Whether you have been following a healthy diet or not, you must have heard about using arrowroot starch for baking and cooking.
That is because of the health benefits and also as it is a better thickener than other more popular counterparts.
Arrowroot starch or powder is a multitasking agent as it helps digestion and is a dairy-free, gluten-free, and grain-free ingredient. Although sometimes it’s not available in all grocery stores.
For those in a hurry, the popular Arrowroot starch substitutes you can try are Tapioca flour, Sweet rice flour, Psyllium Husk, Guar Gum, and Teff flour, etc. Continue reading to know other substitutes of arrowroot and how to use them.
So today, I am going to tell you everything about arrowroot starch, where to find it, and 9 Arrowroot starch substitutes for a buffer-free cooking experience.
- What Is Arrowroot Starch?
- 9 Best Arrowroot Starch Substitutes
- What Does Arrowroot Starch Taste Like?
- Arrowroot Starch Uses
- Arrowroot Starch Health Benefits
- Arrowroot Starch Side Effects
- Where Can I Buy Arrowroot Starch?
- Most Common Queries About Arrowroot Starch
What Is Arrowroot Starch?
Arrowroot starch is a white powdery ingredient used for binding or thickening the texture of different sauces and other food items. The usage is somewhat similar to cornstarch or potato starch, although this starch can give you a thicker texture if you want.
And it looks like this:
Arrowroot starch comes from various plant roots that grow in tropical areas. Originally it was produced from the roots of a Maranta Arundinacea. Other plant roots like cassava and Zamia Integrifolia are also used sometimes.
To make sure you are getting a plant root-based arrowroot starch, always read the components on the label while buying.
9 Best Arrowroot Starch Substitutes
If you are in urgent need of arrowroot starch and the shelves don’t have any, here are the 9 arrowroot starch substitutes that work well as thickener, binder, and stabilizer agents:
1. Tapioca Flour
Tapioca flour is also a root-based thickener. It comes from the roots of a cassava plant. As a substitute for arrowroot and cornstarch tapioca flour is vastly used, as it’s a gluten-free agent.
Tapioca flour can withstand more heat than arrowroot starch, so for recipes like curry, sauce, or soup tapioca starch can give better results.
The Mantra for using tapioca flour is, ‘less is more.’ Using too much tapioca flour could lead to a chewy flavor and also might add mild sweetness to the dish.
Tapioca flour works well with liquid dairy products. The only downfall is freezing the dish.
Unlike arrowroot starch, tapioca tends to change the texture of the food item if frozen. So it’s best to use tapioca flour as a substitute if you are not planning to store the dish in a fridge.
2. Psyllium Husk
Psyllium Husk is produced from the plant Plantago Ovata. It is a gluten-free thickening substance. This is also keto-friendly, vegan, and has a low carb count.
Psyllium husk is full of fiber and helps with digestion. It does not have any taste so the actual taste of the dish stays intact.
Half a tablespoon of psyllium husk is enough to give you the desired thickening per serving of a dish. You can use it for soups, baking, and even in smoothies.
3. Guar Gum
It comes from the seeds of cluster beans. Guar gum is a healthy substitute for arrowroot as it’s nutritious, has low calories, and has high dietary fiber.
The use is similar to arrowroot in thickening, baking preparations, and stabilizing components.
Guar gum has anti-crystal compounds that keep the authentic texture of the dish intact while freezing. We can safely say that of all the other arrowroot starch substitutes Guar Gum is as versatile as arrowroot starch.
4. Teff Flour
This flour is made from teff, the smallest grain in the world. It comes in different colors and varies in taste too. If you don’t want it to affect the taste go for the lighter colors.
Teff flour can add a nutty sweet flavor and softer texture to baked products. It is more suited for baking than thickening. half spoon is enough as more quantity might result in a slightly different earthy taste.
5. Brown Rice Flour
Brown rice flour is a whole grain flour with B vitamins. Brown rice flour is ideal for gravy, soups, bread, and other baking needs.
It is gluten-free and easily available in baking stores. brown rice starch does not add any heavy flavor to your dish.
You can directly sprinkle it on the soup of gravy while simmering and stir well to mix. For every serving, 2 tablespoons of brown rice flour can be used.
7. Oat Flour
It is also a whole grain flour that can add to the flavor of the food. Like arrowroot, oat flour is also a healthier option.
Oat flour can be used for thickening and baking. although while baking if you use a little too much the doe will not bake properly and taste different than it is supposed to.
8. Sweet Rice Flour
Although it’s flour, sweet rice flour is more starchy in texture than arrowroot starch. It is suitable for baking and thickening if used right. freezing the dish made using sweet rice starch won’t lose its authentic texture.
If you are using it as a thickening agent, you need to follow the two most important steps,
a) the quantity should be half of the arrowroot starch,
b) always mix sweet rice flour with lukewarm water and stir well to avoid clumpiness, before you add it to the dish.
9. Cream Of Tartar
Unlike the name suggests, it’s an acidic and powdery agent. Cream of tartar is a wine-production bi-product.
It can substitute arrowroot by working as a thickening agent in some deserts. Specifically in desserts like custard or pudding. It won’t be ideal for most other usages of arrowroot powder.
Although it’s not a preferable substitute for thickening as it won’t give the desired texture and might add a different taste in some cuisines.
What Does Arrowroot Starch Taste Like?
One of its best qualities is that it tastes like absolutely nothing. So you can use arrowroot powder in a sour soup or a sweet delight without messing up the original flavor of that cuisine.
Because it is a tasteless and healthy thickener, the use of arrowroot powder in cooking and baking is increasing rapidly.
Arrowroot Starch Uses
Arrowroot has been used since ancient times in different forms. Some of the major usages of arrowroot powder are:
- Binding agent for food items, for example, a gluten-free burger.
- For baking paleo diet-friendly pancakes, fudge brownies, and grain-free, dairy-free baked items.
- Its best for acidic liquids or sauces, like sweet and sour soup, cranberry sauce, etc
- It can be used while frying vegetables, fish, and meat.
- It used to be a baby powder substitute in the past.
- Because of the minerals that can be good for the skin and hair it’s also used in shampoos and face masks.
Arrowroot Starch Health Benefits
Arrowroot starch is not only good for specific diet needs it also has other health benefits that make it an almost perfect thickener.
Apart from being a nut-free, Gluten-free, non-grain, paleo and whole30 diet-friendly option arrowroot powder also help with:
Iron, B vitamin, potassium present in arrowroot starch helps with blood cell formation and blood circulation. So the heart health improves if arrowroot starch is used in food preparation.
Safe for IBS
It is an easy-to-digest thickening agent. So people suffering from irritable bowel syndrome can also enjoy the food made, using arrowroot starch, as it does not affect the tummy.
Helps with Weight Loss
Arrowroot powder is proven to help with digestion. And better metabolism means less weight gain. It also helps weight loss as it has a low-calorie count.
Promotes kidney health
The presence of potassium in arrowroot powder helps cleaning toxins from the body which promotes healthier kidneys.
Arrowroot Starch Side Effects
Whenever we switch to some new food agent the most important questions that come to our mind are, is this safe to consume? Does it have any side effects?
Well, the good news is arrowroot powder is believed to be safe and healthy. There are no proven side effects if it is yet.
Arrowroot powder is good for kids and probably safe for pregnancy and breastfeeding when taken with food or as a medicine in smaller amounts.
Although it is believed to be safe, try to avoid consuming it in larger quantities. It does not have any proven side effects on skin or hair either.
Where Can I Buy Arrowroot Starch?
Some local grocery shops do not have arrowroot powder in stock. So you can visit either a baking supply store or a health food store for arrowroot powder. Alternatively, you can also order online on Amazon.
If you are searching for arrowroot powder in a store near you or the supermarket, try looking near baking supplies like corn starch or potato starch.
Most Common Queries About Arrowroot Starch
Arrowroot Starch VS Corn Flour Starch: Are They Same?
The usage is almost the same for both but arrowroot is a healthier choice.
Arrowroot starch can give a thicker texture than cornstarch. Arrowroot starch has way more nutrition, fiber, and minerals than cornstarch.
Cornstarch is a cheaper and easily available option. Although arrowroot starch is good for gluten and dairy-free diets and also safe for people with celiac disease, the availability is becoming easier by the day.
Arrowroot powder can freeze well too. The only upper hand corn starch has is with dairy-based products, as arrowroot starch can not give good results with dairy-based liquids.
Is Arrowroot the Same as Potato Starch?
There are many people with potato starch intolerance who are not able to enjoy baked goods as these are mostly prepared with potato starch.
Arrowroot and potato starch are root-based starches. This type of starch creates a bit smoother texture when used in sauce or soup than any non-root-based starch.
Arrowroot starch can easily replace potato starch and give the same result while cooking and baking. And the health benefits that arrowroot has, make it more suitable for a number of diets.
Is arrowroot good for weight loss?
Yes, arrowroot has dietary fiber which helps the metabolism to work fast. Also, it has fewer calories and carbs so it can easily be a part of your special diet plan.
Is arrowroot safe for kids?
Arrowroot is considered safe for kids. It is easy to digest so kids can enjoy food prepared by adding arrowroot starch without you worrying about their stomach problems. Although it’s a healthier option, like any other food item the consumption should be limited.
Along with other baked goods using arrowroot starch, arrowroot cookies are popular in keto, paleo-friendly, whole30, gluten-free, dairy-free diets. It is no doubt a healthy snack.
Although it is low on calories, it is not a zero-calorie component. so you can replace unhealthy cookies with arrowroot cookies while keeping the consumption controlled.
I have been using arrowroot starch primarily while baking, and it gives the same result as other binding agents. Although if it’s used a little too much it can give a dry effect.
So if you are going to use arrowroot starch for binding or thickening use a little less than the usual ingredient that you use, as it’s a little thicker than its counterparts.
Now that you have all the tea, continue making the healthy dishes using arrowroot starch and its substitutes.
Lastly don’t forget to tell me in the comments if this article was helpful and you can also ask me any other food-related queries.