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What's the Deal with Tapioca Flour?

by (602)
Updated September 16, 2014 at 7:16 PM
Created November 26, 2010 at 10:51 PM

OK what's the story with tapioca flour? We are looking at using it for our cheat pizzas which we try to keep as cheat free as possible. Anyone know anything about this stuff?

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8879 · October 10, 2011 at 4:56 PM

I use it all the time to dredge instead of regular flour and it sure does thicken my stews nicely. No gluten that I'm aware of. I'll trust Paul Jaminet of Perfect Health Diet on this!

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602 · November 28, 2010 at 10:38 PM

We had previously been using almond meal when we made something with a crust..and that's not often..say once a month. Whole9 agreed with me that this is the way to go. All in all, we grind the almonds ourselves and know what's in it. Who knows what they do to tapioca!

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20787 · November 27, 2010 at 6:45 AM

Interesting about the kidney stones. Really might need a whole separate post on the perfect health diet. For me, I do agree it is likely the main prob with the kidney stones is probably something that is cut out of the diet along with the carbs. Maybe vit C or maybe something more complicated. But I think we all may be to some extent still flailing in the wind trying to figure this one out. The masai and the innuit don't get a bunch of kidney stones on their meat packed diet, so I don't think the prob is meat and lack of carbs exactly, but something more specific.

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20787 · November 27, 2010 at 4:56 AM

Yep, you can just put all the regular ingredients, minus the crust, into a bowl and heat em in the micro.

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9948 · November 27, 2010 at 3:33 AM

I need to credit Richard Nikoley http://freetheanimal.com/ with the meatza preparation. Use the search function on his homepage for Meatza for variations.

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834 · November 27, 2010 at 2:47 AM

This is the most amazing thing I have ever heard of. Thanks for sharing Dexter!

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15966 · November 27, 2010 at 2:47 AM

These things really end up tasting like pizza? I stay away from these kinda cheats but I have often wondered if going thru all these steps is worth it.

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9 Answers

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3690 · November 27, 2010 at 5:22 AM

I'd say to go ahead with the tapioca starch.

I understand the point of view of others who like to use meat for the crust or nothing at all, but gosh if you're going to eat some carbs, it might as well be non-toxic and non-fructose laden, and tapioca is a good contender for both.

The other thing is that we have to remember that not everybody on a paleo diet likes to eat close to zero-carbs and we see more and more possible advantages of having at least a little carbs in ones diet for already healthy people.

I'm talking here about the series on the possible dangers of long-term very low-carb diets by the Perfect health diet:

http://perfecthealthdiet.com/?cat=82

Like it or not, they bring some good points to the table.

So in summary, as long a you don't drive a major part of your calories from tapioca, it should be perfectly fine, maybe even healthful, even if it's a micronutrient-poor source of carbs. Sweet potatoes would of course be a better choice as a source of carbs.

62ed65f3596aa2f62fa1d58a0c09f8c3
20787 · November 27, 2010 at 6:45 AM

Interesting about the kidney stones. Really might need a whole separate post on the perfect health diet. For me, I do agree it is likely the main prob with the kidney stones is probably something that is cut out of the diet along with the carbs. Maybe vit C or maybe something more complicated. But I think we all may be to some extent still flailing in the wind trying to figure this one out. The masai and the innuit don't get a bunch of kidney stones on their meat packed diet, so I don't think the prob is meat and lack of carbs exactly, but something more specific.

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9948 · November 27, 2010 at 1:56 AM

Why cheat at all when you can make a meatza?

Line a glass dish that was used for macaroni cassaroles with ground round 1/4 inch thick. Cook at 400 F for 12 min til brown.

Pizza sauce is spaghetti sauce cooked in saucepan with with crushed garlic and dried thyme and dried basil and dried oregano. Take a medium onion and juice it. My hand grater has a backside that will juice the onion along with pulp. Cook slowly for 15 min til herbs permeate the sauce.

Precook Farmer John sausage in small pieces and drain.

Purchase pepperoni slices at store.

Grate mozarella cheese and any other kinds of cheese you like.

I use a whole can of mushroom pieces.

I also use green pepper and onion as toppings.

Now start layering on the cooked hamburger meat, the pizza sauce, cheese, toppings one after another after another until it is about a half inch higher than the side of the dish.

Cook 400 F for 12 to 15 min.

You cannot tell the wheat pizza crust is not there. It saves well in the fridge. Cut out squares for a quicky heat up in the microwave.

All the pizza taste without the gluten.

06d21b99c58283ce575e36c4ecd4a458
9948 · November 27, 2010 at 3:33 AM

I need to credit Richard Nikoley http://freetheanimal.com/ with the meatza preparation. Use the search function on his homepage for Meatza for variations.

A3e654929c08c0723607842656b57f8f
834 · November 27, 2010 at 2:47 AM

This is the most amazing thing I have ever heard of. Thanks for sharing Dexter!

667f6c030b0245d71d8ef50c72b097dc
15966 · November 27, 2010 at 2:47 AM

These things really end up tasting like pizza? I stay away from these kinda cheats but I have often wondered if going thru all these steps is worth it.

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20 · October 10, 2011 at 3:44 PM

Have you ever thought of making a frittata? My family and I make it when we have pizza cravings. Scramble eggs with desired seasonings. Cook in a warmed and 'oiled' (we prefer our local pasture fed butter) cast iron skillet. Since you are wanting a pizza type flavor add in cooked onions, fresh basil, fresh tomatoes, meat of choice and some cheese. that is if you are eating cheese. I like to top mine off parmesan cheese and a tomato sauce made with caramelized onions with finely grated carrots. This surprisingly tastes like a pizza!

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18671 · November 27, 2010 at 3:29 PM

We often use ground sausage for the bottom of a quiche, similar to what Dexter suggested, but you can also make a fine crust out of grated cheese, if you're having dairy -- just press it into the pan and load it with your egg mix if it's quiche, or sauce and toppings if it's 'pizza'. Another alternative is nuts -- again a controversial paleo ingredient, but acceptable to many. In this case you grind them, and mix with butter or other fat, press into the pan and pre-bake. I use this for sweeter dishes, but might work for a savoury dish, too.

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602 · November 28, 2010 at 10:38 PM

We had previously been using almond meal when we made something with a crust..and that's not often..say once a month. Whole9 agreed with me that this is the way to go. All in all, we grind the almonds ourselves and know what's in it. Who knows what they do to tapioca!

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45 · September 14, 2012 at 3:53 AM

What's wrong with tapioca? It comes from the cassava root and is paleo.

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40 · November 27, 2010 at 4:18 AM

As far as I can remember Tapioca is 89% carbos and very poor nutritional value. I eat my pizzas without crust.

62ed65f3596aa2f62fa1d58a0c09f8c3
20787 · November 27, 2010 at 4:56 AM

Yep, you can just put all the regular ingredients, minus the crust, into a bowl and heat em in the micro.

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0 · March 19, 2013 at 12:51 AM

I see people are referring to eating zero carbs. This is not the point of paleo, anywhere between 50-150 per day to maintain. Only drop below 50 when teaching your body to burn ketones. And always remember the 80/20 rule so you don't crash. P.S. I have been doing paleo for years and don't really believe there are any dangers!

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138 · September 14, 2012 at 12:41 AM

I consider tapioca, like white rice, (ooh boo, hiss grains) to be a "safe starch". Personally, I prefer meatza, but my wife and kiddos really like the breadiness of "chebe bread crust." www.chebe.com is a good way to find this stuff. A little bit now and then is ok, especially if you smother it in loads of good food and lots of fat to lower the glycemic index. No, it shouldn't be a staple, and yes, it is basically pure nutrient-free carbs, but for the occasional pizza crust or (gasp) burger buns... It is a nice way to keep my wife and kids happy while still maintaining a gluten free, paleo( ish) household. Remember, this is not a religion, no one is gonna banish you to grok-hell for this. Just keep the frequency and dosage low, and you'll be fine!

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10054 · October 10, 2011 at 4:51 PM

Does anyone use tapioca flour instead of corn starch or wheat flour to thicken sauces or chili? Does tapioca flour have less anti-nutrients than wheat flour or corn starch? I don't plan on consuming any tapioca flour other than a teaspoon or 2 as thickener in recipes that call for flour or corn starch.

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8879 · October 10, 2011 at 4:56 PM

I use it all the time to dredge instead of regular flour and it sure does thicken my stews nicely. No gluten that I'm aware of. I'll trust Paul Jaminet of Perfect Health Diet on this!

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