An Herb For Thought: Yucca


An Herb For Thought: Yucca | 1306562382713-e1373048901763 | An Herb For Thought Natural Health Natural Medicine

Native to regions of Mexico and the arid southwestern United States, the root is commonly used to create a healthy soap and deodorant for cancer patients. Lymph notes located in the armpits—an area you especially don’t want to overload with harsh chemicals while fighting cancer, because the lymphatic system protects the body from infection, reported Natural Solutions. Also, sweat clears toxins out of the body, so using antiperspirants only impedes the body’s natural cleansing.

Due to the roots’ high saponin content, giving it a soapy texture, it is widely used in natural soap and shampoo products. Some claim shampoo made with yucca prevents hair loss and dandruff, while creating soft, shiny strands.

Among its many believed benefits, yucca root is reputedly accredited with lowering cholesterol, stopping the buildup of oxygen free radicals, preventing blood vessel damage, and alleviating symptoms associated with arthritis, bursitis and gout. “In the stomach and intestines, some saponins may fasten onto cholesterol particles in the blood, thereby preventing cholesterol absorption by the body and promoting its elimination”.

The root is packed with vitamin C, B and A, as well as calcium, phosphorus, potassium and iron. It’s also recommended to use the root’s powder form, which contains protein. This can be done by mixing it with water, yogurt, smoothies or juice. The saponins in the powder will act as anti-inflammatory agent, reducing muscle spasms, pain, and symptoms of arthritis.

While it may not be a staple in most American homes, yucca is also a versatile and delicious food that offers a little something different for your lunch or dinner — and it’s also good for you. Though this desert plant is indigenous to the arid sections of North America, you can find it in many supermarkets or specialty grocers in either fresh or frozen forms.

Here are a few ideas:

Yucca Fries – Make some tasty oven-fried yucca as a healthier alternative to French fries. It’s simple to make and offers a nice accompaniment to burgers or chicken. You could even snack on yucca fries. Use fresh, peeled yucca that has been cut into sections and boil until it is fork tender. Transfer the softened yucca sections to a cutting board to cool. Cut the yucca into fries, making sure to remove the woody core first. Place the fries on a lightly oiled cooking sheet and then spray them with more cooking spray and season with sea salt, freshly ground pepper, or other seasonings. Cover with foil and pop them into the oven for several minutes. Remove the foil and continue baking the yucca fries until they are golden brown and crispy.

Mashed Yucca – Whip up a batch of mashed yucca for a tasty and healthy side dish. Though it does take a bit of time and the texture is not quite the same as mashed potatoes, with the additions of garlic, lime, or any other seasonings you like, you’ll be returning for seconds. Make mashed yucca just like you would mashed potatoes. Boil frozen or trimmed and peeled fresh yucca that has been cut into sections until the yucca is soft and falling apart. Drain it and remove to a cutting board. Halve the yucca sections and remove the woody cores. Place the yucca pieces back into the same pot and add milk and any additional flavorings you like, coarsely mashing it as you go. Add more milk as needed to bring the mashed yucca to the desired consistency.

Grilled Yucca – Toss some yucca on the grill along with your other veggies for a delicious charbroiled flavor. Use fresh, peeled yucca that has been cut into sections with the core removed. Boil the yucca pieces until tender, and then transfer them to a cutting board to cool. Brush with olive oil and season with sea salt and pepper, and grill the yucca pieces for a few minutes on each side. Grilled yucca can be served with a variety of sauces or seasonings as well.

Main Course Yucca – Add boiled yucca to other ingredients to a make either an entrée or a delicious side dish. Boil frozen yucca, or fresh yucca that has been trimmed and peeled, until it has softened. Drain the yucca and place it on a serving platter. Top the yucca with whatever seasoning or sauce you like. Try a delicious blend of garlic and lime juice or try a mango and black pepper chutney.

Now that you know what to do with your yucca and the benefits, try some out for yourself. You might be surprised at what you’ve stumbled upon.

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