Is Cassava Flour The New Paleo Baking Favorite?

Ottos-Cassava-Flour-300x225.jpgI started down a long road of Paleo baking experimentation about six years ago. Back then, the only readily accessible Paleo flour options were almond and coconut. Almond flour played well with others and could easily be substituted for gluten free flour blends or for wheat. Coconut flour, as you will know if you’ve tried your hand at Paleo baking, does not act “normal” and soaks up a lot of liquid. It is best used in small quantities, and usually in conjunction with almond or a different flour.

The next flour to rise in popularity was tapioca starch. But this, on its own, is too sticky. It, too, is best paired with almond flour or used to thicken soups, stews, or gravies. Almond flour continued to be the “go to” Paleo flour. While almond flour is easy to use, can be found in almost every store, and adds protein to your baked goods, it is a grittier flour and for some items, it can produce crumbly or dry results.

Enter cassava flour. I first experimented with this “white” Paleo flour a few years ago, but have only recently decided that it is one of my favorites. Before I get too deep into the issue, let’s take a moment to explore what cassava even is.

What Is Cassava Flour?

Cassava is also known as yuca, and it is a starchy root vegetable. Cassava flour is Paleo with the added benefit of also being AIP-Paleo friendly (which almond flour is not).

Cassava flour is white and fine, and it gives off a puff when you pour it from the bag. It resembles rice or tapioca flour, but it is distinctly different from both. It has a mild flavor that, if anything, is most similar to potato flour. When used in baking, it is easily camouflaged by whatever other flavors your recipe includes.

What Can You Make With Cassava Flour?

What can’t you make with cassava? My favorite recipes to use cassava flour in are pancakes, cakes, and biscuits. I’ve used several of the recipes we have on this site that call for almond flour and swapped it for cassava flour, measure for measure. I’ve also experimented with half almond flour and half cassava flour and that blend works well, too, especially if you’re looking to keep your carbs lower (cassava flour is significantly higher in carbs than almond flour is).

Cassava is also great for dusting pans or trays, when recipes call for that. I have not had success in using it to thicken sauces with — for that, tapioca starch or gelatin still work the best.

Where Can You Buy Cassava Flour?

Cassava flour is still on the rise in the Paleo world, so it’s not always found at grocery stores or supermarkets, but you can easily find it on Amazon, Vitacost, or Thrive Market. Even with the extensive amount of Paleo baking that I do, I find that a few pounds of cassava flour goes a long way.

Aimee McNew

Aimee McNew, MNT, CNTP, is a certified nutritionist who specializes in women’s health, thyroid disorders, autoimmunity, and fertility. She is the author of The Everything Guide to Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis: A Healing Plan for Managing Symptoms Naturally (Simon & Schuster, 2016). Follow her on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook.