How to Make Cassava Safer for Consumption
Cassava is generally safe when it is prepared properly and eaten occasionally in moderate amounts. A reasonable serving size is about 1/3–1/2 cup.
Here are some ways you can make cassava safer for consumption:
- Peel it: The peel of cassava root contains most of the cyanide-producing compounds.
- Soak it: Soaking cassava by submerging it in water for 48–60 hours before it is cooked and eaten may reduce the amount of harmful chemicals it contains.
- Cook it: Since the harmful chemicals are found in raw cassava, it’s essential to cook it thoroughly — by boiling, roasting or baking, for example.
- Pair it with protein: Eating some protein along with cassava may be beneficial, since protein helps rid the body of toxic cyanide.
- Maintain a balanced diet: You can prevent adverse effects from cassava by including a variety of foods in your diet and not relying on it as your sole source of nutrition.
It’s important to note that products made from cassava root, such as cassava flour and tapioca, contain extremely little to no cyanide-inducing compounds and are safe for human consumption.
Summary: You can make cassava safer for consumption with several strategies, including using certain preparation methods and consuming it in reasonable portions.