The first thing that you do need to know about Taro is not to eat it raw. It has oxalic acid which forms raphides. Raphides are "needle-shaped crystals of calcium oxalate as the monohydrate or calcium carbonate as aragonite, found in more than 200 families of plants. Both ends are needle-like, but raphides tend to be blunt at one end and sharp at the other."(Wikipedia, Raphide). Why is this bad? Well, they can produce toxic reactions. Also, oxalic acid is the number one component of kidney stones. Now, I've done some research and there are differing opinions on how to "get rid of" or neutralize the toxicity. On Wikipedia they claim just soaking the taro overnight (after peeling and cubing it) will reduce the toxicity to safe levels. Whereas other sites claim that cooking the taro will reduce the toxicity. All agree that you should not eat it raw. What I can tell you is that I've been eating it for years and never had a problem. What I find interesting is that while doing the research, I found that Spinach and Broccoli have the same components yet I've never heard about toxicity. While I could find the amount for the last two, no where could I find the g/100g for taro. Then why eat it you might ask. It is actually better for you then potatoes and high in dietary fiber and low in sugar. Believe it or not, it said to be a healthier alternative to potatoes.
Peel the tubers under running water as under the skin it is sticky like sap, you will know if you are allergic if your hands itch or turn red. I've never had a problem and have been eating taro root for years. I love the nutty and slightly sweet taste and to me they are less starchy than potatoes.
Give them a try, you might like it. Enjoy!
- 4 small or 2 medium Taro Roots
- 1 largest Sweet Potato
- 1/2 Yellow Onion
- 4 Strips of Bacon, cooked and diced
- 1/3 cup diced Cherry Tomatoes
- 1 tsp minced Ginger
- 1 tsp minced Garlic
Optional: 1/2 cup Snow Peas
Boil water and drop the whole root in and blanch for 5 minutes. Drain and discard the water. This is said to "fix the raphides into a dried starchy matrix..." and make them safe for consumption
While waiting for the water to boil, Fry the bacon
When the bacon is done remove to a paper towel
Leave the fat drippings in the pan
Add the ginger
Add the diced Taro root, diced Sweet Potato and onion, the smaller you make the pieces the faster they cook. Try and make the pieces relatively the same size.
Add Salt and Pepper
Let cook until almost done, when the fork is almost going in with no resistance
Add the garlic and mix
Add the tomato and if using the snow peas
Cook until the root vegetables are easily pierced with a fork
Remove and plate, add the diced bacon
Pairs well with any meat including fish
Thank you for stopping by and remember, enjoy life.
It's the one you have,