Looking for a cassava flour substitute? Explore our guide to find the best cassava flour alternatives such as brown rice flour, arrowroot starch, and sorghum flour. Learn how to make substitutions for similar results in a variety of recipes.
What is cassava flour?
Cassava flour is a gluten-free and grain-free flour made from the root vegetable cassava (also known as yuca or manioc). It is a starchy tuber native to Brazil.
The cassava crop is perennial and cultivated and consumed in many parts of the world, particularly in Africa, Asia, and South America.
To make cassava flour, the cassava root is peeled, washed, grated, and then dried. The grated cassava is traditionally left to ferment for a few days to break down some of the naturally occurring toxins.
After fermentation, the cassava is pressed to remove excess moisture. The resulting mash is then dried and finely ground to produce cassava flour.
Often used by those on a gluten-free diet or paleo diet, cassava is a perfect flour for those with dietary restrictions or food allergies.
Its neutral flavor and ability to provide structure, thickening, or binding properties, make it a good choice for a variety of sweet and savory recipes.
Cassava flour can be found in most grocery stores and health food stores in the baking aisle. It is also available to purchase online.
It adds a light and fluffy texture to baked goods.
It provides a smooth and glossy consistency to the dishes.
Coating and breading - The flour can be used as a gluten-free alternative for coating and breading meats, fish, and vegetables. It helps create a crispy and golden crust when frying or baking.
Gluten-free flour blend - Combine it with other gluten-free flour, such as almond flour, brown rice flour, or tapioca flour, to create a gluten-free flour mix.
This blend can be used as a substitute for all-purpose flour in a variety of recipes.
Gluten-free pasta - The flour can be used to make gluten-free pasta.
Thickeners and binders - It can be used as a binder in gluten-free recipes, such as veggie burgers, meatballs, and patties. It helps hold the ingredients together and provides structure.
What is a good substitute for cassava flour?
There's not a one-size-fits-all gluten-free substitute, but depending on use, there are several great substitutes for cassava flour.
Different types of flour can have different results, so it is important to know which qualities in cassava flour you are needing to replace.
1. Brown rice flour
Brown rice flour has a slightly nutty flavor and gritty texture but can work well in a variety of recipes. To improve the texture and overall results, you can blend brown rice flour with other gluten-free flours.
Combining it with flours such as tapioca flour, potato starch, or almond flour can help create a more well-rounded alternative.
To substitute, use a 1:1 ratio. Rice flour tends to be less absorbent, so you may need to adjust the liquid or use it in combination with other flours for best results.
2. Arrowroot starch
Also known as arrowroot flour or arrowroot powder, it has a similar fine texture. This makes it a suitable replacement in recipes that require a smooth and light texture, such as cakes, cookies, and sauces.
It is also an effective thickening agent and binder.
To substitute, use a 1:1 ratio. Arrowroot starch has stronger thickening power, so you may need to use slightly less arrowroot starch to achieve the desired consistency. It's best to start with a slightly smaller amount and adjust as needed. In baking, it's important to note that it can create a lighter and more delicate texture.
3. White rice flour
White rice flour has a finer texture compared to cassava flour. It is worth noting that white rice flour can sometimes have a slightly grainy or gritty texture.
White rice flour does not provide the same binding properties as cassava. If the recipe relies on cassava for the structure or binding, white rice flour may result in a different texture or consistency.
To substitute, use a 1:1 ratio. Note that white rice flour does not offer the same binding properties. You might need to incorporate alternative binders like flaxseeds, chia seeds, or psyllium husk powder to achieve the desired consistency.
Cornstarch is primarily used as a thickening agent in recipes such as sauces, gravies, pie fillings, and soups. It has strong thickening properties and can create a smooth and glossy texture.
However, unlike cassava flour, it does not contribute to the structure or texture of baked goods. Cornstarch is not an ideal substitute in recipes that require a binding agent or when a specific texture is desired.
To substitute, you'll typically need about half the amount of cornstarch compared to cassava flour. For example, if a recipe calls for 1 tablespoon of cassava, you would use about ½ tablespoon of cornstarch. It's best to start with a smaller amount and adjust as needed based on the desired consistency.
5. Sorghum flour
Sorghum flour has a mild flavor and slightly grainy texture compared to the finer texture of cassava. It can work well in recipes that don't require a super smooth consistency such as in bread, cookies, and muffins.
It's a good source of dietary fiber and protein and will add nutritional value to your recipe.
To substitute, use a 1:1 ratio. the texture and absorbency of sorghum flour can vary slightly. You may need to make slight adjustments to the liquid amounts in the recipe to achieve the desired consistency.
To optimize results, you can blend sorghum flour with other gluten-free flours like tapioca flour or potato starch. This can help balance out the texture and improve the overall outcome of recipes.
6. Tapioca starch
Tapioca starch, also known as tapioca flour, is derived from the same cassava root as cassava flour. The two undergo different processes.
It has a fine texture and is often used as a thickening agent. In baking, it can create a smooth and chewy texture in recipes.
However, tapioca starch primarily provides texture and does not offer the same structure or binding properties.
It is an excellent choice for a thickening agent and can be used to thicken sauces, soups, and other liquids. It has strong thickening power and creates a glossy appearance.
To substitute, as a general guideline, you can use about half the amount of tapioca starch compared to cassava flour. If a recipe calls for 1 cup of cassava flour, you would use approximately ½ cup of tapioca starch.
Tapioca starch does not provide the same structure as cassava. It may not work well as a direct substitute in certain recipes that require the structural properties of cassava.
- Depending on the type of recipe, alternative flour you are using, and the binders in the recipe (such as eggs, psyllium husk fiber, or flax eggs) or lack thereof, you may need an additional binder or starch to keep the final product from crumbling.
- To optimize results, you can blend your substitute flour with another gluten-free flour like tapioca starch or potato starch. This can help balance out the texture and improve the overall outcome of the recipe.
- A kitchen scale is the easiest way to substitute flour by weight.
No, cassava flour is not keto as it is derived from the starchy cassava root, which is high in carbohydrates. Per 100 grams of flour, it contains approximately 80 grams of carbohydrates.
This makes it unsuitable for a strict ketogenic diet, where carbohydrate intake is typically limited to a very low range (typically below 50 grams per day).
This grain-free flour has a shelf life of up to two years. Store it in an airtight container in a cool, dark place.
In conclusion, there are several gluten-free flours that can be used as substitutes for cassava flour, depending on the recipe and desired flavor and texture. Brown rice, sorghum, and arrowroot starch are all good options.
When substituting, it's important to consider the differences in flavor, texture, and nutritional content, and to make any necessary adjustments to the recipe to ensure the best results.