For anyone eating gluten or grain-free, cassava flour is a must-have kitchen staple. It is widely eaten in many parts of the world, but only just becoming more popular here in the U.S. Cassava flour is naturally gluten-free, grain-free, and nut-free, which makes it an excellent alternative for those who have food allergies or sensitivities.
Cassava is made from the tuberous root of the yuca plant and is also known as tapioca or manioc. And while you may think cassava flour and tapioca flour are one in the same, they are not. Cassava flour and tapioca are processed differently and that makes all the difference in cooking and baking. Additionally, tapioca is made from just part of the yuca root, while cassava is considered a whole food.
But not all cassava flours are created equal. After experimenting with several different brands, Otto’s Naturals Cassava Flour is the clear winner--it’s what I keep on hand in my pantry at all times. While I don’t want to knock other brands, I must say that Otto’s provides a consistency of quality not necessarily found with other brands. With Otto’s, it is possible to do a 1:1 substitution with wheat flour. And you would be surprised, but even those who regularly eat gluten-filled treats think treats made with cassava flour are tasty and decadent--something that can’t be said of some alternative flours.
Even though you can substitute cassava flour for wheat flour, it is ideal to start with a recipe created just for cassava flour--unless of course you like experimenting. Here are several great ways to use cassava flour.
3 Easy Uses for Cassava Flour
1. Grain-Free Tortillas - If you buy a bag of Otto’s you will find this recipe right on the back, but you can also find it here. It’s simple to make and produces the best ever alternative to flour tortilla. These tortillas will satisfy everyone at the table, and more importantly, they don’t disintegrate like other alternative flour tortillas will. We simply lovethis recipe in our home--and you will too.
2. Cassava Flour Brownies - Yes, it is possible to eat brownies while following a grain-free diet. I regularly make carob brownies (my husband also does not eat chocolate) as a treat. You don’t have to use carob, though, instead go for that deep chocolate flavor with this easy recipe that also calls for cocoa nibs.
From the Organic Authority Files
3. Cassava Flour Pancakes - Most people who go grain free think they will never eat pancakes again--or at least pancakes that aren’t like hockey pucks. With cassava flour, fluffy pancakes are truly possible! Try this recipe for a delightful grain-free family brunch this weekend. You can always use whatever milk floats your boat.
But don’t take my word for it, try some cassava flour today and see what you’ve been missing. Got a favorite use for cassava flour? Let us know on our Facebook page!
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Image: Cassava Flour via Shutterstock