Taro milk tea is an interesting drink as well as one that should attract your attention. The reason is that is in the name, and in the ingredients used in making taro milk tea.
Have you ever heard of a milk tea? Definitely not before taro milk tea came into place. Taro milk tea is an Asian cuisine that’s made from the taro root milk, tapioca pearls and jasmine tea. It is a refreshing drink that’s delicious with several health benefits.
Taro boba is a tropical, ancient plant that’s cultivated through the tropical regions of Southeast Asia and around tropical regions of West Africa. It is known in most African countries as coco yam. Taro boba is known scientifically as Colocasia esculenta.
Taro boba is classified as a vegetable, and also as a root crop. The leaves are ever green but turns yellow before falling off. The root is purple but some varieties can be white to yellow, green, or red. The purple variety of taro root is the most common, and best known for making taro milk tea.
Taro milk tea taste
Taro milk tea taste has been described by different people, based on the ingredients with which the milk tea was made, and depending on individual taste bud. But generally speaking, taro milk tea has a creamy, sweet taste with nutty flavor, and vanilla finishing.
The taste of taro milk tea is not entirely determined by the taro root paste but is also greatly influenced by the tapioca pearls, and jasmine tea constituents.
Taro milk tea powder
Taro milk powder is a commercially available fine, starchy, taro root powder. This taro powder is made and set aside for instant taro milk tea recipe. To make taro milk tea powder, the roots are first of all peeled, then it is boiled and mashed into a paste. This taro milk tea paste is allowed to dry before it is ground into a powder.
Taro milk tea powder tastes like taro milk tea
Taro milk tea powder has a slight sweet taste with nutty flavor that’s typical of taro milk tea. The powder also share in the purple color of taro milk tea, though it is lightly purple in color.
Taro powder is also good for you
If you don’t want to always drink the taro milk tea, you can simply lick the taro milk powder that you have made. You can also add the taro powder to other beverages such as fruit juices, smoothies, ice creams and other herbal tea.
Best taro milk tea recipes
There are several ways you can prepare you taro bubble tea. So must not follow a particular recipe to get your tea ready. However, if you find a particular recipe to be your favorite, you may stick to that particular method. The milk tea can be made with fresh taro root paste, instant taro powder, or ground taro root powder. We shall hence discuss some of the different recipes for making taro milk tea.
Taro milk tea recipe using fresh taro root
In this taro tea recipe, the fresh taro root is used instead of dried instant or ground taro root powder. To make this tea, you need the following ingredients:
- 200g taro roots (peel the roots and chop into smaller pieces)
- 2 teaspoon of brown sugar
- 3 tablespoon of tapioca pearls
- 2 teaspoon of sugar
- 1/2 cup of ceylon tea (Use strongly brewed one)
- 200ml milk
- 1 teaspoon of condensed milk
- Boil the chopped taro root for 20 minutes on medium heat till they become soft, and can be poked through with a fork.
- When they become soft, discard the water and pound the cooked taro root until they form an even paste. For a smoother paste, use a food processor or blender.
- Incorporate the sugar while the paste is still hot.
- Set your boba aside, and boil a clean water in a pot.
- Add your boba to the pot of boiling water.
- Add 2 teaspoon of sugar and allow this boil for 5-7 minutes.
- Once the boba begin to float these are done.
- Adjust the timing depending on how firm or soft you prefer them.
- Remove from hot water and set them aside.
- Brew the ceylon and let this mix well with fresh ground root paste and condensed milk.
- Finally, add the milk and tapioca pearls to the mixture.
- Serve the taro milk tea hot or cold.
Taro milk tea recipe using instant taro powder
For this recipe, gather the following ingredients:
2 tablespoon instant taro powder
3 tablespoon tapioca pearls
2 teaspoon sugar
½ cup jasmine tea, strongly brewed.
200 ml milk can use plant-based milk
- Bring a pot of hot water to a boil and add in your tapioca pearls with 2tsp of sugar.
- Let this boil for 5-7 minutes. Alternatively, until the boba begins to float above the boiling water.
- Adjust the timing of how long these are boiled depending on how soft or chewy you want these.
- Remove these from the pot and set them aside.
- Meanwhile, brew the jasmine tea.
- Mix well with taro instant powder and add the condensed milk.
- Lastly, add both milk and boba to the mixture.
- Serve the taro milk tea hot or cold.
Other uses of taro roots
Aside using it as taro milk tea in Southeast Asia and other Asian regions, coco yam roots are also used in sub-Saharan Africa as a staple food. The roots are boiled before removing the now wet and easy-to-peel-off skin, or they are first peeled off before boiling. In the Southeastern part of Nigeria, and among the Igbo people, coco yam is eaten as a porridge. It can be cooked with enough vegetables and eaten.
Taro for Achicha ede
Unlike in the Asian region, in Nigeria, and among the people of Enugu state, taro roots are beaten into smaller sizes after it has been boiled and the skin peeled off. This smaller pieces of taro/coco-yam is what is been used in preparing the popular Nsukka delicacy called Achicha ede.
Coco yam for soup thickening
After boiling your taro roots, and peeling off the outer skin, the coco yam roots are beaten into a paste using a small mortar and pestle. The formed paste is scooped immediately and added to a soup as a thickener. Some of the soups in which taro root paste is used as thickener include the popular Bitter leaf soup. Another popular soup in Nigeria that is made with coco yam paste is Oha soup.
Nutritional composition of Taro boba tea
Taro contains rich in fiber and carbohydrates. It also contains proteins and vitamins and minerals. The vitamins present in taro milk tea include:
- Vitamin A
- Vitamin B6
- Vitamin B12
- Vitamin C
- Vitamin E
- Vitamin K
- Pantothenic acid
The minerals present in tarp tea include:
Health benefits of Taro milk tea
Aside the nutritional and medicinal values of taro roots, the jasmine or ceylon teas used in the making of the taro bubble tea are packed with phenolic compounds which impact your overall health, positively. What this means is that when you drink the taro tea, you will not only enjoy the health benefits of cocoyam roots only but also the health benefits of either jasmine, or ceylon teas, or even any other herbal tea used in the making of the milk tea.
May boost your brain functions
When brewed with jasmine tea, taro boba tea enhances you brain functions, allowing you to relax your muscles, and enjoy a light mood. This is because jasmine tea contains caffeine. The presence of the L-amino acid, theanine stimulates the release of GABA, which is neurotransmitter that puts you in a relaxed mood. Caffeine also enhances your brain function through the release of dopamine and serotonin.
Aside the presence of caffeine and L-theanine, taro roots are fortified with antioxidants that protect your brain tissues from the harmful effects of oxidative damages. Through this means, the boba tea is effective at protecting and improving your brain function. It also allows you to maintain focus and improve memory and learning.
Taro milk tea prevents cancer cell growth
The taro roots are well known for its strong anticancer properties. This may explain why the taro boba tea is gaining popularity among the western people. A study has shown that the root of taro contains strong anticancer components which are able to inhibit human breast cancer cell lines.
In the study, Crude taro extract displayed antimetastatic effects following intraperitoneal administration, before and after the establishment of cancer, exerting therapeutic and protective effects against heart and lung colonization by breast cancer lineages in an In vitro study.
In another study, Taro root extract was shown to inhibits PGE2 synthesis and downregulates COX (1 and 2) mRNA expression. It is well established that Cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2) and its product PGE2 are associated with aggressive breast cancer.
It may interest you to know that some of the numerous anticancer components of taro roots are proteins. The two well known of these proteins are Tarin, and lectin. Another anticancer components of taro roots is quercetin. Various compounds of quercetin have been shown by several studies to possess strong antitumor properties. This makes taro boba tea a good regimen for treating cancer.
The anticancer properties of taro milk tea is also supported by the jasmine or ceylon tea components of the creamy milk tea. Another herbal remedy with strong anticancer properties is the Soursop bitters.
May improve your eyes health
Taro roots is also fortified with vitamin A, beta-carotene, and cryptoxanthin. These natural components are important in the functioning of your eyes. Vitamin A is well known for preventing night blindness and for improving vision. So also is beta-carotene and cryptoxanthin.
The various antioxidant components of taro root, such as vitamin C prevent the attack of free radicals on the retinoid and macular muscles. The degeneration of the macular and retina muscles lead to cataract and other eye diseases. This means that the more taro tea you take, the greater the chances of maintaining clear vision even at old age.
Possess antidiabetic properties
In the Southern part of Nigeria, taro paste and bitter leaf soup is usually recommended for diabetic patients, as an alternative to Garri or Semolina. This is because taro food does not contain high calorie. Also, the starch present in the food is resistant to diabetes onset. Taro leaves is also shown to possess antidiabetic effects through their inhibition of alpha-amylase and alpha-glucosidase activities.
Read also:11 medicinal facts about Turkey berry
Supports food digestion
Taro milk tea contains high dietary fiber which promotes good digestion of food. Dietary fiber is also involved in the maintenance of your heart health. It prevents constipation and supports smooth movement of the large intestinal mucosal muscles.
May boost your immunity
There are high antioxidant components of taro root tea. The jasmine or ceylon tea also possess several antioxidant that when combined with those of the taro tea, promotes strong immunity by protecting you from the harmful effects of free radicals. The zinc present in the root is an immunoregulatory compound.
Taro milk tea boosts blood circulation
The presence of iron and copper in taro root helps in blood circulation. Copper helps your body to absorb iron from the intestinal wall. It is also involved in the making of red blood cells. Both copper and iron prevents anemia by making sure every part of your body receives adequate oxygenated blood. This includes your brain cells. Arnica tea is another herbal tea that also boost blood circulation.
May support cardiovascular health
Cardiovascular health is on the increase and should be given urgent attention. Part of the measure to mitigate the risk factors of heart diseases is to eat foods and herbal medicines, which are rich in antioxidants and can lower bad cholesterol levels. One of these foods is taro root.
Taro milk tea is packed with lots of antioxidants and polyphonic compounds which support your heart health. They reduce the risk of cardiovascular diseases and promote normal blood pressure.
Improves skin health
Taro roots are packed with vitamins C and E. These vitamins and other antioxidants are great defense against the harmful effects of free radicals.
Vitamins A and E work to fight U V effects on your skin, remove blemishes and supports overall skin health, including quickening the healing of wounds.
May prevent early aging
The numerous antioxidants present in taro roots prevent the harmful effect of free radicals and U V radiations on the skin. Root roots prevents skin wrinkles and maintain your skin youthfulness.
May support pregnancy
Due to the high content of folate, vitamin E and vitamin B complex, taro milk tea will really be of great benefits to a pregnant woman.
Folate is well known for supporting the development of neural tubes in fetus. Folate also prevents birth defects associated with the brain and spinal chord.
Iron is and copper supports the production of red blood cells. This way, they prevent pregnancy induced anemia and also support circulation of blood in the fetus.
Vitamin C and E prevents free radicals from attacking and destroying the DNA and cellular components.
So you see, you should eat more of taro roots, and even make taro milk tea a regular beverage.
Side effects of taro roots
Taro roots can cause skin irritation if you’re allergic to it. In fact, it generally causes skin irritation. So when handling the fresh roots, wear a hand glove.
Taro root can also cause irritation of the mouth if not properly cooked.
Aside the skkn irritation, taro roots and milk tea have no side effects. You can eat taro roots by boiling and cooking with vegetables. You can cook it as porridge, or used it in makijng the popular Akwaibom cuisine, ikpang nkukwo.
Kundu N., Campbell P., Hampton B., Lin C.-Y., Ma X., Ambulos N., Zhao X.F., Goloubeva O., Holt D., Fulton A.M. Antimetastatic activity isolated from Colocasia esculenta (taro) Anti-Cancer Drugs. 2012;23:200.
Taketo MM. Cyclooxygenase-2 inhibitors in tumorigenasis (part I) J Natl Cancer Inst. 1998;90:1529–1536.
Ristimaki A, Sivula A, Lundin M, Salminen T, Haglund C, Joensuu H, et al. Prognostic significance of elevated cyclooxygenase-2 expression in breast cancer. Cancer Res. 2002;62:632–635. [PubMed]