With the increase in the popularity of gluten-free cooking in recent years, tapioca flour has become a staple for many people, such as cassava roots, from which tapioca is derived, are naturally very rich in Carbohydrates, tapioca starch can be extracted and converted into gluten-free flour or “pearls.” They are used as a thickening agent in various types of foods or recipes – everything from pizza dough to pie filling, making tapioca flour benefits really impressive. Tapioca has a mild and slightly sweet taste and is one of the purest forms of starch there is. In addition to carbohydrates / starch, it is very low in other macronutrients or micronutrients (such as proteins, fats and most vitamins and minerals); However, it is totally gluten-free ,low-calorie and sugar-free, so it is still useful in general in healthy and gluten-free cooking, as is cassava flour.
Nutrition Facts and Benefits of Tapioca Flour:
Tapioca is a type of starch extract that is derived from the starchy vegetable called cassava root (Manihot esculenta). Today, cassava, also sometimes called cassava root, is grown mainly in parts of Africa, Asia and South America, and the entire cassava plant is considered an important basic crop that provides millions of people with an important part of their calories daily. So what does the nutritional composition of tapioca flour look like? A quarter cup serving of tapioca flour has approximately:
- 100 calories
- 26 grams of carbohydrates
- almost zero sugar, fat and protein
Tapioca is made up of almost all carbohydrates and is very low in all types of fats, sugar, fiber, protein, sodium and essential vitamins or minerals. You may be wondering, so why use it? While tapioca flour, pearls or other products will not provide you with many essential nutrients, the use of tapioca makes it possible to recreate recipes such as mouses, puddings, yogurts, jello, sauces, earthenware recipes and more without the use of all common ingredients or other highly processed ingredients (such as high fructose corn syrup ). In some parts of the world, tapioca flour is even used to prepare flat bread, crusts, cakes, cookies, french fries, tortillas and a milky white liquid similar to coconut or milk. If you are allergic to nuts, coconut and other gluten-free grains, and follow a diet low in FODMAP or a gluten-free diet, then you will discover that tapioca is really useful.
Some of the benefits of tapioca flour or other forms when cooking or baking include:
1. It is Gluten Free, Grain Free and Nut Free:
There is a reason why people who follow the paleo diet, the FODMAP diet or the autoimmune protocol diet love the use and benefits of tapioca flour: it is totally free of grains, nuts, dairy, vegan, seedless, gluten free and practically sugar free! Products made with cassava are easy to digest and are often recommended for people with digestive problems, such as celiac disease, gluten intolerance, allergies to seeds or nuts, diverticulitis, IBS or IBD. Tapioca flour is an alternative to traditional wheat flour, multipurpose flour or even nut-based flours, such as almond flour, has a variety of uses in healthy cooking, without adding gluten or other unwanted ingredients; Tapioca can usually be consumed by people with sensitive digestive systems or those who have difficulty eating other flours, it is even safe for those who follow a moderate form of the autoimmune protocol diet, which limits many sources of carbohydrates (such as some fruits and most cereals and dairy products).
2. Low in Calories, Sugar and Fat:
The benefits of tapioca flour have more carbohydrates and water proportionally than many other gluten-free flours, such as buckwheat, teff, rice, corn, chickpea, almond and coconut flour. Because it has very little protein, sugar or fat, it is low in calories and can be used in many healthy recipes if you look at your weight.
“Using tapioca in recipes can be an excellent way to reduce the use of butter, oil, cream or dairy”.
It is suitable for people with a low-calorie diet, people with diabetes, symptoms of high blood pressure, high cholesterol, allergies and digestive problems.
3. Tasteless and Odorless:
Tapioca is practically undetectable in recipes, so it is used in both sweet and savory dishes; It has positive effects on the texture and “mouthfeel” of recipes, for example, making baked goods more spongy, elastic, promoting browning and helping the scabs to cook, but other than that, no It will disturb the taste of other ingredients a lot. If you find the taste of other gluten-free or sprouted wheat flour unpleasant, then the benefits of tapioca flour are likely to be a pleasant change.
4. Link and Thick Recipes:
Compared to many other flours, the benefits of tapioca flour absorb and retain a higher water content, which means that it does a great job of binding, thickening and wetting recipes. While gluten-free cooking can sometimes be hard without the sticky and softened quality of gluten protein (found in wheat, rye and barley flours), adding tapioca flour can prevent recipes from falling apart and falling apart. dry too much. It will not rise like yeast , which means that it is not always a success when used to make breads or cakes, but it tends to help keep recipes together better than almond, chickpea or coconut flour.
Tapioca flour vs. Cassava Flour:
- The benefits of cassava flour and the benefits of tapioca flour are similar and both come from the same plant; however, they are different because cassava flour is more a “complete food”; Cassava roots are brown with rough skin, while the interior is softer and more yellowish. The white color, tapioca is bleached starch extracted from cassava root, while cassava flour is obtained from the whole root.
- Cassava flour is still low in fiber, calories, fat and protein, but it has more vitamin C than tapioca flour; both products are suitable if you leave gluten and are unlikely to cause allergies; Both are commonly added to thickening recipes and have similar qualities.
- However, in general some people prefer to use cassava flour over tapioca flour (or starch) because it tends to be less processed. Extraction and processing are generally not necessary to make cassava flour, since the root is grown naturally, peeled, dried (traditionally outdoors in the sun) and then ground.
- Tapioca can sometimes undergo more manufacturing, including high temperature pressing and chemical extraction, although the exact way tapioca is made from cassava differs throughout the world. The less processed the tapioca flour, the better, the starch should ideally be extracted from the cassava root by a repeated process of washing and pulping the mixture, which separates the liquid from the root without requiring additives or other steps.
- It is possible that cassava flour is easier to digest for people with sensitive digestive systems because it is less concentrated in pure starch, for most people, in general there is not a big difference between the two, and the uses are similar, so it could be of your preference.
Benefits of Tapioca Vs Arrurruz Flour:
- Arrowroot is another starchy food product that is a popular addition to gluten-free cooking and similar to tapioca and cassava flour in many ways, it is made from several different root plants, including cassava or cassava root, but also other varieties of tropical plants grown in Asia and Africa. It is high in starch, low in calories, low in protein and fat, and is free of all common allergens (gluten, nuts, seeds, dairy products and is vegan), most people use it to bind, thicken and moisten Recipes like tapioca.
- It absorbs a large amount of water and forms a smooth and gel-like consistency, similar to corn starch or tapioca pearls. It is commonly added to desserts such as puddings, cakes or custard, and is also used in tasty recipes such as spicy sauces, milks and broth.
- It is suitable for those who follow the paleo diet, a gluten-free diet and is considered easy to digest, even for people with dietary restrictions, digestive problems or who have difficulties with recurrent diarrhea.
How is Tapioca Manufactured?
In grocery stores you will find tapioca sold in various forms so that you can process it and have the opportunity to access the benefits of tapioca flour.
- Tapioca flour: it has the consistency of a good meal and is a common ingredient for gluten-free baking.
- Tapioca starch (usually another name for tapioca flour): a soluble powder, often used to thicken sauces and absorb liquid. If a recipe requires tapioca starch, you can use tapioca flour easily since both are almost always the same thing.
- Tapioca pearls: small white / opaque pearls that dissolve when heated in water. Pearls are also called silly in some cultures and are produced by passing wet tapioca starch through a high pressure sieve.
- Tapioca flakes: they come in thick or thin varieties and are used in the same way as starch / flour
All types of tapioca can be used quite interchangeably, however, tapioca flour or starch tend to be the best variety for baking. Cassava root is converted into tapioca flour (or tapioca starch) by peeling, grating and drying the starch root; removing all water and fiber; and forming a mixture of flour, fine, granulated flour. Of all the types of tapioca that are sold today, tapioca pearls are the most widely available and commonly sold. If you have ever made or eaten »tapioca pudding», you have probably consumed tapioca pearls; when used in the kitchen, tapioca absorbs a large amount of water and acquires a consistency similar to that of the gel; This is useful to mimic the effects of fats, dairy products, corn starch or some other common food additives.
How to Use the Benefits of Tapioca Flour in Recipes?
For best results when cooking or baking with tapioca flour, use it in combination with other gluten-free flours; Tapioca flour, flakes, sticks and pearls form a smooth, gel-like substance after absorbing water, so they must be combined with enough liquid to rehydrate; This flour absorbs liquid almost immediately, especially if the liquid is heated and slowly stirred in the flour, just a few drops of liquid may be enough to transform tapioca flour into a soft, doughy paste that could eventually be used to do things Like bread or cake. The benefits of tapioca flour are able to absorb water up to twice its volume, at which point it swells, it is very soft and thick, which makes it perfect for giving moisture to baked recipes or for thickening sauces. One of the best things about tapioca is that it is practically tasteless and odorless, and it doesn’t have a color that changes the appearance of recipes. (It is usually white when raw, and almost transparent or translucent once cooked.) It is also possible to find now tapioca pearls or sticks that have been deliberately colored, which are used to make things like jelly or »bubble tea».
Some Popular Ways to Use Tapioca Flour in Recipes Include:
- adding freshness to pizza or cake crusts
- adding chewiness to baked goods like cookies
- lending moisture to dense and gluten-free breads
- make pancakes or flatbread (as they traditionally do in Brazil)
- forming filling for gluten-free berry pies
- Thicken sauces, soups or stews, such as those made in a clay pot (instant tapioca and tapioca starch are the best options for thickening)
- helping to form cake filling (usually instant tapioca or starch work better than pearls here)
- make pudding or flan
- replace cornstarch (use two tablespoons of tapioca flour for each tablespoon of cornstarch)
How Much Tapioca Flour is Recommended to Use?
- Typically, tapioca flour can be subverted in a 1: 1 ratio for wheat flour, for example, to replace tapioca flour (or starch) with wheat flour or multipurpose in recipes, start for using approximately 1 tablespoon-1.5 tablespoons of tapioca for each tablespoon of wheat flour in the original recipe.
- Depending on the producer, tapioca can be coarsely ground or finer and pure starch, this means that it will not always react in the same way in recipes, so try to read the package for clues and recommendations.
- Obviously, you need more tapioca to bake cookies like the ones you use to thicken a sauce. A small tapioca flour is usually very useful for thickening liquids.
- In gluten-free cooking, you are likely to get the best results if you do not use tapioca flour exclusively, but in combination with other flours. When overused in a recipe, tapioca flour can cause food to become viscous, so sometimes less is more. Although it will not add much flavor, smell or color to recipes, some people find it slippery in its unpleasant texture (especially in sauces or stews), so do a little experimentation to see how much you prefer.
Precautions on the Benefits of Tapioca Flour:
- Because tapioca is not very rich in bioavailable nutrients, it is probably best not to overdo it and also try to combine it with other complementary foods, nutrient dense. For example, instead of making sugary bubble tea with tapioca, you can use it to thicken homemade desserts such as pudding or yogurt made with raw milk, avocado or coconut cream.
- To increase the fiber content of recipes made with tapioca flour, try combining it with coconut or almond flour. And for a boost in antioxidants, vitamins, minerals and healthy fats, considering adding super foods like chia seeds, flax seeds, sesame seeds, berries or raw honey to your recipes.
- The Hong Kong Center for Food Security also warns that if processed incorrectly, the cassava plant may become toxic; This is very rare in the case of commercially packaged tapioca, but toxicity has been reported several times in the past.
- Tapioca naturally produces cyanide, which is poisonous to humans when it interacts with intestinal microbes in certain ways, most cyanide is removed during peeling, cooking and processing, but rarely makes its way into the food supply. Cyanide is actually found in more than 2,000 different plants, and when it causes cyanide poisoning, symptoms can include headaches, dizziness, rapid pulse, weakness and fainting; Although poisoning is unlikely to occur when buying tapioca flour, it is good to be aware of the risk when making your own flour.
Reflections on the Benefits of Tapioca Flour:
- Tapioca is made up of almost all carbohydrates and is very low in all types of fats, sugar, fiber, protein, sodium and essential vitamins or minerals; While it will not provide you with many essential nutrients, the use of tapioca flour benefits makes it possible to recreate recipes such as mouses, puddings, yogurts, jelly, sauces, clay pottery recipes and more without the use of regular general-purpose flour or other highly processed ingredients.
- Some of the benefits of tapioca flour include that it does not contain gluten, grains or nuts; low in calories, sugar and fat; tasteless and odorless; and unites and thick recipes.
- It comes in many forms: flour, starch, pearls and flakes; All types of tapioca can be used quite interchangeably, however, tapioca flour or starch tend to be the best variety for baking. Of all the types of tapioca that are sold today, tapioca pearls are the most widely available and commonly sold.
- It is popularly used in recipes to add freshness to pizza or cake doughs; provide chewiness to baked goods; they lend moisture to dense and gluten-free breads; make pancakes or flatbread; filling of cake forms; thicken sauces, soups or stews; help form the cake filling; make pudding or flan; and replace the cornstarch.
- If you are looking for a gluten-free flour that does not alter the taste of a recipe, it may simply be the perfect choice.