Is Cassava Flour Keto?

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Written by Rahul Malpe, Certified Nutritionist and medically reviewed by Abby Courtenay

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There's a common misconception that the keto diet means giving up your favorite foods. As long as you make slight modifications to recipes and use different ingredients, this new eating plan won't stop you from enjoying most of the foods you know and love.

In this article, we will discuss cassava, an ingredient used in various products. We are going to cover all aspects of this food, including its nutritional composition and how much to consume, in addition to other low-carb alternatives that are available.


What is cassava flour?

It is a type of flour made from the root of the cassava plant. The root belongs to the Euphorbiaceae family of plants and is scientifically known as Manihot esculenta. This plant also goes by the names of Brazilian arrowroot, manioc, and yuca. Most commonly, it is grown in Brazil, Thailand, and Nigeria. 

It is a starchy, gluten-free flour that can be used in place of wheat flour in many recipes. It is a good source of dietary fiber and contains vitamins and minerals such as folate, iron, magnesium, and potassium. It is also higher in carbohydrates than other gluten-free flour such as almond flour. 

Many cultures consider it to be a staple food. It has a lower glycemic index than many grains (like wheat) due to the lower digestible sugar content and the higher fiber content.

It can be used to make bread, pancakes, cookies, and other baked goods. It can also be used as a thickener for soups and sauces. When baking with this, it is important to add extra liquid to the recipe as it is more absorbent than the wheat type.


Cassava flour nutrition facts 

This food contains the following nutrients:
Serving size: ½ cup (56 g)

  • Calories: 200 kcal
  • Fat: 0 g
  • Net carbs: 50 g
  • Total carbs: 54 g
  • Fiber: 4 g
  • Protein: 0 g

Let's discuss these numbers in more detail.

Calories - There are about 200 calories in a serving of cassava powder. The majority of them are carbohydrates.

Protein - Some brands of this product may contain a small amount, but this is not a food rich in protein.

Fats - There is generally no fat in this foodstuff. Evidently, that is not an optimal option for a ketogenic diet, which requires the consumption of food that contains moderate to high-fat content.

Carbohydrates - The carb content of this ingredient is high, with 54 grams per half-cup. Approximately 4 grams of fiber are present in a serving. It's also important to note that most of the carbohydrates in cassava are derived from starch.

Essential nutrients - The root vegetable contains vitamin C, B vitamins, and minerals including calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, and selenium. As to whether those nutrients are carried over into the powder form, you will have to check the nutrition label on the brand that you get.




Can you eat cassava flour on a keto diet?

No, it’s not recommended. The carbohydrates make up the bulk of the calories in them. Taking into account that keto's core philosophy is about reducing carb intake, you can easily understand why you want to avoid this ingredient.

As we saw above, half a cup of this foodstuff contains 200 calories, 0 g of fat, and a hefty 50 g of net carbs. Considering the low-fat and very high carb content, it is safe to say that it is not keto-friendly.

Having said that, this ingredient may be needed for preparing healthy and allergy/intolerance-friendly meals, like for people with gluten intolerance. Nevertheless, if you are following a ketogenic diet, it is not suitable.

The glycemic index of this food is 46, so it is low GI.


How much cassava flour on the keto diet can you eat?

Keep in mind that it is high in carbs and generally should not be consumed. 

When used in very small amounts, it could potentially be part of the keto diet as long as you are strictly monitoring your carbohydrate intake throughout the day.


What kinds can you have on keto?

There are two main types: white and brown. Both types of it are high in carbs and should be avoided on a keto diet. 

The white version is made from the inner flesh of the cassava root and has a light, fluffy texture. The brown version is made from the whole root and has a harsher, coarser texture. 




Keto-friendly cassava flour alternatives

You might want to try the following low-carb alternatives next time you want to cook something that requires some type of powder.

Using this coconut product as a substitute, you can create versatile baked goods that are grain-free and gluten-free. Essentially, it is a by-product of coconut milk production. It is left out of coconut milk when it is pressed. Dried and ground, it becomes a fine, soft powder ideal for baking.

The low carb and high fiber content of coconut make it a good keto flour (3 g net carbs and 5 g fiber per 2 tablespoons).

It is also reasonably priced and gluten-free. People with allergies to nuts will usually tolerate coconut products without any problems.

The most common substitute for keto is almond-derived items. A 2-tablespoon (14-gram) serving contains only 3 g of whole carbs and 1 g of net carbs. The only ingredients are ground almonds.

When you bake with this, the finished product will be a little spongy compared to that of baking with wheat. In addition to keto baked goods, you can make fried food, air-fried food, or breaded food with it.

  • Flaxseed meal 

Ground flaxseeds are the base of flaxseed meals, which contain 0g of net carbs per 2 tablespoons (14g) serving and are also rich in omega-3 fats, which are potent anti-inflammatory.

  • Sunflower seed flour

With sunflower seeds as the main ingredient, this powder is an easy substitute for almond or coconut in recipes that call for them. As well as being natural and vegan, it is also a totally keto-friendly source of protein and fiber, and it is made from whole foods. It has 2.4 net carbs per 2 tablespoons. Sunflower flour has only two possible disadvantages: costs are high and it is scarce.



Would you like to know more about this ingredient? Read on for answers to some frequently asked questions.

The first step is to purchase cassava roots. This starchy root vegetable can be found at most Latin American markets. Once you have the root, you'll need to wash it and peel off the tough outer skin. 

Next, grate the cassava root using a cheese grater or food processor. Once grated, spread the cassava out on a baking sheet and bake at 400 ºF (200 ºC) for about an hour. This will help to remove any moisture from the root and make the flour more consistent. 

Finally, simply grind the baked cassava in a high-powered blender or coffee grinder until it reaches a fine, powdery consistency. And that's it!

It can be used to make bread, tortillas, pancakes, and other types of flatbreads. It can also be used as a thickener for soups and sauces. In addition, it is often used in gluten-free baking recipes.

It has a slightly sweet nutty and earthy flavor, which makes it a versatile ingredient for baking. This is why it can be used in place of wheat flour, rice flour, or other gluten-free flours.

While both are made from the cassava root, they differ in terms of texture and flavor. Cassava flour is a finely ground powder that has a light, neutral flavor. It is often used as a substitute for wheat in recipes. 

Tapioca flour, on the other hand, is coarsely ground and has a slightly sweet flavor. It is often used as a binding agent or thickener in recipes. Both types can be used interchangeably in most recipes, but cassava may result in a slightly denser final product.

Fufu is a traditional African dish that is typically made with cassava or yams. The cassava root is peeled and boiled, then mashed into a sticky paste. This paste is then formed into small balls and served with a soup or stew. 

Cassava flour can also be used to make fufu, though the texture will be slightly different. To make fufu with cassava flour, the flour is first mixed with water to form a dough. This dough is then boiled until it becomes sticky and dense. Once it has cooled slightly, it can be formed into balls and served in the same way as traditional fufu, though the texture may be different. 

Keep in mind that this food is too high in carbs for those on a ketogenic plan.

If properly stored, it has a shelf life of about one year. This flour, as well as other common flours, such as corn, tapioca, all-purpose, whole wheat, and so on, is prone to expiration.  In order to maintain a dry, cool environment, this should be stored in sealed containers away from direct sunlight.