I've got a thing for junk food makeovers, so naturally I'm a bit obsessed with pizza. Today's new love is cassava pizza, but my pizza adventures have been vast.
First I found that I could make a good classic crust with a simple recipe and sprouted flour – a healthier alternative to white flour. Then I experimented with making my favorite gluten-free crust into a deep dish pizza.
I had some fun with grain-free cauliflower crusts, but when it came to paleo-friendly pizza options, I was not that impressed. My gluten-free hubby LOVES our almond flour crust from Real Plans, but I can only do almonds in small amounts.
Then I discovered cassava.
Cassava or yuca root (not to be confused with the cactus, yucca) is a root veggie popular in traditional Latin American cooking. It's readily available at Latin American groceries stores and sometimes our local Whole Foods carries it too.
Everything I've made with cassava/yuca (both the root and the flour) has been ridiculously delicious. None of this, “Oh, I can't have real pizza/tortillas/flatbread so I have to settle for this crappy substitute.” Cassava can hold it's own.
Luckily though, cassava does have a learning curve and requires some time and patience to work with it. This means you won't turn into a big fatty because you devoured too many cassava treats. In my opinion, cassava is a special occasion food, which is just fine with my waistline.
When I set out to learn about cassava, I came across the self-proclaimed Yuca Slayer who is definitely an expert on this glorious root and taught me everything I know about this working with the root. Watch Jennifer of Predominantly Paleo as she demystifies cassava in this video.
Cassava is a magical food not only for gluten-free and paleo peeps, but also for folks who are using the Auto-Immune Paleo (AIP) approach to heal from auto-immune conditions. Just because you can't have nuts, seeds, eggs or nightshades doesn't mean you shouldn't get to enjoy pizza too!
Cassava pizza crust ingredients
This recipe makes will make two cookie sheets worth of thin pizza crust.
- 1 1/2 pounds yuca , (a.k.a. cassava)
- 3 tablespoons palm shortening – Be sure to choose a responsibly sourced brand like this one!
- 2 teaspoons coarse sea salt – this is my favorite
- 1 tablespoon dried basil
- 1 tablespoon dried oregano
- 2 tablespoons coconut flour – I get mine with subscribe and save here
- parchment paper
- Toppings of your choice – My fave is cheese and mushroom, but if AIP, spread with pumpkin puree mixed with some fresh lemon juice instead of tomato sauce and top with minced kale AIP-friendly sausage (shown below).
Cassava pizza crust method
- Preheat oven to 375F. Fill a medium sized pot halfway with water and bring to a boil.
- Meanwhile, cut ends from cassava root, then using a vegetable peeler or sharp knife remove tough waxy skin and discard. Chop the root into large pieces (no smaller than 2 inches).
- Add large cassava pieces to boiling water and cook until fork tender. Drain and allow to cool before blending.
- Combine cooked cassava (1 1/2 pounds should yield about 2 cups), palm shortening, salt, basil, and oregano in a food processor until smooth.
- Remove from food processor, work in coconut flour, and allow dough to cool completely on a large piece of parchment paper.
- Allow dough to cool completely.
- Roll out dough thinly – about a half inch thick.
- Bake for 15-20 on a parchment lined baking sheet or until nicely browned throughout.
- Remove from oven and flip crust(s) over and continue baking until this side is browned as well.
- Cassava rapidly absorbs liquid, so to avoid soggy crust, wait to add toppings until right before serving, and place drier toppings closer to the crust (sauce on top).