So today’s recipe is one I strongly associate with South America: Pan de Yuca (Cheese Bread). If you have never had it, let me tell you – you are in for a massive treat! Pan de Yuca is a small, roundish bread that you eat preferably warm. It melts in your mouth with cheese and it is super, duper delicious.
The most vivid memory I have of this bread is when my husband and I visited Brazil. Even though Pan de Yuca is originally from Ecuador, it was definitely also present there. We thought we were late for a flight (we were not but it made us totally leave in a panic), only to then be stuck in an “airport” (it was a tinned roof on a tarmac field) because of a thunderstorm. When we finally boarded the plane, we had missed our connection. We went to a kind gentleman who re-booked us on another plane, but we literally had 10 minutes until boarding, and we were starving. So we bought Pan de Yuca and then ran through the entire airport to catch the next plane.
If you have never been to South America – first of all, it is a foodist dream!! Especially in Ecuador, people already think about the next meal before the current one is finished. I could not have felt more at home 😂. A lot of the food is simple (just like these Pan de Yuca), but delicious, seasonal, and tastes amazing. They also use quite a different range of flours, which makes a lot of the choices naturally gluten-free 🤩.
Why are these Pan de Yuca (Cheese Bread) good for me?
Pan de Yuca is not made with regular old white flour (you may know that all recipes on the blog are completely gluten-free). Pan de Yuca is made with cassava flour. What is cassava you may be asking? Cassava is a root vegetable, which grows in South America, and comes from the cassava plant. It is made by grating cassava, drying it, and then grinding it into a fine powder. It is relatively similar in taste and texture to white flour, which makes it a great substitute in a lot of recipes when you want to create gluten-free alternatives. Cassava is also sometimes called “yuca” or “manioc”. On top of being gluten-free, it is also grain, and nut-free, which makes it a great flour for all dietary requirements.
Cassava is high in Vitamin C, fiber, copper, folate, magnesium, and potassium. It is also fairly high in carbohydrates (due to it being a root vegetable), which makes it incredibly filling. As we know by now, dietary fiber is important for our gut microbiome. It may reduce inflammation in the gut, help to feed good gut bacteria, and supports easy elimination. Vitamin C is also a double-whammy, as it acts as a vitamin and an antioxidant within our bodies at the same time. It protects us against cold and flu by keeping our immune system stable and healthy, helps to support the production of collagen, and eliminates oxidative stress. I need to point out though that through the processing of cassava into flour, some of these benefits may be lost.
How can I adjust these Pan de Yuca (Cheese Bread) to my Dietary Requirements?
This recipe is gluten-free, nut-free, egg-free, and vegetarian. Due to the cheese used, it is sadly not vegan or suitable for the paleo lifestyle.
Similar Recipes on the Blog
Truth be told, I have not ventured too much into “bread making” on the blog. It is a fairly special discipline when it comes to working with gluten-free flour. However, there are some great dipping recipes that you could serve along with this warm cheese bread:
- My dear friend’s best guacamole
- Vegan Nacho Cheese Sauce (cheese on cheese – does it get better than that??!)
- Delicious Artichoke Dip
- Best Homemade Hummus – one of the top fav recipes on the blog
- Simple Baba Ganoush
And there you have it for this week!! I hope you enjoyed our little excursion to South America 😍. If you would like to learn more about gluten-free flours – I have just brought out a Gluten-free Guide, complete with insight into what flours are best for what, my top tips for baking with gluten-free flour, and a bit more about what gluten actually is. All you have to do is sign-up for my newsletter and you will automatically receive it 💚.