Brought to you by my trusted partner Otto’s Cassava Flour. All opinions are my own. Purchases made through links in this post earn me a very small commission.
Hola mi amigos! Today I am sharing a much loved recipe – CHURROS – made allergen-free thanks to the magic of Otto’s Cassava flour. Churros are a delectable fried dough that are enjoyed in many countries, including Spain, Portugal, France, throughout Latin America, and of course in the Southwest U.S. This recipe is done in the style of Mexican street food.
The dough is incredibly simple (just 3 ingredients!), there is very little sugar, and the flavor and crunch are as legit as it gets with these sticks of joy.
All About Otto’s Cassava Flour
If you aren’t yet familiar with Otto’s cassava flour, I’d love to fill you in! You are going to LOVE having this flour in your gluten-free, Paleo, and AIP pantry.
It can actually get a little confusing due to the different names used for the same plant, but I love clarifying this information. Cassava flour is made from a tropical starchy tuberous root that goes by quite a few different names, depending on which country you are in: cassava, yuca (pronounced YOU-kuh, not to be confused with the agave-like plant yucca – YUCK-uh – don’t call it that!), manioc, mandioca, or Brazilian arrowroot. Here in the U.S. you’ll most commonly find this root called yuca at your local International grocery store.
How Is Otto’s Cassava Flour Made?
Cassava flour is the whole root, dried and ground into a fine flour that has a striking resemblance to white flour made from wheat. Tapioca starch is the extracted starch from the yuca root. Some brands of tapioca starch actually label the product “yuca harina” (yuca flour) which adds another layer of confusion!
For the scientifically inclined, the plant we’re talking about here is Manihot esculenta, which is different from the plant from which arrowroot starch is extracted, Maranta arundinacea (don’t let that “Brazilian arrowroot” name trick you!)
Cooking With Otto’s Cassava Flour
Please note that you CANNOT substitute tapioca starch and cassava flour in recipes – they behave VERY differently. That would be like trying to sub corn starch for white flour.
Something I really love about cassava flour is how easy it makes it to take a recipe made with white flour and convert it to gluten-free, grain-free, Paleo, and AIP since in many cases you can swap cassava flour for white flour in a 1:1 ratio. It gets tricky when you have to also replace eggs, so I caution you in your kitchen experiments if you’re attempting to also make a recipe egg-free.
Cassava flour can also be “thirstier” than white flour so you may need to up the liquid in your recipes OR use a touch less flour.
I also ALWAYS measure cassava flour by weight rather than volume. It can really settle and pack down, meaning you can accidentally use way more flour than a recipe calls for. If you are really opposed to measuring by weight, then please make sure you sift cassava flour and measure with the “scoop and sweep” method: scoop your measuring spoon into the sifted flour and then level it off with the back of a knife. Never ever ever just dig your spoon into the bag to measure for baked goods.
Churros Mexicanos Recipe Notes
As I mentioned earlier, churros are enjoyed in many countries, and each location has their own way of cooking and serving these fried treats. You actually have some freedom with this recipe I created to adapt the dough to suit your tastes – you can add vanilla and sugar to the dough if you like, or you can make a chocolate dipping sauce. You could even add other warm spices to the dough, like cinnamon and cloves.
Be sure to monitor your coconut oil temperature while frying – if the temp gets too low your churros will turn out chewy and soggy rather than crunchy with a soft center. Also make sure your water is hot when you add the flour to it – it totally changes the way the dough behaves to use room temp water.
You can use a special tool called a churrera to make your churros. But you can also just use a 1M star tip + pastry/icing bag. You can pick those up for just a few bucks; a churrera is more of an investment but it can also be used for decorating cakes and cookies.
WARNING! Safety Notes: EXPLODING Churros!
YOU MUST USE EITHER a churrera or a 1M size star tip to pipe these. Failing to do so may result in batter that puffs and explodes upon frying. The shape is not just for looks…..it is a safety feature and allows the steam to escape safely due to the increased surface area. BE SAFE and use common sense when frying!
Autoimmune Protocol (AIP) Notes
Please remember that this is a TREAT meant for special occasions. Even if you use very little sugar in the coating, this is not a nutrient-dense recipe. But, it will sure as heck nourish your soul by bringing FUN and ENJOYMENT into your diet 🙂 Some people do discover a sensitivity to yuca and all derived products, but don’t mistake that for the debunked idea of “gluten-cross reactivity” – food sensitivities can exist without attributing them to this myth that just won’t seem to die.
Latin American Paleo Cooking
I hope you enjoy these as much as my husband and I did! Oh, and don’t forget to grab a copy of my print cookbook. If you love Latin American cuisine you are going to be over the moon for everything I packed into this book!
It’s 95% AIP or adaptable and features dishes from countries including Puerto Rico, Cuba, Dominican Republic, Venezuela, Colombia, Peru, Argentina, and Brazil!
On the cover you see Peruvian chicken, pastelillos, pasteles, pupusas, lomo saltado, and starchy “rice” (not cauliflower!)
This simple Mexican style churros recipe features a dough with only 3 ingredients for a fast, fun treat suitable for gluten-free, egg-free, dairy-free, Paleo, AIP, and vegan diets!
Makes about 16 churros 4-5″ long, enough to share between 3-4 people
For the dough
- 120 grams water (about 1/2 cup)
- 80 grams Otto’s cassava flour (about 1/2 cup plus 2 tbsp sifted flour)
- 1/8 tsp unrefined salt
- optional: 1/2 tsp granulated panela sugar or coconut sugar
- optional: 1/4 tsp vanilla extract
- coconut oil for frying (about 1″ deep in your cooking vessel)
For the coating
- 4 tsp grated panela or coconut sugar (buy block panela/jaggery here, pre-grated here)
- 1/2 tsp cinnamon powder
- candy thermometer
- pastry/icing bag (at least 12″) and size 1M star tip
- instead of bag/tip, you can also use a churrera
- kitchen shears to cut churros dough to size
- Add the water to a saucepan with the salt and optional sugar. Heat over medium until the water begins to steam.
- Quickly add all of the Otto’s cassava flour to the hot water and stir with a spatula until a dough forms. It should look like a very thick cake frosting and be firm enough to carefully form into a sticky ball. If it is too thin, you can sprinkle in additional cassava flour about 4 grams (1/2 tbsp) at a time until it is firm enough.
- Meanwhile, heat the 1″ of coconut oil over medium to medium-high heat in a pot with high sides. The larger the pot, the more oil you will need. Use a candy thermometer to constantly measure the temperature, adjusting the heat as necessary. You need it to be between 325-350F for churros.
- Allow the dough to cool briefly as you wait for the oil to reach temperature. Add it to an icing piping bag fitted with a star tip or into a churrera.
- Very carefully pipe the churros dough into the hot oil, using kitchen shears to cut once each churro reaches 4 to 5 inches long. Fry for about 2-3 minutes, then drain to a paper-towel lined plate to cool. Repeat until all the dough is cooked.
- Prepare the cinnamon sugar by combining both in a small bowl. If using panela blocks, use a knife to carefully shave off the panela and chop it into fine granules.
- Dredge the churros in the cinnamon sugar and enjoy! Best eaten immediately. They will become less crisp as time passes, but will still be tasty for a few hours.
Prep Time: 00 hrs. 10 mins.
Cook time: 00 hrs. 20 mins.
Total time: 30 mins.
Tags: paleo, AIP, gluten-free, egg-free, autoimmune protocol, dessert, Otto’s cassava flour, comida Mexicana, churros, vegan