Thickening agents are quite often used in soups and broths. Their main use is to provide thickness and body to the dish they’re being added to. They are also used to make slurry for deep fried foods. There is a wide range of thickening agents available in the market. Arrowroot is one of them. But it’s more than just a thickening agent. Here is everything you need to know about it.
Nutritional Profile Of Arrowroot
Arrowroot is a quite starchy root vegetable. In fact, it’s very similar to yam, taro, cassava and sweet potato. But, it has a higher protein content as compared with other tubers. It contains 5 grams of protein per 1 cup (120 grams), compared with 2.3 grams in the same amount of yam.
Also, it is a rich source of Folate which is essential for development during pregnancy and also for DNA formation. Like many starches, it’s high in carbs and provides 16 grams per 1 cup. It has 0 fat content as well.
Major health benefits Of Arrowroot
Historically, arrowroot was used for its medicinal properties. Most of its potential health benefits are linked to its starch content and composition. It contains resistant starch which cannot be digested by our body. Rather, it turns into a viscous gel when mixed with water. But, it acts like a soluble fiber in the gut. Hence, it gives you a prolonged feeling of fullness and regulates your diet. This way, it is very helpful for weight loss.
Arrowroot can also help in treating diarrhea both by firming stool and helping you rehydrate. An animal study determined that arrowroot water, which is made by boiling arrowroot powder, decreased the rate of cholera-induced diarrhea more effectively than a rehydration solution developed by the World Health Organization. But more research is still needed.
The resistant starch can also stimulate your immune system. It has prebiotic properties as well. Arrowroot is naturally gluten free just like other tubers. Hence, it’s flour/powder can be used to substitute wheat flour.
Arrowroot flour or powder is unique in it’s own way. It has numerous properties and benefits.
- It is gluten-free, grain-free and paleo-friendly.
- Arrowroot powder is extracted in simpler, more traditional methods, without the use of high heat or harsh chemicals. This is unlike the way cornstarch is extracted.
- It is being used as the substitute for cornstarch for thickening purposes. Also, it has no taste and leaves food glossy and clear, whereas cornstarch has a slight taste and leaves food cloudy and opaque.
- Arrowroot flour can be used in baking as a blend with other flours. it can be blended with almond flour, coconut flour and tapioca flour for bread and dessert recipes.
- This can also be used to coat fries and leaves them crispy and crunchy.
- It is especially suitable for people with digestion issues as it is easy to digest.
- It is also enriched with a good amount of potassium, iron and B vitamins, which is great for metabolism, circulation and heart health.
To read about a similar starchy root vegetable, the Taro do check out our article.