Potato starch is one of the ingredients that is commonly used when one is on a gluten-free diet or on a weight-loss journey. This starch is used the same way as if one would use flour. Some people use it to thicken stews and soups, and others use it as a breading for fried foods. Potato starch is very refined and contains minimal fat or protein. When used in cooking, it gives off a neutral flavor.
Potato Starch Substitutes
Tapioca Starch, like Potato Starch, is also extracted from a root. Although this may cause some confusion, the two are very different. What the do have in common though, is that they are both gluten-free which means both are healthier alternatives. Tapioca starch is slightly lighter than potato starch, so you might need to use a bit more to achieve the same amount of density if using as a thickener.
Arrowroot is a type of starch mostly obtained from tropical plants such as tapioca or cassava. It is mostly used for making biscuits, puddings, jellies, cakes, and a plethora of sauces. Arrowroot is a famous example of a gluten-free starch and an excellent thickener. Its natural flavor means that it can be used in a wide variety of dishes without tampering or hindering the dish’s flavor.
Cornstarch is a very common ingredient and may be found throughout most markets or grocery stores. The only problem with cornstarch is that some brands are made with genetically modified corn, so be sure to check the packaging closely to see if it is all-natural or not.
Rice Flour is another gluten-free starch but is derived from rice hence its name. It has many uses just like the two examples listed above but is best used for making doughs or roux.
Do take note though that rice flour is a granular starch which means liquids that come in contact with it will wind up being cloudy and matte, rather than clear and glossy. Rice flour should be mixed with equal parts liquid.
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