You have found an interesting recipe but don’t have any arrowroot powder that is an ingredient in it. Here it becomes necessary for you to find a good arrowroot powder substitute.
While choosing a substitute food ingredient you have to consider flavor and suitability factors.
The replacements that you choose instead of arrowroot powder should agree with the flavor and consistency of the dish. The heating point of the replacement ingredient must also be taken into consideration.
We have made good research and found a few good replacements for arrowroot powder.
What is arrowroot powder?
Arrowroot is a potato-like root native to Indonesia. It’s a very starchy root vegetable.
The arrowroot flour is popularly used as a food thickener. It is also used in gluten-free, paleo cooking and it’s an extremely versatile ingredient in cooking.
Its benefits for health and cooking include:
- gluten-free, grain-free and paleo-friendly
- its neutral flavor doesn’t upset the flavor profile of your dishes
- the best replacement for cornstarch
- can be used in roasting, baking, and frying
- provides multiple health benefits
What is a good arrowroot powder substitute?
Arrowroot powder is a very effective gluten-free thickening agent. It works well in thickening jams, pies, jellies, soups, stews, sauces, and other dishes.
You can find several substitutes for arrowroot flour used as thickening agents.
The most commonly used food thickening ingredients are cornstarch and tapioca flour. Potato starch, coconut flour, agar, chia seeds, flaxseed flour, and chicken pea flour are also good natural thickening solutions.
Let us now look at a few of the best replacements for arrowroot starch that match in flavor and consistency.
1. Tapioca Starch – First and Best Option
Tapioca is a starch extracted from the cassava root. Nutritional elements in tapioca include pure carbs and very little protein, fiber, or nutrients.
Identical features of tapioca and arrowroot are:
- Excellent gluten-free alternatives of wheat and other grain flours
- Come in powder or small granule form
- Quickly thickens the recipes
- Have a glossy appearance
- Odorless and neutral in taste
- Do not alter the color and appearance of the dishes
From the above-given characteristics, obviously, tapioca starch is the best natural replacement for arrowroot powder.
Just like the arrowroot, tapioca starch remains stable at low and medium-high temperature.
Go for tapioca starch instead of arrowroot powder, especially in dishes that require freezing.
You can interchange tapioca for arrowroot powder in equal measures.
2. Cornstarch– An Equally Good Option
Corn starch, cornflour, or maize starch is the starch derived from corn grain. It is the starch obtained from the endosperm of the kernel.
This starch is a wonderful food thickener that doesn’t alter the original flavor of the recipe.
Cornstarch is a good choice instead of arrowroot powder because:
- It’s gluten-free and suitable for people with celiac disease
- Has neutral taste
- Gives a translucent shimmer to dishes
- Great for delicate sauces and gravies
- Suitable for dishes that require high-heat cooking
You can use cornstarch in place of arrowroot flour for thickening banana-cream pie, vanilla pastry, butterscotch, and chocolate pudding.
Make sure to procure cornstarch sourced from the naturally grown maze and not the genetically modified corn.
Just like tapioca starch, it is not suitable for use in recipes that involve acidic liquids.
While swapping arrowroot powder with cornstarch, use it in the same quantity. Mix it with water to form a slurry that you can add to your recipe to thicken.
3. Rice flour – A Decent Choice
Rice flour is made from rice. It comes in very small angular granules.
It cooks at a higher temperature than corn but does not form a thick gel as the arrowroot or cornstarch.
Rice flour is somewhat a decent substitute for arrowroot powder for reasons such as:
- A gluten-free starch
- Has neutral flavor and doesn’t influence the taste and aroma of the dish
- A versatile thickener that goes well with most dishes
- Suitable for use in dishes that contain acidic liquid
On a poor note, rice starch is a grain flour diluting it in liquid makes it appear cloudy. It does not give a clear and glossy appearance to the dishes, unlike the arrowroot powder.
While using it as a replacement for arrowroot powder, use it in two-third quantity. It gets cooked faster than other flour, so use it towards the end of cooking.
4 Other Secondary alternatives For Arrowroot Flour
Best alternatives to arrowroot flour are:
- tapioca starch,
- rice flour.
However, you can also use a few other substitutes though they may not be the ideal choice. They include the following:
1. Cream of Tartar
Cream of tartar is a dry, powdery, acidic byproduct of fermenting grapes into wine. Surprisingly, it is not creamy though the name sounds so.
It isn’t a perfect alternative to arrowroot powder. But still, it works well for adding volume and body to desserts like a custard, cream, or pudding.
You can’t use it in any normal application of arrowroot powder.
2. Xanthan Gum
Xanthan gum is a polysaccharide with many industrial uses, including as a common food additive.
Xanthan gum works as a good binding agent like the arrowroot powder. Please note, it is less versatile than arrowroot flour and doesn’t go well with all recipes except a few.
The best Keto substitute for arrowroot thickener in baking is Xanthan gum. Bob’s Red Mill describes Xanthan gum as an emulsifier that helps to mix liquids of different nature. It also works as a thickener by increasing the viscosity of batter and liquid.
Like the arrowroot powder, Xanthan gum can provide a creamy texture to the dishes.
Use them in the same quantity while substituting each other.
3. Wheat Flour
Wheat flour may not be the best alternative for arrowroot powder, still, it works when other options aren’t there.
Like the rice flour, it can work in dishes that contain acidic liquids.
Wheat starch works well in thickening sauces, glazes, puddings, and fruit pie fillings.
This flour can overshadow the original taste of the recipe to some extent. It also makes the dish dull looking.
If used alone, the substitution is 1 tablespoon wheat flour equal to 1 teaspoon arrowroot powder.
4. Potato Starch
Potato starch is extracted from potatoes.
It is somewhat similar to arrowroot in texture and usable in the same way.
While using it as a substitute for arrowroot powder, 1 teaspoon of potato starch can replace 2 teaspoons of arrowroot flour.