fresh herbs of your choice – I use whatever I have growing which right now was rosemary, oregano, stick thyme, and parsley. I skipped the basil because the others were more potent spices when cooked down.
2 Hawaiian chili peppers if desired
(optional: more veggies like red pepper, herbs, green beans, peas, etc).
Steps for Ginger Beef Stew with Pumpkin
Sauté onions, garlic, and ginger until aromatic in 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a large pot
Add stew meat and stir consistently until the meat starts to brown
Once browned and sticking to bottom, deglaze pot with ¼ cup red wine and scrap brown bits until pot is clean.
add 6 cups of water bring to a boil.
Reduce heat and bring to simmer for about 2 hours, adding more water as need to keep the beef stew submerged.
add the squash in one whole piece and potatoes quartered
simmer another 30-45 minutes until beef begins to fall apart
add 2 tablespoons soy sauce and 1 tablespoon maple syrup
add salt and pepper to taste
stir in fresh herbs and finish for another 10 minutes, making sure beef is tender and easy to cut in half with fork.
Remove some of the broth and taste it for flavor. Then, stir in 1-2 tablespoons flour with a whisk into hot broth to dissolve.
Add flour broth mixture to pot and allow to thicken for a few minutes before removing from heat.
Enjoy over a scoop of rice!
If you like this recipe maybe you will be interested in my Big Island Beef Shepards Pie.
This vegetarian bean load is pretty good for being so incredibly easy. And it is a great way to use all those beans you stocked up on! This recipe is adapted from the Spicy Bean and Lentil Loaf recipe from the book… “Vegetarian: The Greatest Ever Vegetarian Cookbook”. This is my quick and dirty recipe. Enjoy your own variations!
Recipe for Vegetarian Bean Loaf
Ingredients and steps:
Sauté these first:
1 clove garlic chopped
1 carrot copped
1 onion chopped
2 celery stalks chopped
large handful fresh herbs like parsley, basil, dill, rosemary, thyme etc.
Then in a food processor blend…
sautéed veggies and herbs
1 can garbanzo beans drained and rinsed
1 can kidney beans drain and rinsed
After blended until smoother move to a bowl and add these remaining ingredients ½ cup breadcrumbs ( I use ½ frozen ends of loafs and ½ oatmeal)
½ cup cheese (I use shredded Parm)
1 tablespoon ketchup
2 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1 tablespoon tomato paste
1 teaspoon cumin
½ teaspoon or more to taste cayenne
salt and pepper to taste
Bake at 350 degree in an oiled loaf pan for 45-60 minutes and serve warm or cold.
This roasted red pepper soup recipe is so easy and so flexible. It comes out creamy but is gluten-free and dairy free, and can be made vegetarian as well. Instead of potatoes, use cassava! Instead of chicken broth, use vegetable broth. Don’t have celery or a carrot? No matter!
I’m on a new kick to discover how many different soups I can make featuring ingredients from the garden. We’ve been growing these beautiful red peppers for years now. I used to just use them little by little in all of my dishes, but we are harvesting so many peppers day after day I needed to find a way to cook them in batches.
This soup is delicious and a great way to use our bountiful harvest. I hope you enjoy this simple recipe!
Recipe for Roasted Red Pepper Soup
Yield: 4 -6 servings
Equipment: Oven or toaster oven, blender or immersion blender
1 tablespoons olive oil
12-16 oz red pepper, stemmed and seeded
1 stalk celery, roughly sliced
1 small onion, roughly chopped
1 carrot, roughly sliced
enough veggie or chicken broth to cover vegetables (~4 cups)
2-3 medium potatoes, peeled and roughly chopped into chunks
1 heaping tablespoon chopped garlic
1 tablespoon butter
salt and pepper to taste
Coat the prepared peppers in 1 tablespoon of olive oil and roast them in the oven or toaster oven at 400 degrees Fahrenheit for about 30 minutes just until they start to blacken.
If you are using regular sized red peppers – then you can peel the skin off. The peppers that grow well here are so small and have thin walls so it is useless to peel them, but of course even when blended with my immersion blender it is still a little stringy
Heat 1 tablespoon butter in a medium to large pot and then sauté the roasted peppers, celery, onion, carrot, potatoes and garlic while stirring for about 5 minutes.
Add broth just enough to cover vegetables and bring to a boil
Then simmer until potatoes and carrots are cooked through
Allow it to cool for at least 10-15 minutes
Take out about 2 cups of the broth to start (and then add back in as you blend to reach your desired consistency)
Then either use your immersion blender or transfer to your regular blender in batches and blend until smooth adding more broth as necessary.
Reheat and season with salt and pepper to taste.
If you like this type of soup try my other recipes
I’m not really a very up close and personal person when it comes to broadcasting the details of my personal life all over the internet. I’m also not really a self-motivated hustler. However, I really feel like this story needs to be told and that other people out there should know the healing effects of consuming superfoods and certain supplements.
Upon writing this I’m 34, almost 35. I left my doctorate, moved to Big Island to farm with my cookie, and really my only other goal in life other than be a happy, good person, is to be a mother. Last August, my husband left for a few months and I decided it was time to finally do a deep internal cleanse to get my body ready for babies. You see, I eat really clean and life a very active lifestlye, but I really like beer and wine, and pizza and chocolate, etc. So, in desire to be a responsible pre-mama, I bit the bullet, spent a chunk of change on superfood supplements with the intention of doing a pre-conception cleanse. The results were pretty amazing.
The bottom line…
After the Purium Ultimate Lifestyle Transformation program, I lost 10 pounds, 1 ½ inches off my waist, my BMI went down 2 points my muscle mass increased by 5 pounds. And, my PRE-MENSTRUAL CRAMPs COMPLETELY DISAPPEARED! My cravings for unhealthy foods are long gone and my desire to eat healthy and exercise are ever present.
Of course, if you don’t continue with healthy choices you will put that weight back on. Which, of course is what happened to me when my life took an unexpected twist. I started eating pizza again, drinking brews, staying up late, etc.. I a lot of that weight back on… BUT months and months have gone by and I still hardly even notice my period starting. What used to be 1-2 days of very uncomfortable bloating and cramps is now some minor bloating AT MOST.
This amazes me! I have tried other herbal supplements like Dong Qui, and Cramp Bark. I’ve tried balancing my hormones with seed cycling. Years ago, I learned that a healthy hormonally balanced woman should feel no discomfort during pre-menstrual and menstrual days. But of course, main stream this is not what is occurring.
Experts say that the best way to decrease PMS symptoms is detox (caffeine, alcohol, sugar), increase health gut bacteria, and make sure to get a wide variety of your micro and macro nutrients and vitamins.
Specifics on the pre-conception supplement products I fully support:
A few of the Purium line of products, especially the ones included in the ultimate life-style transformations do all of this for you. I don’t know if I can put my finger on just 1 or 2 of the supplements that really helped. Because combined, along with my dedication to abstain from alcohol, sugar and excessive caffeine, these products continue to work to balance my body. I recommend the Nutrition bundle. If you click on any of these links you will be taken to the website and if you register you will get a $50 coupon or 25% of your first order of $200 or more. if you have a problem redeeming your $50 coupon feel free to contact me
Super Amino 23 (absorbs easily digestible vegan protein into your muscle – in 23 minutes)
Power Shake – improves energy, reduce craving, fuels your cells with superfoods like spirulina, millet, chia, carrot juice, wheatgrass, and many more.
Super CleansR (enhance the body’s peristaltic action which loosens embedded and impacted matter, helping your body to cleanse deeply and effectively)
BioMedic – a probiotic supplement that detoxifies glyphosate, Improve digestion, Boost mood & immunity
Tart Cherry juice (Apothe Cherry) – Improves sleep, reduces free radical damage, Beautifies skin, create a healthy response to inflammation
Additionally, both for myself and my husband I purchases CoQ10, from Amazon. CoQ10 (Coenzyme Q10) is a antioxidant boosting supplement. It reduces oxidative stress and has many health benefits for all types of people. But there is significant research to establish that both in men and women it improves fertility. Recommended for pre-conception in doses 300-600mg. However, once you are pregnant it is important to stop taking high doses and ask your health professional about CoQ10.
6 months later, I am taking another round of the Purium Nutrition cleanse products. Getting ready again anticipated conception, I am not doing the super strict part of the cleanse. But instead, I am just gracefully adding in the products into my regular diet. Without completely eliminating, I am cutting back on sugar, caffeine and avoiding alcohol. And again, my weight is starting to drop of slowly and evenly. My energy levels are up, my moods are elevated and I feel like a happy and healthy pre-mama.
There’s lots of supplements out there and for the longest time I resisted. Instead, choosing a diet rich in vegetables, healthy fats, lean proteins and unrefined sugars. I still think this is the way to go. But, there is something to be said for having NO CRAMPS! For this reason alone I think every few months I’ll take a few rounds of Purium’s supplements.
Looking for a corn chowder but don’t necessarily jive with dairy or flour? This corn chowder may be perfect for you! Of course it doesn’t have that heavy creamy taste to it, but it does have the chowder mouthfeel and the crunch of the corn and other veggies. That is what we are looking for right?
Tapioca starch is one of my favorite alternatives to flour when used in breading fish, veggies and chicken as well as thickening soups, stews, and my Big Island Beef Shepards Pie and my dairy free chicken pot pie
3 tablespoons butter (or substitute olive or coconut oil)
2-3 tablespoons tapioca starch
4 medium carrots sliced and chopped fine (about 1 ½ cups)
1 medium-large onion diced
5 small-medium russet potatoes washed, peeled and chopped fine
3-4 stalks of celery washed and diced ( you want the ratio of onion to carrot to celery to be similar, 1:1:1). And the potatoes and the corn will be the star of the show and will also aim to have 1:1 ratio between them.
1 heaping spoon mined garlic
enough filtered water to cover veggies plus a little more (you are going to add in corn)
2 tablespoons concentrated chicken stock (can use vegetable stock (bouillon) or chicken or vegetable stock).
2 tablespoons or so fresh chopped thyme (I use a thyme like plant that grows in the tropics we call Stick Thyme).
4 small fresh ears of sweet corn, corn cut off gently by rotating the corn as you cut with a small serrated knife.
Melt butter and sauté onions until translucent.
Then add garlic, onion, celery, carrots and potatoes and stir frequently for 5-10 minutes.
Next, add tapioca starch and stir several times to coat the veggies in butter/oil and tapioca starch.
Then add water and bouillon and bring to a boil.
Continue to boil 10-15 minutes until all veggies are tender.
Add in thyme.
The soup should be thickening at this point as the tapioca and the potato starch form a “creamy” broth.
If it still seems to watery at this point, you can remove some of the broth and add another tablespoon of tapioca starch to it, wish and add back into soup.
Once the broth is almost at its desired consistency (it will continue to thicken as the potatoes break down), add the corn.
Let the corn cook for 5-8 minutes as you season the soup with salt and pepper and serve warm
This soup is lovely wish fresh chopped parsley added at serving time.
Carrot ginger soup is perfect for rainy season here in Hawaiʻi. It isn’t hard to grow carrots here, but it is hard to get them to taste that perfect amount of sweetness. If you let them get too big they get a little bit woody. Nevertheless, every time we grow a round of carrots we have way too much. One of my favorite ways to store them is to wash them, grate them and vacuum seal them for future use. Another good way to use them is carrot soup!
This carrot coconut soup recipe is totally flexible but should yield about 4 large servings of soup. If you use the coconut flesh instead of milk, expect the soup to be a little bit chewy. Lol. I love this texture but others aren’t prepared for a pureed soup to have the same texture.
Immersion blender is best but you could use a regular blender and blend in batches.
Kitchenaid has a nice middle of the road immersion blender that will last you almost a lifetime of seamlessly pureeing soups and other foods.
8-10 large organic carrots, washed, peeled and chopped roughly
1 large onion chopped roughly
3-4 cloves of garlic
3-4 small – medium russet potatoes, washed peeled and chopped roughly
2-3 tablespoons roughly chopped fresh ginger
1 can coconut milk or the flesh of 1-2 fresh young(ish) coconuts.
chicken broth concentrate, chicken broth, vegetable broth, or bouillon.
Sauté onion in coconut oil (refined or not) until soft.
Then add garlic, ginger, carrot and sauté another 5 – 8 minutes.
Next add 4 cups of broth or enough to cover the vegetables and 1 ½ to 2 cups coconut milk or coconut flesh.
Boil until carrots and potatoes are tender.
Then, let the soup cool for about 20-30 minutes.
Using an immersion blender (stick blender) or in batches using your stand-up blender, blend the soup while adding salt and pepper to taste, going a little light, as the flavors (especially) the black pepper will intensify when you heat the soup again.
This taro muffin recipe started out as an experiment when we returned from a long trip and had very little growing in our garden. In our freezer was vacuumed sealed taro, frozen bananas and in our garden 10 pounds of carrots. This is a surprisingly healthy muffin made with coconut oil, maple syrup, fresh carrots, cooked kalo and organic white flour.
This muffin recipe is also heavy on the carrot and the taro and the banana, because this is how we use up our homegrown food! The maple syrup and banana are just enough to sweeten it without it feeling like it should be a dessert. These are “hearty” or “hardy” muffins, perfect for the health food addict that still loves baked goods any time of the day. I encourage you to make them with as many organic or local ingredients as possible.
yield: 12 large muffins
you need: muffin tin(s), a blender, and a food processor or cheese grater and of course and oven.
Dry ingredients for taro muffins:
3 ½ cups white flour (or 2 ½ cups white flour, 1 cup oats)
½ teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons baking powder
2 tablespoons cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 teaspoon ground ginger
Wet ingredients for taro muffins
6 small bananas
⅔ cups coconut oil (unrefined if you like the coconut flavor)
½ cup maple syrup
½ cup almond milk (or any other milk, you could try yogurt)
3 cups shredded raw carrots (peeled and put through shredder in food processor
½ cup raisins (optional)
½ macadamia nuts chopped roughly (pulse in blender on low works fine)
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. Grease large muffin pans with coconut oil. Combine the dry ingredients listed above in a bowl. Next, in a blender, combine the wet ingredients listed above. Then, mix the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients. Then fold in the taro and carrots, chopped mac nuts and raisins. Fill muffin tins to the top, even out the batter and bake for 35-40 minutes until golden brown on top and muffin springs back at you when you poke it. Cool for a few minutes in the muffin pan and then continue to cool on wire racks. Enjoy warm, refrigerated or you can even freeze them (vacuum seal for best results).