It's not that I am against cheese crackers as a snack. I think there is a time and a place for cheese crackers, whatever their shape might be (goldfish, bunny, etc). Usually the place is in my car and usually the time is when I'm driving somewhere and I'm late. My kids have had their fair share of cheese crackers and I judge no one for feeding them to their kids. However, when I'm in no rush to go anywhere I make sure to give them a different kind of healthy snack, usually cut up carrots, a banana, or cooked yucca. Yucca, also known as manioc or cassava, is a root vegetable and a very delicious one at that. In the U.S. yucca is used to make tapioca flour and tapioca balls. In Brazil, we also use tapioca flour, but we also like to eat the root itself, either cooked or fried. Consequently one of my daughter Maria's favorite snack is cooked yucca, with butter and salt on top. I've been seeing yucca more and more in the U.S. In some supermarkets you can buy the root which looks like this. In other places you can find peeled and cut up yucca in the frozen section. Next time you see it in your supermarket pick some up, it makes for a wonderful snack or a side dish.
Step 1: Cleaning Out the Yucca
If you buy the root fresh you will need to peel it and then cut it into pieces. If you buy it frozen it will already be peeled and cut, all you have to do is rinse it under cold water for a couple of seconds.
Step 2: Finding the Right Pot
Yucca is a hard root. Because of this it takes a while for it to cook. That’s why I like to use my pressure cooker. If you have a pressure cooker I recommend using it. If you don’t then get a big sturdy pot.
Step 3: Cooking the Yucca
I like to cook a little at a time. Make sure to not fill up your pot too much, and leave plenty of room to add water. Add enough water to cover the yucca. Add a pinch of salt to the water as well. Cook for 30 minutes in the pressure cooker. If you’re not using a pressure cooker then cook for 45 minutes to 1 hour, until it’s soft.
Step 4: Drain the Yucca
Drain the cooked yucca and let it cool down for a couple of minutes.
Step 5: Serve Warm
Serve warm with butter and salt, or olive oil and salt, really any seasonings you like, and more importantly any seasonings your kids like.