Tapioca starch is also called tapioca flour, a type of gluten-free flour that is made from the starch of the cassava plant. This plant is native to Brazil and other South American countries.
Tapioca Starch Uses
Tapioca starch is most commonly used in baked goods. It gives baked goods a thick and chewy texture.
Tapioca flour is also used to thicken up soups, stews, puddings, and sauces.
Tapioca flour provides many health benefits. Aside from being an allergy-friendly alternative to flour, tapioca starch is also a good source of iron. This makes this starch a great flour alternative for anyone who has iron-deficiency anemia.
Tapioca flour is also a great source of healthy fiber and carbs. Though tapioca flour is not considered to be a weightloss food, it is a great food option for anyone trying to combat overeating.
The fiber and carbs in tapioca help it to suppress hunger.
Tapioca also contains manganese. Manganese is a mineral that helps the body metabolize amino acids, carbs, and cholesterol. Manganese also helps with bone growth and the development of the body’s connective tissue.
Tapioca flour is low in sodium. Diets high in sodium have been linked with high blood pressure and heart disease. A positive correlation has also been shown between sodium intake and stroke.
Since tapioca flour is low in sodium, eating snacks made with it is a great alternative to eating snacks made with processed flour.
Folate is a B vitamin the body uses to make DNA and divide cells. Tapioca is a respectable source of folate. One cup of tapioca pearls contains 2% of the daily recommended value of folate.
Calcium is another healthy mineral that is in tapioca pearls. Calcium is not only important for strong bones but also strong teeth. Calcium is also responsible for helping blood clot and the nerves send signals.
Tapioca Starch Substitutes
Cornstarch is a great substitute for tapioca flour because it is also gluten-free. Cornstarch can be used to bake goods, and it also makes for a great thickening agent in soups, stews, pie fillings, and sauces.
Cornstarch is a stronger thickening agent than tapioca, so you should half the amount of cornstarch that your recipe requires for tapioca flour. For example, if your recipe requires four cups of tapioca flour, then use two cups of cornstarch.
Cassava is also a good substitute for tapioca flour. In fact, cassava flour may even be a healthier all-purpose flour alternative than tapioca flour. Cassava has a larger source of fiber, and it is more nutrient-dense.
When used for baking, you can use the same amount of cassava flour in your recipe that you’d use of tapioca flour. For example, if your recipe asks for one cup of tapioca flour, then use one cup of cassava flour.
When you use cassava flour as a replacement for tapioca flour in a soup, stew, sauce, or pudding recipe, then you need to use less cassava flour than your use of tapioca flour because cassava flour is a stronger thickener.
For example, if the recipe calls for three tablespoons of tapioca flour, then you should only use one or two tablespoons of cassava flour.