Malanga contains a number of essential nutrients.
A third of a cup serving of cooked Malanga contains 70 calories and 1 gram of protein. It also contains lots of fiber, 3 grams, which is very beneficial in the prevention of diabetes, heart disease and digestive tract problems.
The malanga is mineral-rich in potassium, phosphorus and magnesium, small amounts of calcium and iron. Potassium limits the risk of high blood pressure and it helps create energy from the foods you eat. Magnesium is extremely important for an optimum working immune system. The iron and calcium assist the transport of oxygen and the functions of cell growth.
Vitamin C is important in the process of removing free radicals that could damage your cells. Unfortunately, Malanga has small amounts of this vitamin. However, it does contain folate and riboflavin and B vitamins that are essential for turning the foods you eat into energy and keeping your hair and skin healthy.
Malanga is high in fiber and calories and is a good source of riboflavin and folate. Malanga provides a modest amount of iron and vitamin C, yet is richer in minerals than a potato. The Central American root is likely one of the most hypoallergenic foods in the world. Anyone with extensive allergies should be able to tolerate Malanga flour. Malanga has smaller and more easily digestible starch grains compared to most other root vegetables. Malanga and most species in the Araceae family contain calcium oxalate and saponins, irritants and bitter toxic compounds which can be destroyed through cooking prior to eating.
Malanga root can be used much like a potato, yam or other root vegetable. It should be cooked prior to consuming. It can be peeled and sliced and fried as chips, or boiled and pureed for a creamy hot or cold soup. When the root is overcooked it disintegrates, making Malanga root a natural thickener to make stews creamy. In many countries, Malanga root is simply peeled and boiled. It is typically served with salty, dried meats and fish or spicy sausage. Boiled or steamed Malanga can be mashed with butter and cream to use as a side dish, or cut into pieces and roast with salt and pepper like fries. Grate Malanga when fresh and mix with flour, egg and herbs and form into patties to make fritters. To prepare: scrub the root with a brush under running water, trim ends and remove the skin. Rinse each piece after peeling and cover in cold water. Once prepared, Malanga can be kept refrigerated for up to a day before cooking. Fresh Malanga root should be stored at room temperature, and not below 45 degrees F, and should be used within a week. Malanga root can be dried and ground into flour. Malanga flour is a good substitute for wheat flour for those who are intolerant to wheat or gluten.
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