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What is Cassava Bread

Cassava Bread - caribbeangreenliving.com

Cassava bread is a traditional flatbread made from the root vegetable cassava (also known as yuca or manioc). It is a staple food in many parts of the world, including Latin America, Africa, and the Caribbean. Cassava bread is naturally gluten-free and has a slightly sweet, nutty flavor. It is also a good source of fiber and carbohydrates.

Cassava bread is made by peeling, grating, and pressing the cassava root to remove the poisonous juice. The pulp is then dried and ground into flour. The flour is mixed with water and sometimes other ingredients, such as salt, eggs, or milk. The dough is then rolled out and cooked on a griddle or pan.

Cassava bread can be eaten plain or used to make sandwiches, wraps, and other dishes. It is also often served with soups, stews, and other main courses.

Cassava bread resembles a big cracker. Made with manioc or yuca, it is very rich in starch. Cassava bread is considered a breakfast, supper, and snack food.  

History of Cassava Bread

Cassava bread has been eaten for centuries by indigenous peoples around the world. The Taino people of the Caribbean were among the first to make cassava bread. They would often use it as a staple food and for religious rituals.

Cassava bread was also introduced to Europe by Spanish and Portuguese explorers in the 15th century. It quickly became popular in many parts of Europe, including Spain, Portugal, and Italy. Cassava bread was also brought to Africa by enslaved people from the Caribbean and South America.

Today, cassava bread is still a popular food in many parts of the world. It is particularly popular in Latin America, Africa, and the Caribbean. Cassava bread is also becoming increasingly popular in other parts of the world, such as the United States and Europe.

Cassava is the third most important source of calories in the tropics, after rice and corn.

Other names for cassava?

Cassava is also called yuca flour or manioc. Often compared to potatoes, Cassava is referred to as a whole root. The flour is used for cooking and baking. Other names for cassava are yuca, manioc, mandioca, casabe, and tapioca. 

Cassava root has brown, fibrous skin and a snowy white interior flesh and is about 2 inches wide and 8 inches long. This root must be cooked before consumption, and raw cassava is poisonous.

Benefits of Cassava Bread

Cassava bread is a good source of fiber and carbohydrates. It is also naturally gluten-free and low in fat. Cassava bread is a good choice for people with celiac disease, gluten intolerance, or other dietary restrictions.

Cassava bread is also a good source of resistant starch. Resistant starch is a type of starch that is not digested by the small intestine. It passes through the small intestine and is fermented by the good bacteria in the colon. Resistant starch has been shown to have a number of health benefits, including improving gut health, reducing inflammation, and boosting the immune system.

Cassava Bread - caribbeangreenliving.com
Cassava Bread Plain and Cassava Coconut Bread

Benefits of Cassava Bread

  • Gluten-free: Cassava bread is a good choice for people with celiac disease, gluten intolerance, or other dietary restrictions.
  • Low in fat: Cassava bread is a low-fat food, making it a good choice for people who are watching their weight or cholesterol intake.
  • Good fiber source: Fiber helps keep the digestive system healthy and can help lower cholesterol levels.
  • Good source of carbohydrates: Carbohydrates are the body’s main source of energy.
  • Resistant starch: Cassava bread is a good source of resistant starch, which has been shown to have a number of health benefits, including improving gut health, reducing inflammation, and boosting the immune system.

Where to Buy Cassava

Products or foods made with cassava are available in many stores. The flour, crackers or bread, and chips can be found in several Caribbean and Latin markets and also on Amazon

The whole root is found in the Caribbean and Latin markets in the vegetable section. You will probably find it near the potatoes. When buying the whole root, cover it with a somewhat waxy coating. The skin should be firm, and the ends as well. If the end is soft and you cannot see part of the flesh, the root starts to rot. Check the flesh for discoloration and odor if the root is cut or sliced. 

In Haiti, cassava bread is sold plain or mixed with grated coconuts. It is usually enjoyed with Haitian Hot Chocolate and Haitian Peanut Butter.

Is it a good substitute for regular bread?

Yes, cassava bread is a good substitute for regular bread. It has a similar texture and flavor to wheat bread, but it is naturally gluten-free and low in fat. Cassava bread is also a good source of fiber and carbohydrates.

Here are some common dishes with cassava flour:

  • Cassava bread: Cassava bread is a traditional flatbread made from cassava flour. It is a staple food in many parts of the world, including Latin America, Africa, and the Caribbean. Cassava bread is gluten-free and has a slightly sweet, nutty flavor. It can be eaten plain or used to make sandwiches, wraps, and other dishes.
  • Funge: Funge is a type of porridge made from cassava flour. It is a popular dish in West and Central Africa. Funge is typically served with stews or soups.
  • Cassava pancakes: Cassava pancakes are a gluten-free alternative to traditional pancakes. They can be made with cassava flour, eggs, milk, and baking powder. Cassava pancakes can be served with sweet or savory toppings.
  • Cassava tortillas: Cassava tortillas are a gluten-free alternative to traditional tortillas. They can be made with cassava flour, water, and salt. Cassava tortillas can be used to make tacos, burritos, and other Mexican dishes.
  • Cassava cookies: Cassava cookies are a gluten-free alternative to traditional cookies. They can be made with cassava flour, eggs, butter, and sugar. Cassava cookies can be flavored with chocolate chips, nuts, or other ingredients.

These are just a few examples of the many dishes that can be made with cassava flour. Cassava flour can be used to make a variety of gluten-free and nutritious dishes. It is a versatile ingredient that can be used to create both sweet and savory dishes.

Can it replace the dinner roll?

Yes, cassava bread can replace dinner rolls. It has a similar texture and flavor to wheat bread, but it is naturally gluten-free and low in fat. Cassava bread is also a good source of fiber and carbohydrates.

Cassava bread can be used to make sandwiches, wraps, and other dishes. It can also be eaten plain or served with soups, stews, and other main courses.

Here are some tips for using cassava bread as a substitute for dinner rolls:

  • If you are using cassava bread to make sandwiches, you may need to use a little more filling, as cassava bread is not as absorbent as wheat bread.
  • To give it a crispier texture, you can toast cassava bread in the toaster or oven.
  • Cassava bread can be frozen for up to 3 months. To defrost, thaw it at room temperature or in the refrigerator overnight.

If you are looking for a gluten-free and nutritious alternative to dinner rolls, cassava bread is a great option.

Storage

  • As far as I can remember, storing cassava root was not an option in the Caribbean as everything is consumed fresh. The unpeeled cassava root should be stored in a cool, dry place like the pantry.
  • The cassava bread should be stored in a plastic container with a lid or paper bag. 
  • Cassava chips should be stored in a cool, dry place, similar to any other type of chip.
  • Cassava flour should also be stored in a cool, dry place, in a plastic or glass container. 
  • If you wish to freeze the root, peel off the skin, slice it, and place it in a freezer bag for about 2 – 3 weeks. Remember that the taste of frozen cassava will not be the same as fresh. 

Cassava Bread has a nutty taste and a somewhat chewy texture. One of the favorite ways to enjoy cassava bread is with peanut butter and jelly. Many islanders also enjoy it with avocado, butter, spreadable cheese, or any other way they choose. Let’s not forget as a substitute for regular bread for chiquetaille (a spicy mixture of shredded meat with peppers).

Also, serve cassava with smoked salmon, tuna, jam or jelly, or simply spinach dip.

cassava bread - caribbeangreenliving.com

Cassava bread can also be made with other ingredients, such as eggs, milk, and sugar. You can also add herbs and spices to the dough for extra flavor.

If you are looking for a gluten-free and nutritious alternative to wheat bread, cassava bread is a great option. It is easy to make and has a delicious, slightly sweet flavor.

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