In case you didn’t know, I am originally from Brazil.
I don’t miss much about it except for its weather, beaches, and obviously the FOOD!
Tapioca crepes are super popular in brazil, and as the healthy lifestyle trend has been growing, several tapioca restaurants have been popping up around the country. In the years before I moved out to New York especially, my mom had started making her own tapioca crepes at home, and that got me kind of hooked. I never had them in NYC and would always make sure to have it at least once whenever I was visiting back home.
Last year, I found a restaurant in the city named Oca which was started by cariocas (people from Rio – where I’m from) which sells organic, home made tapioca crepes and the addiction came back! It’s kind of far from where I live so going there is a treat but I always feel like home when I go.
Because I recently began an auto immune paleo diet and can’t have any grains, nuts or seeds, having bread or any kind of wraps (other than coconut wraps) has become impossible. So one day I had the bright idea of making my own tapioca crepes at home as another everything-free option.
Turns out it’s harder than I expected to find the tapioca, since the kind you need for these crepes needs to be hydrated. It’s different from regular tapioca starch you can find at the grocery store. there are ways to hydrate your own tapioca starch, but that seemed like too much prep work and I like to keep things simple!
So one day I was taking a walk during my lunch break from work and saw this place called Tap! They make tapioca (also owned by Brazilians, so I felt right at home) and they sell hydrated tapioca starch in store and online!! They also have stuff like health-aid kombucha and pop and bottle in their store so if you’re in the city, definitely check them out!
Anyway, I bought myself a box of flour and went home to make some amazing tapioca crepes!
– Now on to the interesting stuff – what is tapioca flour and is it any good for you? –
Tapioca flour (or tapioca starch) comes from the cassava root. Yep, the same root vegetable used for cassava flour.
This makes tapioca flour have a relatively high carb count, but it’s sugar, gluten, sodium, dairy, saturated fat, and cholesterol free!
Some benefits of tapioca flour:
- good source of fiber, magnesium and potassium
- gluten free
- dairy free
- sugar and sodium free
- low in calories
- helps with digestion
- increases energy levels
- improves blood circulation
- good for muscle growth + development
- helps lower blood pressure
– Something to consider –
Because tapioca flour is mostly carbs, always try to pair it with fats and protein to balance out the effects in your blood sugar. By adding in a healthy fat and a protein, the tapioca won’t spike your blood sugar levels and you will stay fuller longer as well.
Making tapioca crepes is super easy and takes a total of like 5 minutes! And the best part is that you only need one ingredient – hydrated tapioca flour.
Traditionally in brazil, people use cheese along with other toppings to fill it with in order to have something that binds all the other toppings together. Since I don’t eat dairy I’ve experimented with other “gooey”/”saucy” solutions to make sure my toppings don’t fall out.
I’ve used mashed avocado, coconut yogurt (for a sweet version), and some spreads such as this (AMAZING) carrot one from my friend sullivanstreeteats website and this AIP hummus from unboundwellness. I also think that a nutbased cheese spread, hummus or nut butter would work amazingly well too, but unfortunately I can’t have nuts right now. really any kind of spread will work – just stay away from anything too liquidy because that will make the crepe fall apart.
Other than the spread part as a base, the tapioca crepe is really a blank canvas for all kind of yummy toppings!
- cut up berries
- sliced figs
- coconut flakes
- smoked salmon
- micro greens
- sautéed mushrooms with truffle oil
The possibilities are endless!
– Now let’s get on with this super simple recipe! –
- 1/4 cup hydrated tapioca flour
Heat a medium pan (like this one) over medium high heat for about 2 minutes – until its surface it warmed up
Add in the tapioca flour and spread it out with the back of a spoon so that it forms an even layer on the pan and there aren’t “mountains” of the flour in certain areas but there also shouldn’t be any empty spaces
Let that cook for about a minute before you add on your toppings. You will notice the tapioca flour will begin to stick together and if you lift up the edges with a spatula, it will have formed a solid “crepe” – like layer
Add on any toppings you want to one half of the “crepe” and fold the other half over using a spatula – so it looks kind of like a taco. Press down with the spatula so it all sticks together
Wait another 30 seconds or so and transfer your tapioca onto a plate. Enjoy your Brazilian treat!
I hope you guys give this super easy recipe a try and make sure to share it with me if you do!
– PIN IT –