Out of nowhere, Americans have found cassava. Also called yuca, cassava is a staple in African and Latin-American cooking. Grown in Africa, Asia, and the Americas, the root, with its bark-brown exterior, is being turned into everything from chips and cheese puffs to pizza and pancake mix—and that’s just scratching the surface of the boundless array of yuca recipes.
It’s become a darling among athletes looking for a vitamin-rich, gluten-free culinary edge. Healthy eaters, too, are clamoring for the ground-flour form, which is Paleo-friendly, gluten-free, and a one-to-one substitute for wheat flour. But cassava is fairly healthy in its own right. It’s a complex carb, meaning it’s filling and offers long-lasting energy. It also contains fiber and a host of vitamins, including vitamin C—an antioxidant needed for collagen production.