What’s the Difference Between Tapioca and Cassava Flour?

February 2, 2018

Hi there. We are excited to announce that we are currently stocking cassava flour in bulk! This gluten-free specialty baking item is non-GMO, has a shelf life of 24 months, and is good for vegan, kosher, and paleo kitchens! In case you aren’t familiar with this ingredient, it’s similar to tapioca flour, which is one of the most popular ingredients in gluten-free baking. In fact, the two are often confused, so we are hoping to clear up a few misconceptions…

Tapioca flour and cassava flour both act as thickeners when used in baking, but tapioca flour is extracted from the cassava plant through a process of washing and pulping. After extraction, the wet pulp is squeezed to create a starchy liquid. Once all the water evaporates, the tapioca flour remains. Typically, tapioca flour works best in a gluten-free baking when combined with three or four other starches and flours.

Cassava flour, also known as Polvilho, is made from just the ground-up root of the cassava plant and is a staple ingredient Brazil, Portugal, and many other countries outside of the United States. Due to its mild flavor and soft, powdery texture, it is a great option if you’re looking for an unobtrusive base in a gluten-free baking recipe. Cassava flour is also a fiber, and provides an even thicker texture than tapioca flour in baking, which means you can use less gums or other thickeners when baking with it. Additionally, it is a resistant starch, meaning that the flour promotes gut health and helps the body to absorb carbs more slowly. People who have blood sugar issues will also be glad to know that it does not spike the glycemic index.

The one downside to cassava flour is that the cassava root does contain naturally occurring cyanide compounds (also found in almonds and spinach) that can be extremely toxic–but only if eaten raw. The cassava flour that we distribute is treated through a proprietary process to remove all risk of cyanide. No chemicals or additives are used in this process, making it a clean-label, natural ingredient 100% safe for consumption!

If you had any confusion about tapioca flour vs. cassava flour before reading this post, we hope we’ve cleared it up! We are extremely excited to be offering cassava flour in bulk and can’t wait to see the creative items our customers create with it. If you’re interested in ordering, please call: (718) 784-6000 or email: Have a great day!

Please note that this blog post does not constitute medical advice. Consult a medical or health professional before you begin any nutrition related program, or if you have questions about your health.

Photos: @urbankitchenapothecary,

& @figgindelicious

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