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I have two cassava I need to dig up soon. I don't have freezer space for them and wondered if anyone has tried or heard of dehydrating the grated tubers?

From a safety perspective it should be OK, but I don't know what the process will do to the texture and flavour (what flavour?). I like what drying does to the texture of sliced sweet potato, in that it cooks up firmer making it easier to avoid mushiness in wet dishes like curries etc. it is impossible to find much on drying grated cassava, except for info on how to (tediously) process the bitter varieties. Since all the cassava I've seen in QLD is 'sweet', the elaborate procedures are unnecessary.

Anyone tried dehydrating cassava?

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I think it would the same process as for arrowroot.  Perhaps look that up online and see if any instructions or advice is available?

Sorry Pollyanna, Cassava is something I'm still getting used to growing and handling, and eating. Why not just give it a go with some of your crop?

Hi Jodie, I'm not sure how alike the two are, besides being primarily stodge that can deliciously take on other flavours. I know that unlike cassava, arrowroot can't make me sick if I cook it wrong, or eat it raw.

Hi Lissa, yeah, the only thing I've cooked with cassava is that stick, dense cake. Love that cake, but I suspect I've got a lot of tubers, more than I could use for JUST cake! I don't want to dig them up until I figure out what I'm doing with preservation.

Most of the research available online is on bitter cassava, which I don't think is grown in AU. Sweet cassava is safe with just boiling or grating and wringing. I was hoping someone knew whether it was safe to dehydrate slices at low temperature. I read somewhere that the nasty stuff in (bitter) cassava can actually become stronger with some types of drying, so I guess that the safest thing to do is boil it before dehydrating.

Because the toxins in cassava can affect the thyroid, I want to play safe as I already have a thyroid problem. Maybe I should also think about savoury cassava dishes that use a fair bit of kelp so the iodine can help me.

If I find out anything interesting, I'll report back.

Jo Perren on the Sunshine Coast is an expert with sub-tropical veg. She's just done a free workshop at the Yandina Community Gardens which unfortunately I couldn't attend.

If you could contact Jo, perhaps via the YCG, she might be able to give you some ideas.

She cooked the coconut milk / cassava cake for us once. My goodness it was delicious.

My entire cassava crop was wasted as it went off very quickly after harvesting - something I did at the beginning of summer when the tops died off. Surprised yours are still growing. I tossed the pieces into the garden and they are regrowing all on their own without even being stuck in the ground! Tough stuff.

Thank you for the suggestion to contact Jo Perren, she would probably have some idea if what I want to do is feasible. I really wanted to go to that workshop, but couldn't make it and it hadn't occurred to me to write to her. Great idea! I would like to freeze some of it, but doubt I'd have room for all of it. Of course, I may be surprised when I dig them up and find that they haven't formed many, or just small tubers. I am a bit out of their normal comfort zone.

I have two different varieties, one is huge, almost 3 meters and has red petioles and the other is much shorter, maybe 1.2 m with green petioles. Both defoliated over winter, leafed out in spring and are still going strong, minus half the canopy lost to that last storm. They are in raised beds, about 80 cm deep filled with palm logs, assorted branches, garden trash, horse poo, compost etc and topped off with about 30cm of soil. Both were planted late summer last year. Both had been stuck in small pots for months, waiting for me to find them a home. They went into the raised veg bed because I wasn't sure where I was putting everything and I felt sorry for them pining away in pots. I really didn't expect them to do this well up here in Toowoomba. They are way too big for the bed and need replanting elsewhere, soon!

Let us know what/if you find out anything about your two different varieties. I only have whatever a gardening friend gave me a couple of years back - no idea which it is. To be honest it hadn't occured to me that there were different varieties! But of course there had to be like most things.

New plants are created friom cuttings of the stem, so once you've dug these up you don't need to worry about replanting these particular plants. You just start all over again with new cuttings. Or do as I did and toss them on the ground!

Oddly enough, I had a response this morning about cassava cake from a comment I left on Youtube ages ago.

5 Cups grated cassava, 2 cups coconut milk,1/2 cup brow sugar 1 tbsp vanilla ,2 tbsp. melted butter , 2 eggs , 1/2 cup condensed milk and 1/2 cup pineapple ( to make it soft ) mix well & bake ( 250) for 30 mins.or until almost cook. Then add the toppings which was cooked ahead ( Combine 2 cups coco milk , 1/2 cup brown sugar , 1/2 cup condensed milk - cook until it gets brown ). then add this to the top of half cooked cassava then baked it again until brown. Enjoy !

Have you tried Youtube for ideas of what to do with your Cassava? It's amazing how much info you find there if you take the time to hunt for the good stuff.

The red one came from the Yandina Market, I think the green one came from Edible Landscapes. I'm looking forward to digging them up to see how the two differ, underground.

I've read that some have a more yellowish tuber, but have only seen/eaten the white one. Maybe the yellow fleshed one is only in bitter varieties?

The whole branches that hit the ground during the high wind haven't rooted on their own, but there is sufficient left on the shrub to cut sections for replanting to a better spot. I have probably left it too late, given our winter temperatures. I'll pot some as well so I can keep those away from frost. It will be interesting to see if they will do as well in the ground as they have done in the raised bed.

Love that cake! I've also got a few variations on it to try out. In one form or another, cassava cake seems to be made wherever the plant grows which covers a huge range of cuisines.

Have a google for Cassava Oiled Down, or Oildown. It is a Caribbean savoury wet dish made with either cassava or breadfruit, cooked in coconut milk, herbs, chilies etc. It traditionally contains salt pork or fish, or other meaty things, but there are several vegan versions online. The one from Trini Gourmet looks good. The unfortunate name describes how the dish is cooked until most of the coconut milk is absorbed, leaving the oil. Alas, my partner dislikes most 'non standard' fare so it will probably be me and my mum who will be eating the cassava dishes. Possibly the fries will suit him :-)

I wrote to the Yandina Community Gardens and asked them my dehydrating questions, and asked if they don't know the answers could I maybe write to or ring Jo Perren. Still cranky I had to miss the workshop. I'll let you know what I find out.

Jo has done three workshops that I know of so far so there should be more to come. There's hope for you yet :) I've missed the last two myself.

Keep an eye on the Yandina Community Gardens workshops or follow events on BLF as I usually keep these updated with their workshops as they do such good ones.

Hopefully you can talk/email with Jo herself for some pointers....which you can then share :D

You must be growing stuff up there at Toowoomba that we can only dream about down here on the coast. I would love to grow a stone fruit of some kind - I was reading about one suitable for sub-trop the other day but I can't remember where it was.

I am on the Yandina mailing list and have been to a workshop there on container gardening and one on growing and using permaculture/tropical veg with Elizabeth Fekonia.

We took Elizabeth's workshop soon after my partner arrived from overseas, so I could gauge his response to things I grew at my last house. "No point growing things I get to cook for just me". Riiight :-) Cassava cake was a hit, but not much else, and still I persist :-/ because he wants to eat only the familiar, and his familiar and mine are different and I keep hoping... Oh well, the workshops are a good weekend away for me and a like minded girlfriend. And I always bring home plants anyway. Can't keep a gardener down, can ya?

I am really impressed by the information posted here, though much is either out of climate or just too far to travel. The food security initiatives look really interesting, but Brisbane is too far to commute. If there were a chapter on the Downs I would be interested in participating, but I'm not in a position to be responsible for starting up the same thing here.

The climate here is "neither fish nor fowl nor good red meat". Summers in the last 20 years have been hotter, or at least the nighttime minimums have been. We aren't getting anything like the minimums in winter, either. Last winter I only considered a heater on half a dozen evenings, and I doubt it is because I'm getting tougher ;-). And the humidity and rainfall (on the Range side of town) mean a lot of things that should do well here, don't. I dug out an almond I planted at my last house because it needed constant attention due to shot hole. I like things that like my conditions and I can't be bothered with a lot of 'management'!

Some of the new (to Australia) fruit trees from Zaiger Genetics are very promising for warmer areas. They have been selectively breeding them for over 30 years, no gene joking. Brisbane is cool enough, as is Toowoomba, but the wet summers are going to be the problem. Still, I will have a go with one of their interspecific hybrids because of what I've read about the extraordinary flavours. If you are interested in them, Fleming's is the importer.

I've started a blog on Seed sites and fruit tree sites, so if you hear of any places selling  either please let me know.

I've added Flemings :) There aren't any places in Qld that I've heard of, yet they must exist.

I was reading about these crossed fruit trees yesterday. I would love to grow a stone fruit that is truly suited to Brisbane climate. Not something that I will wait disappointing years for fruit only to find that they just aren't worth the bother.

Once you start growing some of the more unusual fruit and veg you do want to let others know about them.

Try adding them in small doses to your cooking with prominent bits of more accepted veg clearly visible. I've found roasts a good way to introduce things like Arrowroot, roasted green pawpaw (delicious and just like roasted sweet turnip) and stirfries are a good way to introduce things like Winter Melon and all those wonderful greens like Aibika, Amaranth, Egyptian Spinach, Kangkong. In salads you can introduce grated green pawpaw, Jicama, Carambolo and Yakon. I wait until the meal is over to tell people what was in it lol.

You could always start a Toowoomba sub group on the site if you can find enough people up there interested in joining you. Garden visits and seed saving get togethers? You could troll through the 1500 members and see if any others are in Toowoomba :/

My daughter Erin works up that way at Downs Heating and Cooling. Say hi if you go in :)

Nice list of suppliers. Check nurseries specialising in exotic ornamentals, they will be the best bet for Flemings trees. They should be happy to add your order in with whatever else they have coming since they are already up for the cost of the quarantine check. I know what you mean about waiting for what proves to be a disappointment. But, I've been pleasantly surprised on several occasions, too. I can't grow custard apples, but the Cherimoya I planted did very well and it turns out I actually like them better than custard apples. Very unhappy I had to leave my last garden, but hope to get fruit from the new tree in another three or so years, sigh. Now, if I could only grow something I liked better than mangosteen :-)

It had never occurred to me to roast green pawpaw, thank you for the idea. That is a fruit/veg I would need to hide the identity of as my partner really dislikes pawpaw. I wish I could grow aibika up here but have lost the plant twice over winter.

Fortunately my partner is good with most leafy greens, especially cooked. I won't bother trying to serve him Egyptian spinach, any hint of a mucilaginous texture is a deal breaker. Warrigal greens were NOT well received. I can get away with small amounts of the offending leafy greens, if well diluted with ones he likes. 'Spinach' and feta pie is great for swallowing up lots of otherwise unacceptable veg. I may be even more devious than you, I don't always tell what was in a dish until after the second time, and sometimes not even then. When my stepdaughter was staying with us, I took to doing all my dinner prep the night before, away from the eyes of the poor unfortunate who suffered from a bad case of Imaginitis. I still occasionally do stealth prep if I think the look of something might swing the vote.

I recently put a LOT of diced cassava in a minced pork, eggplant, mushroom sauce for noodles. It was basically a Chinese standard, seasoned with hoisin, brown bean sauce, garlic etc, but with added mild flavoured veg. He actually liked the adulterated version as well as the classic one. Interestingly, it actually enhanced the flavour of the cassava (in a good way), rather than disguised it.

Using the search on the members page there are only 7 Toowoomba members, and 2 of those have been inactive for more than a year. I think the name of this site might put regional people off? I joined because I kept ending up here when doing food gardening searches. I haven't the energy to start up anything myself.

I am unlikely to (knowingly) run into Erin as I seldom heat and never cool!


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