Who doesn’t know cassava? This plant does not sound familiar because it is easy to find and thrive in various regions. Cassava is a tropical and subtropical annual plant from the family Euphorbiaceae. Plant type of root or tree roots that have a length of about 50-80 cm, 2-3 cm in diameter, and the tuber flesh have a white or yellowish color.
Indonesia is the third-largest cassava producer in the world. Cassava can be planted throughout Indonesia, which makes it one of the best food commodities for consumption and use in the industrial world. However, cassava is often considered as “villager food” which is less attractive to consume, even though it contains various useful substances. In a study conducted by Bosawer (2010) cassava has a carbohydrate content of 98.37% – 99.18%, moisture content of 9.99% – 11.27%, an ash content of 0.03 – 0.14%, a fat content. 0.070% – 1.15%, and protein content 0.07% – 0.55%.
Cassava is a gluten-free food, so it is safe for consumption by people with celiac disease or gluten intolerance. In addition, cassava contains several beneficial antioxidants including saponins, beta carotene and vitamin C. Various nutrients in cassava allow cassava to be The New Superfood.
Superfood is a type of food that contains significant amounts of nutrient density. The nutritional richness in Superfood is very important for the health of the body and good for daily consumption.
Processing of Cassava
To be able to enjoy it, the processing of cassava is very easy and simple. First, clean the cassava by cutting it into several pieces according to your taste before peeling the skin to facilitate the peeling process. During the peeling process, make sure the cassava is completely exfoliated so that no part of the cassava flesh still has skin. The peel of cassava contains cyanide which is harmful to the body if consumed so the cassava must be completely clean from its skin.
Then clean the cassava with running water, soak it in water, then wash it again with running water to make sure the cassava is completely safe for consumption. Furthermore, cassava is ready to be processed into various types of delicious food, such as boiled cassava, Thai cassava, cheese cassava, getuk, tape, tiwul, and many more.
An Alternative Substitute for Rice
The high carbohydrate content in cassava can be used as a substitute for rice, which has been a dependency of the Indonesian people as a staple food. So cassava can be used as food diversification so that it no longer only relies on rice as the main consumption.
Cassava is a complex carbohydrate that is rich in fiber. Complex carbohydrates are absorbed more slowly than simple carbohydrates in rice, so the energy produced will last periodically. Thus the body does not feel hungry easily and will avoid body from the dangers of obesity. Apart from that, cassava also has a lower sugar content making it healthier than rice.
Besides cassava, potatoes are one of the preferred sources of carbohydrates. However, when compared to potatoes, carbohydrates in the body are larger so that they can supply more energy reserves to the body. Cassava has a low glycemic index, but potatoes are still relatively high which is not safe for diabetics. The price of cassava is also much cheaper when compared to potatoes. If the application of a healthy lifestyle through food consumption requires more expensive costs, this does not apply to cassava because there is no need to worry about draining the pocket.
By consuming cassava, you will get various benefits, including helping you lose weight, improving digestive health, increasing immunity, good for bone strength, lowering blood pressure, and preventing diabetes.
So, from the various advantages and benefits that cassava has, do you still view cassava as just “food for the villagers”?
Bosawer, F. E. 2010. Komposisi Kimia dan Karakteristik Fisik Pati Ubi Kayu (Manihot esculenta) Asal Distrik Masni Kabupaten Manokwari. Skripsi. Fakultas Pertanian Dan Teknologi Pertanian, Universitas Negeri Papua, Manokwari.