According to the "phillipine root crop information guide" cassava LEAVES contain per 100 g of edible mass, 70 g of protein and 311 mg of calcium. These numbers seem pretty incredible and I a little dubious of them. What I am sure of is that the leaves (boiled) have a texture of lightly cooked collards, are a prolific grower and are nutritious. Theres got to be somone out there in permie world that knows about these as well...
Cassava is an amazing plant! It is very resistant, strong plant and you can use the WHOLE plant. In Panama, we are using the leaves of the cassava plants (dried) to mix for cattle food because of its unbelievable rich content! As confirmed by the nice recipes it can also be used for human food. Be carefully though as research confirmed the content of cyanid, so always prepare well before eating!
Contact me any time for more recipes, questions etc regarding cassava!!
Good to hear from you Cassava farmer. It seems as though this amazingly diverse crop hasn't caught on in the US yet. Are you growing in Panama now? How big is your production to be able to provide livestock forage? Im interested in finding out more about the drying and grinding process for use as flour. As far as cyanid, the bitter casava has substantial levels and needs to be handled with caution if being eaten. The sweet version is reported to have 50 times less the levels as the bitter and is the type recomended for human consumption. Ive not seen the bitter cassava but have read that the two types can be differentiated by the colour of the stems. Bitter is blue, sweet is red. Either way 20 minutes of boiling and discarding the water is enought to fix any concerns of digestability. Im sure you know all this but feel like it needs to be said when ever the cyanid is brought up. Hope to hear more from you soon.
Yes, we are growing in Panama. In total this year we have planted about 70 acres (or about 30 ha) with different cassava varieties, both bitter and 'sweet'. Indeed we need to distinguish between bitter and sweet varieties, but the line between them is not that clear (at least not to me . We see the difference between sweet and bitter determined by the level of starch, not the level of cyanid. We have a couple of hybrid varieties, which are 'sweet' in the first 10 months but become bitter afterwards. THe % of starch mainly determines the bitternes. That said, I am sure that there are certain varieties with high cyanid%, more than others, independent from the starch %. Will look a bit more into this subject. Thanks! Frans
btw, you mentioned that cassava has not been seen in US as crop, but I've heard there is actually a project in Texas in trial. Cassava is of course a typical tropical crop, but it has such a wide acceptance for climates that I would not be surprised if it can actually work in Texas.
Finally some real experience! Can you tell us more about the safe preparation of the leaves for human and animal food? In my reading I saw something about tests in texas but dont remember specifics. I also ran into a guy that was part of a test crop at the university of florida in Gainesville. Its deftinatly been researched here but is not widley known as a food source. Id like to know more about the change in starch over a period of time if you have time. Thanks! Randall