How to make tapioca pearls

Released: March 8, 2021 Modified: May 23, 2021 by Honest Food Talks

Learn how to make tapioca pearls for bubble tea from scratch. Whether you like your boba pearls chewy, soft, ‘Q’ or firm, we’ll show you how to achieve that perfect texture.

How to make tapioca pearls

Homemade Boba Pearls are an absolute must if you like drinking bubble tea. Making coils from scratch gives you more control over size, texture and flavor. This is something you won’t be able to control with store-bought ones.

Our recipe will show you how to prepare perfect broad beans in less than 30 minutes. No more crunchy, soft or hard pearls! We’ll also show you how to make tapioca pearls with matcha, mango, lychee and even rose ones at the end!

What are tapioca pearls?

Tapioca pearls are small, stringy balls made of tapioca starch. Typically, these balls are black in color and are used for bubble tea. Although the weight is gelatinous, no gelatin is used in the creation process. Hence, it makes these chew balls vegan friendly.

Bobs are naturally translucent and white in color. However, the process often uses black food coloring or brown sugar. This is to get the familiar black color. The black boba pearls were created with an aesthetic purpose to contrast the color of the milk tea.

What is tapioca starch?

Tapioca starch is a gluten-free flour derived from cassava root. A plant native to South America arrived in Taiwan in 1895-1945 under the rule of Japan. Tapioca starch is known primarily for giving food a thick, chewy texture.

How to make tapioca pearls

Is it the same as sago?

Sago is also a type of chewing gum used in Asian sweets. However, it is usually smaller and made up of a variety of tropical palm stems. Sago is used more widely in various Asian cuisines.

What does it taste like?

Self-cooked tapioca pearls have very little flavor. These balls can be made with brown sugar or dipped in caramel syrup for a sweeter taste.

Structure

Some people describe the texture of these balls to resemble jellies and jellies.

In Taiwan, Bob’s tapioca pearls texture is called Q or QQ. The term itself is difficult to translate. However, try to describe the feeling in the mouth of a soft but supple or springy texture. The high percentage of starch in cassava root is the cause of this chewy texture. Other foods that are also called Q in Taiwan include fish balls, mochi, taro ball, and tangyuan.

Where is he from?

Black tapioca pearls were created as a cheaper alternative to sago. Bob’s Pearl Milk Tea was originally created in Taiwan in the 1980s. Milk tea was no stranger to East Asian tea drinking culture. Meanwhile, the use of boba pearls in desserts was already common practice. The combination of the two naturally gained popularity when it was first introduced as a refreshing summer drink and snack.

How to make tapioca pearls

Although the inventor of bubble tea is highly contested, there are two shops in Taiwan fighting the invention of the drink. With neither party winning the patent process, this has allowed many retailers to adopt and sell their version of the snack drink around the world.

Why is bubble tea also called boba?

Bob can refer to the pearls themselves or the milk tea drink as a whole. Interestingly, the term 波霸 (bōbà) in Chinese is slang for a woman with alluring breasts. Pearls have been dubbed bob as a trick to own bigger balls than all other competing stores.

How to make tapioca pearls

It is commonly believed that the term was adopted by foreign Chinese who referred to the drink as boba. It was easier to pronounce than the Chinese term 珍珠 奶茶 (zhēnzhū nǎichá). Today, these black balls are interchangeably called boba pearls, pearls or tapioca pearls.

It is healthy?

Tapioca pearls are made up of starchy carbohydrates. This means they are high in calories and can be difficult to digest. The nutritional benefits are very small, but there is no negative health effect when consumed in moderation.

Some manufacturers may use dyes, thickeners, and preservatives to extend their shelf life and appearance. These ingredients can cause gastrointestinal problems. This is especially true when consumed in large quantities.

Fresh vs store bought

The advantage of making tapioca pearls yourself is that you know exactly what the ingredients are inside. You can also completely customize it, creating unique flavors such as mango boba or matcha pearls.

The downside is the time it takes to make tapioca pearls. It is also difficult to get adequate consistency in the first few attempts.

Store-bought Bob Pearls have a similar texture and flavor to those found in a bubble tea shop. Wu Fu Yuan is a brand we recommend. The brand has created several instant options that can cook in 5 minutes.

Using food coloring

Many recipes call for the use of black food coloring as this is the traditional method of making tapioca pearls. There are no problems with the use of food coloring.

However, in the following recipe, we will use brown sugar as a substitute. Using brown sugar is a good way to get sweeter flavor and color at the same time.

How do you know when black tapioca pearls are cooked?

When it starts to boil, add the tapioca pearls and let them rise to the surface. While the boba floats, turn the heat down to medium. Cook for 30 minutes. Stir occasionally to prevent the pearls from sticking.

Are black tapioca pearls good for you?

Tapioca is almost pure starch and contains very few nutrients. By itself, it has no impressive health benefits or negative effects. However, it can sometimes be helpful for people who need to avoid grains or gluten. 3 days a week

What is the taste of black tapioca pearls?

To give the tapioca pearls their dark color, brown sugar is added. The sugar gives the pearls a richer hue and adds sweetness. As it gives them a more visible appearance and often a sweeter flavor, black tapioca pearls are commonly used to make bubble tea.

How long to cook tapioca pearls?

How to cook tapioca pearls: instructions. Boil 6 cups of water in a deep pot and add the tapioca. Bring to a boil again, cover and reduce the heat to medium. Cook covered for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally to prevent sticking.

Is tapioca healthy to eat?

Nutrition. Tapioca starch contains no fat or cholesterol, making it a healthful choice for those watching their dietary intake of cholesterol and saturated fat. Tapioca is also very low in sodium. Contains 20 mg of calcium and 1.6 mg of iron per serving.

How to add flavor to tapioca pearls?

Tapioca balls alone have very little flavor, so when sweetened with honey, they taste much better.

Can tapioca pearls kill you?

However, you may not know that the tapioca we use is a refined product whose mother plant is full of dangerous toxins which, without proper preparation, can cause cyanide poisoning and even death.

Are tapioca pearls difficult to digest?

Babies or bubbles are made of tapioca starch. “It’s a chewy texture. Doctors say that a large amount of tapioca starch can be difficult to digest.

Is tapioca a laxative?

Tapioca is a very starchy food that’s mostly made of carbohydrates. By itself, tapioca likely wouldn’t cause significant constipation, Felipez said. But the balls usually contain other additives that can contribute to constipation.

Why is tapioca not available?

Widespread drought is expected to reduce tapioca production by 10-20% in the 2020/2021 harvest. "The drought, coupled with the lack of personnel due to COVID-19, has slowed tapioca production.

What is the name of the black bob?

Also known as boba, black tapioca pearls are the perfect “bubbles” in bubble tea. They are small round balls made of tapioca starch for a sweet and slightly chewy texture. Ours are the same boba pearls that are used in gourmet pearl milk tea shops.

Why is Boba mad at you?

Bob’s is basically all carbohydrates, no minerals or vitamins, and no fiber. A bubble tea can contain up to 50 grams of sugar and nearly 500 calories. While bubble tea is unlikely to have a serious effect on your health, it should definitely not be consumed every day.

What do you use tapioca pearls for?

The smaller tapioca pearls are usually used in puddings, while the larger ones are usually used in boba tea. It is also sold in the form of flakes and powders, which are usually used to thicken sauces, soups or dips. Tapioca pearls can be found at most large grocery stores in the baking aisle.

Does Woolworths sell tapioca pearls?

Madam Wong Tapioca Color Pearl 400g | Woolworths.

Can bubble tea cause cancer?

Potential Health Risk In 2012, researchers at Aachen University Hospital in Germany obtained tapioca pearl samples from a huge bubble tea chain located in northwestern Germany. They found that this sample contained carcinogenic chemicals or PCBs known to lead to cancer.

Cassava starch is called tapioca, which is made into several forms, one of which is pearly or spherical, known as tapioca pearls. These pearls are opaque in their raw form and appear transparent when cooked. Tastessence provides detailed instructions on how to prepare this gelatinous food at home.

How to make tapioca pearls

Cassava starch is called tapioca, which is made into several forms, one of which is pearly or spherical, known as tapioca pearls. These pearls are opaque in their raw form and appear transparent when cooked. Tastessence provides detailed instructions on how to prepare this gelatinous food at home.

How to make tapioca pearls

How to make tapioca pearls

How to make tapioca pearls

How to make tapioca pearls

How to make tapioca pearls

How to make tapioca pearls

A love for tapioca!

1. National Tapioca Pudding Day is July 15th.
2. National Tapioca Day is June 28th.

Tapioca is a form of starch that is extracted from the ‘cassava’ root. This plant is now grown all over the world, but its origin was in Portuguese. Tapioca is used in many different forms and recipes. It is widely used as a thickener in many recipes. Starch is produced in various forms: flakes, rectangular sticks, soluble powder and pearls. Pearls with a diameter of 1 – 8 mm are the most used. They are usually white, unless color is used in processing. Pearls become transparent and chewy once cooked.

Things you will need

Production of tapioca pearls

Step 1: Keep the water boiling.

Step 2: Remove the tapioca starch in a bowl.

Step 3A: When the water reaches boiling point, turn off the gas and mix the water with the starch.

Optional: At this stage, you can add any color you want.

Step 4: Continue to mix and knead until a dough is formed.

Step 5: Make balls with the dough. The size depends on what you’re going to use it for.

Advice: The dough may start to dry as you prepare the balls, so you can add a few drops of water and knead again.

Step 6: Let the balls dry for several hours. You can let it dry overnight.

Step 7: After drying them, cook them. For cooking, keep the water to a boil. When it starts to boil, pour in the pearls and leave to cook. Stir often so they don’t stick. You will see them hovering above them which means they are almost cooked. Cook for a while longer. You can taste one and decide the timing depending on how chewy you want it to be. The total time can increase to 20-25 minutes.

Step 8: Drain the pearl from the water and pour it into a bowl or other liquid (eg sugar syrup or other juices).

Recipes for the use of these pearls

Use it in Bubble Tea

Tapioca pearls are generally white, but the pearls used in bubble teas are black in color. This black color is due to the cane sugar syrup.

In the last step (step 8 explained above), when you separate the beads, put them in a mixture of white sugar, brown sugar, and water. The mixture is prepared in a ratio of 1: 1: 2 (take 1 cup of each brown and white sugar and mix with 2 cups of water and heat). The pearls harden when you put them in the syrup. These pearls can then be used in your favorite flavored tea.

Use it in tapioca pudding

Small pearls are usually used in desserts. There are several ways to make pudding anywhere. You can add tapioca pearls to your recipe and enjoy a wonderful pudding.

Recipe
1. Mix together the milk, pearls, sugar and salt.
2. Bring the mixture to a boil and stir continuously.
3. Add the beaten eggs and simmer until thickened. It can be served cold or hot.

These tapioca pearls are enjoyed around the world in a variety of forms. Try them to enjoy the taste.

Make tapioca pearls

1. Put the tapioca flour in a bowl.

2. Combine the water and sugar in a saucepan and bring the sugared water to a boil (make sure the sugar is dissolved)

3. Turn off the oven and wait for cooking to finish, then add 1/4 of tapioca flour. Whisk until blended, then add the rest of the flour every three quarters.

4. Stir the dough until it sticks and separates from the pan.

5. Transfer the dough to a flat surface (cover with parchment paper if you have it handy) and let it rest for a few minutes until it is cold enough to be handled.

6. Knead until smooth with a dough or clay consistency.

7. Divide the dough into 2 parts (keep the other half in a tightly closed container so that it does not dry out) and roll out each dough with a rolling pin into a flat round disk (thickness about 3/8 ") and cut into strips and then again into squares.

8. Turn each square piece between your palms to make them round. Try to keep them as even as possible and they should be small enough to fit through the straw.

9. Boil the tapioca pearls or store them in the freezer for up to 3 months. To store in the freezer, sprinkle the pearls with tapioca flour and arrange them on a large container. Once the tapioca pearls have hardened, you can transfer them to a zip-lock bag to save space in the freezer.

How to make tapioca pearls

Cooking the tapioca pearls

1. Boil 5 cups of water in a medium saucepan over high heat.

2. Add the tapioca beads to the boiling water and mix immediately so they don’t stick to the bottom. Stir until they all rise to the surface (2-3 minutes), then turn the heat down to medium-low and cover with a lid to cook for 13-15 minutes (depending on the size of the handmade bob and the texture you want *)

3. Turn off the heat and leave the tapioca pearls for another 15 minutes. DO NOT remove the cover.

4. Drain the tapioca pearls in a colander or colander, then rinse them with cold filtered water and drain again.

5. Transfer the tapioca pearls to a bowl and mix with the sugar. The heat from the tapioca pearls will melt the sugar. Leave the tapioca pearls for 10 minutes to absorb the sweetness before serving. You can also make a sugar syrup to soak the tapioca pearls.

Le perle di tapioca cotte si conservano meglio al caldo o a temperatura ambiente. When they cool down; the consistency will harden and lose its chewability.

* Cooking time can be reduced or added depending on how you like tapioca pearls. For a more chewy texture, simmer for 13 minutes over medium heat and let it rest for 13 minutes. For a softer texture, try 15 minutes for both steps.

How to make tapioca pearls

How to make tapioca pearls

So, you can make tapioca pearls from scratch at home. I’d like to hear how you are. You can tag me on Instagram or share your comments below. I’ll write another post later on how to make a classic milk tea from scratch to complement your freshly made tapioca pearls. Stay tuned and don’t forget to sign up to our newsletters for more fun boba intel!

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My father was not a simple man in many ways. As a boy, he dropped out of school and went to work to help support a family that included his parents, three brothers and a sister, Pop was the youngest child in the family. He did odd jobs, including working in the local butcher shop, so he not only earned some money to take home, but also some things like giblets that helped feed his family.

He enlisted in the army during World War II, fought with Company B, the 310th medical battalion assigned to the 338th Infantry Regiment (“Custer”) on the front of the 5th Army in Italy, and received the Bronze Star for heroic deeds in action. After he got home, he did what many men in the coal country did: he got married and went to the mine.

A near-fatal fall from a rockfall in a smuggling mine in the 1950s ended his days underground, but coal and the coal region were in his blood; he bought a tractor unit and transported coal from Schuylkill combines to Philadelphia and New York five days a week. When road taxes and operating costs became too heavy a burden, he sold the truck to “get away from coal.” Just a few months later he got involved and mining again, only this time he was on the surface driving huge Euclid (“Yukes”) trucks for a local hammer.

Even though he tried at times, he never managed to escape the hold that Anthracite had on him. She followed him to his grave in 1989, after years of struggling to breathe as the Black Lungs ravaged this strong, hardworking, intelligent and loving man that I am so proud of as his father. I know this world would be so much better if only there were more people like him.

One of Dad’s favorite things was tapioca pudding, but he only liked the large pearl tapioca. Many times in restaurants in the coal region this pudding has appeared on the dessert menu, but she always asked the waitress if it was a “real” tapioca (pearl) or “the different one” (quick or instant variety). ). I always remember dad putting some milk on that pudding and sprinkling cinnamon on it.

Mia madre lo preparava spesso per lui e ricordo di averla aiutata a dosarlo e a metterlo in una ciotola per inzupparlo. To this day, I never look at this recipe without seeing Pop sitting at the kitchen table, enjoying a large bowl of this pudding.

Remember

This simple homemade tapioca pudding is creamy, rich, and filled with slightly runny tapioca pearls. While simple to make, pearl tapioca takes a few hours to soak, so plan accordingly. Don’t try to rush the soaking process or skimp on soaking time!

Tapioca pearls are cooked when they become translucent with a cloudy center spot remaining. The pudding may look thin right after cooking, it thickens when cooled.

The tapioca pearls add the starch to this pudding to help thicken it, so SLOWLY bring the milk and tapioca up to where it starts to bubble and time your simmer from there…it may take 20-plus minutes or so for this step, don’t rush it! The starch obtained from pearls is essential to properly thicken the pudding.

We’re sure you’re aware that bubble tea and boba are very delicious. But now that you’ve had it from your favorite bubble tea or boba shop, you might be wondering, how can you make boba pearls at home from scratch. And will it be just as delicious?

Making tapioca pearls from scratch is easy. There are only a few ingredients you need and about an hour of your time, that’s it!
Read on to find out how to make tapioca pearls on a bob and bubble tea from scratch.

What You Need to Make tapioca pearls from Scratch

Ingredient list for 1 cup of tapioca pearls.

  • 1/4 cup brown sugar or dark muscovado sugar
  • ½ glass of water
  • 1.5 cups of tapioca starch

Yep, that’s really it! Whenever our team makes bob pearls from scratch, we usually use dark muscovado sugar. Or we’ll use traditional dark brown sugar from popular brands like Domino. As for the tapioca starch, we’ll likely use either of these two brands (ERAWAN or Flying Horse). You can find them on Amazon or your local Asian market.

Once all the ingredients have been prepared, we are ready to start making Bob’s pearls from scratch.

How to Make tapioca pearls from Scratch

For starters, grab your favorite pot so we can mix it all together. Start by heating the pot over medium-low heat and add the water to the pot. When the water is well heated (not hot), you can add the brown sugar.

Don’t forget that the amount of brown sugar you will need is above the ingredients list!

Now that you have water and brown sugar in the same pot, take the handy mixer. A wooden spoon will do the trick. Mix everything gently until everything is well blended.

We like to use our favorite OXO stick as it is easy to clean afterwards.

After a minute or two, you should see the brown sugar and water melt together. When everything has melted and you have no lumps, remove the pot from the heat. We don’t want our brown sugar mixture to burn, sugar tends to burn really fast, which is why we have our heat on medium-low. Very important!

Now that the pot is off, add 2-3 tablespoons of tapioca starch to the mixture. Mix everything gently. You’ll have clumps at first (this is normal) but continue stirring until everything is incorporated. This is to prepare our mix before adding the rest of the tapioca starch.

Once that is done, we’ll put our mixture back on the heat but this time we’ll have it at low heat. Remember we’re not cooking anything here, we’re using the low heat to help mix everything together nicely. Now put the rest of the tapioca starch in the pan (see the ingredient list above for the amount). And you guessed it, stir everything together until it’s all incorporated.

You will know when you are done kneading when you have a smooth, dough-like mass with no lumps.

Now all that remains is to roll the tapioca pearls into long dough-like formations. This part reminds us of playing with cake when we were younger. The width of your pasta should be around 0.8-1cm for a perfect bite.

Once you’ve rolled out a few noodles with those dimensions, begin to cut your dough into small bite-size pieces. We like to measure approximately 1cm for each individual weight. You can use a kitchen knife, pasta knife, or food processor to cut.

Now that you have cut the dough into pieces, you can start rolling the dough into balls with your hands. The hardest part is taken care of.

How to make tapioca pearls

How to cook tapioca pearls

Cooking a freshly made tapioca pearl cake is even easier. It’s very similar to cooking your typical pasta. Boil the water in a saucepan and add the freshly baked tapioca dough balls.

While the tapioca balls float in the boiling water, be sure to stir gently very often. Tapioca balls tend to stick easily to pots or themselves if you don’t. When all the tapioca balls are on top, cook them for about a minute and they should be ready.

The best way to find out if your tapioca buds are fully cooked to the right consistency is to try them yourself. This is similar to how you try cooked pasta to determine if it’s al dente enough. We like the same approach!

Now you’re all done making tapioca pearls from scratch at home! If you want to flavor a little, you can add some syrup to give the Boba pearls more flavor. But this is not necessary if you’re short on time. You can add these boba pearls as is once they’re done cooking to any of your favorite milk tea flavors.

How to Make tapioca pearls Taste Even Better

If you want to add more flavor to your already delicious boba pearls, read on.

One way to add more flavor to your Boba pearls is to dip them in a sweetener. One sweetener you can use is Daily Kirkland Honey.

Another way is to make brown sugar syrup and dip the tapioca pearls in it. Here you can learn how to make brown sugar syrup and dip freshly cooked tapioca pearls here.

That’s all there is to making homemade boba pearls from scratch. Let us know how you handle Bob Pearls if you try it at home. We’re curious to see photos and your comments. If you’d like to read more articles from Talk Boba, have a look read on some of our most popular articles below. We’re sure you enjoy them as everyone else does.

Until next time, talk about bob, duh!

How to make tapioca pearls

I’ve had a slew of bad tapioca milk tea experiences lately. The problem is usually tapioca balls, also known as pearls, bubbles or boba. They are so easy to make, but the ones I still serve are soft, not sticky, slimy etc.

For those of you unfamiliar, tapioca milk tea comes from Taiwan and is served in various Asian coffee shops. It’s no longer limited to milk tea as there are also usually other fruit flavored tea beverages, slushies, etc. All of them usually offer the option of tapioca balls. which are brown balls that have a rubbery texture.
How to make tapioca pearls
My favorite tea place is the Half & Half chain in Los Angeles, which makes honey boba. Tapioca balls alone have very little flavor, so when sweetened with honey, they taste much better. Honey grains have become quite popular now and most of the new tea shops popping up tend to produce honey grains.

As a child, I always made pearl milk tea, and even before tea and coffee shops appeared in the United States. I remember it was pretty easy, so after another bad bob experience, I decided to make my own and do a little tutorial on how to best make the perfect tapioca balls.

Tapioca balls can be purchased in most Chinese markets such as Ranch 99. This is the brand I usually buy. The most common are brown ones. I prefer colored only because they are much more beautiful. There are also green tea flavors. Instructions on how to make them are on the back of the package, which I mainly follow with some modifications.
How to make tapioca pearlsHow to make tapioca pearlsHow to make tapioca pearlsHow to make tapioca pearls

How to make tapioca pearls

How to make tapioca pearls

Step 1: Boil about 1/4 cup of sugar in a small saucepan, then add the tapioca balls. I usually make about 2 handfuls of tea for each cup of tea. The pearls will soon expand and rise to the top.

How to make tapioca pearls

Step 2:When the pearls have risen, lower the oven temperature and simmer for about 5 minutes under the lid (but let the steam drain so that the pot does not boil).

How to make tapioca pearls

Step 3: Remove the pearls from the water and put them in a bowl with a couple of tablespoons of honey. You want enough honey for each ball to touch the honey. Leave the tapioca in honey until it is ready to eat.

How to make tapioca pearls
You don’t want to put the pearls in the drink until the last minute, because after the pearls are in the drink, they will soon lose their fibrous consistency.

For more traditional milk teas, black tea is usually used as a base. My favorite is actually oolong tea which is light brown in color, and some other popular products are green tea and jasmine. The most popular ways to add milk are powdered milk, sugar and fresh milk, or my favorite: condensed milk. Add as much to the desired sweetness.
How to make tapioca pearls
Tapioca balls stay chewy for several hours after cooking, so you’ll never want to make them too early. Also you can’t refrigerate them as they will completely lose their texture, so try not to make too much extra. This is a fun project if you have a large group or even if it’s just you. And it’s pretty easy to make and much cheaper than paying close to $4 per cup.
How to make tapioca pearls

How to make tapioca pearls

You may think that you have never eaten cassava, but you’re probably wrong. Cassava has many uses and is in fact the fourth among the staple crops, although most are grown in West Africa, tropical South America and South and Southeast Asia. When would you eat cassava? In the form of tapioca. How to make cassava tapioca? Read on to learn about the cultivation and production of tapioca, the uses of tapioca, and the use of cassava to make tapioca.

How to use cassava

Cassava, also known as the cassava, yucca, and tapioca plant, is a tropical plant grown for its large roots. Contains toxic cyanide glycosides which must be removed by peeling the roots, boiling them and then pouring in the water.

The roots thus prepared are ready for use, but the question is: how to use cassava? Many cultures use cassava and we use potatoes. The roots are also peeled, washed and then scraped or grated and crushed until the liquid is squeezed out. The final product is then dried to obtain a flour called Farinha. This flour is used to make cookies, bread, pancakes, donuts, dumplings and other dishes.

Once cooked, the milky juice thickens as it concentrates, so it is used in a West Indian pepper pot, the main one used to make sauces. Raw starch is used to make an alcoholic drink that is said to have medicinal properties. Starch is also used in sizing and washing.

The young and tender leaves are used just like spinach, although always cooked to eliminate toxins. Cassava leaves and stems are used to feed farm animals and fresh, dry roots.

Further applications of tapioca include the use of its starch in the production of paper, textiles, and monosodium glutamate such as MSG.

Grow and produce tapioca

Before you can make cassava tapioca, you need to get some roots. Specialty stores can sell them, or you can try growing a plant that requires a very hot climate that is frost-free all year round and has at least 8 months of warm weather to produce a crop, and you can harvest the roots of it yourself. tapioca.

Cassava does best when combined with lots of rain, although it can tolerate periods of drought. In fact, in some regions, when there is a dry season, cassava hibernates for 2-3 months until the rain returns. Cassava performs well even in poor soils. These two factors make this crop one of the most valuable food crops for carbohydrate and energy production.

Tapioca is made from raw cassava, the root of which is peeled and grated to trap the milky liquid. The starch is then soaked in water for several days, kneaded and then drained to remove impurities. It is then screened and dried. The finished product is sold in the form of flour or pressed into flakes or as we know “pearls”.

These “pearls” are then combined in a ratio of 1 part of tapioca to 8 parts of water and boiled to make a tapioca pudding. These small translucent balls are slightly leathery but expand when exposed to moisture. Tapioca is also found in bubble tea, Asia’s favorite cold drink.

Tapioca may be delicious, but it’s absolutely nutrient-free, even though the serving is 544 calories, 135 carbs, and 5 grams of sugar. From a dietary standpoint, tapioca doesn’t seem to be a winner; however, tapioca is gluten-free, which is a real plus for those who are gluten sensitive or allergic. Therefore, tapioca can be used to replace wheat flour in cooking and baking.

Tapioca can also be added to burgers and dough as a binder which not only improves texture but also moisture. Tapioca works great as a thickener for soups or stews. It is sometimes used alone or in combination with other flours, such as almond flour, for bread making. Tapioca flatbread is commonly found in developing countries due to its low cost and versatility.