Cassava Flour Information is my way of trying to help answer your questions about it, how to use it and why I use it.
Due to health reasons, I have been on a whirlwind journey to find a healthier me. I have several autoimmune illnesses some of them are Hashimoto’s, fibromyalgia, and chronic urticaria (hives). Of course, I have been to see a slew of doctors and am on a horde of medication. Which led me to try a number of different things.
A friend of mine suggested that we attend a free seminar on Functional medicine. We attended the seminar together and the information rang true to me. I became a patient of this doctor and we immediately went about revamping my diet. Hence, I am now grain-free, refined sugar-free, limiting my dairy, and using only olive oil, butter, coconut oil, avocado oil, grapeseed oil, or nut oils. Not to mention that I no longer consume preservatives, additives, or food coloring. Also, if there is an ingredient that I can’t pronounce or don’t know what it is I don’t consume it ever.
When I first went Grain-Free I mistakenly made an assumption that bland and tasteless food was my future. If I intended to stay grain-free I needed to figure out how to create yummy, tasty, and delicious whole-food recipes. In the hope of finding tasty and delicious recipes, I took to the internet to research grain-free. Sadly, when I first researched online I saw very few recipes that looked like I wanted to try. After suffering through several months of bland food I decided that if I was going to stay grain-free then I needed to create my own recipes.
I have been writing recipes for 30 years ever since I got married. Writing recipes was and still is my hobby. This meant I needed to reprogram as well as re-educate my brain in a new way of thinking. I began to research alternative flours and how they were being used. To tell the truth, many of the ingredients I had never heard of before nor did I know how to use them. The next step was, therefore, was to do experimentation.
Here is a list of the flours I have experimented with so far: Cassava Flour, Tapioca Flour, Arrowroot Flour, Tiger-nut Flour, Green Banana Flour, Sorghum Flour, Timtana Flour, Potato Flour, Chestnut Flour, Konjac Flour, various nut flour (almond, pecan, etc.) and Coconut Flour. Indeed the flour that produces the same texture and flavor as All-Purpose Flour (White Flour) is Cassava flour. In fact, my family and friends cannot tell the difference in most of my recipes. It is for this reason that I prefer to use Cassava Flour. There are still flours I hope to experiment with such as Sweet Potato Flour and a variety of Lentil flour.
I am sure there are flours out there that I have not heard of yet. Furthermore, I will continue to do research will continue to experiment with any new grain-free flours I become aware of.
Cassava Flour Information:
Cassava is my all-time favorite alternative grain-free flour. It is heavier than white flour. Cassava is also darker in color and has, in my opinion, almost no flavor. Below is a picture of the texture and color of cassava flour.
What is Cassava Flour?
Cassava Flour is from the Yucca plant which is a root vegetable similar to turnips. Making it a good alternative for those who are on alternative diets such as vegans, nut-free, grain-free, gluten-free, or those with food allergies. Other names for Cassava are manioc, yucca, Brazilian Arrowroot, and mandioca to name a few. Indeed, I have found yucca root (used to make cassava flour) at my local health food store. It can be peeled, boiled, and eaten like mashed potatoes. It has a waxy peel.
Where does Cassava Come from?
Cassava is a food staple in South America, Africa, and Asia. Believe it or not but it ranks as the 6th worldwide food crop. Apparently, Cassava made its way to Africa and Asia through South America. According to research done by the University of Colorado at Boulder found that cassava was used by the ancient Mayan culture. (1)
Are Cassava and Tapioca the same flour by a different name?
The answer to that question is no. They are in fact very different. As a matter of fact, Tapioca is the starch that is extracted from Cassava flour. Thereby, making Tapioca Flour a great substitute for Arrowroot or Corn Starch. Tapioca flour is my go-to flour when making gravies.
What are the Characteristics of Cassava Flour?
Cassava flour absorbs way more liquid than any other flour I have ever worked with. More than coconut flour or rye flour. To tell the truth, when I write a recipe I rely on how the batter or dough looks as well as how it feels its a textural thing. Bakers have relied on feel and sight for many years to make bread.
Can Cassava Replace All-Purpose Flour?
It has been my experience that to substitute all-purpose flour with cassava flour you need to reduce the amount of flour called for in a recipe by about 1/3 and increase your liquids. Of course, this is not an exact science. Since it is my favorite grain-free flour I have lots of recipes for it on my blog.
What are the Nutritional Facts about Cassava Flour?
Cassava flour is high in carbohydrates (free from refined carbohydrates), vitamin C, low in calories fat, and sugar, high in potassium and magnesium. (2) Thereby making it easier to digest. (3) Cassava is low in GI making it a low glycemic index food. (4)
Where to buy Cassava Flour?
Incredibly, I have been able to find cassava flour locally at most grocery stores. However, if you have a hard time finding it or would just rather order online. Here is a link to Amazon Cassava Flour. or Here is a link to Thrive Market Cassava Flour.
Why do I use Cassava Flour?
Coconut flour and almond flour have grainy textures. Cassava flour has no grainy texture as it is finely ground, and neutral in color and flavor. Cassava flour is considered to be Paleo, naturally vegan, as well as nut-free, grain-free, and gluten-free. Thus making cassava flour the perfect substitute for all-purpose or white flour. Flavor, texture, and visualization of the end product is the reason I prefer baking with Cassava.
As with everything I highly suggest you do your own research and make your own opinions regarding any addition to your pantry. I have noticed that I tend to do better when I limit my carbs. As with everything in moderation. However, every single person is different and different forms of eating are unique to every individual person. Do what works for you!
Be sure to read the ingredients to any flour making sure no additives have been added. Choose only organic flours made from natural sources. All gluten-free flours are not necessarily grain-free. Corn and rice are grains and, therefore, can not be used in grain-free recipes. I suggest purchasing a small amount and experimenting with it in your recipes and grain-free recipes.
Some of my favorite Cassava Flour recipes are