Arrowroot powder has been a staple in people's cabinets for centuries. It has uses in cooking, papermaking, photography, along with medicinal applications.
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Arrowroot Powder is a perennial native to tropical rainforests of the West Indies. The plant is also cultivated in Africa ,South Asia, Australia, and in temperate regions of the US, such as S. Carolina Florida,and Georgia. Most of the commercially available Arrowroot powder is from the Island of St. Vincent.
Today Arrowroot Powder is most often used to thicken foods. and And, it is often used, by those who have Celiac disease, or who cannot tolerate gluten, to make flour. Flour from arrowroot starch is the perfect alternative for wheat flour when making baked goods. Biscuits and cookies for teething infants and adults with digestive issues can be made with arrowroot powder flour.
Arrowroot powder, when used in place of other starches in cooking has several advantages. Acidic ingredients have no affect on arrowroot, which makes it highly suitable for making clear jellies, glazes, and sauces made from fruit. Arrowroot also thickens foods at much lower temperatures than other starches without altering the food’s color or taste. It also holds up to freezing. Arrowroot Powder, when added to homemade ice cream, prevents the formation of ice crystals. Arrowroot is also used as the thickening agent when preparing meat pies. Especially those made to be cooked in gravy and then frozen and reheated at a later date. The consistency of the dish will stand up nicely to reheating.
Generally, a teaspoon of arrowroot powder is equal to one tablespoon of wheat flour and two teaspoons equal one tablespoon of cornstarch. In addition to the foods mentioned above, arrowroot may be used to thicken pie fillings, custards, puddings, dark hot sauces and, of course, used in making cakes, cookies, and other baked goods. Like other starches, arrowroot should be made into “a slurry” when thickening sauces and gravies – that is, mixed with a cool liquid before adding to a hot liquid. However, the arrowroot-thickened food should be removed from the heat immediately, whereas foods thickened with cornstarch or flour typically have to be returned to a boil to thicken.
Another use for Arrowroot Powder- use it as a healthier substitute for talc in cosmetics. It is very similar in appearance and consistency to cornstarch.