This recipe for mashed yuca is a great way to impress at dinnertime–hints of garlic and rosemary are whipped into a fluffy, buttery mashed side dish that will keep ’em coming back for more.Raise your hands if you love mashed potatoes. Keep it raised if someone has ever tried to trick you into eating mashed cauliflower (or carrot/parsnip/any other veggie) disguised as potatoes. That’s some BS, right?! Now I happen to really love mashed cauliflower and think it’s a delicious way to eat more veggies. But cauliflower is not a potato.
Though it looks very similar, the above is also not a potato. That potato-ish looking root above is actually cassava, or yuca, a staple crop in South America and Africa. Yuca can be baked, boiled or fried and the tuber can be dried into flour. That flour or the pearls that are formed from it is actually tapioca! Who knew?! Cassava has gained popularity lately here in the United States, likely due to the rise in gluten-free and paleo style eating. Yuca root is different than yucca, a tree with long leaves and white flowers. Yuca can be found in the produce section and looks like a really long potato with a hard, waxy finish. It can be a little intimidating at first, but peel away the tough skin and you have a starchy, carb-rich flesh that is perfect for mashing!
Note that raw cassava does need to be properly cooked prior to consumption, because it contains cyanogenic glycosides, which the body can potentially convert to toxic cyanide. Sounds scary, but this is also true of bamboo shoots, lima beans and even stone fruit! For my garlic rosemary mash recipe, I simply peeled and chopped the yuca, then boiled it before removing the stringy fiber found in the center of the tuber.Finish this dish off by mashing cooked yuca and then stirring in butter, fresh rosemary and garlic. The mash will come together in a thick, creamy consistency. If you prefer a smoother texture, feel free to add a little bit of milk as needed.
Similar to potatoes, yuca is a good source of potassium and vitamin C, however it is more energy-dense, with about twice the calories of traditional potatoes per serving. This carby, creamy, delicious recipe is of course meant to be an alternative to mashed potatoes, not a substitute!
Enjoy and let me know if you give this recipe a try!
- 2 pounds yuca root
- 1/2 TBSP fresh rosemary, chopped
- 3 TBSP butter, salted
- 1 clove garlic, minced (~1 tsp)
- Trim ends of yuca and peel away rough outer skin. Chop yuca into cubes.
- Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add yuca and cook for about 30-35 minutes, or until fork tender.
- Drain and return yuca to pot. Allow to cool a little, removing the stringy fiber from the centers.
- Mash yuca, adding butter, fresh rosemary and garlic.
- *If a more creamy consistency is desired, add milk of choice as needed.
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