5 Ways to Use Arrowroot Powder
5 Ways to Use Arrowroot Powder
by Deborah Madill
Arrowroot powder is most commonly known as a healthy alternative to cornstarch. But, did you know about arrowroot’s many other uses?
Nourishing Traditions says, “Arrowroot was once widely used in baby formulas as a superior carbohydrate, experience having shown it agreed with babies better than any other starch or sugar. We now find the reason. It is the only starch product with a calcium ash. In this regard, the calcium chloride, in the form of calcium found in arrowroot starch, is very important for the maintenance of proper acid and alkali balances in the human body. Arrowroot only thrives on tidal flats where the sea minerals are available. Its known health-building properties may be due to trace minerals from the sea, as well as from the calcium it gets from the sea water.”
Here are a few of my favorite ways to use arrowroot powder (also called arrowroot flour):
1. Ice cream
If you’ve had homemade ice cream before you know that an overnight freeze makes it almost impossible to scoop! Adding arrowroot powder keeps it from turning hard as a rock in the freezer. It also helps prevent ice crystals from forming on your ice cream.
2. Homemade cake flour
I don’t even know how many times I’ve tried to bake a whole wheat cake and have been terribly disappointed. Since cake flour is a low-protein, refined wheat flour with cornstarch added, I wondered if a mixture of whole wheat flour and arrowroot powder might help my whole grain cake attempts turn out better. It worked! For every cup of flour called for in a cake recipe, I substitute 3/4 C. hard white wheat flour plus 2 T. arrowroot powder (Sift together with a fine mesh strainer). I use this with muffins and scones, too.
3. Fruit sauce
I like to make this simple fruit sauce to go over pancakes, waffles, crepes and ice cream sundaes. I make it with blueberries most often, but also with cherries, strawberries, peaches, plums . . . almost any fruit can be used. Some fruit crisp, cobbler or pie recipes call for cornstarch to thicken the fruit filling. I use arrowroot powder instead, using 1 T. arrowroot powder for every 1.5 C. of fruit.
4. Baby teething biscuits/crackers
Cheerios are the standard on-the-go snack for babies, but arrowroot crackers are an easy alternative that actually provides some nutrition! I’ve even seen a recipe that combine arrowroot and amaranth flour, which would be quite a nutritious snack for baby. Or for me! (http://glutenfreecooking.about.com/od/pizzasflatbreadswraps/r/gfcrackers.htm)
5. Thickening foods
I keep a jar of arrowroot powder close to my stove so I can stir some into any recipe that needs a little thickening. My fresh tomato sauces tend to be a bit runny, but a little arrowroot powder mixed in at the end of cooking takes care of that.
Some baby food purees come out very runny. I could simply cook them for a while to evaporate some liquid, but I choose to stir in a little arrowroot powder for added nutrition.
This is also helpful when toddlers are learning to feed themselves. I can quickly thicken a soup so it’s easy for my little guy to spoon by himself.
How do you use arrowroot powder? Please share your tips in the comments below!