Have you ever seen or tried using cassava flour? Do you know what it is? If yes, then good for you. If not, it’s fine; this article you are reading is what exactly you need. Here, you will learn more about the different health benefits of cassava flour, as well as other necessary information. Don’t worry, you will learn a lot – that’s for sure. So sit back, relax and enjoy the read.
What is Cassava Flour?
The cassava plant is a staple crop for millions of people in South America, Africa and Asia. The plant is pretty strong and can tolerate stressful environments, making it a sustainable and effective security crop to prevent famine in countries with food scarcities.
Cassava produces the cassava root, a starchy, carbohydrate-rich tuber similar to yams, potatoes, plantains and taro. Since it is a tuberous root crops, cassava doesn’t contain any nuts, gluten or grain. This makes it suitable for paleo, vegan and vegetarian diets.
Cassava flour is a kind of gluten-free substitute for wheat flour. It is made by drying and grating the fiber-rich cassava root, or yucca. Some people are calling it the next generation of grain-free baking, particularly loving it for its easy-to-use texture and mild taste.
You may be familiar with one of the plant’s byproducts: tapioca. Usually found in pearl form, it is made from extracted cassava starch. In fact, the terms tapioca flour and cassava flour are often used interchangeably. While tapioca is a starch derived from the cassava root, cassava flour is the whole root itself. Because of this, there is more dietary fiber in cassava flour.
Since cassava is a starchy tuber, you can expect it to have a lot of carbs. In fact, its carb content is higher than you’d imagine. Cassava contains twice the carbs of sweet potatoes, making it a valuable food source for many people.
Nutritional Profile of Cassava Flour
Almost all parts of the cassava plant are beneficial in their own way. One quarter cup of cassava flour has the following essential nutrients:
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Even though it’s not that high in fiber, healthy fats or protein, cassava is low in calories. This makes it a perfect addition or substitute in your favourite recipes, eliminating the need for bleached or processed flour. Cassava flour is a good source of vitamin C, even after it is processed. In fact, cassava flour is a better source of vitamin C than yams, wheat brown rice, plantains, corn and potatoes.
Health Benefits of Cassava Flour
Here are some of the most staggering perks of cassava flour:
- Very sustainable, inexpensive and easy-to-grow. The cassava plant can withstand even the least optimal growing conditions, making it extremely sustainable. It can assimilate carbon at very high rates under high levels of humidity, survive in dry or humid environments and withstand solar radiation and high temperatures.
- Low in sugar, fat and calories. There are about 120 calories per quarter cup of cassava flour. This makes it lower in calories than any other gluten-free flours, like coconut and almond flour. It is good for those who have diabetes, high cholesterol and high blood pressure.
- Non-allergenic. If you are sensitive or allergic to coconuts or nuts, cassava can be a great substitute for baking.
- A good substitute for flour. The cassava flour is easy to use as a substitute for grain-based flours, as it is free from gluten and grain. One of the best things about it is that it has a neutral taste.
Using Cassava Flour as a Flour Substitute
Cassava flour has a fine texture, low-fat content and neutral taste in comparison to coconut and almond flour. It’s perfect for those with nut or gluten allergies. Many people describe it as tasting like a smoother, more buttery potato. Try it as a flour substitute for your next project and see what wonders it can do for you!