10 Best Corn Starch Substitutes!

The best substitutes for cornstarch as it is widely used in cooking in bakery. It is a pure starch powder that is extracted from corn kernels removing all the outer bran and germ, leaving behind the starchy endosperm.

In the kitchen, it has a range of uses. When starch is heated, it is very good to absorb water. So, it is mostly used as a thickener for stews, soups and sauces.

It’s also often favored by those with celiac disease, as it’s derived from corn (not wheat), it’s gluten -free . However, cornstarch is not the only ingredient that can be used as a thickener. This article explores the ingredients you can use.

Best cornstarch substitutes : 

 1. Wheat flour:

One of the best substitutes for cornstarch wheat flour , is made by grinding wheat into a fine powder. Unlike cornstarch, wheat flour contains protein and fiber as well as starch. This means you can swap your cornstarch for flour, but you’ll need more to achieve the same effect.

In general, it is recommended that you use twice as much white flour as  for thickening purposes. So, if you need 1 tablespoon of cornstarch, use 2 tablespoons of white flour.

Whole grain and brown flour contain more fiber than white flour, so while you can try thickening with these flours, you’ll likely need a lot more to achieve the same result.

To thicken recipes with wheat flour, mix first with a little cold water to form a paste. This will prevent it from unifying and forming chunks when adding it to recipes.

If you are using all-purpose flour as a substitute, remember that it is not gluten -free , so it is not suitable for people with celiac disease .

2. Araruta:

Arrowroot is a starchy flour made from the roots of the Maranta genus. To make arrowroot, the roots of the plants are dried and then ground into a fine powder, which can be used as a thickener in cooking. Therefore, it can be included in the list of the best corn starch substitutes.

Some people prefer arrowroot  because it contains more fiber. It also forms a clear gel when mixed with water, so it’s great for thickening clear liquids.

It is recommended to use twice as much arrowroot as cornstarch to achieve similar results. Arrowroot is also gluten-free, so it ‘s suitable for people who don’t eat gluten.

 3. Potato Starch:

Potato starch is another one of the best cornstarch substitutes . It is made by crushing potatoes to release their starch content and then drying them to a powder.

Like arrowroot, it is not a grain, so it does not contain gluten. However, it is a refined starch, which means it is high in carbohydrates and contains little fat or protein.

Like other root and tuber starches, potato starch tastes quite mild, so it doesn’t add any unwanted flavor to your recipes.

You should replace the potato starch with cornstarch in the same proportion. This means that if your recipe calls for 1 tablespoon of cornstarch, replace it with 1 tablespoon of potato starch.

It’s also worth noting that many cooks recommend adding starch from roots or tubers, such as 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 too long will break them down completely, causing them to lose their thickening properties.

4. Tapioca:

Tapioca is also part of the corn starch substitutes. In addition, it is a processed starch product extracted from cassava, a root vegetable found throughout South America.

It is made by grinding cassava roots into a pulp and filtering its starchy liquid, which is then dried into tapioca flour. However, some cassava plants contain cyanide, so cassava has to be treated first to ensure it is safe . .

Tapioca can be purchased as flour or flakes, and it is also gluten-free. Also, most cooks recommend replacing 1 tablespoon of cornstarch  with 2 tablespoons of tapioca flour.

5. Rice flour:

Rice flour is a powder made from finely ground rice. It is often used in Asian cultures as an ingredient in desserts, rice noodles or soups.

Naturally gluten -free , it is also popular with those who have celiac disease as a substitute for wheat flour.

Rice flour can also act as a thickener in recipes, making it also one of the best substitutes for cornstarch. In addition, it is colorless when mixed with water, so it can be especially useful for thickening clear liquids.

Like wheat flour, it is recommended that you use twice as much rice flour as cornstarch to achieve the same result. It can be used with hot or cold water to make a paste, or in a roux, which is a mixture of flour and fat .

6. Flaxseeds:

Ground flaxseeds are very “absorbent” and form a jelly when mixed with water. However, the consistency of flaxseeds can be a little blatant, unlike cornstarch, which is mild.

That being said, flaxseeds are a great source of soluble fiber, so using ground flaxseeds instead of flour can increase the fiber content of your dish.

If you’re thickening a dish, you can try replacing the cornstarch by mixing 1 tablespoon of ground flaxseed with 4 tablespoons of water. This should replace about 2 tablespoons of cornstarch .

7. Glucomanano:

Glucomannan is a soluble fiber powder derived from the roots of the konjac plant. It is very absorbent and forms an odorless, thick, colorless gel when mixed with hot water.

As glucomannan is pure fiber , it contains no calories or carbohydrates, making it one of the best cornstarch substitutes for people following a low-carb diet.

It is also a probiotic, meaning it feeds the good bacteria in your large intestine and can maintain a healthy gut. Additionally, a recent review found that consuming 3 grams of glucomannan a day can reduce “bad” LDL cholesterol by up to 10%. .

However, it is unlikely to consume much when using it as a thickener. That’s because its thickening power is much stronger than cornstarch, so you use much less.

Most people use about a quarter teaspoon of glucomannan for every 2 teaspoons of cornstarch. It thickens at very low temperatures, so mix it with a little cold water before putting it in your food, to prevent it from clumping together when it hits the hot liquid.

8. Casca’s psyllium

Psyllium husk is another plant-based soluble fiber that can be used as a thickening agent. Like glucomannan, it is high in soluble fiber and low in carbohydrates. You will also only need a small amount to thicken recipes. Start with half a teaspoon and build up.

9. Goma xantana:

Xanthan gum is a vegetable gum produced by fermenting sugar with a bacterium called Xanthomonas campestres. This produces a gel, which is then dried and made into a powder that can be used in cooking. Very small amounts of xanthan gum can thicken a large amount of liquid.

It is worth noting that it can cause digestive problems for some people when consumed in large amounts. However, you are unlikely to consume too much of this gum when using it as a thickener.

It is recommended to use a small amount of xanthan gum and add it slowly. You need to be careful not to use it excessively, or the liquid might get a little viscous.

10. Guar Gum:  

Guar gum is also a vegetable gum. It’s made from a type of legume called mung bean. The outer husks of the beans are removed and the central endosperm (starch) is collected, dried and ground into a powder.

It is low in calories and high in soluble fiber, making it a good thickener. Some people prefer using guar gum over xanthan gum as it is usually much cheaper.

However, like xanthan gum, guar gum is a strong thickener. Start with a small amount – about a quarter of a teaspoon – and slowly build up to a consistency you like.

Thickening Techniques:

Several other techniques can also help you thicken your recipes.

These include:

Boiling: Cooking your meal on low heat longer will help evaporate some of the liquid, resulting in a thicker sauce.

Mixed veggies: Adding a little pureed veggies can serve as a thicker sauce and add more nutrients.

Sour cream or Greek yogurt: Adding them to a sauce can make it creamier and thicker.

Final thoughts on corn starch: 

Useful links: 

When it comes to thickening sauces, stews, and soups, there are plenty of alternatives to cornstarch. Additionally, many of these thickeners have different nutritional properties than cornstarch and can cater for various food preferences.

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