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What is tapioca? In recent years, this product has gained importance as an excellent substitute for bread, as it does not contain gluten, which is found in wheat flour, an ingredient in traditional bread.
Gluten is a protein composed of a mixture of proteins gliadin and glutenin, which is found naturally in the seeds of cereals such as wheat, barley, rye, and oats.
This protein has long been known as the “villain” for causing bloating in the abdominal region in some individuals (specific and individual cases) and for causing serious problems in people with celiac disease.
Nowadays, tapioca is widely consumed in various meals of our day, such as breakfast, mid-morning and afternoon snacks, or even for a simple dinner always accompanied by different fillings.
But do you know what food tapioca is produced from? Do you know its true benefits?
Tapioca: What is it
Tapioca is a typical Brazilian food, traditional to the cultures of the north and northeast.
With Para roots, this delicacy has spread throughout Brazil and has become a food present on the table of many Brazilians seeking a healthier life, especially in the southeastern region.
Tapioca granules or flour are produced from the starch extracted from the roots of cassava (starch fraction originating from the roots and tubers of cassava), considered the noblest by-product of cassava.
Cassava starch, in some other regions of Brazil, may also be known as a powder or sweet gum, when some moisture is added.
Made from cassava gum (starch + moisture), tapioca is sold with irregular granular characteristics (of various sizes), or as flour, presenting a fine, light white, and crisp powder.
Next, I am going to talk to you about some of the properties that tapioca has:
Nutritional composition of tapioca
Tapioca is a natural, gluten-free, “fat-free” food that is low in sodium and protein.
It is an excellent source of carbohydrates because it contains starch, so this product becomes an option to replace recipes that use wheat flour, such as white bread and toast in meals, also rich in carbohydrates.
Quickly absorbed and easily digested energy
Because it is rich in starch, tapioca is a food that provides energy for rapid absorption. In 100 g, or 3 full tablespoons of tapioca, 277 kcal is provided. White bread, for example, has 289 kcal.
For this reason, to make the most of tapioca for the benefit of your health, its consumption should be done in moderate amounts (without exaggeration), as well as bread.
Does tapioca make you fat?
It depends on how you consume this food. The quantity consumed, the fillings, and the chosen follow-ups are decisive. The consumption of tapioca can be part of a balanced diet, as long as the fillings include healthy foods such as ricotta, chestnuts, eggs, fruits, and vegetables, for example.
Tapioca and physical activity Due to all the factors mentioned above – immediate energy and quick and easy absorption – tapioca is an excellent option for those who practice physical exercises, especially in the pre-workout. This food provides a lot of energy for medium and long-duration physical activity, but it does not effectively help you gain lean mass (muscle).
How to make Tapioca
Tapioca can be consumed in combination with various other foods, according to your creativity! This product can be prepared in different ways. But generally, it is prepared using hydrated tapioca gum, or tapioca prepared batter, which can be added with a pinch of salt, just to lift the flavor.
It is not necessary to use a nonstick skillet to prepare the oil or fat. The tapioca will be loose and won’t stick! As tapiocas are usually sold hydrated, you just have to check if the size of the granules you like. If the granules are large, you can sift them before putting them in the pan.
Heat nonstick skillet; Add the prepared pasta to the skillet and spread the tapioca in the skillet so that it covers the entire pan and presents a thin, single layer (the heat should be medium); Flip the tapioca and add whatever filling you want!
It can be salty tapioca, filled with cheeses, vegetables, proteins such as chicken, tuna, or ground meat, for example. Or sweet tapioca, filled with peanut butter, jelly, or fruit; After adding the filling, just close the tapioca in half and enjoy! As we have seen before, tapioca provides many benefits for our health. Depending on how you consume this food, tapioca can and should be part of your diet and of your conscious and healthy eating. The options and varieties are huge.
Making tapioca with roasted fillings
Now that we’ve learned how to make tapioca, shall we think about fillings?
No matter what filling you choose – salty, sweet, or vegetable – they should be added when the tapioca is firm and falls off the pan.
Here are some options for savory fillings:
- Stuffed with arugula, dried tomato, and buffalo mozzarella
- With the flavor of pizza, this is a light and very tasty option!
- Canastra cheese and fine herbs filling
It’s a great option to vary the afternoon and evening snacks! You can use the curd, the mozzarella or the fresh mine. Make your choice!
Rich cream filling and green scent
Ricotta is a very nutritious food and contains few calories. For this reason, it is a great option for dieters, as well as providing a lot of creaminess to your tapioca.
Shredded chicken filling with cream cheese and the smell of green
Some people don’t give up on the good old chicken diet, do they? That could be a great option for dinner or after training! You can still add leaves like lettuce, watercress, and rocket.
Stuffed with dried meat and cottage cheese
You can’t introduce the savory fillings and not talk about the classic “jerky and cottage cheese,” right? It is a very tasty option. But beware, this filling provides a high sodium content.
Filled with grated rennet cheese, Brazil nuts, and honey
For lovers of sweet and savory, this is a delicious option! In this filling, you get the protein of the cheese, the good fats of the Brazil nut, and the beneficial properties of honey!
Honey must be added at the end of the preparation and does not need to be heated.
Tapioca with a sweet filling
Sweet choices are not vile and should not be excluded from the diet! Use these fillings to satisfy that sudden craving for sweets. But be careful: its consumption must be moderate!
Remember: the addition of sugars is not necessary!
Banana, cinnamon, and honey filling
Banana with cinnamon and honey goes very well in a quick and practical snack. Don’t forget to add the honey right at the end!
Strawberry filling with half dark chocolate
Who doesn’t love a chocolate strawberry? In tapioca it’s delicious! Choose medium bitter chocolates, which have a lower amount of sugar for a higher amount of cocoa!
Crispy peanut paste filling
Excellent caloric option for those who practice intense physical activities. It is not recommended for those who want to lose weight!
Fruit jelly filling
Brazil features a multitude of types of fruit jellies! Take advantage of the different flavors to innovate your tapioca!