1

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Is it necessary to boil/drain taro root before eating?

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created October 26, 2011 at 9:57 PM

I bought some taro root to experiment with. These were frozen, and after dethawing were quite soft. I diced them, then put them into a pan with simmering coconut milk for half an hour or so. I added some honey and vanilla extract, then chilled it. It tastes pretty good, but a lot of the recipes I looked up online say to boil and drain them first to draw out/deactivate the oxalates.

My question is, are the oxalates destroyed by the thorough heating, or does the boiling simply draw the crystals into the water, which then must be discarded? Will I have problems because I simply cooked the taro in coconut milk, then consumed both of them?

9d43f6873107e17ca4d1a5055aa7a2ad

on October 27, 2011
at 12:34 AM

Saying this or that is not "truly paleo" is not generally accepted here considering the uncertainly surrounding the Paleolithic

3eca93d2e56dfcd768197dc5a50944f2

(11697)

on October 27, 2011
at 12:25 AM

Yes, but. The levels of toxicity differ between all the roots people eat. Taro is one of the most unsafe ones. Sweet potatoes, parsnips, carrots, turnips, radish, rutabagas and beets are among the safest ones. Do you really need more kinds of roots than these? It's not like most of these exotic ones are nutritionally-dense anyway, in fact, they're more starchy.

A993550f2a130df8d3462c08582f08ec

(589)

on October 26, 2011
at 10:48 PM

Neither are cassava, potato, yam, and almost every starchy root vegetable that many societies have relied upon for thousands of years. But with proper, traditional methods, the toxins can be removed from the plant. Almost every plant part is toxic in one way or another. The brassicas have oxalates, for example. If you were to totally eliminate all natural plant toxins, all you would have left to eat are animals and some botanical fruits, most of which must be peeled first.

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3 Answers

2
B6114a1980b1481fb18206064f3f4a4f

(3924)

on January 03, 2012
at 09:39 PM

Taro root and many other veggies have both soluble and insoluble oxalate. When you boil them, the soluble oxalate leaches out of the veggie into the boiling water. You must then throw out the boiling water. The oxalate is not deactivated in any way. It has just moved places. The insoluble oxalate is still in the root/veggie. Most people's bodies will deal with the left-over oxalate, but not all people's bodies will. If you find that you have a lot of itching, burning sensations in your mouth after eating the taro root, or in the genital/anal region up to three days later--don't eat it anymore! This also goes for other high oxalate foods such as rhubarb, spinach, almonds (and most other nuts), chocolate and sweet potatoes.

1
9d43f6873107e17ca4d1a5055aa7a2ad

on October 27, 2011
at 12:37 AM

You might want to ask the people at the grocery store where you bought it. I did that with true yam and the people were helpful even though their English was a little difficult to understand.

Here is a traditional Hawaiian recipe that doesn't involve draining. Here is a Chinese one.

0
3eca93d2e56dfcd768197dc5a50944f2

(11697)

on October 26, 2011
at 10:26 PM

Taro is not truly Paleo. It's a toxic plant, and its root is not edible raw generally. I'd personally avoid Taro.

9d43f6873107e17ca4d1a5055aa7a2ad

on October 27, 2011
at 12:34 AM

Saying this or that is not "truly paleo" is not generally accepted here considering the uncertainly surrounding the Paleolithic

A993550f2a130df8d3462c08582f08ec

(589)

on October 26, 2011
at 10:48 PM

Neither are cassava, potato, yam, and almost every starchy root vegetable that many societies have relied upon for thousands of years. But with proper, traditional methods, the toxins can be removed from the plant. Almost every plant part is toxic in one way or another. The brassicas have oxalates, for example. If you were to totally eliminate all natural plant toxins, all you would have left to eat are animals and some botanical fruits, most of which must be peeled first.

3eca93d2e56dfcd768197dc5a50944f2

(11697)

on October 27, 2011
at 12:25 AM

Yes, but. The levels of toxicity differ between all the roots people eat. Taro is one of the most unsafe ones. Sweet potatoes, parsnips, carrots, turnips, radish, rutabagas and beets are among the safest ones. Do you really need more kinds of roots than these? It's not like most of these exotic ones are nutritionally-dense anyway, in fact, they're more starchy.

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