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Euphorbiaceae, Manihot esculenta, cassava, manioc, yuca, mandioca

April 3, 2008

Euphorbiaceae, Manihot esculenta, cassava, yucaEuphorbiaceae, cassava, var. two

M. esculenta is widely cultivated throughout practically all tropical areas of the Americas, Africa and Asia, and elsewhere in the tropical world, most is most commonly grown for its large, starchy, edible roots, and for tapioca. Unbeknownst to most people aquainted with yuca is that the leaves are edible as well.

The leaves are best when mostly mature, having almost reached full size. Although the young leaves may have a more delicate texture, waiting to eat the leaves when they are a bit larger makes for a larger harvest. Fully mature leaves, although edible, can be a bit tough and fiberous.

Be forewarned, M. esculenta leaves should not be eaten raw. Due to the presence of harmful glucosides (which can release hydrocyanic acid) in all manioc species. Even the leaves of sweet variteies of manioc (low hydrogen cyanide content) should be cooked before consumed. After the leaves are boiled for fifteen minutes, the water discarded, there is nothing to worry about.

There are are many different way in which manioc is (or could be) consumed. The boiled leaves can be eaten as a side dish, like spinach, or they can be cut with other foods, in soups, stir fries, and so forth.

Protein content of dried M. esculenta leaves has been measured between 17.8 and 35.5 percent, significant enough to merit consideration in the diet. M. esculenta leaves also contain appreciable quantites of B vitimins, phosophorous, and iron.

One Comment leave one →
  1. ramin khosravi meleamiri permalink
    January 1, 2009 10:08:56 am


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