Cassava is a root vegetable that’s very versatile in the kitchen. For that reason, it’s gaining a lot of popularity around the world. These vegetables can be used as snacks, used in soups and stews, and make desserts. Like any other vegetables, cassava tends to not last very long once they are harvested. These tubers can be stored in the pantry, refrigerator, or freezer.
In this short guide, we’ll through the details on how long cassava lasts, where to store them, how to tell when they are bad, and how to keep them fresh longer.
Cassava Shelf Life
|Whole Cassava last
|Cut Cassava last
How Long Does Cassava Last?
At room temperature, unpeeled cassava will last for up to 1 week. If they are peeled or have any cuts, they will last for only a couple of days.
Cooked cassava will last for 1-2 hours at room temperature. If it’s going to be longer than that, store them in the fridge to avoid bacteria growth.
In the fridge, peeled cassava can last for about 1 month. This is if the tuber is stored in water and changed often. They should be stored in an airtight container to prevent oxidation from the humidity in the refrigerator.
Unpeeled cassava will last for up to 2 weeks in the fridge. Make sure there are no cuts on the skin and store them in the crisper section of the fridge.
For cooked cassava, they will last for a couple of days in the refrigerator. Keep them secured in a resealable plastic bag or an airtight container.
Cassava stored in the freezer can last for up to 3 months. Proper storage will keep them fresh longer, but you’ll want to use them before them for the best quality.
Can Cassava Go Bad?
Cassava is a hardy root vegetable that doesn’t go bad easily due to its thick skin. However, over time, they will start to go bad just like any other vegetables. This can be due to improper storage or it’s reaching it’s prime.
Cassava has a lot of water content and they need to be stored in a cool place to keep them from going bad. Exposure to direct sunlight and other heat sources can cause them to lose moisture, even those that are unpeeled.
Depending on when you’ll be using them, they should be stored in the pantry, fridge, or freezer. If you’re planning to use them within a week, the pantry is a great place for storage. Within 2 weeks, the refrigerator should be the place to keep them. Anything over two weeks, store them in the freezer.
How To Tell When Cassava Is Bad?
Like any other vegetables, cassava will start to show signs when they are bad. Below are some of the signs to look for:
Colors – Cassava that is has spoiled will have black specks of lines running throughout, the plant is past its prime. If there are some discoloration or spots at just one area of the yuca plant, simply cut that area away.
Smell – Due to their high content of water, when cassava goes bad, they will have a sour smell to it. Similar to the smell of wet socks. If it has a foul smell or a smell you’re not familiar with, it’s best to throw them out.
Texture – As they start to go bad, the cassava will start to lose moisture. Loss of moisture will result in their skin becoming wrinkle. At this stage, you may be able to save it if the inside doesn’t smell or have
How To Store Cassava
At room temperature, cassava should be stored in a cool and dry place. The best location suited for storing these tubers is the pantry. When storing them in there, wrap them in the newspaper to help retain moisture loss so it’ll last longer.
When storing cassava in the pantry, make sure there are no cuts or bruising on the skin. If the are, the flesh can be exposed to the air which will cause them to go bad quickly due to oxidation.
If you have cooked cassava, it’s best to consume them within an hour. If it’s going to be longer than that, place them in a bowl with a paper towel covering it. This is to prevent flies and other insects from feasting on the tubers.
When it comes to refrigerating cassava, most people will store just cooked cassava. Fresh raw cassava can be stored in the fridge as well, but the plant is too big and they usually have the same shelf life as storing them at room temperature.
For cooked cassava, always store them in an airtight container or a resealable plastic bag. Make sure the storage container you’re using is airtight. Any air that gets into the container will cause the tubers to go bad quickly due to oxidation.
Can You Freeze Cassava?
Cassava can be frozen and they actually freeze very well too. This is due to their high water content. Proper storage can keep cassava roots fresh for up to 3 months.
These root plants can be frozen as raw. Before freezing them, you’ll need to peel off their skin. This part of the cassava is where it contains a toxin called cyanide. The toxin could spread to the entire cassava while it’s freezing.
Cassava roots can be frozen either as whole or cut into pieces. Having them in pieces will be quicker to thaw and cook with.
Storing the yuca in the freezer should be in an airtight container or a freezer bag. If using a freezer bag, make sure to squeeze out as much air before sealing the bag. If the cassava is exposed to air, freezer burn will occur and cause damage to them.
How To Keep Cassava Fresh Longer
Cassava bought at the grocery stores will usually come in frozen packages. They’ll either come as a whole, sliced, or shredded.
Nearly all cassava is imported into the country. Therefore, you should check the quality of it by looking at the expiration date printed on the packages. Their shelf life is usually 3 months, but it will last indefinitely if properly stored. After the expiration date, the quality of it will start to diminish.
If you’re using the yuca root to make desserts or cook them in a meal, it won’t be much of any issue. If you’re going to make snacks such as cassava chips or fried cassava, the quality will matter.
While these vegetables are hardy plants, they need to be handled gently. For fresh cassava, avoid dropping them or storing them together tightly together. If the skin is broken, the flesh will be exposed to the air and will start going bad.
Once these tubers are cut or peeled, they’ll need to be stored in a container and in the refrigerator. Leaving them out at room temperature will cause them to become oxidated. This will lead to the cassava turning darker and losing its moisture.
Is eating raw cassava safe?
You should never eat raw cassava due to the toxin that they have. By boiling them for at least 15 minutes, the toxicity level will decrease and safe for consumption.
What part of cassava is poisonous?
The leaves, roots, and peels are poisonous. They have a toxin called cyanide and can be dangerous when digested. In a small amount, they will cause upset stomach, diarrhea, and other digestive problems. If digested in large amounts, they can be fatal.
Therefore, the roots which are the part most used for eating and cooking should be cooked thoroughly first to remove the toxins.
What are the other names for the cassava plant?
This woody shrub vegetable is native to South America. Now they are found throughout the tropical region. Some of the other names for cassava are manioc, yuca, macaxeira, mandioca, aipim, and agbeli, and tubers.