How to Cook Cassava Leaf

Although initially the cassava plant, or yuca, was native to South America, today farms grow this shrub throughout the world, particularly in Africa. Different sections of yuca work as food sources for humans and livestock, and can also be made into commercial products, such as glue or rubber. To cook a cassava leaf you must boil it. In raw form, the leaf is toxic. When you boil the leaves the poison is neutralized and the cassava is safe to eat.

A field of cassava plants growing on a farm. (Image: JiffyAvril/iStock/Getty Images)

Step 1

Fill a large pot with water. Turn the heat on to high and allow the water to boil.

Step 2

Wash the cassava leaves thoroughly under running water.

Step 3

Drop the cassava leaves into the boiling water and reduce the heat to medium. You may chop the leaves before boiling or put them into the pot whole. Cover the pot and simmer the leaves for 10 minutes.

Step 4

Drain the water from the pot and refill it. Add chopped vegetables, cooked meat and spices to the water. For example, you can add chopped onions and cooked turkey with 1 tsp. salt and 1 tbsp. garlic powder and stir. The leaves have a bland taste. Cooking them with vegetables and meat will season the plant.

Step 5

Place the pot back on the stove and bring the water to a boil. Reduce the heat and allow the ingredients to simmer until the cassava leaves and vegetables become tender.

Things You'll Need

  • Large pot with lid

  • Chopped vegetables, such as onions

  • Cooked meat, such as turkey

  • Salt

  • Garlic powder

  • Jalapeno peppers

  • Ground cayenne pepper

Tip

To add a spicy flavor to your cassava leaves, boil them with jalapeno peppers or ground cayenne pepper.

Cassava leaves are rich in vitamins A and C.

Warning

Do not attempt to eat cassava leaves until they cook thoroughly. Raw leaves contain hydrocyanic acid and are poisonous.

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