Healthy meal plans should be adventuresome. That means trying new foods to see if you like them. As a Nutritionist, I find that most of my weight loss clients are eating very few vegetables. I advise my clients to sample a lot of different vegetables, especially ones they’ve never tried before.

Add Yuca Root to Healthy Meals Plans

Healthy meal plans thrive on variety. When you’re trying to lose weight, don’t think about eliminating foods. Instead focus on adding healthy foods. Most of us haven’t tried yuca root. Be adventuresome!

Yuca root is also known as cassava, and is a tubular-shaped root vegetable that bears a resemblance to sweet potatoes.  They range in weight from 1-3 pounds and can grow up to 4 feet below the ground. The starchy flesh of the Yuca root is a light white or cream color with a grainy texture similar to potatoes. The meaty flesh is mild, sweet flavor that has a somewhat nutty taste.

In South America, where it is commonly grown, yuca is eaten as a side dish, sliced up and made into chips or grated and made into pancakes. The nutrient content of yuca is comparable to white potatoes.

Yuca Root Healthy Nutrition

Yuca root is a very healthy root vegetable and a valuable addition to healthy meal plans. It has only a negligible amount of total fat and is a good source of dietary fiber. Eating fiber rich vegetables helps cause fullness, which is beneficial for weight control. Fiber also helps prevent constipation, stabilizes blood sugar levels and reduces the risk of high cholesterol. Yuca is rich in Vitamin C, which is responsible for many functions in the body, such as wound healing, connective tissue strength, and a healthy immune system. It also contains manganese, which helps strengthen connective tissue, and plays a role in blood clotting.

The color of a food has a lot to say about its antioxidant power. The flesh of a yuca root, for example, is white. According to nutrition specialist Julie Garden-Robinson, fruits and vegetables with a white pigment contain antioxidants called anthoxanthins, which help reduce the risk of heart disease, stomach cancer and high blood pressure.

Try this tasty, healthy recipe for baked yuca bites and pair with this spicy Greek yogurt dip.

Baked Garlicky Yuca Bites & Yogurt Siracha Dip

Ingredients

FOR YUCA ROOT

  • 1 Large Yuca
  • 3 Cloves Garlic Minced
  • 1/2- 1 Tbsp Garlic Oil Or Olive Oil
  • 1/4- 1/2 tsp kosher or sea salt
  • Paprika or other spices to taste
  • Freshly ground pepper to taste

FOR YOGURT SIRACHA DIP

  • Small container of thick Greek yogurt
  • 1 Tbsp Ketchup
  • 1 Tsp of Siracha (more or less depending on how spicy you like it)
  • 1 Tsp of honey powder (or honey)
  • 1 Tsp of toasted onion powder

Directions

1.      Preheat oven to 450°F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

2.      Peel yuca root with a peeler, cut in half and slice in to fry shapes or bite shapes.

3.      Place in a pot and fill with water, bring to a boil and boil for 10 minutes, strain and rinse with cold water. Let them dry a bit, put in a bowl and drizzle olive oil and spices over. Mix together.

4.      Place apart on baking sheet and bake for 15 min.

5.      Make sauce: mix all ingredients to taste and bake another 15 minutes.

6.      Flip yuca bits and bake another 15 minutes (add more seasoning to your liking).

7.      Serve warm with dip.

NOTE: If there are any fibrous parts, just discard them.

Nutrition

For Yucca Root: (per ½ cup serving)

Calories         119

Fat                  2g       

Carbs             26g

Protein           1g

For 1 Tbsp of Yogurt Dip:

Calories         15

Fat                  0g

Carbs             2g

Protein           1g

Recipe and pictures courtesy of Helene Cohen. Add it to your healthy meal plans.