Cassava Flour and Corn Flour are the latest from Pereg Natural Foods
Meet the latest healthy flours to cook and bake with.
I must admit, I never heard of cassava until last week. Unknown to me, I was eating a portion of cassava fries. Then, I learned how we use cassava to make tapioca and tapioca starches we use on Passover.
When I think corn flour, I think Taco Tuesday’s and Cinco de Mayo.
Both of these new flours are 100% all-natural newcomers, available in easy-to-use re-sealable packages, are GMO-free, vegan, and kosher-parve. They are versatile enough to stand in for many recipes calling for wheat flour, and each brings its own unique properties to the party. Here’s the low-down.
Pereg Cassava Flour
How do I use it? Some bakers say cassava flour is the closest substitute to wheat flour available in terms of taste (neutral) and texture (powdery). Best of all, it can be measured exactly like wheat flour in most recipes.
What can I make with it? Pretty much anything that calls for regular flour. Bonus: not only is cassava flour free of gluten, it also makes any dish Paleo-friendly. Try it in breads and cakes or make your own cassava tortillas, crepes, or tempura batter. Pereg gets you started with their decadent Gluten-Free Chocolate Espresso Brownies (recipe below).
What the heck is a cassava, anyway? The South American native is a plant with potato-like, tuberous roots. Both cassava flour and tapioca flour are extracted from cassava. Unlike tapioca, which is a starch extract, Pereg’s Cassava Flour is pure, whole flour from the plant. Prized for its starchy, carb-rich properties, cassava is one of the major food staples in the developing world. MSRP: $5.99, 14 oz resealable bag
Pereg Organic Corn Flour
What can I make with corn flour? So many things! Versatile corn flour makes for a soft crumb in baked goods and gives a slightly earthy note to batters for fish, chicken, and veggies. Use Pereg’s organic corn flour in pancakes, polenta, and of course, corn muffins, or to thicken sauces and soups. It is often combined with other flours in pie crusts. Try your hand at homemade gluten-free pasta dough, or make the most of blueberry season with Blueberry Corn Muffins (recipe below).
Is corn flour the same as corn meal? No. Corn flour is more finely ground than corn meal. Unlike coarse, grainy corn meal, corn flour’s powdery consistency is better suited to dishes that call for regular flour. MSRP: $5.99, 14 oz resealable bag
Gluten-Free Chocolate Espresso Brownies with Cassava Flour
1/3 cup unsalted butter or coconut oil, cut into chunks, plus more for greasing
1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips, divided
1 cup granulated sugar
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
¼cup Pereg Natural Food’s Cassava Flour
½cup unsweetened cocoa powder
2 teaspoons espresso powder
¼ teaspoon salt
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line an 8”x 8” baking pan with parchment paper and grease with butter or coconut oil.
2. Melt ½ cup chocolate chips and butter in saucepan on low just until melted.
3. Whisk in sugar until combined and remove from heat.
4. Let cool slightly and add in eggs and vanilla and whisk until combined.
5. Then add in cassava flour, cocoa powder, espresso powder, salt and remaining chocolate chips and combine just until smooth.
6. Pour batter evenly in the parchment-lined pan. Bake in preheated oven for 25-30 minutes or until a toothpick comes out almost clean with just a few crumbs.
7. Cool and cut into 9 pieces.
Blueberry Corn Muffins
2 cups Pereg Natural Yellow Corn Flour
½ cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 Tablespoon lemon zest (from 1 medium lemon)
1½ cups milk (dairy free works too)
¼ cup coconut oil, melted and cooled
2 Tablespoons lemon juice (from 1 medium lemon)
1 cup fresh blueberries, washed and dried well
1. Pre-heat oven to 350°F.
2. Line a 12-cup muffin tin plus 3 more with liners and set aside.
3. In a large bowl, mix together the dry ingredients: corn flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt and lemon zest.
4. The add wet ingredients, eggs, milk, coconut oil and lemon juice and mix just until combined. Then add blueberries and fold in just until combined.
5. Fill each muffin tin about 2/3 of the way full. Bake 15-17 minutes until the muffins poof up and brown slightly.
6. Cool for five minutes in the tin and enjoy! Store at room temperature for up to five days or freeze.
ABOUT PEREG – Pereg was established in 1906, and is based in Clifton, NJ. They first became known for their vast variety of pure and natural spices and spice blends, more than 60 in all, from traditional favorites to exotics from around the culinary world.
Today Pereg produces an array of all-natural products that includes ancient grains and ancient grain blends, gluten free pasta, couscous, rice, gluten-free cereal and much more. Pereg Natural Foods products are available at select retailers throughout the US and Canada, and on their website, www.pereg-gourmet.com.
Cindy Grosz can be found on social media as @cindyscorners
Cindy Grosz can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org