Are you following the Trim Healthy Mama (THM) plan and wondering if cassava flour is allowed?
Look no further! Cassava flour is a popular grain-free, gluten-free, and nut-free alternative to traditional flours. But is it THM-approved?
In this article, we’ll explore the ins and outs of cassava flour and its place in the THM plan. From E-friendly breads to Paleo cassava tortillas, we’ll cover everything you need to know about this versatile flour.
So grab a cup of tea and let’s dive in!
Is Cassava Flour Thm?
The short answer is yes, cassava flour is THM-approved! As a grain-free and gluten-free flour, cassava flour falls under the E (energizing) category in the THM plan.
Cassava flour is made from the root of the cassava plant, which is a starchy tuber similar to yams, taro, and potatoes. It is a staple crop in many parts of the world and provides a stable source of nutrition for millions of people.
In terms of its nutritional profile, cassava flour is high in carbohydrates and low in protein and fat. However, it is also rich in fiber, vitamins, and minerals.
What Is Cassava Flour?
Cassava flour is a gluten-free flour made from the root of the cassava plant. The root is peeled, dried, and pulverized to create a fine and powdery flour that has a slightly nutty and earthy taste. Cassava flour is predominantly white in color, although it may have a light red or yellow hue depending on the variety of cassava used.
The process of making cassava flour can be divided into five steps: peeling the tubers, soaking them in water for 4-6 days, sun-drying or roasting them, scraping off the outer layer, and grinding the remainder into flour. Cassava flour is highly versatile and can be used in all sorts of baked goods, tortillas, porridge, pancakes, and gluten-free pasta and pizza. It can also be used as a thickener for ice cream, sauces, and dressings.
Cassava flour is a great substitute for wheat and other flours, especially for those who are gluten intolerant or have celiac disease. It contains resistant starches that may have potential health benefits such as improved digestive and colon health, improved insulin sensitivity, and weight loss. Cassava flour also has a long shelf life as long as it’s stored away from moisture.
It’s important to note that cassava root contains cyanide which is toxic to ingest if consumed raw. However, when cooked or processed into flour, any dangerous traces of toxins are removed. Overall, cassava flour is a nutritious and delicious alternative to traditional flours that can be enjoyed by anyone looking for a gluten-free option in their diet.
Cassava Flour And The THM Plan
Cassava flour is a great option for those following the THM plan, especially those who are looking for a gluten-free and grain-free alternative to traditional flours. As mentioned earlier, cassava flour falls under the E category in the THM plan, which means it is an energizing food that can be paired with other E category foods to create balanced meals.
One of the benefits of cassava flour is that it has fewer calories than other flours, making it a good choice for those who are trying to lose weight. Additionally, cassava flour is abundant in vitamin C, which is an antioxidant that can help boost your immune system, improve your skin’s health, and help you relax.
Cassava flour has a mild taste and can be used in many different recipes, including soups, breads, tortillas, and even desserts. However, it’s important to note that while cassava flour is THM-approved, not all products made with cassava flour are on plan. For example, some packaged foods that contain cassava flour may also contain other off-plan ingredients such as starches or added sugars.
When using cassava flour in your THM-approved recipes, it’s important to pay attention to portion sizes and pair it with other on-plan foods to create balanced meals. And as always, it’s best to stick to whole foods as much as possible and limit processed foods and packaged goods.
Benefits Of Using Cassava Flour
There are several benefits to using cassava flour, especially for those who follow a THM plan:
1. Gluten-free: Cassava flour is a great alternative for those who are sensitive to gluten or have celiac disease. It can replace wheat flour in many recipes and still produce delicious baked goods.
2. Low in calories, fat, and sugar: Compared to other gluten-free flours like coconut or almond, cassava flour has a lower fat content and calorie density. This makes it a great choice for those who are watching their weight or trying to maintain a healthy diet.
3. Resistant starch: Cassava flour contains resistant starch, which can aid in weight loss by regulating appetite and reducing fat mass. Studies have shown that resistant starch can trigger the release of hunger-reducing hormones and reduce belly fat.
4. Versatile: Cassava flour has a mild taste and can be used in many recipes, from baking to thickening sauces to making burger patties. It is also a popular flour alternative for those following an autoimmune protocol diet due to its high digestibility.
5. Nutrient-dense: Cassava flour is rich in fiber, vitamins, and minerals, making it a great addition to any diet. It can be mixed with other nutrient-dense foods to boost fiber, vitamins, and minerals.
Recipes Using Cassava Flour On The THM Plan
If you’re looking to incorporate cassava flour into your THM-approved recipes, here are some delicious and easy options:
1. Cassava Flour Tortillas – These quick and easy tortillas are perfect for a THM:E meal. Simply mix cassava flour with water, salt, and a bit of oil, then cook on a hot skillet until golden brown. Use them as a base for tacos or wraps.
2. Cassava Flour Pizza Crust – Who says you can’t have pizza on the THM plan? This cassava flour pizza crust is grain-free, gluten-free, and perfect for a THM:S meal. Top with your favorite low-carb toppings and enjoy!
3. Cassava Flour Chocolate Chip Cookies – These soft and chewy cookies are a delicious treat for any THM meal. Mix cassava flour with almond flour, coconut sugar, and chocolate chips, then bake until golden brown.
4. Cassava Flour Banana Bread – This moist and flavorful banana bread is perfect for a THM:E breakfast or snack. Mix cassava flour with mashed bananas, eggs, and a bit of honey or maple syrup, then bake until golden brown.
5. Cassava Flour Pancakes – These fluffy and delicious pancakes are perfect for a THM:E breakfast. Mix cassava flour with eggs, almond milk, and a bit of baking powder, then cook on a hot griddle until golden brown.
Tips For Baking With Cassava Flour
If you’re new to using cassava flour in your baking, there are a few things to keep in mind to ensure success. Here are some tips for baking with cassava flour:
1. Use less cassava flour than traditional wheat flour: Cassava flour absorbs liquid much more quickly than wheat flour, so you’ll need to use less of it in your recipes. Start by using 3/4 cup of cassava flour for every 1 cup of wheat flour called for in the recipe.
2. Combine with other gluten-free flours: While cassava flour can be used on its own in some recipes, it’s best to combine it with other gluten-free flours and binders (like xanthan gum) for recipes that require rising, such as bread or cakes. This will help achieve the desired texture and rise.
3. Adjust the liquid ratio: As mentioned above, cassava flour absorbs liquid quickly. You may need to adjust the amount of liquid in your recipe to get the right consistency. If the batter or dough seems too dry, add a little more liquid (like water or milk) until it comes together.
4. Be gentle when handling: Cassava flour is very fine and can create a lot of dust when handled. Be gentle when measuring and mixing it into your recipes to avoid creating a cloud of flour.
5. Experiment and adjust: While cassava flour can be used as a substitute for wheat flour in most recipes, it may take some experimentation to get the recipe just right. Don’t be afraid to adjust the amount of cassava flour, liquid, or other ingredients until you achieve the desired texture and flavor.
Potential Drawbacks Of Cassava Flour
While cassava flour is a great alternative to wheat flour and has many benefits, there are also some potential drawbacks to keep in mind. One concern is that cassava contains cyanogenic glycosides, which can turn into cyanide in the body if consumed in large amounts. However, this is not a major concern as cultivated cassava has a much lower cyanogenic content than wild cultivars. Additionally, peeling the tubers, soaking them in water for 4 to 6 days, and sun-drying or roasting them reduces the levels of these compounds to acceptable amounts.
Another potential issue with cassava flour is that it is high in calories and carbohydrates. Overeating can cause weight gain and abdominal bloating due to the high starch content. It is important to consume cassava flour in moderation and balance it with other nutrient-dense foods to ensure a well-rounded diet.
Lastly, some people have developed allergic reactions to cassava. The mildest symptoms are hives and swelling under the skin, but some people may experience potentially life-threatening anaphylactic reactions. If any symptoms appear after consuming cassava flour, it is important to contact a healthcare provider immediately.