Hidden Treasure Of Taro Root

Does gorging on potato chips make you feel guilty? Looking for an alternative to your guilt? Don’t worry! We got you covered. The solution to this is problem Taro- a lesser popular root vegetable.

Taro Roots
Taro Root

Understanding the Nutritional Profile of Taro

  • Taro is a starchy root crop with mildly sweet taste and edible leaves. It has provided good nutrition to Pacific Islanders for hundreds of years. Varieties of taro vary in color and size.
  • It is high in carbohydrate, greater than potato, and consequently one of the highest vegetable sources of energy. It is a good source of dietary fiber, folate and zinc. Taro is also a source of niacin, riboflavin, thiamin, vitamin B6, vitamin C, vitamin E. It is rich in minerals like copper, magnesium and manganese, and contains a dietary significant amount of potassium.
  • Starch grains of taro are smaller. Hence it is easy to digest and good for people looking after their calorie intake.
  • It has the carbohydrates which are beneficial for blood sugar management-fiber and resistant starch. These also help to reduce the risk of heart diseases. 
  • It has 30% less fat and more fiber than its cousin, the potato, plus lots of vitamin E. So, it’s a healthy alternative to potato chips. 
  • Taro contains 6.7grams fiber per cup. Research shows that people consuming more fiber tend to have a lower body weight. Hence, it can also come handy for weight loss. 
  • Note that all the parts of taro should be consumed after cooking. Eating them raw can lead to severe irritation in the throat and lining of the mouth. 

Taro as a versatile ingredient

It is hugely popular in West Africa, Asia, Central America, South America and the Caribbean and Polynesian islands. It has been an integral part of the Hawaiian cuisine since years.   Taro is a very versatile ingredient as it finds use in both savory and sweet dishes. It has been an integral part of the Hawaiian cuisine since years.   

The most well-known preparation of taro is Poi, a Hawaiian dish. It is basically mashed taro root and is somewhat similar to mashed potatoes. Due to it’s resemblance with potato, it is often served in a similar manner.

The taro plant leaves are often washed, cleaned and boiled, baked, or steamed for consumption. These are highly nutritious. These both are the traditional preparation techniques. Let’s have a look on some contemporary uses of taro.

Taro Root Chips
Taro Root Chips

Taro chips are available in the market is a healthy alternative to potato chips. You can also easily prepare them at home. Taro root is also used to make healthy burger patties when combined with soybean. Its flour is also available now and it works extremely well for pancake batter. 

Taro, being a root vegetable, is finds extensive use in desserts. You can use it, along with sweet potato and coconut cream to prepare the sensational Singaporean dessert called Bubur Cha Cha. This dessert is also popular in Indonesia and Malaysia.

 Click the link to get an easy recipe to Bubur Cha Cha. 

Taro root also finds uses in the preparation of some traditional desserts in the Lao cuisine. Khao Tom is an easy and very healthy dessert which is enjoyable with morning tea or coffee in Laos. 

Written By,

Neha Kundu

Student, NIFTEM

Also, if you have interests in reading about the hallucinogenic properties of nutmeg, do check our article.

Nutmeg and Its Ability to Make You Hallucinate

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Neha Kundu
Skilled at content writing and management and currently a Content Manager at Mindgrad(EMN), enthusiastic professional pursuing Btech in Food Technology and Management at NIFTEM

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