Gluten-free flours have become increasingly popular in recent years, and the number of alternatives available has multiplied quickly. Many people seeking out gluten-free flours are those with gluten intolerance or sensitivity who don’t want to give up on delicious baked goods. Other people are looking for more nutritious alternatives to refined white flour, which has much of its protein and nutrient content processed right out of it.
There is no shortage of gluten-free flours now on the market, including corn flour, rice flour, quinoa flour, barley flour and millet flour. However, while it’s easy to find a wheat flour alternative, it is much more difficult to find a true wheat flour substitute that provides similar taste and texture and allows for easy recipe conversion. Many options have coarse or otherwise unappealing textures, may taste bitter or bland and require you to toss your traditional recipes in favor of recipes that have been specifically designed for these flours.
Enter Otto’s Naturals Cassava Flour. This flour is not only gluten- and nut-free, but its taste and texture are indistinguishable from wheat flour. Furthermore, this cassava flour can be used in recipes in the exact same quantities as wheat flour, so users can keep using their favorite recipes without complicated adjustments.
An International Search for Great Gluten Substitutes
The owners of Otto’s Naturals, Sadie and her husband John, discovered their own gluten sensitivity around 2001. During their extensive travels, they began to make a point of trying various gluten alternatives from around the world. They gathered ideas from many different countries and continents, from Zimbabwe to Honduras to Norway, and also frequented every ethic market they came across in the United States.
Cassava flour was one of their great discoveries. Cassava, also known as yuca, is a starchy root vegetable that is a staple of many diets in Africa, Asia and Latin America. Cassava flour was the best and easiest substitute for wheat flour that Sadie and John had come across.
Even so, the cassava flours that they experimented with were not quite perfect. They had a crunchy texture due to bits of unpeeled skin in the finished product, and also had a slightly musty and sour smell due to fermentation during the drying process.
Finally, in Brazil, they found the perfect cassava flour. With every bit of skin carefully peeled and the ground cassava dried through baking to prevent fermentation and mold, this flour was the perfect gluten-free substitute for wheat flour. Using the same method that they learned in Brazil, Sadie and John founded Otto’s Naturals and began to produce their own top-quality cassava flour.
The Perfect Taste, Texture and Baking
Using this cassava flour is just about as easy as it gets. For most recipes, users can simply use the same quantity of Otto’s Cassava Flour as they would have used of wheat flour. This means that they don’t have to replace much-loved recipes or calculate new flour proportions for their favorite recipes. Of course, if they do want to try recipes that have been specifically created for Otto’s Cassava Flour, the Otto’s Naturals website has a number of classic recipes, and new recipes are posted frequently on their Facebook page.
It addition to providing a texture that mimics wheat flour, Otto’s Cassava Flour also has a taste that many users are unable to distinguish from standard, refined wheat flour. Sweet treats like cookies and cakes taste just a good as they used to with wheat flour, and the flour can also be used in savory recipes like tempura, gravies and sauces.
Otto’s Naturals Cassava Flour can be purchased at their website, and they will ship to many international locations (shipping costs will vary).