Paleo is one of those diets that are rather easy to keep. There are specific rules – as always, but it’s pretty easy to follow.
Eating foods that are our ancestors from the Paleolithic era would, and nothing else – easy peasy, right? Well, for the most part, it truly is.
On the other hand, it can become rather difficult to follow once you encounter foods and meals that are…questionable? Of course, you know that people in the Paleo era ate meat, but what about everything else?
That’s why you will sometimes be faced with numerous questions about foods. Today, you bought some yucca without asking first whether it’s fine to eat based on your dietary restrictions.
It seems fine but nobody wants to risk it and break their diet if it’s already going so well. So, is it? Can you eat yucca on paleo?
Is yucca a big no-no on paleo? Continue reading to find out whether it is, and many more questions answered!
Can You Eat Yucca On Paleo?
As we already talked about, some foods can truly put you into thinking when you’re out shopping for the week. Like, yucca, for example.
The main reason why the paleo diet became so popular because it seems logical that we struggle with our weight due to our diet. Cavemen certainly didn’t put on the extra pounds, so it must be something to do with what we eat and the way we eat it.
The cavemen ate a rather balanced diet – something they were genetically designed to eat like meat, fish, fruit, veggies, nuts, and seeds. But, what about root vegetables?
Not all plants are paleo-friendly, you already know that – so it’s best to check it out before you make a mistake. So, can you eat yucca on paleo?
So, without any further ado – yes, you can eat yucca on paleo! Yucca exists for a long, long time – and it’s more than likely that people in the Paleo enjoyed themselves some yucca, as well.
Yucca is very healthy and a source of many important vitamins and minerals – so it’s not only safe, it’s good to add some yucca to your diet. Yucca is rather similar to potatoes, which may be the reason why you’re asking this question.
White potatoes may be one of the favorites in the West, but they are not a favorite in the Paleo diet. On the other hand, yucca surely is!
So, if you wanted to prepare some yucca, add it to the cart right now. Yucca is a good substitute for white potatoes – and a healthy one, at that!
Preparing Yucca On Paleo
When you start the paleo diet, you will be faced with several difficulties – but don’t let that discourage you. That’s perfectly normal, and you might even make mistakes at first, but don’t let that stop you.
Abiding by the rules of the paleo diet is pretty easy once you get the hang of it. So, the difficult part is usually the cooking – because you cannot cook the way you used to.
The same thing is when you’re preparing some yucca. There is something to get out of the way before we start talking about preparation.
While eating some veggies raw seems like a hassle-free meal on paleo, don’t attempt to eat yucca root raw. Raw yucca root has a chemical called glucoside.
The glucoside reacts to the enzymes in the vegetable, creating hydrogen cyanide. Consuming hydrogen cyanide is not only toxic and dangerous, it poses a threat to the life of the person that consumes it.
So, while it may seem like a great idea to chow down on some fresh yucca, don’t. When the yucca root is cooked or soaked, the toxic compound is inactivated – since hydrogen cyanide is soluble.
So, preparing a yucca root is rather easy – you can prepare it any way you would prepare white potatoes or red potatoes. Literally, anyway – you can make mashed yucca, cut into fries, and even diced for a hash brown.
You can even dice it into cubes and add it to stews and various soups. Yucca root can be baked into crisps in the oven – anything you like, in essence. Yucca is usually eaten boiled, but there is truly nothing stopping you from preparing it any other way.
If you do decide to fry or bake the yucca, the only thing we want to give you advice on is the cooking oil. Do not use fryer, palm, or vegetable oil.
Stick to natural and healthy options when cooking paleo meals. If you’re not sure what oils are the optimal choice, use: corn oil, soybean oil, grapeseed oil, and peanut oil. These oils are rich in omega-6 fatty acids, so they are not only safe for the paleo diet, they are also very healthy.
Furthermore, we highly recommend that you peel yucca before you use it. The skin of the yucca root has anti-nutrients, called saponins, which should be avoided if you want to eat clean.
What Is Yucca?
Since yucca, also known as cassava, is not something used in Western cuisine, you may be faced with numerous questions. Yucca is a root vegetable, and it’s used mostly for boiling, but since it’s similar to potatoes, it can be prepared any way you like (just not raw).
It’s most commonly grown in Africa, South America, but it’s also grown in Central America, as well. Some southern states of the US grow yucca, too – like Texas, New Mexico, and Maryland.
Yucca is a rather resilient vegetable – so it can be grown in different climates and weather conditions. Yucca can even be grown in rocky desserts, sandy coasts, and mountain regions.
They are most commonly grown in the tropical parts, though, like sweet potatoes and sweet yams. It’s also the third-largest source of carbohydrates in the tropics, after rice and maize.
Yucca doesn’t have to be eaten – it can be even grown as a decorative plant in gardens because its flowers are white, large, and beautiful. Some types of yucca are even grown to extract saponin from the root. Extracted saponin is used to make shampoo in the rituals of Native Americans.
Yucca is considered a staple food for a lot of people in South America since it’s resilient and it can grow even during drought times. Yucca is either sweet or bitter – but both types are poisonous when eaten raw.
Farmers prefer to grow the bitter types of cassava. The reason behind that is that the bitter variety of yucca deters pests and animals.
Nutritional Value Of Yucca
Yucca is a starchy vegetable, and it’s a great source of carbs. Since it has rather a lot of carbohydrates, you should keep in mind that the amounts you eat daily should be modest.
If you eat too much yucca, it could interfere with your weight loss. We should check out the nutritional table for 1 cup of yucca, though:
Yucca root is fat-free, meaning you can use some fat to prepare it without the worry you will ingest too many calories. However, yucca has a lot of carbs, and it’s rather starchy.
Because of that, eating yucca shouldn’t be a part of your regular diet, it should be reserved for a once-a-week treat. Any more than that can slow down the process of losing weight.
Moreover, let’s talk about the glycemic index of the yucca root. It’s 55, so it’s more on the low end, which is good.
Cassava or yucca is a great source of vitamin C and manganese – which is important to fight off colds. Yucca is also a source of dietary fiber, which is important for boosting your metabolism. Along with that, yucca has a decent amount of calcium, B vitamins, and potassium.
Can You Eat Yucca On Paleo? – Bottom Line
To conclude, you can eat yucca on paleo – without the worry that you may have been breaking your diet. Yucca is perfectly safe to eat on paleo, and it provides your body with some necessary nutrients, as well.
When following a diet, you can get bored because you start to eat a bland diet. To spice it up, you should cook up some sweet yucca to make the diet more fun.
Luckily, yucca can be prepared in a variety of ways, just like potatoes. You can make mashed yucca, and even make yucca fries! Yucca fries can be just as crispy as potato fries.
However, keep in mind the cooking fat you’re planning to use to prepare yucca. Using palm oil is against the paleo diet – and it’s not good for you, either! Keep playing by the rules and you will see the benefits of the paleo diet in no time!