Is Cassava Flour Good for You? (2024)

Recreating the same texture and taste of your favorite meals without gluten, often feels impossible. In addition, with most gluten free flours being nut-based, they're not suitable for individuals with a tree nut allergy and can produce grainy results.

If you're searching for a gluten free flour that will help you recreate some of your favorite dishes, then cassava flour is sure to become a favorite. Nearly as popular as almond flour, cassava flour is a reliable way to make store-bought quality baked goods with minimal effort. But is cassava flour good for you? Luckily, we’re here to answer all of your questions about this flour and its health benefits.

What Is Cassava Flour?

Before diving into the benefits of cassava flour, let's take a closer look at what is cassava flour? If you've tried tapioca flour before, then you might know that it's derived from the cassava root. However, while tapioca flour and cassava flour may come from the same plant, they're pretty different. Tapioca flour is made from the starch extracted from the cassava root and usually acts as a filler in gluten free baking. It can also be used to thicken recipes like soup.

So, what is cassava flour made from and what are the cassava flour nutrition benefits? It comes from the entire root vegetable. Because it contains all of the fiber and nutrients found in the cassava root, it can be used as a base for your baked goods. Like potatoes, yams and taro, cassava is naturally gluten, grain, nut-free and paleo. This makes an excellent ingredient for people following an autoimmune protocol diet or those hoping to avoid common food allergies.

While most gluten free flours need to be combined with others to achieve a wheat-like consistency, cassava flour can be used to replace all purpose flour on its own. And, because it doesn't need extra ingredients like eggs to help it bind, it is an excellent ingredient to use in vegan recipes.

Another thing that makes cassava flour easy to use is it doesn't require ingredients like xanthan gum when baking, meaning that you have fewer ingredients to purchase and prep. However, this alternative flour is much more absorbent than wheat flour, which means you will likely need more liquid in recipes.

So, instead of substituting wheat flour with cassava flour at a 1:1 ratio, we recommend starting with about ⅔ cup of cassava flour for every cup of wheat flour and adjusting as needed. When first baking with cassava flour, begin experimenting with familiar recipes to get a better feel for it before creating a recipe from scratch.

Cassava Flour Benefits

Is Cassava Flour Good for You? (1)

Aside from being an excellent gluten free flour substitute, cassava flour is loaded with health benefits. Here is an overview of the most notable cassava flour benefits.

Cassava Flour Contains Antioxidants

Aside from essential vitamins and minerals, cassava flour also contains antioxidants—some of which have anti-inflammatory effects. Incorporating a wide range of antioxidant-rich foods in your diet can help your body work to fight inflammatory-related symptoms.

Cassava Flour Is a Complex Carb

Sweet potato isn't the only complex carb that you should include in your diet. While starchy foods often earn a bad reputation, carbohydrates serve as an excellent source of energy. Cassava flour is a starch-based food that offers vitamins, antioxidants and fiber, making it a great complex carb to add to your weekly menu.

Cassava Flour Contains Fiber

In its complete form, cassava root contains about 4 grams of fiber per cup. In flour form, it contains 2 grams of fiber per ¼ cup serving.

The Downside of Cassava

There's no question that cassava is an excellent gluten free flour substitute. Aside from its use in gluten free recipes, it also features some pretty great health benefits. That being so, you may be wondering if there are any downsides to incorporating cassava flour into your diet. Here's what we've found people worry about most when cooking with cassava.

Low-Quality Options

One common worry of cassava is the quality of the product. When purchasing cassava flour, you want to ensure it's a high-quality product from a brand you trust. As the flour grows in demand, cheaper options appear, many of which have a slightly sour flavor—a flavor that you won't want to pass on to your baked treats.

It's High in Carbs

Lastly, due to its starchy nature, cassava flour is a high-carb flour which means that it won't work well for individuals following low carb diets like the ketogenic diet. To many, the light and fluffy baked goods that cassava flour creates make up for its high-carb nature. However, if you're concerned about your carbohydrate intake, then a naturally low carb and gluten free flour like almond flour is a better option.

How to Cook with Cassava

While cassava root is often enjoyed similarly to potatoes, cassava flour can be used in nearly every recipe that uses wheat or all purpose flour. Like tapioca starch, cassava flour can also be used to thicken soups, sauces and stews.

One of our favorite ways to enjoy cassava flour is by baking with it. Used to make everything from waffles to flatbread, it adds a level of ease to gluten and grain free baking making it more obtainable for beginners.

Cassava Flour Recipes

Is Cassava Flour Good for You? (2)

Ready to try your hand at baking with cassava flour? Here are a few of our favorite recipes.

Cassava Sugar Cookies

Cookies are an ideal recipe to try when baking with a new ingredient. They're a treat loved by nearly everyone, and no matter what they look like, they always seem to taste great. The perfect recipe for beginners, only seven ingredients are needed to make these tasty Cassava Sugar Cookies—most of which you likely have one hand. Instead of all-purpose flour, cassava flour is used to put a gluten free spin on a classic. Top freshly baked cookies with a dash of sugar, or turn the kitchen creativity up a notch by adding icing and sprinkles.

Cassava Pie Crust

Heading to a pot-luck and not sure what to bring? Pie is always our go-to. Tasty, customizable, and easy to make, a great pie is sure to be a crowd favorite, no matter who the crowd is. That being said, if you're baking for guests with food allergies, then your favorite grain-filled pie crust might not do the trick.

So, opt for making this Cassava Pie Crust instead. A combination of cassava flour and tapioca flour creates a flaky pastry crust that's both delicious and versatile. Fill it with a sweet pie filling or create something more savory like a chicken pot pie. Naturally grain and gluten free, with the use of coconut oil, it's considered paleo too.

Now that you've studied the pros and cons of cassava flour and have a couple of recipes to reference, it's time to clear out some space for it in the pantry. A simple way to bake gluten free recipes, cassava flour is a good-for-you ingredient that can be used as a base for some of your favorite dishes. Ready to get started? Check out our recipe bank to discover even more cassava flour recipes.

Do you love baking with cassava flour? We'd love to hear more about the tasty treats you create. Let us know how you use cassava in the comments below!

Is Cassava Flour Good for You? (2024)

FAQs

Is Cassava Flour Good for You? ›

Cassava flour is a healthy and versatile ingredient you can use to prepare a wide range of recipes and dishes. Due to its high resistant starch content, it may aid weight loss, help improve gut health, and benefit metabolic markers, such as blood sugar and cholesterol levels.

What is the downside of cassava flour? ›

Cassava that is prepared improperly can contain chemicals that are converted to cyanide in the body. This may cause cyanide poisoning and lead to certain paralysis conditions. This is especially true if eaten as part of a low-protein diet. In some people, eating cassava can cause an allergic reaction.

Is cassava flour healthier than regular flour? ›

Cassava flour is low in calories, fat, and sugar.

Compared with other gluten-free flours, such as coconut or almond, cassava flour has a low fat content. It has a high water content and a lower calorie density than flours like corn, plantain, rice, coconut, sorghum, and wheat.

When should you not use cassava flour? ›

It's High in Carbs

Lastly, due to its starchy nature, cassava flour is a high-carb flour which means that it won't work well for individuals following low carb diets like the ketogenic diet.

What does cassava flour do to the body? ›

Cassava Flour Contains Dietary Fiber

Eating a diet rich in dietary fiber will help add bulk to your stools, making digestion a lot easier. Fiber also helps regulate the body's use of sugars. Because of this, a diet high in dietary fiber will often keep you fuller for longer.

Who should not eat cassava? ›

Nutrition of Cassava

However, it's a good source of potassium, folate, vitamin C, and several other nutrients. Though this doesn't make cassava unhealthy, people following low-carb diets and people with blood sugar regulation issues, such as those with type 2 diabetes, should avoid consuming large amounts of cassava.

Is cassava flour inflammatory? ›

Health Benefits:

Being high in resistant starch it will feed the good bacteria in our gut. Foods that are high in resistant starch can be very beneficial to the body. Resistant starch can potentially lead to a better metabolism, lowering the risk of diabetes, obesity and also lowering inflammation.

Can I eat cassava flour every day? ›

Consuming large amounts of poorly processed cassava flour may lead to cyanide poisoning. Long-term intake of small amounts may also lead to adverse health effects.

Can I replace all-purpose flour with cassava flour? ›

While cassava flour can be substituted for wheat flour at a 1:1 ratio, it's denser than wheat flour which causes it to absorb more water. We suggest starting with less cassava flour (about ⅔ cup for every 1 cup of wheat flour) and adjusting the amount as needed to account for the differences.

Is cassava flour a bad carb? ›

Cassava flour contains a lot of carbohydrates, including maltose and glucose, which can lead to sugar cravings and energy spikes. However, it also contains dietary fiber, which can help to regulate blood sugar levels. In addition, cassava flour is a good source of magnesium, potassium, and vitamin B6.

Is almond flour or cassava flour better? ›

Almond flour stands out for its high protein content, healthy fats, and dietary fiber. It is also a rich source of vitamin E, magnesium, and antioxidants. In comparison, cassava flour is relatively lower in fat and protein but is a good source of carbohydrates and dietary fiber.

Is store bought cassava flour safe? ›

Interestingly, cassava can be toxic when consumed raw because the skin contains a naturally occurring form of cyanide. Peeling, soaking, and cooking the cassava root renders these compounds harmless. Store bought cassava flour has been processed sufficiently to remove these toxins so you need not worry.

Which is healthier tapioca or cassava flour? ›

More Fiber, Nutty Taste

Since cassava flour comes from the entire root, it contains more fibre, and therefore, it supports your digestive system, controls your levels of sugar blood and lowers your cholesterol levels. If you love to bake, then you will love this flour, because it enhances the texture of the food.

Which is healthier, potato or cassava? ›

However edible varieties of cassava and potatoes grown for consumption are low on toxicity. Cassava is more healthier if you can eat the green leaves which are edible after blanching/boiling and straining and contain useful amounts of amino acids/proteins.

Which is healthier cassava flour or tapioca flour? ›

Cassava flour is a great gluten-free substitute for tapioca flour and contains more fiber, making it a more nutrient-dense option ( 2 , 3 ). Both products are made from cassava root, but cassava flour incorporates the whole root, whereas tapioca flour is made up of only the starchy part of the plant.

How to get rid of cyanide in cassava? ›

Drying is the most ubiquitous processing operation in many tropical countries. Sun drying eliminates more cyanide than oven drying because of the prolonged contact time between linamarase and the glucosides in sun drying. Soaking followed by boiling is better than soaking or boiling alone in removing cyanide.

Why shouldn't we eat cassava without cooking it first? ›

People should not eat cassava raw, because it contains naturally occurring forms of cyanide, which are toxic to ingest. Soaking and cooking cassava makes these compounds harmless.

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