My little girl tasted Manioc for the first time as her 40th ingredient. Also known as Yuca, Tapioca and Cassava, this starchy tuberous-root is free from gluten and carries some of the valuable B complex group of vitamins such as folate, thiamine, vitamin B6, riboflavin and pantothenic acid.
It is also a great source of some essential minerals like zinc, magnesium, copper, iron, manganese and potassium (an important component of cell and body fluids that help regulate heart rate and blood pressure).
While being an effective energy booster, manioc also protects and repairs body tissues, reduces the risk of heart disease and promotes the growth of probiotics.
Your baby’s immune system will also benefit from its consumption as will her teeth and bones. Cassava is know to prevent constipation and weight loss, anemia and cancer causing free radicals from entering the human body.
But REMEMBER that cassava root contains natural toxic cyanogenic glycoside compounds linamarin and methyl-linamarin. Injury to the tuber releases linamarase enzyme from the ruptured cells, which then converts linamarin to poisonous hydrocyanic acid (HCN). Therefore, consumption of the raw root can result in cyanide poisoning with symptoms of vomiting, nausea, dizziness, stomach pains, headache and rarely even death. In general, the cyanide content is substantially higher in its outer part and peel. While peeling lessens the cyanide content, soaking followed by boiling (when your child is older add salt to the water) results in the evaporation of this compound, making it safe for human consumption. So I peeled, washed and soaked the root before boiling it for baby with all her other lunch ingredients. Also make sure you don’t peel and store raw cassava for later use, but always use a fresh root for cooking.