Why cassava flour? Because it is the closest thing out of ALL the gluten free flours to wheat flour, that’s why! Gluten free cooking and baking can be so challenging, as although there are a multitude of gluten free flours out there to choose from, none of them (EXCEPT for cassava flour) seem to come close to imitating wheat flour. And when you do use gluten free flours in cooking and baking, you can’t use one alone – you need to blend several in order to get the desired effect! This can be frustrating and time consuming.
And cassava flour is paleo, safe for people with digestive disorders. And undergoes barely any processing as it comes from the whole cassava root (kind of like a sweet potato or yam) which is dried, peeled and ground. It is also a good source of minerals such as calcium, phosphorus, manganese, iron and potassium. It is high in fibre and an excellent source of saponins – phytochemicals that help lower unhealthy cholesterol levels in your bloodstream. AND high in fibre!
Note it should NOT be eaten raw.
Here are some wonderful plant-based, gluten free recipes using cassava flour. Enjoy!
Green Onion Cakes
Makes 4-5 cakes
3/4 cup cassava flour
1 Tbsp arrowroot flour
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/8 tsp salt
2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1/4 tsp apple cider vinegar
1/2 cup hot water
4-5 Tbsp green onion, finely diced
Extra virgin olive oil for brushing
Extra virgin coconut oil for frying
In a medium bowl, mix the cassava flour, arrowroot flour, baking soda and salt. Make a well in the centre.
Add the olive oil and apple cider vinegar and stir until absorbed; add the hot water and mix until dough forms. Knead 2-3 times in the bowl. Do not over work.
Divide the dough into 4-5 balls. Roll out each ball between 2 sheets of parchment paper to 1/8-1/4 inch thick. Brush lightly with oil and sprinkle with about 1 tablespoon of finely sliced green onion. Roll up cigar style; then twist into a cinnamon bun shape circle. Place the parchment paper back on top. Roll out to ¼ inch thick and approximately 4-5 inches in diameter.
Heat 1-2 teaspoons oil in a skillet on medium heat. Brown green onion cakes 2 -3 minutes per side. Cut into wedges and serve with dipping sauce.
Jugo Bean Burger Patties
1 large onion, finely diced
2 garlic cloves, crushed
3 cups jugo beans, drained
1/2 cup beetroot, grated and packed
1/2 cup cassava flour
2 Tbsp nutritional yeast
1 large handful fresh basil, roughly torn
2 tsp sea salt
*To cook jugo beans – first wash and submerge well with fresh water to soak overnight. Before cooking, drain well and rinse again. For every 1 cup of beans, add 2 cups of water or more – as they cook, they make a thick, soupy brown sauce that can be used in soups and stews for a savoury burst of flavour. Bring to the boil, then lower the heat to simmer – covered – for around 1 to 1 ½ hours. Only add salt at the very end.
Preheat your oven to 200°C.
Mix all the ingredients together in a big bowl, or pulse lightly in a food processor until combined. Don’t overmix in your processor as you want the mixture to stay relatively dry and not get too sloppy.
Press the mixture firmly into a 1/4 cup measuring cup and pop out onto an oven tray until you have 12 burgers. With the back of your measuring cup flatten the burgers slightly pushing any stray bits back into the burger round.
Bake the burgers on fan bake for 15 minutes, grilling for a few minutes at the end if you want them a little browner. Then flip over and bake for 5 more minutes on the other side, putting your whole grain rolls in at the same time so they bake up nice and crunchy.
Serve two burger patties each on rolls with whatever toppings you like!
Good Ol’ Vegan Mac n’ Cheese
1/2 cup raw marula nuts, soaked in very hot water for 10-15 minutes. Keep covered.
1 packet (500g) dried elbow macaroni, gluten-free or regular
1 cup potato, peeled & chopped into 1-inch cubes
1/2 cup carrots, peeled and chopped
1 cup almond milk
3/4 cup vegetable broth, low sodium
1 tsp onion powder
1 1/2 tsp himalayan salt (or preferred salt), more to taste
1/2 tsp paprika
2-3 Tbsp nutritional yeast, more if preferred
2 1/2 Tbsp cassava flour
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice , more to taste
2 med/large garlic cloves, minced
2 Tbsp vegan butter/extra virgin coconut oil
Steam or boil the potatoes & carrots until tender (about 8-10 minutes). Drain and set aside.
Place macaroni in a large pot of salted boiling water. Cook until al dente & according to package directions (about 9-10 minutes). Drain and set aside.
Drain & rinse marula nuts and discard water. Now place all ingredients in a high-powered blender (except garlic & butter). Blend until potatoes, carrots & nuts have completely broken down & sauce is smooth, about 1-2 minutes. Set aside.
Heat up butter in large pan over medium heat. When melted, add garlic & sauté for 1-2 minutes, until lightly brown (be careful not to burn).
Pour in cheese sauce and cook for 4-5 minutes, until sauce thickens up and becomes slightly stretchy. Stir often to prevent burning. If it’s too thick, add a small amount of broth & stir. Taste for seasoning, and add more if needed.
Now add pasta and gently toss to coat. Serve immediately. Enjoy!
Marula Nut & Date Banana Bread
4 medium sized ripe bananas OR over-ripe bananas (10.5 ounce ripe bananas)
1.5 cups cassava flour
1/2 cup coconut oil
1/3 cup coconut blossom sugar or raw palm sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla powder or 1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp cinnamon powder
2 to 3 pinches nutmeg powder
Handful pitted dates
Handful raw marula nuts
1.5 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 pinch salt
Preheat the oven to 180°C
Grease a bread tin or a rectangular cake pan with some coconut oil. You can use the rectangular cake pan of size (7.5 x 4 x 2.5 inches) or round cake pan (7.5 x 2 inches).
Put pitted dates in a food processor and process until finely chopped.
Put sliced bananas, dates and sugar in a mixing bowl.
Mash the bananas well, or process with the dates and sugar in a food processor.
Now add the oil (melted), vanilla, cinnamon powder, nutmeg powder to the banana and mix well.
Sieve the flour with the baking soda, baking powder and salt directly in the bowl containing the mashed bananas.
Fold the sieved flour really well.
Lastly add the raw marula nuts and mix well.
Pour the bread mixture into the loaf pan.
Bake at 180°C for 30-40 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the bread comes out clean.
Slice and serve banana bread warm.
If eating after being refrigerated, warm the banana bread before serving as the coconut oil hardens it when cold.
BEST Chocolate Brownies
1 cup + 2 Tbsp plant milk of choice
1/2 cup + 3 Tbsp extra virgin coconut oil, melted
1 Tbsp pure vanilla extract
1 cup cassava flour
1 cup unsweetened cacao or cocoa powder
1/4 tsp + 1/8 tsp salt
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 cup coconut or palm sugar
1/3 cup coconut or palm sugar
Tbsp ground flax or chia seeds
2/3 cup mini chocolate chips, optional
Whisk together the first 3 ingredients, then set aside. Whisk flax/chia meal in as well. Preheat oven to 165°C. Grease a 9×13 pan or line with parchment paper, and set aside. In a large mixing bowl, thoroughly combine all remaining ingredients. Pour wet into dry, stir to combine, and pour into prepared pan. Smooth down. Bake 16 minutes. The brownies will look a little underdone when they come out, but that’s okay! Refrigerate – they start to firm up after a few hours and are nice and cut-able by the next day, and the taste is much better the next day as well. Store in the refrigerator for up to 4 days, or freeze.
1/2 cup cocoa powder (40g)
2 Tbsp pure maple syrup or agave (30g)
1/2 cup extra virgin coconut oil, melted (75g)
Stir ingredients together to form a thin sauce. Spread over the brownies, and refrigerate or freeze 20 minutes to set.
Buy African Super-Edibles, including organic African cassava flour at our online shop.
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