Yuca can be a nice healthy treat. However, cooking Yuca can be a lot easier when you use the Instant Pot. This Instant Pot is so popular that you think your kitchen can’t be complete without it. If you enjoy yuka like me, I’ll show you how to cook yuca using an instant pot.
What is Yuca
Also known as Cassava, Yuca is a tuber crop like potatoes and yams. The shape is somewhat similar to sweet potatoes. The other names are Manihot esculenta, manioc, mandioca, and agbeli.
This root vegetable has a nutty flavor and can be boiled, baked, and fried. It is popular and native in South America, but you can also find it in some parts of Africa and Asia.
One thing that makes it a popular crop is being a drought-tolerant root vegetable. It is also considered the main staple food for many people due to its carbohydrate content being a major source of calories.
If you know the trendy boba or bubble or pearl milk teas, the pearl or tapioca balls are made of tapioca flour, the powdery substance made from dried Yuca.
You can also make bread like this Pan de Yuca (Cassava Bread)
Where it came from
Yuca has been around and being farmed for thousands of years, and that it came from South America. It was said that about 12,000 years ago, the first people in the south, which is now Central Brazil, high up the Amazon River, are already eating the yuca root.
Then, by 8,000 BC, the people in the whole of Brazil are already farming yuca. This was about the same time the people in Norte Chico in Peru started farming potatoes.
At the archaeological site of San Andres, evidence showed that yuca pollens appear in the Gulf of Mexico lowlands by 4,600 BC. It became a staple food of the native populations of northern South America and also southern Mesoamerica. By 600 AD, Mayan farmers were growing yuca too.
The people of Taino in the Caribbean islands grew yuca with the use of high-yielding forms of shifting agriculture by the time of European contact in 1942.
In the 16th century, yuca was also introduced by Portuguese traders from Brazil to Africa and Asia. It then became one of the important crops in Asia.
Be warned that yuca, when not cooked properly, can be dangerous for consumption. However, if prepared the correct way, yuca can be an excellent source of many nutrients and health benefits. It is also rich in resistant starch, which makes it good for the digestive system.
Anti-inflammatory and Antioxidant
With a great amount of Resveratrol in Yuca, a natural Anti-inflammatory and Antioxidant compound, your body can be protected from damage caused by free radicals.
Supports Heart Health
Yuca is a rich source of Potassium (with 600mg per cup of raw yuca). Potassium regulates blood pressure, thus, reducing the risk of stroke and heart disease. Yuca also contains vitamin C and folate. These are essential nutrients for heart health.
Boosts Brain Function
With 48mg per cup of yuca, it contains Choline and plays a key role in the brain and nervous system functions, including muscle control, memory, and mood.
Lowers the Risk of Cancer
Yuca root is rich in an antioxidant called beta-carotene and saponin. Together, they fight free radicals that can cause cell damage, likely leading to cancer.
Improves and Maintain Digestive Health
Because yuca has an excellent source of resistant starch, it helps to stabilize the digestive system. The function is similar to soluble dietary fiber that helps feed “good bacteria” that is in the intestine. As a result, it can make you feel full, which can help you control food intake, hence, may help in losing weight.
With vitamins A, C, and folate in yuca, the immune system’s “foot soldiers” in your body improve.
Other Nutrients Found in Yuca are:
- B vitamins (except B12) – such as thiamin, riboflavin, folate, and B6 which are responsible for converting carbohydrates, proteins, and fats into energy.
- Magnesium – is crucial in the production of Adenosine triphosphate (ATP), the body’s energy-carrying molecules, along with the adrenaline needed to get through the days.
- Phosphorus – works as the building block for healthy bones and teeth. It works alongside calcium for that purpose. It also reduces muscle pains after strenuous exercise and filters waste and aids in repairing body tissues and cells. And it is the 2nd most plentiful mineral in the body next to Calcium.
What is Instant Pot
For those who are new to this wonderful pot, here is a little introduction.
What really is Instant Pot? Firstly, Instant Pot is a brand name from Canada. The first model was made to operate like a pressure cooker, rice cooker, slow cooker, yogurt maker, saute pan, steamer, and food warmer all in one pot.
There are now several varieties of designs with unique features on each of them, like air frying. There is also Wi-Fi connectivity on some of this variety.
Instant Pot does save time and space in the kitchen. They take the place of some appliances in your kitchen like the rice cooker, steamer, pressure cooker, slow cooker, and more.
I really am thankful that there is such thing as this Instant Pot. It definitely made my cooking a lot easier. You will be surprised that there are a lot of recipes that you can do with it. Including cakes!
Why don’t you try these next?
Let’s Cook Yuca Using an Instant Pot
Let’s go back to cooking yuca as this is very important. I already mentioned earlier that yuca could be harmful when not prepared properly. Cooking will certainly make yuka a favorable and healthy dish. Here is how you can easily cook yuca using an Instant Pot.
For this recipe, we used frozen yuca found in your local store.
- 1.5 frozen yuca
- 1 cup of water
- Salt and pepper to taste
Using your Instant Pot, pour the water into the liner.
Then place a basket or trivet to the liner.
Next, place the yucas into the basket.
Then close the Instant Pot and make sure the knob is into Sealing.
Press the Manual button or Pressure cooker button (depending on the Instant Pot Model) and set it for 12 minutes.
Once the Instant Pot is finished cooking, allow it to Natural Release for 10 minutes, longer if you want the yuca to be more tender.
Once yucas are cooled enough, removed the middle stem.
Then salt and pepper the yuca to your taste.
Your yucas are ready to serve.
You can top them with olive oil, avocado or serve them with bacalao.
- 1.5 frozen yuca
- 1 cup of water
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Using your Instant Pot, pour the water into the liner.
- Place a basket or trivet to the liner.
- Next, place the yucas into the basket.
- Close the Instant Pot and make sure the knob is into Sealing.
- Press the Manual button or Pressure cooker button (depending on the Instant Pot Model) and set it for 12 minutes.
- Once the Instant Pot is finished cooking, allow it to Natural Release for 10 minutes, longer if you want the yuca to be more tender.
- Once yucas are cooled enough, removed the middle stem.
- Salt and pepper the yuca to your taste.
- Your yucas are ready to serve.
- You can top them with olive oil, avocado or serve them with bacalao.
I recommend you try, Instant Pot Yuca en Escabeche!
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Nutrition Information:Yield: 6 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 83Total Fat: 0gSaturated Fat: 0gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 0gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 58mgCarbohydrates: 20gFiber: 1gSugar: 1gProtein: 1g
These nutritional calculations might not be accurate. Please speak with a licensed nutritionist to assist you.