Liberian Cuisine 'Cassava Leaf'
Poisonous When Eaten Raw
Liberia’s Agriculture and Food
Liberia has four physiographic regions suitable for agriculture and forestry, making agriculture the primary livelihood for more than 60 percent of Liberia’s population. Agriculture provides sustenance for many households that engage in farming of rubber, rice, palm oil, cocoa, sugarcane, and cassava. Many households also farm the vegetables that can be found in many soups.
Liberians are known to incorporate a number of locally grown crops to prepare various soups such as palava sauce, palm butter, potato greens, torborgee, and cassava leaf.
Interestingly, these soups are recognized as traditional dishes for different tribes in Liberia. For instance, cassava leaf is known as the traditional soup of the Vai people. The Vai are known for their love of cassava leaf with rice.
What is Cassava Leaf Soup?
Cassava leaf soup is made out of the leaves from the cassava plant. The leaves are ground and squeezed to remove the liquid. It is then prepared with chicken, beef, seafood, seasoning, and peppers. Cassava leaf soup can be cooked a variety of ways, using vegetable oil or palm oil, or not using any oil. The dish can also be made with palm butter. Like all Liberian soups, it can be eaten with rice.
How to make Cassava leaf soup (click link below)
Health Benefits of Cassava Leaves
The leaves of the cassava plant are rich in vitamin C, which is a powerful antioxidant that helps to prevent cardiovascular disease, strokes, and cancer; vitamin B, which is good for vitality and metabolism; beta-carotene, which is a powerful antioxidant that prevents cancer (by preventing and repairing DNA damage ), as well as water regulation and cardiovascular health.
Cassava leaves also contain phosphorus and calcium, which aids in maintaining strong bones; iron and copper to combat anemia; zinc for a strong immune system; and magnesium and manganese for strong bones and enzyme production. It is high in protein and fiber and low in calories.