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Is Tapioca Vegan?

Last Updated on August 27, 2023

If you’re a big fan of Boba tea then you probably want to ask the question– Is Tapioca Vegan?

Tapioca is a type of starch that is extracted from the cassava plant. It is the main ingredient for boba pearls.

Who would have guessed that a small, jelly-like ingredient could create such a big conversation among vegetarians and vegans?

Tapioca flour is the main ingredient for boba pearls.

Whether you’re new to the vegan lifestyle or just curious, read on to learn more about tapioca and why it’s a popular choice for vegans everywhere.

What is Tapioca made of?

Tapioca is a starch extracted from the cassava root – it is a fine, white powder most commonly used as a thickener or binding agent in various food recipes.

Tapioca flour can also make tapioca pearls, small balls often used in bubble tea or other desserts.

Since tapioca flour is gluten-free, you can use it as a replacement for wheat flour in many baked goods.

It has a neutral flavor, making it ideal for bubble tea, tapioca balls, and tapioca pudding.  

Although tapioca flour is high in carbohydrates and calories, it does not contain significant amounts of fat or protein.

It is also a good source of dietary fiber and some essential vitamins and minerals, proving to be a suitable choice for dairy-free food products. 

What is Tapioca used for?

Extracted from cassava root and refined to perfection, tapioca flour is an active ingredient in several food products.

Whether you like tapioca pearls or tapioca itself, you’ll be happy to know the recipes you can make with it. Here are some tapioca starch food products for starters:

Tapioca Pudding: This classic dessert is made by simmering tapioca pearls in milk until they’re soft, then sweetening the mixture with sugar and vanilla. The best thing?

Making a tapioca pudding recipe is pretty simple once you understand the consistency of this flour. Serve your vegan tapioca pudding hot or cold – it’s delicious!

Bubble Tea: Bubble tea is a refreshing cold drink with iced tea, milk, and tapioca pearls.

You can find bubble tea shops worldwide, but it’s also easy to make at home. Simply brew your favorite iced tea, add some milk, and tapioca balls to enjoy your favorite bubble tea. 

Taro Root Soup: Taro root is a starchy vegetable often used in Asian cuisine, and tapioca starch is an active ingredient in this recipe.

This soup has a subtle flavor, often paired with bold flavors like ginger, garlic, and chili pepper. 

Fried Plantains with Tapioca: Plantains are a type of banana often used in savory dishes.

They’re fried until they’re crispy, then served with a sweet and sticky sauce made with tapioca pearls. This dish is popular in many Caribbean countries.

Brazilian Feijoada: Feijoada is a traditional Brazilian dish. It’s usually served with white rice and collard greens, but you can add tapioca pearls to the mix.

The chewiness of the tapioca pairs well with the hearty flavors of the feijoada.

Is Tapioca Vegan and Vegetarian friendly?

Tapioca has been the subject of much debate, some people believe that tapioca is not vegan because it contains egg whites.

However, this is not the case.

Is Tapioca Vegan and Vegetarian friendly? The answer is a resounding Yes! Tapioca is 100% vegan and does not contain any animal products.

Tapioca is a vegan product used as a thickening agent in various cuisines.

Recently, it has become a popular alternative to dairy products such as milk and cream.

Tapioca is made from cassava root, a type of starch. The cassava root is peeled, diced, and boiled until it forms a pulp, then dried and ground into flour.

For vegans and vegetarians, tapioca is an excellent source of protein. One hundred grams of cooked tapioca provides about 6 grams of protein.

This makes it a good option for those who do not eat meat or animal products. Tapioca is also low in fat and cholesterol-free.

Tapioca is an excellent thickening agent because it can absorb large amounts of liquid without changing the dish’s flavor.

It is also gluten-free, making it a good option for those with celiac disease or gluten sensitivities.

Tapioca is high in carbohydrates and calories, so it is not suitable for those on a low-carb diet. But for most people, tapioca is a healthy vegan alternative if they prefer dairy-free food. 

Tapioca Starch vs Tapioca Flour

Both tapioca starch and tapioca flour are derived from the cassava root and have a similar flavor and consistency.

The main difference between tapioca starch and tapioca flour is in their texture.

Tapioca starch has a granular, powdery texture, while tapioca flour is more like fine wheat flour. Both can be thickeners, but tapioca flour will give your dish a slightly cloudy appearance.

If you’re looking for a gluten-free alternative to wheat flour, tapioca flour is a good option.

You can use it in place of wheat flour in most recipes, although you may need to experiment with the ratio of other ingredients to get the desired consistency.

Tapioca starch is gluten-free and can be used as a thickener for sauces or soups. It’s also a good binding agent for meatballs or veggie burgers.

So, which should you use? If you’re looking for a thickener, go with tapioca starch. If you want to replace wheat flour in a recipe, go with tapioca flour. 

Tapioca Flour Substitutes

If you love vegetarian-friendly baked goods, tapioca starch will be your good friend because it’s gluten-free and vegan. But if you don’t have cassava plant flour, what to do?

Luckily, you can try several tapioca starch alternatives and still experience the same food consistency. Here are some substitutes for tapioca starch you can try:

Arrowroot starch: Arrowroot starch is a good gluten-free alternative to tapioca starch.

It has a neutral flavor and is perfect for thickening sauces, gravies, and puddings. 

Potato starch: Potato starch is another good gluten-free alternative to tapioca starch.

This starch has a slightly sweet flavor and is perfect for thickening soups, stews, and gravies. 

Cornstarch: Cornstarch is an excellent gluten-free alternative to tapioca starch.

Cornstarch is a readily available thickening agent for pudding recipes and baked goods. 

Summing Up

There are many reasons to love tapioca. Not only is it vegan, but it’s also gluten-free and can be used in various recipes.

Whether you’re looking for a new way to make a delicious soup or you want to experiment with a new baking recipe, tapioca is a great option.

While tapioca is commonly used in desserts, you can also use it in savory dishes.

And best of all, tapioca is vegan-friendly, so everyone can enjoy it.

So The next time you’re looking for a new ingredient to experiment with, be sure to give tapioca a try. You might just be surprised by how versatile it is. 

Do you find “Is Tapioca Vegan?” informative? If you like to see more content like this, please let me know by leaving a comment below.

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Is This Vegan?


Tapioca Flour Substitute

You can try several tapioca starch alternatives and still experience the same food consistency. Here are some substitutes for tapioca starch you can try.
5 from 5 votes
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Author: SHU-CHUN


  • Arrowroot Starch
  • Potato Starch
  • Cornstarch


  • Start by adding small amount until reaching your desired outcome.

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