High carbohydrate content
Quick and easy to prepare
Ingredients: tapioca starch*
Manioca or tapioca is a plant originating from Central and South America, yet is now also cultivated across large areas in Asia and Africa. They mainly use the bulbous roots of the plant which is the most significant source of carbohydrates in the world, after rice and corn.
In its raw form, tapioca root is not suitable for human consumption, yet after processing, the products available in stores can be used without any problems. It is mainly used in a powder or pearl format, yet it is also be used to make animal feed and, due to its high starch content, it is also used as a raw ingredient in fabric and paper production. Oddly enough, it’s also used to make glue and alcohol as well as playing an important role in biofuel production.
In some countries, the leaves of the plant are eaten as well, as they contain a much wider range of nutrients than its root.
Tapioca pearls are made of the tapioca root without the use of any additives. It is a popular raw ingredient in Southeast Asia, particularly for desserts and unique treats such as bubble tea.
Tapioca mainly contains carbohydrates and starch and only a small amount of fiber, therefore it has a high gylcemic index and rapidly raises blood sugar levels. Consequently, it is suitable for a quick burst of energy (for athletes), yet is not recommended for those seeking to reduce their weight. People with diabetes should avoid its consumption for the same reasons.
It contains a small amount of protein and insignificant levels of fat. Its vitamin and mineral content is not particularly significant. It is low in sodium.
Tapioca is a naturally gluten-free product and is safe to use for those with coeliac disease. In contains no lactose either, therefore it is also suitable for lactose and dairy-free diets.
Tapioca pearls remind everyone of tapioca pudding, which is not only used alone, but also as a cream on pastries and cakes or as a decorative feature for unique dishes. It water absorption properties make it suitable as a thickening agent or as an additive for soups (including fruit soups).
To make tapioca pudding, first soak the tapioca pearls in water or non-dairy milk for 10-15 minutes before adding flavorings to taste and cooking over low heat while continuously stirring the mixture until it starts thickening (approx. 10-15 minutes). Serve in small bowls and chill before serving.
Thanks to its neutral flavor, tapioca can be used for both savory and sweet puddings. It is best served with fresh, juicy fruits.
If you’re looking for a truly unique, yet still easy to make drink for your guests, try making some bubble tea with tapioca pearls! First, simply soak the tapioca pearls in black or deep-colored fruit tea and let the pearls swell in size, assuming the color of the tea. Then rinse the swollen pearls with cold water, strain and thoroughly mix in a glass jar or blender. Serve in decorative glasses with thick bamboo straws.
Nutritional value (per 100 g):
Storage: Keep in a cold, dry place!
Country of origin: Thailand