One of the most versatile gluten-free flours is tapioca flour, which is made by extracting the starchy liquid from the roots of the cassava plant (unlike cassava flour, which is made from the whole root of the cassava plant). plant). When you hear the word “tapioca”, chances are you think of tapioca pearls which are commonly added to bubble tea, but cassava flour is an entirely different beast – although its high starch content means that tapioca flour becomes gummy like pearls when combined with liquid. As WebMD explains, tapioca flour is fat and cholesterol free and very high in carbohydrates (26 grams per ¼ cup serving), but its other nutritional benefits are negligible – it contains almost no fiber, protein, vitamins or other minerals.
Yet, due to its mild, neutral taste and the fact that it does not contain gluten, tapioca flour is a popular choice of flour for savory cooking and sweet baking recipes. Dr. Ax recommends replacing it with wheat flour at a 1:1 ratio and says that if you’re using tapioca flour to thicken liquids like soups or sauces, less is more. In addition to its effectiveness as a thickening agent, tapioca flour is great for creating gluten-free flatbreads, cookies, pizza crusts, sandwich bread, and other baked goods.