By  Tiffany Tse

Not a taro lover? These five sweet and savory dishes may change your mind. Though taro is often overlooked and unappreciated, the tuber packs a massive nutritious punch with tons of essential minerals, like potassium and magnesium, and nearly three times the dietary fiber of a potato. The starchy root also has a low glycemic index, which means binging on taro helps keep your blood sugar levels stable. Just make sure to boil the tubers thoroughly, as they're inedible and toxic if ingested raw!

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Braised Taro with Dried Shrimps
The next time you crave a fattening comfort food like mashed potatoes, you may want to give this dish a try. Packed with nutritional fiber, braised taro fills you up fast with fewer calories. Plus, when this savory taro mush is flavored with bits of dried shrimp and shallots, you're in store for a true culinary delight!

Ingredients:

500 g. taro (about 1 palm-sized taro), peeled and diced

50 g. dried shrimps, washed, soaked, and drained (retain the water for soaking)

3 garlic cloves, chopped

3 shallots, chopped

1 stalk spring onion, diced

Seasonings (mix well):
1/2 tsp. salt (cut down this amount if you add in water for soaking dried shrimps)
1/2 tsp. sugar
1/2 tsp. pepper
1/2 tsp. chicken stock granules

Directions:
Peel the taro and cut into cubes. Wash, rinse, and pat dry. Set aside. Heat up 2 tbsp. oil over low heat to saute the dried shrimps, chopped garlic, and chopped shallots until fragrant. Pour in 600 ml. water, including water for soaking dried shrimps, add in taro, and bring to a boil. Stir in the seasoning mixture, cover with a lid, and simmer over low heat for about 2 minutes. Open the lid, stir constantly over low heat until the liquid is fully evaporated. Sprinkle with chopped spring onions. Serve hot.

Makes 4-5 servings.

Recipe provided by Food 4 Tots

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Tropical Coconut Taro Warm Dessert Soup
Forego desserts like chocolate cake for this warm taro and coconut-based soup. Though coconut milk should be consumed in moderation, it lends this creation a burst of nutrients, such as iron and phosphorus, as well as a creamy pudding-like consistency. One taste of this silky-smooth soup, inspired by a traditional Filipino dish called ginataan, transports you to your own tropical paradise.

Ingredients:
4 small taro roots
2 c. water
6 tbsp. small tapioca balls
1 13.5 oz. can coconut milk
2 yellow plantains
6 tbsp. muscovado (unrefined/unprocessed sugar) or sucanat sugar
1/4 tsp. sea salt
Sliced pineapples for topping (optional)

Directions:
Boil taro and plantains for 20 minutes in two separate pots (with skin). In another pot, boil 2 c. water, add tapioca balls, and reduce heat to low-medium.  Stir this frequently with a fork so it separates and doesn't stick to the pan. (Note: Read directions on tapioca ball package.) When the taro is finished cooking, peel off the skin, place them in your blender, and then add coconut milk. Blend them together for a minute then pour the mixture into another pot. Add muscovado sugar into your coconut/taro mixture and simmer for 5 minutes. (Note: Stir, stir, stir!) Peel off the skins of the plantains, then slice them into bite-sized pieces. Add the sliced plantains and tapioca balls (with liquid) into your coconut taro soup, then simmer for another 5 minutes.  Don't forget to stir. Scoop them into a bowl or martini glass, then top it off with sliced pineapples (optional).

Recipe provided by Veg Obsession

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Taro and White Bean Curry
Taro is the star ingredient in this unique twist on a traditional Indian curry. But even if you aren't a fan of Indian cuisine, you'll love this easy, oil-free recipe! Chunks of soft taro and white beans combine for a thick, hearty texture, while a peppercorn-infused coconut paste gives the vegan stew a spicy kick.

Ingredients:
2 c. taro roots, peeled and diced

1 c. white beans, soaked and boiled

1 c. fresh/frozen coconut

5-10 black peppercorns

2 sprigs fresh curry leaves

Salt to taste

Directions:
Soak the white beans in hot water for a couple of hours. Boil in salted water until soft. Wash and peel the taro and cut it into cubes. Wash it in running water unti