Uses of cornstarch in cooking and baking
The starch of corn found in the endosperm of corn kernels is ground to make a fine powder. It is a very common ingredient for cooking and baking. It is used for thickening soups, stews, sauces, and custards. It is also used by manufacturers of processed cheese and yogurt as a thickening agent. Apart from being used as a thickener it is also widely used in frying to make extra crispy fried stuff. Cornstarch is the main ingredient of marinades of stir-fried meat or seafood, especially in Chinese cuisines. In baking, cornstarch is used to create the extra tender crumb. It is also used to thicken ice creams without using egg yolks.
Cornstarch does not provide any significant health benefits. It has no vitamins or minerals. One ounce of cornstarch gives 25.6 grams of carbohydrates and 25.3 grams of net carbohydrates. It has less than one gram of fiber and protein each. These are the reasons why health-conscious people look for cornstarch substitutes. Here are some of the most popular cornstarch substitutes.
The dietary fiber found in the root of the konjac plant is known as glucomannan. This amazing keto cornstarch substitute is abundant in fiber and has a very low caloric value. It is very useful for weight loss as it controls appetite. It is a natural prebiotic that helps in improving digestion. It has amazing health benefits such as controlling cholesterol, decreasing inflammation, managing hormonal balances, improving gut health, and overall immune system. The availability of cornstarch substitute keto diets needs to make life a lot easier. What is more, this powder is virtually tasteless hence it can be safely added to any food without noticeably altering its taste.
- Almond flour: –
Almond flour is another healthy cornstarch substitute that contains essential vitamins and minerals. It is very beneficial for heart health. It prevents the risk of cancer cell formation. It also helps regulate blood sugar levels. Almond flour serves as a great energy source for the whole day. It is a very effective keto cornstarch substitute. A quarter cup of almond flour contains 160 calories out of which 6 grams constitute carbohydrates. It is widely used as a cornstarch substitute for baking. You can bake scrumptious brownies, wholesome bread, delicious cookies, and cakes using almond flour.
- Chia seeds: –
Another cornstarch substitute keto fans are fond of, chia seeds have very fewer carbohydrates. Just about one teaspoon of chia seeds can give you a thick consistency that you ideally desire to make puddings, sauces, and jellies. Packed with essential minerals, chia seeds keep your energy levels replenished for the whole day.
- Flaxseeds: –
Flaxseed meal and ground flaxseed are commonly used as cornstarch substitute in many keto recipes given their glue-like binding property. They also give good amounts of omega-3 fatty acids to the body. They help lower cholesterol levels, assisting in the weight loss process. Abundant in antioxidants, flaxseed also helps prevent cancer.
- Cauliflower: –
Cauliflower can be a very effective cornstarch substitute as it has amazing thickening property. Boil cauliflower in 2 to 4 cups of water. Once the florets are tender blend them in a food processor to form a thick creamy paste that can be used in soups, stews, chowders, and Alfredo sauce.
- Xanthan gum: –
Xanthan gum is a common cornstarch substitute for baking. You can make bread, muffins, and other things using Xanthan gum. It gives the thickening and rising effects the same as yeast. Just about half a teas spoon shall be good enough to serve the purpose.
- Coconut Flour: –
Dried and ground coconut meat makes up coconut flour. It has a high amount of fiber and very low carbohydrate count making it a very useful cornstarch substitute keto foods can have. Whisk it nicely with cold water and gradually add it to simmering liquid to thicken it. You can use it as a thickening agent for soups, sauces, and stews.
- Rice Flour: –
Rice flour is made from finely ground rice. It is a very common ingredient in many Asian foods. Desserts, soups, and noodles use rice flour as the main ingredient. It helps cook gluten-free dishes. It can be mixed with dishes to thicken clear liquids. However, the amount of rice flour you use should be almost double the amount of cornstarch.
- Potato starch: –
Potato starch gives a creamy and thick consistency to foods. It can be used to make gluten-free curries and sauces. It is used to thicken soups as well. However, the amount of potato starch used to thicken curries shall be almost one and a half times the amount of cornstarch that you use.
[wps_faq style=”classic” question=”Q: What is the difference between cornstarch and cornflour?”]A: In the UK, cornstarch and corn flour are the same. However, in the American context, cornflour is much finer cornmeal.[/wps_faq][wps_faq style=”classic” question=”Q: Can cornstarch be added as it is to a liquid to thicken?”]A: Cornstarch cannot be added as it is to thicken the liquid. Not even sprinkling a little bit of it shall serve the purpose. It will create lumps that can never be broken completely. Make a thin paste with a small amount of liquid and then add it gradually to the liquid that needs to be thickened.[/wps_faq][wps_faq style=”classic” question=”Q: Which cornstarch substitutes can be used for frying?”]A: Rice flour and potato starch are good cornstarch substitutes that can be used for frying. They make fried stuff crispy and crunchy.[/wps_faq][wps_faq style=”classic” question=”Q: Which cornstarch substitutes can be used for making sauces?”]A: Arrowroot powder and tapioca starch can be used to thicken sauces.[/wps_faq]
Hence there are many alternatives to cornstarch that are much healthier. Look out for keto cornstarch substitute that keeps low carbohydrates count and give you the desired level of energy and nutritional benefits for the whole day.