Malanga Coco

Malanga coco is a common tuber grown in Southeast Asia, Africa, the Southern States of North America, Central America,  and the Caribbean. It is actually an ancient tuber even though it is not as popular as potatoes.

Are you concerned about developing diabetes or obesity and now you want to replace your wheat flour with gluten-free flour? Or you just thought of bringing a replacement by bringing an alternative to the potatoes in your kitchen? Here’s an all-in-one kind of solution.

You will also love Types Of Root Vegetables Sweet Potato and Ñame

Jump in the article to check out the secret.

malanga coco root on wooden background

What is Malanga coco?

Malanga coco is known for many other names including Taro or big taro root, Yautia, Cocoyam, Tania, eddo, tanier, and Japanese potato.

Malanga coco is a tuber just like yam that grows at the base of the plant and gets thicker, broader, and taller as well. It is a dense vegetable that belongs to the family of Xanthosoma Sagitiffolium. The experts have differentiated and classified the different names with different species of Xanthosoma. As there are supposed to be 50 to 60 species variety within this specific family.

In the united states, the main region of Malanga coco’s growth is Florida where its crop is considered an invasive species.

The tuber or corm is the large storage part of the root that is attached to a cluster of cormels. They range in brown to black or gray tones of color from the outer layer. The skin is so rough and brown to reddish shaded. The inner flesh is cream color or pale white with red thin linings.

Malanga coco is an easy-to-grow plant with several health benefits. It is mostly cultivated in areas where there is a scarcity of food.

In this article, we are going to share a deeper insight into this vegetable’s nutritional value, cooking styles, and much more.

So let’s start with the basic information first.

Malanga coco spread across the world from the tropical rainforests of South America. People begin to cultivate it in different regions of the world as it got fame. Besides, Malanga coco also started spreading wild.

What Does Malanga Taste Like?

The plant of malanga is almost 6 feet tall with sizeable leaves. It grows a dense bulky tuber under its base. The tuber has brown and mainly hairy skin (that should be removed). The only edible part in this plant is its tuber which is called Malanga coco.


The inner pale white or yellowish flesh with pink to reddish fibers is an edible portion of the tuber.

The taste of Malanga coco is often said to be more woody, earthy, and nutty. It can be tasted like dark walnut. The texture is similar to that of potatoes.

Growing at home:

 To grow malanga coco at home, you need really wet moistured soil.

  • Firstly, select a place that faces full sunlight or is half-shaded with soil that can drain well and retain moisture.
  • Add on some compost to the soil right at the time of planting and also after every 2 months.
  • Take care of the plant and you will get good results sooner in 10 to 12 months.


What are the nutritional benefits of Malanga coco?

Malanga coco is a source of food, in many regions of the world, where it grows wild and is a main staple because of lack of food availability.

  1. Allergy-friendly: The Malanga coco is a hypoallergenic food. If you have developed food allergies over time even then you can have this root vegetable. You can even dehydrate malanga and blend it into flour and use it as a flour substitute for baking, or use as a thickener in soups.
  2. Boosts immunity: the Malanga coco has a rich amount of vitamin B in it. Which means folate and riboflavin. These vitamin B sources elevate energy levels and enhance immune systems, improve skin, heal skin and nails.  Folate is also an energy maker and also works for the improvement of hearing and sight senses.
  3. BP Regulator: the Malanga coco is an enriched source of potassium that enhances overall physical health. The blood pressure is also controlled through potassium as it lowers the BP and avoids heart attack, stroke, and other sudden occurrences of diseases.
  4. Diabetes 2 resistance: The fibers in Malanga coco help create resistance against Diabetes type-2 and obesity. The gluten-free flour consumed through Malanga Coco can help reduce weight.
  5. Antioxidants: vitamin A and C are both considered antioxidants, which means that they help omit the free radicals from one’s body. These free radicals develop due to 2 main reasons, either the internal metabolic processes or the outside influences like smoke or dust, etc.


How to use Malanga coco in your dishes?

Many people might not be aware of the fact that Malanga can be an alternative to your potatoes. And similarly, the flour of your wheat can also be replaced with malanga flour for bread and other bakery goods.

Now the typical cooking of malanga needs it to be washed first, which is a must. Peeling can be done even after boiling. The tuber, I mean malanga coco is not supposed to be eaten raw. The Malanga coco should be steamed or boiled before eating.

It serves as a thickener in soups in form of malanga coco flour. Several west African dishes typically follow these steps like; peeling the malanga after boiling or steaming and mashing it like mashed potato, adding spices and pepper and salt. Check out my Mashed Taro Recipe.

The regular fries of yours with your always fatty buddy (potato) can be replaced with the same fries with the new bulky buddy of yours, you guessed right, I am talking about Malanga coco.

The malanga serves almost the same purpose as potatoes in Tropical regions like Jamaica, Cuba, and Puerto Rico. These can be sauteed, cooked, boiled, steamed, mashed, fried, or deep-fried just the way you want them.

And can be served as a tick soup ingredient as well. The malanga coco is a full-fat package of tasty savory dishes and healthy hygiene. So better replace your flour with malanga flour if you want no gluten in your bread and other bakery stuff from now onwards. 

Other Root Vegetables

  1. Celery Root
  2. Sunchoke
  3. Watermelon Radish
  4. Cassava
  5. Yellow Yam

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    1. Hello Lynn, on Amazon right now they have taro flour which is used interchangeably, you can make your own flour. Peel and slice malanga root into thin slices. Dehydrate in the oven, or dehydrator until crispy. Blend into flour using a high-speed blender.

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