WHAT MAKES TAPIOCA FLOUR A GLUTEN-FREE GO-TO?
3 Sweet and 2 Savory Recipes Reveal the Answer
As our gluten-free friends know, Brazi Bites are wheat-less wonders! That’s right, there’s no wheat flour in our cheese bread. While you may not think about it too much if you’re a gluten eater, it makes all the difference to those with gluten sensitivity or celiac disease.
We love sharing the “inside scoop” on why we’ve chosen certain ingredients to make our bites the best they can be. So let’s take a look at tapioca!
Cassava Root to Tapioca Flour
Tapioca flour comes from the root of the cassava plant. The cassava is a starchy tuberous root (similar to a sweet potato) that’s grown worldwide, but its main producers are Brazil, Nigeria and Thailand. Keep that in your back pocket if you’re ever on Jeopardy!
After the cassava is harvested, it can be transformed a few different ways. One is ball-shaped “pearls” like you’ll find in pudding or bubble tea, and another is flour.
To make flour, tapioca is extracted from the cassava root through a process of “washing and pulping”. The wet pulp is then squeezed to extract a liquid. Once the water evaporates, it leaves tapioca flour behind. And that’s where our story begins.
If you’ve ever tried to do your own gluten-free baking, you may have found that that cakes and breads can come out dry and crumbly. This is because many wheat flour substitutes don’t retain much water. But because tapioca flour has higher water content than most, it’s better for binding, thickening and moistening. It’s what makes Brazi Bites so soft and fluffy inside!
Tapioca Flour Recipes
There are so many ways to integrate tapioca flour into your own cooking and baking. Here are 5 to get you started. Happy experimenting, sans gluten!
Once you get a look at these donuts from Kari at Get Inspired Everyday, you’ll be running to the store (or your cabinet) to start pulling out ingredients. And it’s actually a pretty simple to whip up a batch! Created with a mixture of almond and tapioca flour, these cakey delights pair perfectly with coffee for Sunday morning brunch.
Eating gluten-free doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy a great burrito or wrap every now and again! Sarah from A Saucy Kitchen shares this fantastic recipe for gluten-free and grain-free tortillas. If you’ve got tapioca flour, chickpea flour and coconut milk, you’re 15 minutes away from hot, fresh tortillas. As she recommends, if you’re using this for a savory dish, experiment with salt or garlic for just the right flavor profile.
Baking isn’t the only thing you can do with tapioca flour. In fact, it’s a great thickener for soups and sauces. Florentina at Veggie Society raves about this sweet and spicy sauce perfect for dipping spring rolls, scallion pancakes, and more! It’s not exactly healthy, she notes, but if you use it sparingly, it can be a great addition to some of your favorite Asian-inspired dishes.
Michele at Paleo Running Momma may call her creation breakfast bread, but we can see this being the perfect anytime snack. If you’ve got a couple of overripe bananas lying around, break out those mixing bowls to create this moist, naturally sweet treat. A mix of coconut and tapioca flour results in a light, airy bread we bet you’ll make over and over again.
Our last recipe may be a game changer for our friends who are looking for new non-dairy alternatives. Sam at It Doesn’t Taste Like Chicken has perfected her vegan mozzarella. It’s perfect for dipping your favorite Brazi Bite into (sorry, we couldn’t help ourselves…it’s a match made in heaven!) Created from cashews, this dish gets gooey, stretchy texture from the tapioca. In fact, Sam says it’s the only flour that would work in the dish. Pretty cool.
So, we hope you try these 5 exciting recipes to experience just how versatile tapioca flour really is. We’d love to hear how any of these recipes work out for you. Make sure to tag #brazibites on Instagram with your favorite results!