Imagine a paleo-friendly tortilla. Maybe it's a little fragile or weird-tasting, but hey, it's your only choice, right? Now imagine a warm, soft, resilient tortilla wrapped around your favorite taco fillings. Probably it's made of wheat and therefore very much NOT paleo. But, bring the strength and flavor and paleo-ness all together and you have genius: a tortilla made from Otto's Cassava Flour. Your taco ingredients are already lining up in the kitchen waiting for you. ~
For the true, true stories behind this incredible foodstuff, read on.
Oh my gosh - does the world really need another alternative flour? Before you answer that, ponder these. Do your paleofied wraps fall apart at the slightest hint of heft? Do you sometimes have corn tortillas even though you try to avoid GMOs because, hey, at least they're gluten-free? Does your favorite paleo brownie recipe involve multiple kinds of nut flours? Bing, bing, bing! Yes, yet one more alternative flour might be just the thing we need.
Here comes Otto's Naturals to solve this problem of "meh" paleo baked goods. Their pure, clean, tender cassava flour is visually indistinguishable from wheat flour. Its texture is dense, just like wheat flour. The flavor is, well, floury, just like wheat flour. The whole idea is pretty awesome, but when you realize you don't need to use gums or stabilizers to make everything work, you'll jump for joy. When you ALSO realize that this flour is Auto Immune Protocol (AIP) friendly, well, that's just icing on your soon to be cake.
Otto's tender powder, ground down from peeled yuca (cassava) root that's been baked dry, can be used cup for cup in your baking adventures. Have a great pancake recipe you miss from those gluten days? Swap in some Otto's. What about that brownie formula handed down from the days of celebrity yore? Bring it on.
The first time you make the simplest of Otto's Cassava Flour recipes–tortillas–you'll be ready to put your next order on speed-dial for when your bag runs out. A little water, a little flour, a little oil is all it takes. Form the balls, roll them out with plastic wrap nice and thin, and griddle until toasty brown. Cradle anything you love in them: veggies, meat, fish, nut butter, ice cream . . . ok, sorry. Went a little bit too far, there. But really, wouldn't an ice cream taco be kind of awesome?
Why Otto's Cassava Flour is so good for you
Foods made with Otto's Cassava Flour do not have that familiar dry or "alternative flour" taste or texture that often comes with gluten-free flours. Many cooks comment that baked goods made with Otto's are indistinguishable from their wheat based counterparts in taste and texture.
Otto's Cassava Flour is the very highest quality cassava flour available. Other cassava flours are hand peeled and sun dried. That sounds romantic, but it can produce undesireable results. As the cassava dries in the sun it ferments and takes on a sour, musty smell and taste. If it happens to rain, it must sit longer, allowing opportunity for mold to grow.
Otto's Cassava Flour, on the other hand, is thoroughly peeled and baked into a beautifully clean smelling and tasting flour for all of your baking adventures. This proprietary method leaves no chance for mold or fermentation to develop.
Here are some of the amazing nutrients in Cassava
Cassava has a high content of Vitamin B3, which helps to lower cholesterol.
Its rich source of absorbable manganese helps in the process of repairing joints.
Vitamin C is very well-recognized as a "good thing" but also, still, a critical nutrient to keep tissue growth normal and protect against oxidation. Cassava, like many vegetables, have ample Vitamin C.
How to use Otto's Cassava Flour
As a wheat flour replacement, Otto's Cassava Flour is versatile and swappable in nearly every recipe. A few exceptions are bound to exist, like yeast-based breads, but we think you'll find more than enough amazing ways to use it regardless. Here are just a few:
- Tortillas. This is pretty Otto's claim to fame: paleo tortillas that are delicious and don't break or crumble. The most famous recipe is from a blog called Fork and Beans: Paleo Tortillas with Cassava Flour
- Brownies or quick breads (like that infamous paleo banana bread!)
- How about a second tortilla recipe, a little stretchier and soft, from The Urban Poser? It comes complete with useage tips for the flour and more. Grain Free Tortillas
- Crepes! Wow, crepes. This is getting me pretty inspired.
- Otto's own recipe collection on their site.
- For more inspiration from around the web, check out Otto's on Instagram!
And check out this great video to see how easy it is to make a fine tortilla! Yum.
About Otto's Naturals, in their own words
"I figure a good place to start is at the beginning.
Hi! I'm Sadie. My husband John and I discovered our intolerances and sensitivities to grains shortly after we married in 2001. Not just to gluten, but to all grains. We're not celiac but we do end up bloated, uncomfortable, sometimes rashy, and several sizes bigger when we indulge. No thanks. Ok, real talk here . . . we are not perfect and there are times when an indulgence is worth it. Sometimes I just NEED a bag of peanut m&m’s, you know what I mean? In those moments the world is a safer place when I get them. ;)
Anyways, so we had this weird food thing all this time and the way we would deal with it was try to have fun with it. We tried to make it all about discovering new foods and new ways to eat old favorites. A great way to do that was to make a point of checking out every supermarket we could during our travels. Zimbabwe, Ireland, Honduras, Norway, France, to name a few highlights, all provided us with new ideas and fresh approaches. Visiting every ethnic market in our path while we're stateside is also something we enjoy doing together. We've shopped the African markets in Minneapolis, the Asian market in Middlesex, the Latin American markets in Bound Brook, and the Indian grocery stores in Journal Square.
We discovered so many fun things along the way. One of them was a cassava flour from Africa. It looked like traditional wheat flour, and baked (most of the time) like wheat flour. We were excited! But this flour also had a very sour, musty smell that definitely came out in the flavor of our finished products. And not in the wonderful, fragrant smell of sourdough bread way! We tried to spice things up a LOT to disguise it, but it was still there. The other draw back was that not enough of the peel was removed for a smooth, consistent texture in our baking. There was this dominant CRUNCH; like sand. It was still the closest thing to wheat that we ever came across though and we told all our gluten-free and grain-free friends about it (we found some along the way!). But the sour, musty taste and smell and gritty texture were deal breakers for most of the people to whom we gave the flour. And so began a search for cassava flour without those typical negative characteristics. We knew it was possible and we were set on finding it!
Our search ended in Brazil. Aside from being some of the most beautiful people on the planet, there is this tiny group of them that handle cassava like a BOSS. They turn out the most amazing, just-like-wheat product we have ever seen. It is meticulously handled and is just so different from every other cassava flour on the market that it blew us away. No sandy, gritty crunch and no fermented/musty taste or smell. It is light years beyond all the other cassava flours out there. Truly the highest quality available anywhere.
It is this amazing flour that we proudly and excitedly offer to you. If you have tried cassava flour before and were underwhelmed, we get it. And cordially invite you to try ours and taste the difference for yourself. If you have never tried cassava flour, or never even HEARD about it before, then we are doubly excited to introduce it to you. We hope you love it as much as we do."
Here are answers to some of your most important questions!
Is Otto's Cassava Flour paleo-friendly?
Yes! Otto’s Cassava Flour is even Autoimmune Protocol (AIP) friendly and Certified Paleo by The Paleo Foundation.
I heard there is cyanide in cassava. Is that true?!?
There is naturally occurring cyanide in cassava root, (and apples!) mostly concentrated in the peel, which our proprietary method thoroughly removes. All cyanide is destroyed during the heating and drying process.