Tapioca flour is easy to use in recipes in place of traditional grain-based flour or even gluten-free flour blends. One of the best things about using tapioca flour is its neutrality in terms of taste. It doesn’t have a dry, strong or unfamiliar taste or texture that often comes with using some gluten-free flours. Many people find that tapioca can be used in recipes without it even being detected at all and that it’s practically indistinguishable from wheat-based counterparts. Its texture lends well to baking things like brownies, cookies and denser breads, or you can use it in savory dishes to thicken sauces or to form burgers/patties. Many people like baking with tapioca flour since it doesn’t have a sour taste or smell that fermented, sprouted grain flours sometimes can carry. If you’re going to bake something like bread or cake and require a flour that rises well, tapioca can be used to replace a portion of the flour in the mixture. For recipes that don’t require rising, tapioca can totally replace grain flours.
Tapioca has less than 120 calories for a quarter-cup serving, making it lower in calories than some other gluten-free flours, such as almond or coconut flour. Overall, it has a higher water content, lower fat content and lower calorie density than other flours, including corn, wheat, plantain, almond, coconut, rice and sorghum flour.
Tapioca flour makes a good choice for people with health conditions like diabetes, high blood pressure or high cholesterol, since it’s extremely low in salt/sodium, sugar and fat, plus totally free from refined carbohydrates and synthetic ingredients. Depending on what other ingredients you use tapioca with, it can help you maintain normal blood sugar and provide a good source of energy.
Tapioca flour is high in carbs and provides a similar amount of carbohydrates as most other grain-based flour, which can be helpful for supporting energy levels in people who are active but avoid eating other starches. In fact, because it’s so high in carbohydrates, experts estimate that Tapioca plants provide the third-highest yield of carbohydrates per person in many parts of the world (after sugarcane and sugar beets). Its composition is about 60 percent to 65 percent water moisture, 20 percent to 31 percent carbohydrates, and less than 2 percent protein and fat. In some parts of Africa, it provides up to 30 percent of the total daily calories!