One of the most difficult parts of transitioning to a grain free diet is finding suitable alternatives for the foods that you love. The problem with adopting gluten free foods is that gluten plays a key role in the structure of breads and other baked goods. Tapioca flour or tapioca starch is an excellent replacement, because it provides your gluten free recipes with a similar feel and texture as more familiar recipes with grain.

What is tapioca?

Tapioca flour and tapioca starch (which are basically the same substances with different names) are made by extracting starch from the roots of the South American cassava plant. Once the roots have fully matured, they are harvested and processed to remove the toxins found inside them.

The starch is then extracted from the root by a process of washing and pulping the mixture, then separating off the liquid. The result is a starchy white tapioca flour that has a slight sweet taste to it and acts very similar to gluten containing flour.

Uses for tapioca flour or tapioca starch

When it comes to baking or cooking, there are several uses for tapioca flour and starch:

  1. Use as a gluten free all purpose flour—You can create a gluten free alternative all purpose flour blend using tapioca flour. Combine 1 part tapioca flour, 2 parts potato starch and 6 parts brown rice flour. When using this flour in traditional recipes, substitute an equal amount of the gluten free blend for the amount of all purpose flour.
  2. Use for gluten free baked goods—Tapioca flour can be substituted for flours containing gluten in recipes for cakes, breads, crusts, and other baked desserts and foods. Similar to using it as an all purpose flour alternative, when baking with Tapioca starch or flour it's sometimes beneficial to use it as part of a blend with other starches, like potato starch, to create the desired consistency.
  3. Use as a thickening agent—Tapioca starch and flour are an excellent gluten free thickening agent for your sauces, soups, dressings, and other liquid recipes that need to be thickened.
  4. Use Tapioca to add structure to baked goods—Using tapioca flour as a gluten free substitute for flour containing gluten in recipes for bread, cookies, brownies, cakes, and pie crusts creates a light, airy, crispy texture, similar to the texture created by wheat flour. Similar to gluten, tapioca starch is a great way to ensure that your ingredients bind together as they do in your traditional recipes, creating a familiar texture.

We offer high quality tapioca flour at Iya Ingredients

At Iya, our tapioca starch is made from 100% cassava manioc root, sourced directly from farms. It is non-GMO, grain free, vegan, odorless, and kosher. It is a healthy, delicious, gluten free alternative to traditional flour for all of your baking and cooking needs!