Nutritional Benefits of Cassava Flour (2024)

Complex carbohydrates like mashed potatoes and sweet potatoes are a widely loved favorite at nearly every dining table. Whether you work them into savory dinner recipes or use them to create sweets, their starchy nature works well in most recipes.

That being said, potatoes aren't the only root vegetable out there that you should be exploring. The cassava root vegetable is a starchy and tuberous vegetable that can be used in the same ways as potatoes and offers excellent nutritional benefits. If you've heard of cassava flour before but don't know much about the ingredient, we’re here to help.

Over the years, we've used many different types of gluten free flours in our recipes, and cassava flour is undoubtedly one of our favorites. In this guide, we'll share everything you need to know about cassava flour nutrition, how it's used and provide recipes that you can begin baking today.

What Is Cassava Flour?

What is cassava flour and what is cassava flour made from? Let's take the time to learn a little bit more about this super vegetable and where it came from. An edible starchy root with a slightly earthy and nutty flavor, cassava flour is a staple food in many West African, Latin American and Caribbean cuisines.

Also referred to as yuca, manioc, casabe and tapioca, cassava cultivation dates back to more than 8,000 years ago when it served as the primary source of carbohydrates in Central and South America. Today, cassava has become a household name, and while it can be cooked and prepared like a potato, its most common form is flour.

Is cassava flour gluten free? Cassava flour, made from the entire root of the cassava plant, is a fine, powdery substance that works well in many baking recipes. With a structure similar to wheat, it's a well-known gluten free flour substitute for regular flour or all purpose flour and easily creates fluffy baked goods like bread and muffins.

Nutritional Benefits

Nutritional Benefits of Cassava Flour (1)

Is cassava flour good for you? Aside from cassava flour being simple to use, it also boasts several nutritional benefits. We've rounded up a few dietary benefits that cassava flour is known for.

Cassava Flour Contains Potassium

If you thought potassium was only found in bananas, think again. Cassava contains potassium, one of the essential minerals in the body. It works hard to help your nerves function and muscles contract.

Cassava Flour Offers Antioxidants

Antioxidants are essential to a healthy diet. A diet rich in antioxidants may help protect your cells against free radicals, warding off dangerous diseases. Each serving of cassava flour offers antioxidants to help keep your body running and feeling its best. Anti-inflammatory phenolic compounds are also present in cassava flour and work alongside antioxidants to decrease inflammation.

It Is a Complex Carb

Carbohydrates are an excellent source of energy for the body. However, not all carbs are created equal. When choosing which carbohydrates to eat, there are two main types: simple and complex carbohydrates. Simple carbs are relatively easy for the body to digest, and any sugar that isn't used right away is stored as fat.

Because many processed foods contain added amounts of sugar, they aren't recommended on a healthy diet. But that doesn't mean that all simple carbs are bad. On the contrary, several foods that contain simple carbs are rich in nutrients and should be included in a healthy diet. These foods include fruit, dairy products and certain vegetables.

Complex carbs like cassava flour take longer to digest than simple carbs do. This long digestion time allows your body to use the sugar more slowly, having a less immediate impact on blood sugar and fat storage. When choosing which complex carbs to eat, stick to those that haven't been overly processed or refined. Vegetables like cassava flour are an excellent example of a complex carbohydrate that works with your body to provide it with energy for more extended periods.

Cassava Flour Contains Dietary Fiber

Nutritional Benefits of Cassava Flour (2)

Fiber is one nutrient that's crucial to a well-balanced diet. Great for maintaining gut health, cassava flour contains 2 grams of fiber per ¼ cup. 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.

An Excellent Option for Individuals with Celiac Disease

If you have celiac disease or are baking for someone who does, then you've probably searched far and wide for a gluten free substitute for wheat flour. Cassava flour is just that. Because it's made from the cassava root vegetable, this flour is naturally gluten free, meaning that those with celiac disease can enjoy it easily.

But what separates cassava flour from the other gluten free flours? Cassava flour stands out amongst other gluten free flours in that it contains wheat-like qualities. When baking with most grain free flours, adjusting the ingredients is necessary to get the desired result. Often, more eggs are needed, or a binding agent like xanthan gum is required to help the ingredients stay together. When baking with cassava flour, these extras are not necessary. Its starchy nature allows it to bind to other ingredients and create a nearly identical dough to wheat.

The downside? While there aren't many downsides to cassava flour, it is denser than wheat flour and will soak up more water. To combat this, we recommend using ⅔ cup of cassava flour for every 1 cup of wheat flour; then, you can adjust the ingredients as needed. The taste of cassava flour is also a bit more earthy than all purpose flour or wheat flour. However, when combined with other ingredients, it's hardly noticeable.

Cassava Flour Is Safe for Those with Nut Allergies

While almond flour tops the list of the most popular grain-free flours, there's one problem—it's nut-based. Though this isn't a concern for most individuals, it is for those with a nut tree allergy. Cassava flour is an excellent flour choice because it's a nut-free and grain-free flour and works well in most recipes. That being said, you'll want to check to make sure that the cassava flour you're purchasing has been processed in a nut and grain-free facility, as even the smallest amounts of these allergens can cause problems for those allergic to them.

It's Well-Rounded

Cassava flour can be enjoyed when following several different diets. From keto and paleo to grain-free, this flour can be used to create a table full of mouthwatering treats. In addition to being versatile, it's also much lower in calories than regular flour, which makes heading back for seconds a no-brainer. Lastly, cassava flour's high fiber content satisfies hunger better than most flours and will leave you feeling energized and satiated between meals.

While baking with new ingredients isn't always easy, it's a great way to improve your skills in the kitchen. If, after reading about the many benefits of cassava flour, you'd like to test this ingredient out yourself, there are many recipes to choose from. Whether you're in the mood for something savory like this Cassava Flour Pasta made from a blend of cassava flour, xanthan gum and flaxseed meal, or something sweet like these Cassava Flour Brownies, there's a recipe for you. Take a moment to search through our online recipe library to find a cassava flour recipe that you like, and then begin baking. We are confident that whatever you choose to make is something that the entire family will enjoy. From everyone at Bob's Red Mill, we wish you a healthy and happy day!

Love baking with cassava flour? We'd love to learn what you love most about this ingredient and how you use it in your favorite recipe. Share your thoughts on cassava flour with us in the comments below. We look forward to hearing from you!

Nutritional Benefits of Cassava Flour (2024)

FAQs

Nutritional Benefits of Cassava Flour? ›

The bottom line

Does cassava flour have any nutritional value? ›

Cassava flour is very rich in carbohydrates. A cup of cassava flour (285 grams) has about 110 grams of carbohydrates, 5 grams of fiber, and 4.5 grams of sugar. It's also rich in vitamin C, with one cup containing close to the recommended daily value.

What is the benefit of eating cassava flour? ›

Cassava Flour Contains Dietary Fiber

Great for maintaining gut health, cassava flour contains 2 grams of fiber per ¼ cup. 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.

What are the top 10 health benefits of cassava? ›

The main health benefits of cassava are:
  1. Preventing cardiovascular diseases. ...
  2. Improving energy and mood. ...
  3. Helping to manage diabetes. ...
  4. Promoting skin, nail and hair health. ...
  5. Improving digestion. ...
  6. Strengthening the immune system. ...
  7. Aiding weight loss. ...
  8. Preventing some types of cancer.
Aug 31, 2023

Can I eat cassava flour every day? ›

Cassava flour is made from the starchy root vegetable. It's high in carbs, but it doesn't contain some of the healthful nutrients other flours provide, so you should eat it in moderation.

Is cassava flour good for the gut? ›

Cassava flour contains resistant starches. There are a variety of possible health benefits to eating resistant starches. These potential health benefits may include improved digestive and colon health and improved insulin sensitivity.

Is cassava flour anti-inflammatory? ›

Cassava contains anti-inflammatory properties due to its high vitamin C content. When eaten regularly, cassava's vitamin C content can help lower inflammation by reducing the risk of oxidative stress. It does this by providing antioxidants that can balance out free radicals.

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 a Superfood? ›

Cassava is a good source of vitamin C, thiamine, riboflavin, and niacin. The leaves, which are also edible if a person cooks them or dries them in the sun, can contain up to 25% protein. However, the cassava root does not deliver the same nutritional value as other tuber vegetables.

Is cassava good for belly fat? ›

Cassava has a high water content, rich in fiber and resistant starch, so eating cassava in moderate amounts will not get fat, even help you feel full for a long time, reduce appetite, support weight loss very well.

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.

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.

Is it good to eat cassava everyday? ›

Cassava is POSSIBLY UNSAFE when eaten regularly as a food in large amounts. Children who eat large amounts of cassava may have a higher chance of developing certain paralysis conditions. Allergies to latex: Cassava might cause an allergic reaction in people who are sensitive to latex.

Can diabetics eat cassava flour? ›

One such disease is diabetes. For a long time now, cassava flour is believed to be good for diabetics. However, this is a misconception.

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