Gluten-Free Option: The Tapioca Starch Flour

Tapioca is derived from the Cassava root. A root vegetable.

Cassava_(2)

If you are unfamiliar with this special starch or flour you better get on the information train.

One of the biggest benefits for my readers is that it is a Gluten-Free option that many are looking for to substitute for it’s glutenous counterparts. Whether you are looking for a substitute due to medical reasons or are looking for an option that promotes anti-inflammatory and digestive properties you can try this flour out for yourself (Siete).

Used for baking, and a thickener in recipes it is a great option. Unless you are familiar with the gluten free lifestyle you might not realize what a true gem this is.

According to Nyerhovwo John Tonukari  the Editor of African Journal of Biotechnology  Tapioca is an option that is used just like corn, rice, or wheat, that it can also provide a large portion of daily calories (2004).

There are a few items that are already on the mass market that are made with Tapioca Flour: Tapioca Pudding and Bubble Tea among other things.

I actually have a woman who comes in regularly and buys me out of my Yucca Root (Cassava). She makes a Yucca Cake, uses them in place of potatoes in stews and soups. I’ve also been told about Empenadas using the Yucca as a filling. So Besides the actual flour incorporating Yucca as a vegetable may be something to consider.

Now to my point…

I noticed how often my recipe for Tapioca Brownies was viewed and by far my most looked at recipe.  In the coming weeks I will be showcasing a few recipes that use Tapioca Flour.

I will be trying several recipes out

  • The Brazilian Cheese Roll called  Pao de Queijo (these I have actually tried, which were made by a native of Brazilian who had a gluten-free baking business) I will attempt to make them myself.
  • Crespelles (Italian Crepes) with a ricotta and spinach filling
  • Chocolate Brownie Cookies

I am looking to amp up this blog with a myriad of options.

Here is the link to my most popular recipe which has inspired me to post some more recipes using Tapioca Flour: Those Tapioca Flour Brownies (Very Simple)

Another more informative Post of mine about why gluten is important in the structure of certain things like breads: Tapioca Flour: Gluten-free (Breaking the great Food Code)

If you are looking to purchase Tapioca Flour/Starch I would recommend any Asian Grocery in order not to spend your whole budget on items that you may really need to eat the lifestyle you prefer or require.

 

Resources:

Electron. J. Biotechnol. v.7 n.1 Valparaíso abr. 2004
http://dx.doi.org/10.4067/S0717-34582004000100003

“Cassava & Tapioca.” Siete Family Foods, sietefoods.com/pages/cassava.

Advertisements

Those Tapioca Flour Brownies (Very Simple)

Brownies

Basic Recipe:
4 ounces of chocolate (I used semi-sweet)
8 tablespoons butter
1 cup sugar
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 teaspoon salt (optional)
1/2 cup tapioca flour
MELT Chocolate and Butter together, over stove or in Microwave
COMBINE Sugar and eggs in bowl, Mix til silky, adding vanilla
MIX Chocolate into sugar mixture
Add Flour and mix well

Brownie 2

Pan ready
Heart ready

Preheat oven to 400 degrees Farenheit

Pour into Prepared Pan, put into preheated oven. Bake for 25 minutes, until toothpick inserted comes out clean

brownies out of the oven

I didnt bite it I swear

Tapioca Flour: Gluten-free (Breaking the great Food Code)

Bobs Red Mill Brand

Bobs Red Mill Brand

I am going to attempt to work with Tapioca flour, Making brownies as soon as my Butter thaws. A lot of people I know personally are going Gluten-free. Although, some have to do it because they have allergies, others choose to do so because They put Gluten together with weight loss, which has not been proven. I just like to try new things, and maybe I’ll enjoy the benefits of the occasional gluten-free item. I don’t have applesauce on hand or I would be replacing the butter with applesauce. If you know anything about going somewhat healthier with baking, you can make a 1:1 replacement with butter for applesauce. Other fruit purees are also possible, although you may have to make sure on the ratio.

Okay, I should explain what Gluten is to those who don’t bake: gluten is what makes bread, or I should say is bread. It’s the building blocks of what makes up the structure, strength and texture (Ever Tried a Gluten-Free Bread and noticed how much it lacks in texture and taste, I remember trying a gluten-free sandwich bread, it was akin to rubber) Although nowadays companies are trying their best to better their products for the Gluten-Free Lifestyle.
Another word for Gluten Elasticity. Pizza Dough, for instance, has a lot of Elasticity. If you have ever watched someone toss it.
Although I say we are going gluten-free by using a specific product such as Tapioca flour, we should still be able to create an item that will not be unstructured and untasty. Tapioca Flour and other Gluten-free flours are a wonderful substitute for people who live the gluten-free lifestyle but still want to be normal and enjoy things like cookies, cake and brownies.

Scientific Definition:1.The mixture of proteins, including gliadins and glutelins, found in wheat grains, which are not soluble in water and which give wheat dough its elastic texture.

Gluten develops from the Kneading process, which causes it to be pulled and stretched. Which us as consumers of this bread, taste the chewy, tender Nom Noms.

I love Gluten. But Occasionally it’s nice to add something in your diet that defies the code of Great Food.

Tapioca Flour What is it? (Other Name: Tapioca Starch) Comes from the South American cassava Plant. It looks just as ugly as a Ginger root. They extract the starch by repeated washing and pulping, and separation of the liquid. It has properties to help bind gluten-free ingredients. Remember that when you take gluten out of things your taking the basic structure of an entire item and pulling it out, so sometimes items won’t bind together properly leaving you with an awkward product. Tapioca flour also helps In texture and effects crispness of items. It also has its uses as a natural thickener in gravy’s, soups, and sauces. You can you use it combined with other gluten-free flours for the best quality of the product.

I am making a simple brownie Recipe, replacing All Purpose Flour with Tapioca flour 1:1 Ratio. We will hopefully see the difference and like it. (I am saying we, because my 2-year-old is home, and she will definitely want to eat Brownies)