Yuca is an interesting starchy root vegetable. It’s grown and harvested in tropical climates and is high in Vitamin C and potassium.
If you’re new to yuca, this will be a great introduction to the root because these paleo biscuits don’t have many ingredients. This is not a quick recipe, per se, and you will need to plan ahead but these biscuits will last a while, so they’re definitely worth the effort.
A Little About Yuca
You may not have heard of the yuca root but you may be familiar with tapioca.
For example, have you ever had a bubble tea? You know those fruit smoothies that have those giant balls at the bottom of the cup that you slurp up through a gigantic straw? Those balls are tapioca pearls.
Or maybe you’ve been following the buzz over the last couple years in the paleo world and heard of cassava flour.
They all require different processing to get to each of their end results but they all started in the same place.
What Is The Difference?
Yuca, cassava, tapioca, manioc…these are all terms that describe the same root.
The root itself is not meant to be eaten raw. It requires proper preparation due to the fact that it contains naturally occurring cyanide compounds which can be extremely toxic.
Not to worry though, with some processing (soaking, cooking, fermentation, etc.) we can avoid getting sick.
Tapioca is the starch that is extracted from the cassava root through a process of washing and pulping. The wet pulp is then squeezed to extract a starchy liquid. Once all the water evaporates from the starchy liquid, the tapioca flour remains.
Cassava flour, on the other hand, is the whole root, simply peeled, dried and ground. That means it has more dietary fiber than tapioca flour.
Because tapioca flour and cassava flour are made differently, they have different properties so they cannot be used the same in recipes.
Cassava flour, however, can be used as a 1:1 replacement for typical wheat flour in recipes. This makes life so much easier for those who enjoy preparing gluten-free, vegetarian, vegan or paleo baked goods.
Purchasing Fresh or Frozen Yuca
When purchasing the root, because it needs to travel to get here, they can be hit or miss on freshness when you buy them from the store. The problem is it’s quite difficult to tell from the outside whether you’ve got a good yuca or not.
Definitely feel around for soft spots and if you find any, that’s not one you’re going to want to take home. The soft spots signify that it’s rotten.
Also, not all grocery stores will carry yuca either. You’ll want to try a grocery store that carries ethnic foods or you can always ask someone if they can special order some for you at your typical grocer. I have seen fresh yuca at Whole Foods on occasion but I typically shop at the Mexican market when I want to buy some.
Alternatively, you will find frozen yuca available more so than you would find fresh yuca. Since you need to peel fresh yuca, and FYI they have an extremely hard exterior with a wax coating on them to help with travel, I find it’s easiest just to purchase a 5lb bag of frozen yuca when I’m looking to whip up these paleo biscuits. Saves on prep time of peeling and I can transfer the frozen yuca straight to a pot of water to boil.
Yucca Versus Yuca
Don’t get yourself confused with the spelling. Yuca is the same as cassava and tapioca however yucca is a completely different species and plant. Yucca is a fruit-bearing flower that grows in Southern California in the Asparagaceae family.
More About The Biscuits
These biscuits are light and fluffy. They have a crisp exterior and depending on the bake time they can have a gooey center or just a softness when you bite into them but the interior will definitely be more dense than the exterior. As I mentioned, they don’t require many ingredients and also plan on 1-2 per person as they’re quite filling! :)
Once you have the dough balls created, they can sit in the fridge (or freezer) until you are ready to prepare your biscuits. Transfer them straight to the oven when you’re ready to prepare them and you can enjoy these paleo biscuits with your dinner.
Yuca and Paleo MX
If you enjoy using cassava flour and love this recipe, you’re going to really enjoy our Authentic Mexican Paleo Cookbook, Paleo MX.
Join The Paleo Porn Family so you can keep up on updates for when our next paleo cookbook becomes available!
And if you’d like to learn more tips and tricks about learning how to cook, you can now work 1:1 with me. Learn more about my Cooking Coaching services here.