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    Stephaniex3's Avatar
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    Is tapioca flour primal approved?

    Is yuca and tapioca flour (which is yuca flour) okay to eat? I know it has a lot of carbs, but it's not a grain it's a root.
    Stephanie

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    IcarianVX's Avatar
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    I eat it every now and then as either Chebe focaccia bread or I will eat the hell out of these: http://www.marksdailyapple.com/forum/thread35975.html (Saoirse for President!!!)
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    Cassava is a starchy tuber, so it's Primal approved by definition. The whole food may be approved, but I'm guessing Primal frowns upon grinding it up into a high GI starch. However, coconut flour and almond meal are Primal approved, and tapioca flour is infinitely less harmful than almond meal. Gross.

    I use white rice flour and tapioca flour every week.

    I have coconut flour and use it every now and again.

    I have potato starch.

    I even use corn starch on occasion a teaspoon at a time as a thickener for clear sauces.

    Out of all those, tapioca flour has been by far the best to me. I use white rice flour the most because it's cheapest, but tapioca flour gives me the best structure when baking and produces the most wheat-like results I've ever seen. I generally use white rice flour and tapioca flour in roughly a 3:1 ratio. If I'm making a pie crust, I use 1/4 cup of tapioca and 1 cup of white rice flour. If I'm making a chocolate cake, I use 1 1/4 cups white rice flour, 1/2 cup cocoa and 1/2 cup tapioca flour. I've been slowly increasing the tapioca flour because the more white rice flour I displace with tapioca, the better the results seem to be. I'm still learning gluten free baking myself.

    If you can handle the carbs, there is no reason to avoid tapioca flour. The whole food is as Primal as can be and the flour is no different other than it'll spike your blood sugar faster - which is a positive if you're a heavy lifter post-workout (which is where all mine is eaten).
    Last edited by ChocoTaco369; 12-07-2011 at 05:08 PM.
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    Dr. Bork Bork's Avatar
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    I recently made pastry dough using tapioca flour and got a good bit of praise for it, so I'd say you're good to go!
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    pjgh's Avatar
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    It's a starch, and as such understand how starches fit into your goals.

    I'm happy with starches, and tapioca flour features every few weeks in my cooking - I make up these: living in the ice age: Cheese Puffs

    I don't know about "primal approved", but I think Mark would endorse the notion ... with the understanding that it is starchy.

    Other good starches are rice flour and potato flour - you can get this as farina, just as you can get tapioca as fufu flour. Make up a hot stew and drop a couple of balls of tapioca flour in to cook through, used as small pieces moulded into little discs to pick up the stew: living in the ice age: Cod Shito

    ... or just do whatever it was you were thinking of ... I'm interested ...

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    pjgh's Avatar
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    Hahaha ... beaten to the punch by Choco & Bork!

    If you're interested in exploring the experimental science and kitchen fun of these kind of ingredients, these guys (sorry, Bork ... you know what I mean) are two to follow.

    In a word, starches ain't going to kill you ... within reason.

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    Stephaniex3's Avatar
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    Choco...Why is almond meal gross??? Thanks for the information everyone!
    Stephanie

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    I've been one of the biggest anti-nut meal champions around here for months. I personally think they're pretty terrible for your health. Ironically, Mark just did an in-depth post on it about a week or two ago and he came to a similar conclusion that I've had for awhile, albeit less extreme.

    Are Roasted Nuts Healthy? | Mark's Daily Apple

    The fact is, nut meals contain huge amounts of omega 6 polyunsaturated fats. Now, I'm not going to sit here and tell you that 6g of omega 6 from whole almonds is as bad for you as 6g of omega 6 from adding a tablespoon of soybean oil to your food. There's no way. When you eat the nuts, you're getting essential vitamins and minerals, protein and lots of anti-oxidants that prevent the fat inside from going rancid. But bake it and it's another story.

    What you're doing is heating huge amounts of omega 6 polyunsaturated fats well past their smoke point for long periods of time. You're creating a rancid, high calorie, oxidized omega 6 bomb. Compare 1 cup of ground almonds to 1 cup of corn flour:

    Almonds, ground, 1 cup (95g)
    Calories...546
    Total Fat...47g
    Saturated Fat...3.5g
    Monounsaturated Fat...29.3g
    Polyunsaturated Fat...11.5g
    Total Carbohydrate...21g
    Fiber...12g
    Protein...20g
    Omega 3...0.0057g
    Omega 6...11.46g

    Now compare it to masa harina (corn flour).

    Corn flour, masa, white, enriched, 1 cup (114g)
    Calories...416
    Total Fat...4.3g
    Saturated Fat...0.6g
    Monounsaturated Fat...1.1g
    Polyunsaturated Fat...2.0g
    Total Carbohydrate...87g
    Fiber...11g
    Protein...11g
    Omega 3...0.059g
    Omega 6...1.9g

    And I purposely picked corn flour because it's one of the "worse" flours. You'd see much better numbers with something like buckwheat, sorghum or tapioca flour. Using corn flour you remain gluten free, you take in over 6 times less rancid polyunsaturated fat, you get surprisingly not all that much less protein, save yourself 130 calories and "only" take in 66g more carbohydrate. I say "only" because I know my body handles carbohydrate very well, and I'd rather raise my blood sugar a little more than take in all that oxidized omega 6. You're actually getting around 1/5 of the phytate in corn flour vs almond meal as well. Almond meal is excruciatingly high in phytic acid.

    Besides, I can actually use corn flour to my advantage. After a big, heavy workout, a nice big pre-fermented cornbread with some chicken breast is a fantastic post-workout recovery meal that actually encourages weight loss. I can't ever think of a time where all those nuts would be beneficial to me. They're more calorically dense than chocolate, you know.

    Anyway, that's just my opinion. Sorry for the rant. Check out Mark's article, it's very informative. I'm a bit more extreme than his stance, but I've been looking at it longer so I feel more comfortable ranting about it, haha.

    Nutrition Facts and Analysis for Nuts, almonds [Includes USDA commodity food A256, A264]
    Nutrition Facts and Analysis for Corn flour, masa, enriched, white

    Note that omega 3's are even WORSE to heat than omega 6's. They're even longer chain and more unstable. If you think cooking with almond meal is bad, try cooking with flax meal. Do you know what heated flax is? They have a name for it. Varnish. If you enjoy flaxseeds, store it in an opaque container IN YOUR FRIDGE and don't cook with it. Sprinkle it on your salads and call it a day. (Don't worry, you can still cook your fish as it's a whole food loaded with anti-oxidants but the shorter the better. The EPA and DHA content degrades rapidly with heat! Frying a whole fish for 4 minutes on each side is way different than baking flax meal at 350+ degrees for 30-40 minutes!)
    Last edited by ChocoTaco369; 12-07-2011 at 07:05 PM.
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  9. #9
    nicess's Avatar
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    I think Mark would endorse the notion ... with the understanding that it is starchy.

  10. #10
    Dr. Bork Bork's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by pjgh View Post
    Hahaha ... beaten to the punch by Choco & Bork!

    If you're interested in exploring the experimental science and kitchen fun of these kind of ingredients, these guys (sorry, Bork ... you know what I mean) are two to follow.
    Aw, I'm flattered you consider me "one of the GUYS" lol. I'd say "let's go get a beer & shoot some pool", but I don't booze
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