Indonesian Traditional Use of Cassava

Who doesn’t know cassava? Every parts from its roots to its leaves can be processed into various food, which make it very popular in Indonesian dishes and snack. The root has a delicate flavour and can be turned into flour that can be used in cookies, cakes or bread. Cassava is the third largest source of food carbohydrates in the tropics, after rice and maize.. Indonesia is the third largest producer of cassava, hence it is widely used in the local market as well.

For Indonesians, cassava is commonly used as a main source of carbohydrate to replace rice. Cassava can be turned into tiwul, which is made from dried cassava called gaplek. This was especially important during Japanese colonization in Indonesia when Indonesians mainly eat tiwul as the main source of energy.

The leaves of cassava is rather popular in Padang cuisine, to simply be blanched and served with sambal or turned into curried cassava leaves. Every Padang restaurant will have these dishes if you want to try.

If you ever go to the traditional market and see food vendor selling traditional sweets, you might came across sawut. This traditional sweet food is made from grating cassava, combining it with palm sugar and steaming it to achieve the final result. Usually it is served with grated coconut to balance the flavour. Another popular sweet food would probably be getuk, which most of you might know already. Getuk is rather popular in Java as a sweet snack. Its soft texture is created by mashing boiled cassava roots into a doughy batter.

Apart from that, a unique food that can be produced with cassava would be tapai or peuyeum in Sundanese language. Tapai is a kind of fermented cassava, which usually is used an ingredients for sweet dessert and alcoholic beverage.

Who would have thought that such a humble root vegetable plays a very important part in Indonesian society. Cassava itself is rather easy to grow and we have some at Blueboots Farm, which our farmers turn into yummy fried cassava when we harvest them.

Akmal’s Favourite Plant (Which Now Becomes Our Favourite Too!)

One of our latest acquired talents at the farm is Akmal, who just recently started to help us at Blueboots Farm. Akmal is only 23 years old and currently studying at Institut Pertanian Bogor. Although no one in Akmal’s family is in agriculture but we know that he has a deep passion in farming! We wondered why… Apparently it started when he joined the national science competition in junior high school and was competing in biotech area. From there his interest in agriculture grew and he decided to do it seriously.

From his journey surrounded by plants and the amazing produces that we have here in Indonesia, which one is it then that amaze him the most? Akmal confessed that coffee would be his favourite plant. Not because of all the hype that coffee has been getting lately, but he thinks that coffee has such a unique character which is quite different from any other plants.

Akmal has worked with coffee before while he was studying at IPB where he studied the theories and planted coffee to be learned from. Coffee’s special character is that it has to be grown in 800m minimum elevation. Pre-nursery is rather difficult because coffee requires delicate care especially Arabica. Akmal’s favourite coffee would be Sidikalang coffee from North Sumatra. It is rather a famous one especially because it’s grown in a high altitude above 1500m.

Now that we know more about Akmal and his favourite plant, we are hoping that we can all learn together. Watch this space to see more progress at Blueboots Farm.

Lemongrass as Traditional Remedy

Lemongrass has become one of our favourite plants. Believed to be a native plant of Indonesia, lemongrass or ‘sereh’ as how Indonesian normally call it, carries lots of benefits and has been used locally since a long time ago. It grows abundantly in Blueboots Farm (and everywhere else in Indonesia!), it has lots of benefits for our health and it does not cost much at all. Here are a couple of things that we think is rather beneficial from the humble lemongrass.

  1. Heals Cold & Cough. Carrying antibacterial and antifungal properties, lemongrass has been used widely to heal cold, cough and flu symptoms. It also has lots of vitamin C, which improves your immune system. We love to have it as lemongrass and honey tea when it looks like we are about to catch a cold.
  2. Helps Digestion. Lemongrass is commonly known to help treat digestive problems like indigestion, constipation, diarrhea, vomiting and cramps due to its antiseptic compounds. It is also beneficial in repopulating good bacteria in the colon.
  3. Calming Effect. We love to use lemongrass oil as aromatherapy when we are feeling a bit blue. Lemongrass has a calming, warming effect and even better, it can keep mosquitos away.

Those are the benefits of lemongrass as traditional remedy that we have used ourselves at Blueboots Farm. You too now can adapt this at home and make the most of this abundant plant!

The Local’s Superfood – Centella Asiatica (Pegagan)

Good morning!

Another new day, another new knowledge about our local superfood. We will kickstart the day in knowing about Centella Asiatica also known as Gotu kola, pegagan, daun kaki kuda and lots of other names depending on how the locals know it as. This plant is not to be easily dismissed. Knowing Gotu kola’s benefit will help improve or treat your health.

Indonesia is blessed with abundant of powerful and useful wild plants if we have the power of knowledge on the benefits of all the wild plants. Gotu kola is not a new found herb that is discovered for its tremendous health benefits but it is a forgotten plant due to our shift of importance of getting our essential nutrients with other valued vegetables, fruits and even health supplements.

Gotu kola can be easily found growing wildly in farms, open-field, roadsides etc. if we look closely enough. It has beautiful spade-shaped leaves or horse-hoof like leaf that can be easily identified.

Gotu kola is generally good to boost our immune system but however, it is really worshipped for its used as a combat to high blood pressure, boosting central nervous system, improving circulatory system, repairing skin, protecting veins and blood vessels and antibacterial properties.

If anyone is facing any health issues with the above mentioned, please read more about Gotu kola and let Blueboots team know if you need this herb. We have plenty growing in the farm.
Blueboots’ favourite way of consuming Gotu kola is adding fresh leaves to salad, blending it with basil to make pesto and also into powder dehydrated in low temperature to add to juices. Better eaten fresh for maximum nutrients.

The Local’s Superfood – Moringa Oleifera (Kelor)

Have you ever heard of Moringa? Or the drumstick tree?

If you haven’t, you should probably find out more, as this plant has been known for its health benefits for thousands of years.

However, due to the lack of local knowledge and promotion in our generation, we know Moringa tree as a wild plant growing. At the most, Indonesians traditionally use Moringa leaves to cast out bad spirits. Yikes!

In places where food is a scarcity, Moringa leaves and pods are used to combat malnutrition. They are rich in protein, vitamin A, B2, B6, C, iron and magnesium. It is also rich in antioxidants and known to reduce blood sugar level, cholesterol and inflammation.

There is many ways to consume Moringa. My favorite way is to add fresh leaves into soup or salad. Also, Moringa leaves can be dehydrated into green powders that can be blended into your daily juices and add natural green coloring and nutrition to your cookies or cakes.

Not only is Moringa useful to our body, it is also a good plant to plant around the farm. Moringa tree is a legume that can capture Nitrogen into the soil that will benefit the plants around it. It is also a hardy plant that can grow in drought areas and are not affected much by heavy rain.

When we first came to the land, where Blueboots Farm is today, we found Moringa trees growing healthily across the land. We decided to keep the trees and let them grow as they were. Blueboots Farm team is currently experimenting to process Moringa so it can be used with convenience in domestic households. Hopefully it will be available for Blueboots Farm customers soon!