Let’s find out more about tapioca, a tasty and healthy food: its origin, benefits and some recipes.
Tapioca, other than being very tasty, has amazing nutritional properties. It is an ancient food, rich in benefits; moreover, it’s healthy and cheap. Let’s find out more about it!
What is tapioca?
Tapioca, also called yuca, is a starch extracted from an ancient South-American plant: cassava. It needs a very low amount of energy to grow, so it is one of the most eco-friendly cultivations in the world. Its skin is very dark and hard, but its pulp is very delicate and white. From this tuber come little balls that, once cooked, become transparent and gelatinous. This starch is very useful both in the kitchen and for your body.
Tapioca: nutritional properties
This food has manu nutritional properties. Its success is due to its lack of gluten. Moroever, it is caloric and energizing, rich in simple carbohydrates, minerals and vitamins. It can easily replace cereals an flours. Ideal for celiacs and people suffering from diabetes or irritable bowel syndrome.
–B group vitamins. They are fundamental for the liver and the nervous system.
–Minerals. Essential for the whole body. Among them, there are magnesium, which regulates glycemia, and calcium, fundamental for teeth and bones. It also contain zinc, for the immune system and cell growth, and potassium, to metabolize carbohydrates.
–Saponins. They soothe inflammations, rebalance the intestinal flora and clean the joints from mineral deposits.
Nutritional values and calories
Tapioca starch only gives our body carbohydrates and a very low quantity of proteins. 100 grams of its flour contain 360 calories, which are: 96g of carbohydrates, 0,6g of proteins and 0,2g of fat.
How to use tapioca
Tapioca flour is very light and easy to digest. It is often used to make baby food, or it is included in the diets of convalescents and of people with intestine problems. It gives energy to babies and people in recovery.
You can also use it in your normal recipes, as it easily replace potatoes. For example, you can try the tapioca soup. Mix the broth with the sifted flour, than season as you like. You can also create an original salad by mixing tapioca with other cereals and vegetables. It is also perfect in puddings: mix it with coconut, you’ll be amazed!
This recipe is very common in Latin America. Peel the tuber, dice it and let it cook in boiling water for half an hour. Then, put it in a pan with some seed oil for a few minutes and add salt. It’s ready!
Quinoa and tapioca crepe pie
This recipe is easy to make, tasty and healthy:
- Mix 125gr of quinoa flour with 250ml of milk, 1 pinch of salt, 3 eggs and a tablespoon of oil. Heat a non-stick pan with a pat of butter, then pour the mix, that is your crepe, and cook it. Make more than one. Once cooled, cut them in squares.
- Cook 500gr of chard in salted water. Drain and cook it again in a pan with 10gr of butter. In the meanwhile, brown onion, salt, pepper and basil, then add 700gr of tomato sauce.
- Melt 50gr of butter, then add 80gr of chickpea flour and 80gr of tapioca flour. Then, add 500ml of boiling milk and mix until you obtain a homogeneous white sauce.
- In a baking pan, put first the crepe, then the white sauces, the chard and finally the tomato sauce, layering all the ingredients until you finish them. Bake at 180° for 20 minutes. Serve with some tomato sauce.
You can use tapioca as a beauty product, too. How? Just mix two or three tablespoon of its flour with some water, then apply on your face. It is a perfect moisturizing mask which will leave your skin soft and shiny.
Photo source: https://pixabay.com/it/sfondo-luminoso-dettaglio-cibo-15621/, https://pixabay.com/it/tapioca-perle-budino-cannella-3162277/
Nicoletta Chiara Romano