Cassava, a tuber crop, is very similar to sweet potatoes. Fermented cassava flour, a traditional product, is made from moist starch extracted from the cassava root. It is used in many recipes as a substitute for wheat flour.
This article covers everything you need to know about cassava flour.
Cassava Flour Preparation
Cassava flour is made by grating the cassava and drying it. Then, you grind it into a fine powder. Cassava flour making involves three basic steps:
- The first step includes peeling the cassava tubers and cutting them into small pieces.
- Then these pieces are dried in the sun.
- Finally, it is grounded until it becomes a fine powder.
Cassava Flour Uses
Cassava flour, a gluten-free flour, is made from tuber cassava. It can be used in many dishes because of its neutral flavor, white color, and smooth texture.
Cassava flour is a sweet, nutty-flavored flour with a mild taste and fine texture. Cassava flour can be used in many different ways in the food industry. It is used in many recipes as a substitute for wheat flour since it is gluten-free. It is used in baked goods, tortillas, pancakes, and gluten-free pasta and pizzas. Manufacturers sometimes use it as a thickener in ice cream, sauces, and dressings.
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Cassava flour’s low moisture content makes it an excellent choice for long-term storage, provided it is kept dry. It is predominantly white, but you might find some with a yellow or light red hue depending on the cassava variety. Cassava flour absorbs more water or liquid than wheat flour. So you might need to use less cassava flour in a recipe.
Here are some ways you can use cassava flour:
- You can replace wheat flour with a variety of recipes, such as bread, muffins, cookies, cakes, and brownies.
- To make pasta dough.
- To thicken a sauce or gravy or pie filling.
- Farofa, a Brazilian dish, uses toasted cassava flour. It is very similar to couscous.
- Cassava flour can be used to make flatbreads or tortillas that you could grill or toast.
Cassava Flour Vs. Tapioca Flour
Although both of these flours are made from the same plant, the process of getting cassava flour differs from tapioca flour. Cassava flour is of a different composition. Cassava flour, as already discussed, is made from the whole cassava root. Cassava roots are dried and ground to make a gluten-free and finely textured flour. This flour can be used in many products that would otherwise call for wheat flour.
Tapioca starch can be more processed because it is only made from starch taken from the cassava root. To make starchy water, the root is grated. Tapioca starch is formed from the water evaporated.
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Here are some key differences between them:
- Cassava flour includes the entire root, while tapioca flour only contains the starchy portion.
- Cassava flour is richer in dietary fiber than tapioca flour.
- Cassava flour is lower in calories than tapioca flour.
- Both flours can be used in the same recipes. Cassava flour is a more effective thickener because of its higher fiber content.
- They differ in taste.
Fascinating Facts About Cassava Flour
Here are five fascinating facts about cassava flour:
Fact 1# Cassava flour is safe to consume.
Cassava roots are a source of cyanide compounds and can be toxic. Cassava is a staple food in traditional cultures that rely on it for sustenance. They have used centuries-old methods of cooking, fermenting, and soaking. These processes eliminate toxic compounds and protect one from becoming sick. The tapioca and cassava flours available in the market do not contain harmful levels of cyanide.
Fact 2# Cassava flour is rich in carbohydrates.
Cassava is a starchy tuber so rich in carbohydrates. It has twice the amount of calories and carbohydrates per 100g as sweet potato. It could also mean an insulin rise for you. It would be wise to keep track of your cassava intake, even if you don’t depend on it for subsistence. This is especially true if you follow a Paleo-based, low-carbohydrate, or low-sugar diet.
Fact 3# Cassava flour is gluten-free.
Cassava root, popularly known as manioc or yuca, is a starchy, high carbohydrate tuber that produces the cassava plant. It’s similar to yams, taro, and plantains but much more nutritious. Millions of people in Asia, South America, and Africa rely on the cassava plant as a staple crop. Cassava flour is not only gluten-free but also nut-free.
Fact 4# Cassava flour is different from tapioca flour.
Although tapioca flour and cassava flour are sometimes used interchangeably, they are two different things. Tapioca is a starch obtained from the cassava root by washing and pulping. Tapioca flour is left after the water evaporates from the starchy liquid.
Cassava flour can also be made from the whole root. It is simply ground, peeled, and dried. It has plenty of dietary fibers compared to tapioca flour, which makes it best suited to make cassava tortillas.
Fact 5# Cassava flour is similar to wheat flour.
Cassava flour is a popular gluten-free flour. It is great for nut-free baking. Unlike other gluten-free flours like almond flour or coconut flour, it has a mild, neutral flavor. Cassava flour is not complicated or gritty but soft and powdery.