As a very dedicated Zumba instructor, I have the absolute pleasure of meeting so many awesome women and men that frequent my classes.  I’ve made many great friends from every age, culture, and background – I’m so lucky!  One of my Brazilian students, Alda, makes these amazing traditional breads that I must share with you.

They are called Pao de Queijo and they are actually popular breakfast breads Bolivia, Brazil, Paraguay, and northern Argentina.  While the exact origin is uncertain, it is speculated that the recipe has existed since the eighteenth century in Minas Gerais (Brazil), but it became popular throughout the country after the 1950s.

They are gluten free and are made from cassava or corn flour.  They are light and airy … perfect for breakfast or snacking on at any time of day.

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Here is Alda’s recipe.  Thanks, Alda!!

Ingredients: (Serves 12)

  • 1 and 3/4 cup yucca (Manioc) Starch, the sweet one
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup grated Brazilian cheese (or grated Parmesan cheese)
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 3 Tbsp canola oil
  • 3 eggs

Directions: 

1 – Preheat a 370 F oven. Into a large mixing bowl, sift the yucca starch and salt, mix.

2 – Warm the milk and oil, should be hot, but not to boil, then pour the liquid into mixing bowl with the dry ingredients, mix well. Let the mix cool down, about 30 minutes.

3 – Add the grated cheese and eggs, mix very well. Form small balls of dough and place them on a baking sheet, put in the oven and bake 40 minutes. Serve hot.

Enjoy!  They are AMAZING!

-Cristina (with a special thanks to Alda)