Tapioca isn’t just present in puddings, but you’ll also find it in sauces. Moreover, those delicate tapioca pearls are just amazing and can make any smoothie taste good. Although tapioca is present in many gluten-free products, still, a few people wonder if it is gluten-free.
Yes, tapioca is gluten free because it does not come from grain. Instead, the flour comes from the cassava plant, and that makes it fit for people on a gluten free diet.
This article will tell you everything about tapioca and if you can add it to your celiac-friendly diet. Also, I will reveal that tapioca is vegan and some amazing ways to use this flour.
Table of Contents
- 1 Is Tapioca Gluten Free?
- 2 What Is Tapioca? What Is Tapioca Made Of?
- 3 Is Tapioca Vegan?
- 4 5 Amazing Ways To Use Gluten-Free Tapioca
- 5 Brands You Can Choose for Gluten-free Tapioca
- 6 FAQs
- 7 Conclusion
Is Tapioca Gluten Free?
Yes, tapioca is entirely gluten free in its natural form. Since the flour comes from the cassava plant, there are no chances of the presence of gluten. Also, this plant does not fall under the grain category making tapioca perfect for people that prefer a gluten-free diet.
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What Is Tapioca? What Is Tapioca Made Of?
If you haven’t tasted or used tapioca before, you’ll surely wonder what it is and how it looks. Well, tapioca is a type of starch extracted from the cassava root. This root is easier to grow and is found in several countries, including South America, Asia, and Africa.
Since tapioca is pure starch, the nutritional value is on the higher side. Moreover, it is naturally gluten free and can be used as a substitute for wheat for cooking and baking. Tapioca is available in the dry form, and you’ll find it in pearls, flakes, and flour options.
Talking about the production of tapioca, it may vary depending on the location, but the process everywhere is almost similar. The first step is churning the starch, which is done by squeezing the cassava root. Once the starch is extracted, it is allowed to dry so that the moisture evaporates.
After all the moisture has evaporated, you get a fine residue known as tapioca flour. Manufacturers then process this powder and use it to make flakes, pearls, and other products.
Some people mistake tapioca flour with cassava flour, but both are not the same. However, both are gluten-free since they come from the same plant.
Is Tapioca Vegan?
Yes, tapioca is vegan and does not include any ingredients apart from the cassava root. There are no additives used in these flakes, flours, and pearls, so people following a vegan diet can consume them.
It would be great to see the label of ingredients before buying any tapioca product. You should see what the manufacturer has used, as sometimes you’ll find animal products used to enhance the flavor of the tapioca product.
5 Amazing Ways To Use Gluten-Free Tapioca
The use of tapioca is not limited to just one or two products, but you can use it for making a variety of dishes. Below you will find some fantastic ways to use gluten-free tapioca to make delicious dishes.
Tapioca is mostly present in flatbread manufactured in some developing countries. The bread can be eaten for dinner, breakfast, or a dessert depending on the type of topping used on it.
Tapioca is a perfect thickener and can easily make that tiny and watery gravy thick and delicious. Moreover, tapioca has a neutral flavor and does not intervene with the original taste of the dish.
3. Binding Agent
When added to nuggets and burgers, tapioca helps improve the binding by making the dough stickier. The best characteristic of tapioca is that it does not get soggy and forms a gel that enhances the flavor of the dish.
4. Desserts and Puddings
Pearls made using tapioca are suitable for adding into puddings, cakes, desserts, and bubble tea.
Tapioca flour is an excellent ingredient for making gluten-free breads. However, some other flours combined with it may contain grains. Therefore, always be sure about the flours you use with tapioca when making gluten-free bread.
Brands You Can Choose for Gluten-free Tapioca
There are plenty of brands that manufacture high-quality tapioca using the best techniques to avoid cross-contamination. Below is a list of brands you can trust for buying tapioca.
Shiloh Farms is a gluten-free certified retailer of tapioca. You can buy one-pound bags of these quality starch and use them for several purposes. You’ll find “sourced from Thailand” written on the bags since the tapioca comes from cassava root of Thailand.
If you are looking for tapioca for baking purposes, there is no better choice than Big River Grains. The brand hails from Oregon and is popular for offering oats-free and gluten-free products.
Also, the brand claims that they are extra careful about cross-contamination. You’ll find cassava flour and tapioca in the gluten-free range Big River Grains offers.
NOW is a famous brand known for its supplements. Also, it offers gluten-free certified tapioca that’s tested in the labs. The brand also claims that tapioca is allergen-free and does not contain any animal products.
Ener-G sells tapioca in different forms, including flour and starch. Moreover, the brand tests its products to ensure they do not fall below a specific PPM level. If you are looking for tapioca for baking purposes, you can trust Ener-G.
Q: Is all tapioca gluten-free?
A: Yes, all types of tapioca are gluten-free since it comes from the same plant. However, you need to be sure about the brand you are choosing.
Q: What is a gluten-free substitute for tapioca?
A: You can use xanthan gum instead of tapioca flour because it is also gluten free. When buying xanthan gum, go through the list of ingredients to know what’s in there.
Q: Is cassava and tapioca the same?
A: No, cassava and tapioca are not the same. Both have different properties but are gluten-free. Also, both come from the same plant.
Tapioca is gluten free, and you can use it for making breads, desserts, and a lot of gluten-free items. When choosing tapioca flour, choose a trusted brand that offers certified gluten-free products. Since tapioca is just pure starch, there is little chance of the presence of gluten.
If you want to avoid eating grains and need an alternative that’s perfect for your celiac diet, you can choose tapioca.