Cornstarch is a common ingredient in cooking and baking.It’s a pure starch powder extracted from corn kernels by removing the outer bran and germ and leaving only the starch-rich endosperm.It has a variety of uses in the kitchen. When starch is heated, it absorbs a lot of water. As a result, it’s most commonly used as a thickener in stews, soups, and gravies.
It’s also popular among those who suffer from gluten-related disorders because it’s made from corn rather than wheat, making it gluten-free. On the other hand, cornstarch is not the only ingredient that can be used as a thickener. This article looks at 11 alternative ingredients.
Here are Some Best Cornstarch Substitutes in Baking
1. Wheat flour
Wheat flour is made by finely grinding wheat into a powder.
Wheat flour, unlike cornstarch, contains protein, fiber, and starch. This means you can substitute cornstarch for flour, but you’ll need more of it to achieve the same results.
For thickening purposes, it is recommended that you use twice as much white flour as cornstarch. So, instead of 1 tablespoon of cornstarch, use two tablespoons of white flour.
If you use wheat flour as a cornstarch substitute, keep in mind that it is not gluten-free and is therefore not suitable for people with gluten-related disorders.
Wheat and whole grain flours contain more fiber than white flour, so while you can try thickening with them, you’ll probably need much more to achieve the same result.
Arrowroot is a starchy flour derived from the roots of plants in the Maranta genus, which grows in the tropics.
The roots of the plants are dried and ground into a fine powder that can be used as a thickener in cooking to make arrowroot.
Because it contains more fiber, some people prefer arrowroot to cornstarch.
When mixed with water, it forms a clear gel, making it ideal for clear thickening liquids.
To achieve comparable results, use twice as much arrowroot as cornstarch. Arrowroot is also gluten-free, making it suitable for those who do not consume gluten.
3. Potato starch
Potato starch is another cornstarch substitute, and it is made by crushing potatoes to release their starch content and then drying them to make a powder.
Because it is not a grain, it does not contain gluten. However, because it is a refined starch, it is high in carbs and low in fat and protein.
Like other tuber and root starches, potato starch has a mild flavor and will not overpower your recipes.
In a 1:1 ratio, replace potato starch with cornstarch. If your recipe calls for one tablespoon of cornstarch, replace it with one tablespoon of potato starch.
It’s also worth noting that many chefs advocate for adding root or tuber starches like potato or arrowroot later in the cooking process.
This is because they absorb water and thicken much faster than grain-based starches. Heating them for an extended period will completely degrade them, causing them to lose their thickening properties.
Tapioca is a processed starch extracted from cassava, a root vegetable native to South America.
Tapioca flour is made by grinding cassava roots to a pulp, filtering out the starch-rich liquid, and then drying.
However, because some cassava plants contain cyanide, the cassava must first be treated to ensure its safety.
Tapioca is available as flour, pearls, or flakes, and it is gluten-free.
Most cooks recommend substituting two tablespoons of tapioca flour for one tablespoon of cornstarch.
5. Rice flour
Rice flour is a finely ground rice powder. In Asian cultures, it is frequently used as an ingredient in desserts, rice noodles, or soups.
It is naturally gluten-free and is popular as a substitute for regular wheat flour among those with gluten-related disorders.
We can also use rice flour to thicken recipes, making it a good substitute for cornstarch.
When mixed with water, it is also colorless, making it particularly useful for clear thickening liquids.
To achieve the same result as wheat flour, it is recommended that you use twice as much rice flour as cornstarch.
We can use it to make a paste with hot or cold water or flour and fat mixture in a roux.
6. Ground flaxseeds
When ground flaxseeds are mixed with water, they form a jelly.
However, unlike cornstarch, the consistency of flax can be a little gritty.
However, because flaxseeds are high in soluble fiber, using ground flaxseeds instead of flour can increase the fiber content of your dish.
If you need to thicken a dish, try replacing cornstarch with one tablespoon of ground flaxseeds and four tablespoons of water, and this should substitute for about two tablespoons of cornstarch.
Glucomannan is a powdered soluble fiber derived from the konjac plant’s roots.
It forms a thick, colorless, odorless gel when combined with hot water.
Because glucomannan is pure fiber, it has no calories or carbs, making it a popular low-carb substitute for cornstarch.
It’s also a probiotic, which means it feeds the good bacteria in your large intestine and can aid in gut health.
Furthermore, a recent study discovered that consuming 3 grams of glucomannan per day could reduce your LDL (bad) cholesterol by 10%.
However, when used as a thickener, you are unlikely to consume that much. Because it has a much stronger thickening power than cornstarch, you use much less of it.
For every two teaspoons of cornstarch, most people use a quarter teaspoon of glucomannan.
It thickens at low temperatures, so mix it with a little cold water before adding it to your food to avoid clumping when it comes into contact with hot liquid.
8. Psyllium husk
Another plant-based soluble fiber that can be used as a thickening agent is psyllium husk.
It, like glucomannan, is high in soluble fiber and low in carbohydrates.
You’ll only need a small amount to thicken recipes, so start with half a teaspoon and work your way up.
9. Xanthan gum
Xanthan gum is a vegetable gum produced by fermenting sugar with the bacteria Xanthomonas campestris.
This results in a gel, which is then dried and ground into a powder for use in cooking. A small amount of xanthan gum can significantly thicken a liquid.
When consumed in large quantities, it may cause digestive problems in some people.
However, when used as a thickener, you are unlikely to consume much of it.
It’s best to start with a small amount of xanthan gum and work your way up. You must be careful not to use too much, or the liquid will become slimy.
10. Guar gum
Guar gum is another type of vegetable gum, and it’s made from guar beans, a type of legume.
The outer husks are removed from the beans, and the central, starchy endosperm is collected, dried, and ground into a powder.
It has a low-calorie count and a high soluble fiber content, making it an excellent thickener.
Some people prefer guar gum to xanthan gum because it is less expensive.
Guar gum, like xanthan gum, is a powerful thickener. Begin with a small amount — about a quarter of a teaspoon — and gradually increase to the consistency you prefer.
Amazing Recipes that you can Make Using Cornstarch
1. Soft M&M Chocolate Chip Cookies
Though M&Ms and chocolate chips get all of the attention in this recipe, cornstarch is the star ingredient that creates the perfect balance of soft and chewy. When you’re ready to mix M&Ms and chocolate chips into your cookie batter, make sure your cookies are thick enough using cornstarch’s underutilized ingredient.
2. Chocolate Cornstarch Pudding
Chocolate Cornstarch Pudding is a dessert that you can’t sink your teeth into but will still satisfy your sweet tooth: We hope you’ve prepared your spoon. This decadent dessert has only seven ingredients, one of which is cornstarch. The cornstarch helps to condense the pudding and gives it that familiar thick texture. Furthermore, it enhances the chocolate flavor of cocoa powder and sugar, resulting in a flavor and texture match made in foodie heaven. Pudding is timeless, and cornstarch keeps the traditional dessert alive.
3. The Ice Cream
A little-known fact: Cornstarch is used to make some of the best ice creams. It stabilizes the liquid ingredients and prevents the formation of ice crystals, resulting in ice cream with a creamy, otherworldly texture. For each cup of liquid, try adding a teaspoon to a tablespoon. The more you mix in, the thicker and creamier the ice cream will become. Use measurement in the middle, such as 1 1/2 teaspoons.
4. Dutch Babies
Dutch babies with custardy centers and crispy edges are the best. The eggs and assembly take care of the centers, but for those coveted crispy edges, try substituting cornstarch for some of the flour; about 25% works well. This crispy-edge technique also works for other things. When cornstarch is substituted for some flour in cakes, the exterior becomes wonderfully crispy; use about 1/2 cup of cornstarch for every cup of flour.
5. Chicken Fingers
Finally, nothing crisps up fried food like cornstarch (think chicken tenders and tofu cubes). It coats and protects your food in ways that flour cannot, preventing oil from seeping in and resulting in less-greasy (crispier) fried treats. Three tablespoons are sufficient for a block of tofu.
What is Cornstarch and What does it do?
The endosperm found in the center of a corn kernel is used to make cornstarch. The starches contained within the endosperm are extracted, rinsed, dried, and milled into a fine powder, yielding cornstarch as we know it. It is not the same as cornflour, made from whole kernels.
This chalky, white powder has numerous applications, making it a must-have in the kitchen and beyond. However, it is most commonly used as a thickener in sauces, stews, and custards. Because it is composed of a long chain of starch molecules that unravel and swell when heated in the presence of moisture, it is an excellent thickening agent.
Is Cornstarch Free of Gluten?
Cornstarch is a thickening agent commonly used to prepare marinades, sauces, dressings, soups, gravies, and some desserts. It is entirely derived from corn.
If you are gluten-free for personal or health reasons, you may be wondering if this product contains gluten.
Most cornstarch is gluten-free.
Cornstarch is a fine, white powder made from corn endosperm. The endosperm is the nutrient-rich tissue that exists within the grain.
Corn is a gluten-free grain, and cornstarch is typically made without any other ingredients. As a result, pure cornstarch (100 percent cornstarch) is naturally gluten-free.
On the other hand, We may produce cornstarch in a facility that produces gluten-containing foods.
If so, it could be contaminated with gluten traces. In this case, We should note the factory status on the label.
How to Ensure Gluten-Free Cornstarch?
Check the label for appropriate certification to ensure that your cornstarch is gluten-free.
Food must be tested and confirmed to contain less than 20 parts per million (ppm) of gluten to be certified, and this is a very small amount that is unlikely to cause symptoms in people who are gluten intolerant.
A gluten-free seal indicates that the product has been independently tested by a third party, such as NSF International, to ensure it meets these requirements.
The Gluten Intolerance Group’s gluten-free label requires less than ten ppm.
Furthermore, you can quickly check to ensure that the ingredients list only contains corn or cornstarch.
What does Cornstarch do to Chicken?
Lightly coat your chicken chunks in cornstarch to get the best texture in your chicken stir-fry. Before adding the chicken to the pan, shake off any excess. The cornstarch aids in browning the chicken on the outside while keeping it juicy on the inside and thickening the stir-fry sauce.
There are numerous alternatives to cornstarch for thickening sauces, stews, and soups. What Can I Use in Place of Cornstarch in Baking? What Can I Use in Place of Cornstarch in Baking? Furthermore, many of these thickeners have nutritional properties that differ from cornstarch and can accommodate a variety of dietary preferences.
There are alternative thickeners to consider if you want to add a little extra fiber to your recipes, are on a low-carb diet, or are out of cornstarch.