One of the blessings of cooking for a family with multiple allergies is it forces you to get creative and look outside the box.
I stumbled across some Taro at the Bunbury Farmers Market while I was food shopping one day. Like many of the exotic fruit and vegetables they sell there, I had never seen or heard of it before, so I went home and researched what it was.
Taro is a starchy potato like root vegetable that people have been eating for thousands of years. It is estimated that humans first cultivated the Taro plant in India sometime before 5000BC.
The edible corms are long & cylindrical that taper off to a narrow point at the end. Its outside husk is brown, and inside the flesh is creamy white with purple flecks.
Taro comes in different sizes, the variety I get from the Bunbury Farmers Market are huge, some weigh over 2kgs. For sale they chop the Taro, so you can purchase halves or quarters, depending on how much you require.
The Taro root tastes a bit like a nutty version of a creamy white potato, delicious!
Taro is packed full of gut friendly fibre and loads of other nutrients such as copper, folate, iron, magnesium, manganese, phosphorous, potassium, zinc and Vitamins A, B6, C & E.
This nutrient dense root vegetable has a long list of health benefits, but I enjoy eating Taro because it’s easy to digest & great for gut health. I have issues with white potato because it’s a nightshade, and too much sweet potato (because of the fructose?) but Taro makes me feel good.
Healthy High Carb Food
One of the common misconceptions of the Paleo lifestyle is that people are following a diet just to lose weight. In truth, many people change their lifestyle to improve their health. Some of us, especially those following the Autoimmune Protocol (AIP), are chronically ill and have changed their diet and lifestyle as apart of their treatment program.
The body is self-healing and self-regulating. Maintaining a healthy weight has very little to do with motivation and willpower. If someone is very underweight or overweight it can mean that there is an imbalance in the body and/ or mind.
One of the reasons people hesitate to transition to the AIP or Paleo lifestyle is because they are sick and can’t afford to lose weight, or they have slender children or teenagers, and they worry that if they cut out sugar, processed foods, bread, pasta, rice etc that they will lose too much weight.
One of the great benefits of Taro is, not only is it high in nutrients but carbohydrates too.
Warning – Taro is Poisonous Raw
It is safe to eat the roots and leaves from a Taro plant when they are cooked, but never eat them raw. Raw taro is high in calcium oxalate which is toxic to humans.
Some people must wear gloves when they are cutting Taro because they react to the juices, but I have never had an issue with them.
Healthy AIP Paleo Breadsticks
There are numerous ways to enjoy Taro, but my favourite way so far is to peel it, slice it into chips, cover it in Italian herbs, olive oil and salt and bake in the oven until brown. It tastes like Italian Grissini Breadsticks – crunchy and delicious!
Easy Paleo Side or Lunchbox Idea
Taro chips taste best when they are hot and fresh out of the oven, but my kids still enjoy them cold in their lunchboxes.
Italian Baked Taro Chips
A nutrient dense, simple & tasty AIP, Paleo, Vegan compliant snack or side.
These delicious oven baked chips taste like Italian Grissini Breadsticks.
- 500 grams Taro root approx 1 pound
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 1 tablespoon dried Italian Herbs mix
- sea salt to taste
Preheat a oven to 200 degrees Celsius/ 400 Fahrenheit
Line two big oven safe baking trays with baking paper.
Peel the Taro with a vegetable peeler before slicing it thinly into chips.
Place the chips in a big bowl with the olive oil, herbs & salt and mix together until evenly coated.
Lay the chips flat, single file on the trays and bake in the oven for 45 minutes or until golden brown. The thinner the chips are the quicker they will cook.
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