We use cassava flour to make The Best Grain Free Tortillas for our Avocado Chicken Taquitos as well as our Fudgy Grain Free Ghee Brownies, so we figured answering the question What is Cassava? is only right. If you’re asking yourself What is Cassava? and why you would use it, you’re in the right place.
but really, what is it?
Cassava comes from the yucca root, which is also where we get tapioca. However, cassava and tapioca are not the same thing. Don’t you go tryna sub tapioca for cassava in recipes—tapioca is more of a thickening starch like cornstarch or arrowroot, whereas cassava is more like an actual flour.
Yucca is a root vegetable like carrots or potatoes. There are a few reasons we substitute cassava flour for other flours. Coming from a vegetable, cassava is both grain-free and nut-free—perfect for gluten-free and paleo cooking and baking.
A note on cassava: it can be a little gummy. Because it’s highly starchy, it can give a thick texture to what you’re using it in. In both The Best Grain Free Tortillas for our Avocado Chicken Taquitos and our Fudgy Grain Free Ghee Brownies, we cut cassava with another flour that’s very dry to find the perfect, goldilocks texture we’re looking for. In our tortillas, we cut with coconut flour and in the brownies, we cut with almond flour to balance out the starchiness from the cassava.
Cassava is relatively low in calories considering that it’s predominantly starch. That’s because it mostly is starch (or carbohydrates)—there’s very little protein or fat involved. That’s another reason we like to cut it with other flours: to round out the nutritional content. While cassava does have some vitamins and minerals in it, it’s a fairly negligible amount. If you’re new to a gluten-free or grain-free diet, cassava is not a flour to sub 1:1 in recipes that call for all-purpose flour by any means. You’ll want to experiment with it and get used to how it effects texture. However, cassava has a nice flavor that is fairly similar to white flour so you might find yourself using it often.
That’s all we’ve got on What is Cassava?! Use it in The Best Grain Free Tortillas for our Avocado Chicken Taquitos and our Fudgy Grain Free Ghee Brownies. For more information on all these recipes, read Ghee vs. Butter: Which is Better? to get yourself fully filled in.