Taro Root is a less commonly known vegetable in the West. It is popularly used, however, in Southeast Asia, India, and Caribbean diets. The root (corm) originates from the Taro Plant, also known as eddo/edo, kalo, arbi, or dasheen.
The plant can be identified by its herbaceous stems and large heart-shaped leaves. Just be careful not to consume this plant raw as it is poisonous if not cooked. The root has brown outer skin with white flesh. Sometimes you can see flecks of purple throughout the root.
Why would you want to eat taro root?
Taro root is packed full of beneficial nutrients, including dietary fiber, vitamins C, B, and E. It is also known for its resistant starch component, making it an excellent substitute for potatoes. Resistant starch can be beneficial for those with diabetes as a starch option as it does not raise blood sugar levels as much as other sources.
Because its flavor is mild but sweet and nutty, you can use it in many dishes. By itself, the flavor can be compared to sweet potatoes. But when it is cooked with other ingredients, the taro root readily absorbs other flavors. When selecting your varieties, keep in mind larger ones will have a stronger nutty flavor, with smaller varieties being milder in taste. Add some taro root to your meals by roasting, boiling, mashing, or frying it.