Let’s talk about my newest addition to the pantry: cactus flour. Well I should clarify and say that it is not new by any means. Rather it has been sitting in my pantry for nearly 6 months, and it’s only now that I am actually doing any experimenting with it and trying it out. You know how sometimes you see this cool new ingredient in the stores and you want to try it and you buy it with the best of intentions and all these imaginative ideas. And then you get it home and for whatever reason, all creativity and thoughts and plans fizzle away and the package sits there unopened and unused. I always imagine packages like that kind of letting out a sigh after sitting there for a few weeks, as if they are assuming they are a lost cause.
And you might have said that a month or two ago about this cactus flour. But put a smile on, Cactus flour, because it’s time for you to shine! And shine it does, because cactus flour is packed with incredible health benefits and in many ways can even be touted as a superfood for everything it offers!
The flour is light green in colour, and has a bit of a coarse texture, but is slightly sweet in flavour. It is actually loaded with fiber, as it is made from grinding up the whole plant and you don’t lose any parts of it – all the fibrous, healthy components are still intact. Because you are getting the whole plant ground up, it is also a source of protein and is great for boosting your protein intake on a plant based diet.
Its naturally occurring sweetness is not to be mistaken for a sugary food however. Cactus flour has a low glycemic index, meaning its sugar (energy) is released slowly into the blood stream and is able to provide longer, more sustained energy, without the blood sugar spike. furthermore, this, combined with the protein and high fiber content allow it to be quite filling and help satisfy you for longer after meals.
But while cactus flour is great, this flatbread is really a winner, because it is made from a combination of cactus flour and tiger nut flour. You’ve heard about my tigernut obsession on here a lot. The little tubers are incredibly high in fiber, are a source of iron and healthy fats and are rich in vitamins and minerals, as well as being a source of protein. And all this from a vegetable no less!
This recipe combines tiger nut flour, and cactus flour with the freshness of sage to create a slightly sweet flatbread that works well with curries and soups. The natural sweetness of the cactus flour and tigernut flour is balanced out by the addition of the salt and fresh herbs, while the bread yields a soft, slightly chewy texture. It is great toasted (especially slathered in nut butter!), but the bread stores well in the fridge and tastes excellent just heated in the oven before serving.
And then you eat it and you realize you’re eating bread made out of vegetables and plants, that tastes delicious, is incredibly versatile and ticks all the health boxes. Why go for anything else?