French fries are the quintessential comfort food, a restaurant, and takeout staple. However, we all know they’re not the healthiest choice. In an effort to make healthier culinary decisions, we set ourselves on a mission: What could replace delicious French fries every once in a while while providing a little bit of satisfaction?
After weeks of experimenting and searching the internet, we have come up with something special; something that’s good for you AND tastes amazing! In this article, we’ll share our findings with you so you can continue your journey toward better eating habits. Read on to find out what an amazing alternative to french fries has been discovered!
Potatoes are found in nearly every dish this season, and while they may add a little nostalgia to a plate of fries or a hearty tartiflette, they aren’t necessarily the healthiest choice when it comes to cooking. With a glycemic index over 50, potatoes are thought to trigger an unpleasant spike in blood sugar — not ideal for anyone watching their waistline or managing diabetes. Luckily for us foodies, there are a number of delicious alternatives that offer a lower glycemic index, like sweet potatoes, quinoa and chickpeas!
But another tuber has just been added to the list of potato alternatives.
Taro, a tuber native to Asia, is a delicious and healthier alternative to potatoes for anyone trying to manage their blood sugar. With its tropical flavors and exotic origins, taro could be the perfect side dish for this season. While it doesn’t have the same glycemic index as potatoes, taro has a unique set of vitamins that can be just as beneficial to your body. Whether it’s the classic dish of mashed potatoes or tartiflette, a winter favourite, why not vary your meals a bit and try something new? Taro is sure to add a kick to any dish.
The health benefits of taro.
Taro is a nutritious vegetable that offers a number of potential health benefits. Its high fiber content can aid digestive health, while its wide range of vitamins and minerals can help the body stay healthy and strong.
Contributes to heart health.
One of the main benefits of taro is its ability to support cardiovascular health. It is rich in dietary fiber, magnesium and potassium, all of which are important nutrients for maintaining a healthy blood pressure. Magnesium helps relax blood vessels, which helps lower blood pressure; and potassium helps balance sodium levels in the body, which also helps reduce high blood pressure. Additionally, taro’s high antioxidant content makes it an effective weapon against oxidative stress and inflammation throughout the body.
Protects against bone diseases.
Another major benefit of consuming taro is its role in promoting bone and joint health. This vegetable is rich in essential minerals like calcium and phosphorus, which are important for building bone structure and fighting bone diseases like osteoporosis. Calcium and phosphorus also play a role in removing uric acid buildup around joints, reducing the risk of joint pain or stiffness due to inflammation caused by acid buildup.
Promotes better blood sugar control.
Another benefit of adding taro to your diet is its ability to help regulate blood sugar naturally due to its low glycemic index. Taro contains both short-chain carbohydrates and resistant starch, both of which are digested more slowly than other carbohydrates, providing consistent energy over long periods of time without causing sudden spikes or dips in carbohydrate levels. This makes it an excellent choice for diabetic patients who need a more controlled way of eating carbohydrates without sacrificing taste or texture.
How to cook it?
Taro is a tuberous root vegetable that has recently entered Western cuisine. Native to Southeast Asia and the Pacific Islands, taro has long been used as a staple in many traditional dishes, and its popularity continues to grow among chefs and foodies alike. With its mild sweet flavor reminiscent of sweet potatoes, taro is often boiled or steamed before being used in a variety of recipes. It can also be eaten raw with sauces or spices, or even grated and added to salads or stir-fries.
It can also be used in desserts and drinks.
The velvety texture of taro makes it particularly suitable for desserts and drinks. Bubble Tea, an ultra trendy drink from Taiwan, contains taro powder which gives it a delicious purple hue. The taro itself can be blended into smoothies, cakes, waffles, puddings, and ice cream to create unique flavor combinations. For savory dishes such as curries or stews, taro can be diced and added to impart more depth of flavor and texture.
A few steps to prepare it well.
Overall, taro takes a while to cook due to the longer cooking time compared to other root vegetables, but it’s worth it! To prepare taro for cooking, wash the skin thoroughly in cold water before removing the tough outer layer with a sharp knife or vegetable peeler.
Once peeled, it’s important to note that taro oxidizes quickly. To avoid discoloration, dip the slices in lemon juice before cooking.
Boiling is generally the preferred method of preparing taro, as it retains more nutritional properties than steaming or frying. However, boiling time can vary depending on the size of the pieces you cut, so check regularly while boiling to make sure they’re cooked through, but still firm enough that they don’t fall apart while boiling. When done cooking, allow your cooked taro to cool slightly before using in recipes or simply serving on its own with your favorite toppings.
Where to find it?
Indeed, those looking for taro will be happy to know that it is not difficult to find in the country. Available primarily in Asian and specialty food stores, its brown skin, white flesh, and purple streaks make this tuber easily identifiable; it almost looks like a hybrid between sweet potato and celeriac. When shopping for taro, look for ones that are firm and heavy. You can keep it for about a week. If you want to keep it for later, taro can even be frozen for several months!