Zur Gluten Free Product Base I am often asked questions about the product line and I feel now is the time to open up in a blog to ensure that I answer these questions. My aim is to be honest, giving you an insight into my life, dream and aspiration. Our Products base is derived from a combination of the following products: Cassava, Sweet Potato, Quinao, Teff, Foni.
First Question: What is Cassava? The cassava plant, commonly referred to as manioc or yucca, is a woody shrub commonly grown in tropical and subtropical climates such as the ones existing in Saint Lucia, South America, Africa, and parts of Indonesia. While the plant itself is nice to look at, the starchy cassava root is the part used for food.
There are two general kinds of cassava: A sweet version and a bitter version. It is very rich in carbohydrates, making it one of the world’s leading sources of carbohydrates. Since the root is starchy, it’s eaten much like a potato or sweet potato in other parts of the world and is used in several dishes; in fact, it can be eaten as a vegetable or a side dish. However, dried and treated cassava, otherwise known as tapioca, can be used in dessert recipes; this makes cassava quite different from potatoes.
The cassava root is often used for food, the entire plant—including the cassava leaf--is used for homeopathic medicine. The healing properties of cassava have been widely talked about. The leaf is used to treatseveral different diseases, such as headache, hypertension, and pain. Since cassava flour is Gluten-Free, it is used as a wheat flour substitute for those who suffer from Celiac or Coeliac Disease.
Boiling cassava bark or the stem helps treat rheumatism and also helps expel intestinal parasites. Also, a pounded cassava root can be used as an antiseptic or applied on ulcerative wounds as a natural treatment. (Please seek medical advice from a doctor regarding any symptoms you may have as this is only for information purposes).
I was born on the island of St Lucia where Cassava was part of our staple diet. As a descendant of the Carib and African community it was in-bedded in our tradition and custom. Being able to sustain and feed off the Land was paramount to our survival. We cultivated and processed Cassava, sweet potato and a variety of other vegetable produce.
My parents taught me from the age of nine how to process cassava into by products such as Farina and Natural Cassava Bread. My passion fuelled with me understanding the Health Benefits of Cassava and how it contributed to the longevity of our community and their Health.
The Health benefits of Cassava are as follows:
* Young tender cassava (yucca) leaves are a good source of dietary proteins and vitamin K. Vitamin-K has a potential role in bone mass building by promoting osteotrophic activity in the bones. It also has established role in the treatment of Alzheimer's disease patients by limiting neuronal damage in the brain.
* Cassava is a moderate source of some of the valuable B-complex group of vitamins such as folates, thiamin, pyridoxine (vitamin B-6), riboflavin, and pantothenic acid.
* The root is the chief source of some important minerals like zinc, magnesium, copper, iron, and manganese for many inhabitants in the tropical belts. In addition, it has adequate amounts of potassium (271 mg per 100g or 6% of RDA). Potassium is an important component of cell and body fluids that help regulate heart rate and blood pressure.
Knowing the Health aspects of the Cassava intrigued me, I began to develop and experiment with different flavours, creating new infused flavours, by products wanting to change not only the view of the bread but to show the diversity of the product.
I wanted to cater for a new sector of the market, knowing my family and I live are on a Gluten free diet, I wanted to share my creation but also break away from the concept that Gluten free taste like cardboard, boring, bland, simple and unsatisfying.
When you say the words, I am Gluten free peoples first reaction is “OH” followed by “AH”, then “SO WHAT DO YOU EAT”. I often laugh because people often think being Gluten free is like a plague or something that can be caught, you on a weird diet, fussy eater, can't invite you for dinner or simple can't socialize with you.
STOP! Come closer, read my words we are just like you, do all the same things just don't have Gluten in our diet for either medical reasons, personal choice and or Health lifestyle.
Why have you added Sweet Potato? I wanted to create a super food, and what best way to do what then to inject the best vegetables together enhancing the nutritional value, quality, flavour and consistency of the bread. Sweet potato, not only is just sweet to your taste buds but also good for your cardiovascular health. This starchy root vegetable is rich source of flavonoid anti-oxidants, vitamins, minerals, and dietary fibre that are essential for optimal health. Botanically, this tuber belongs to the family of Convolvulaceae, and named botanically as Ipomoea batatas. It is grown throughout the tropical and warm temperate regions such as St Lucia. The crop requires just sufficient water and attention for their cultivation. The tuberous root has oblong/elongated shape with tapering ends and has smooth outer skin whose colour ranges from red, purple, brown, and white, depending up on the variety. Health benefits of Sweet potato
* Sweet potato is one of the average calorie starch food (provide just 90 cal/100 g vs 70 calories/100 g of potato). The tuber, however, contains no saturated fats or cholesterol; but is rich source of dietary fibre, anti-oxidants, vitamins, and minerals.
* Its calorie content mainly comes from starch, a complex carbohydrate. Starch raises the blood sugar levels slowly on comparison to simple sugars and therefore, recommended as a healthy food supplement even in diabetes. * The tuber is excellent source of flavonoid phenolic compounds such as beta -carotene and vitamin A (100 g tuber provides14187 IU of vitamin A and 8509 mcg of β-carotene). The value is one of the highest among root vegetables category. These compounds are powerful natural antioxidants. Vitamin A is also required by the body to maintain integrity of healthy mucus membranes and skin. It is also vital nutrient for vision. Consumption of natural vegetables and fruits rich in flavonoids helps to protect from lung and oral cavity cancers.
* The tubers are packed with many essential vitamins such as pantothenic acid (vitamin B-5), pyridoxine (vitamin B-6), and thiamin (vitamin B-1), niacin, and riboflavin. These vitamins are essential in the sense that body requires them from external sources to replenish. These vitamins function as co-factors for various enzymes during metabolism.
* Sweet potato provides good amount of vital minerals such as iron, calcium, magnesium, manganese, and potassium that are very essential for enzyme, protein, and carbohydrate metabolism.
* Sweet potato leaves are indeed more nutritious than tuber. Weight per weight, 100g of fresh leaves contain more iron, vitamin C, folates, vitamin K, and potassium but less sodium than the tuber.
What makes your Product different from others? I am excited when people ask me this question because I get to say, “JUST ONE TASTE... THATS ALL IT TAKES”. Zur Gluten Free Cassava bread is like no other, with over fifteen flavours ranging from Savoury Flavour breads, Sweet Flavour, Sugar -free even Limited-Edition Bread allowing Customers to create a new range is exciting.