Cassava flour is an excellent replacement for traditional flour in wheat recipes. Cassava flour is derived from the root vegetable cassava, which is rich in carbohydrates and necessary nutrients such as vitamins and minerals. However, before we get to the cassava flour recipe, let’s discuss what cassava flour is.
What Is Cassava Flour?
In short, cassava flour is produced by grating and dehydrating the fibers of the cassava root. The dehydrated fibers are then ground into a fine powder that resembles traditional wheat flour.
Cassava flour’s flavor tends to be relatively neutral with subtle nutty, earthy flavor tones and it is naturally gluten-free. In addition to this, cassava flour is allergen-friendly, so it is perfect for those who cannot consume gluten due to medical conditions such as celiac disease. You can use cassava flour for all your gluten-free, grain-free baking or savory recipes.
How to Use Cassava Flour
As mentioned above, cassava flour can be used in a 1:1 ratio for regular all-purpose flour. You can use cassava flour to replace wheat flour when making bread, cookies, muffins, brownies, and cakes. You can also use cassava flour to make pasta dough, to thicken sauces, gravies, and pie fillings.
Cassava flour is an excellent ingredient to make flatbreads and tortillas. Additionally, if you love trying new exotic dishes, farofa indigenous to Brazil that uses toasted cassava flour to make a dish that resembles couscous. It can be used in regular gluten recipes, and you won’t be able to tell it was made with gluten-free flour.
What’s The Difference Between Cassava Flour And Tapioca Flour?
Even though cassava flour and tapioca flour are made from cassava root, there are differences between the two flours. For example, cassava flour is made from the entire root, while tapioca starch is extracted from the starchy portions of the root.
Cassava flour also has more dietary fiber than tapioca flour. This means the dietary fiber in cassava flour helps bring together gluten-free recipes and enhances the texture of baked goods. In addition to this, cassava flour also has fewer calories than one serving of tapioca starch.
Both cassava flour and tapioca starch react similarly in recipes. Nevertheless, because cassava flour has higher fiber levels, it is more efficient when used as a thickener. Moreover, cassava flour’s flavor is more pronounced as it has an earthy, nutty flavor. In contrast, tapioca flavor is neutral.
Do I Have To Boil Cassava
Unlike most root vegetables, cassava cannot be eaten in its raw state. It has to be cooked because cassavas peel contains a toxic substance called cyanide. Cassava is usually boiled before it is consumed.
However, since I do not have a dehydrator and am using the oven as a heat source to dry out the cassava, I decided not to boil the cassava.
If you are unsure about this method, you can peel your cassava, cut it into smaller sections and boil it for 15-20 minutes until it is fork-tender. Do not overcook the cassava; it will turn into a dough or mashed potato-like substance.
Drain the cassava, then place it into an ice bath and allow it to sit the ice bath for 5 minutes. Drain the cassava and grate it onto a parchment-lined cookie sheet in an even layer and follow steps 5-9 located in the recipe below.
Health Benefits Of Cassava Flour
Most people tend to shy away from cassava flour because it is rich in carbohydrates. One cup of cassava flour has approximately 4.5 grams of sugar, 100 grams of carbohydrates, and 5 grams of fiber.
Nevertheless, cassava flour still contains some beneficial properties. Cassava flour is a rich source of vitamin C.
In fact, one cup of cassava flour contains nearly all of the recommended daily value of vitamin C. Vitamin C plays an integral part in maintaining vascular function. For example, vitamin C plays a role in moderating the endothelial cell barrier and controlling NADPH oxidases (NOXs) activity levels required for inflammatory gene response.
Furthermore, Vitamin C can restore vitamin E (α-tocopherol) from its oxidized state (α-tocopheroxyl radical). This allows vitamin C to repress lipid peroxidation discursively.
Cassava is also known to contain alkaloids, cyanogenic, and flavonoid glycosides. Flavonoids possess antioxidant and hypolipidemic properties, and glycosides are beneficial for heart disease.
Cassava flour may also decrease cholesterol levels in persons diagnosed with diabetes who are at an increased risk of developing metabolic syndrome.