Rice Substitute Series (3) “Singkong, a Healthy Alternative of Rice as a Carb Source”

"Rice is a carbohydrates-rich staple food. Rice consumed every day as an energy booster in the body. However, have you ever thought about replacing rice with other food sources? One of the alternative you can have is Singkong."

Published by : administrator  -  15/09/2020 08:42 WIB

2 Minutes read.

Singkong (Cassava, Manihot utilissima) is the tuber of the cassava tree that thrive almost anywhere locally in Indonesia. Singkong was first known in South America, mainly in prehistoric Brazil areas. In Indonesia, singkong began to be growed in 1810 in Maluku, brought by the Portuguese in the 16th century. Singkong is a main commodity because it can be harvested and meet daily basic needs.

Image source: indonesiawindow.com

On the island of Java, singkong began to be known in East Java in 1852. The increase in ketela planting was in line with the rapid population growth of Java. This makes singkong an important ingredient in the manufacture of tapioca flour (singkong flour) and makes Indonesia one of the largest exporters of tapioca flour in the world.

Image source: https://cmuscmr.cmu.edu.tw/

Singkong has different names in each region of Indonesia, including ubi kayee (Aceh), kasapen (Sunda), Tela Pohong (Java), Tela Belada (Madura), Lame Kayu (Makassar), Pangala (Papua), and others. Singkong contains protein, fat, carbohydrate, calcium, phosphorus, iron, B vitamins, vitamin C, and starch. In 100 grams of singkong there are 112 calories, 28 grams of carbohydrates, 1.5 grams of protein, and 2 grams of fiber. The contents have extraordinary properties, including an energy booster in the body, a source of fiber and carbohydrates, as an antioxidant, preventing heart disease, treating diarrhea, reducing the risk of cancer and good for eye and skin health.

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There are various ways of processing singkong for consumption, it can be boiled, baked or steamed. Not infrequently too, some cafes in Indonesia make singkong as side dishes such as singkong goreng (fried cassava), singkong balado (cassava balado), singkong keju (cassava cheese), and many others. Not only that, in remote areas of Indonesia, such as Kalimantan, singkong is still a staple food as a substitute for rice.

However, it should be noted that singkong contains cyanogenic glycosides which can release cyanide in the body. So, singkong must be processed properly to prevent cyanide poisoning. Singkong is also not good for pregnant and lactating women because of the risk to the baby. In addition, singkong should not be consumed by people with thyroid problems.