November 22, 2016 10:09 am Leave your thoughts
You can now get cassava flour by Tiana from us– you can see it here. Within hours of it going up online we had our first orders: it’s clear that customers had been searching for just this product. Indeed, it’s being talked of as the ‘holy grail’ of gluten-free flours, the end of the line for those searching for the perfect alternative to wheat flour! We thought we’d find out more.
Cassava is a woody shrub with an edible, starchy root. It’s a major source of carbohydrate in tropical regions of the world – up there with rice and maize. It’s great at growing in poor-quality soil and can tolerate drought well. From personal experience, I can vouch for it going beautifully with green leaves and curry, especially on board the night boat to the Fijian island of Taveuni…
Is it tapioca?
We don’t eat much cassava in the West, but we know it pretty well in a slightly different form: tapioca. Tapioca is a starch extracted from the cassava root through a process of washing, pulping and squeezing, to give a liquid. When the water evaporates from the liquid, the tapioca starch remains. It’s commonly known as ‘tapioca flour’ and is great for thickening sauces, such as gravy and custard. If you’re on a gluten-free diet, you probably know all about it, as it’s often used, in combination with other flours, to give a chewy texture to gluten-free baking.
Attention, school dinner ladies
We also sell tapioca pearls. The pearls are produced by passing the moist tapioca starch through a sieve, under pressure. Tapioca pearls are a great ingredient in various sweet puddings and drinks.
Introducing… cassava flour!
So, what about cassava flour? Well, this is made from the whole root of the cassava plant – not just the starchy bits. It’s peeled, dried and ground to give a flour. The flour is naturally gluten-free and, as it isn’t derived from either a nut or a grain, it’s suitable for nut-free and paleo diets as well. The flour is high in carbohydrate, but is a low GI food, and is rich in dietary fibre.
Tiana describe it as an all-purpose flour for baking and suggest that it can be used for making bread, cakes, pies, muffins and cookies.
Cassava flour is white in colour, mild and neutral in flavour, and soft and powdery to the touch. It’s being touted as the perfect alternative to wheat flour – suitable for use entirely on its own, without the need to blend it with other flours.
Furthermore, Tiana state that it can be substituted for wheat flour in exactly the same quantities. Reviewers online quibble to some degree with this, noting that it seems to absorb a lot more liquid than wheat flour, so may require you to make some alteration to your recipes.
Minor concerns aside, this looks like being a very valuable addition to the repertoire of the gluten-free cook. Why not try some out yourself and let us know how you get on?
Tags: cassava flour, gluten free flour, paleo, pearled tapioca, tapioca flour, tapioca seed pearl, tapioca starch, tiana
This post was written by Yzanne