How to Use Arrowroot Powder in Your Kitchen and Home
Several years ago, I decided to avoid eating grains while I worked to improve my digestion. That meant I couldn’t use flour or cornstarch (corn is a grain) as a thickener in recipes. I quickly learned how to use arrowroot powder instead.
Arrowroot powder is an excellent thickener and, as I happily discovered, it doesn’t have a negative impact on my digestion.
Over the years I’ve found other uses for arrowroot powder -both in and out of the kitchen. Now I always keep arrowroot powder in my pantry.
I excited to share with you how I use arrowroot powder in my kitchen and in my home.
By the way, I’ll use the terms arrowroot powder and arrowroot flour interchangeably in this article. They are the same thing.
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What is Arrowroot Powder?
Arrowroot powder comes from the Maranta arundinacea plant. Arrowroot powder is a gluten free starch. It’s a commonly used ingredient in the Caribbean region. In fact, St. Vincent and Jamaica produce most of the world’s supply.
Arrowroot powder is tasteless, has the consistency of cornstarch, and dissolves more easily at a lower temperature than cornstarch.
Sometimes cassava powder is called arrowroot powder, but the two starches actually come from different plants.
What is the Difference Between Cornstarch and Arrowroot Flour?
Obviously, cornstarch comes from corn and arrowroot flour doesn’t. One of the reasons I prefer to use arrowroot flour instead of cornstarch is because arrowroot flour is non-GMO.
If you follow a paleo diet or any diet that restricts the consumption of grains (which includes corn), arrowroot flour makes a great replacement for cornstarch. In fact, it can replace the same amount of cornstarch in most recipes. (Although, I’ve seen some recipes call for four teaspoons of arrowroot flour as a substitute for one tablespoon of cornstarch.)
There are a couple of difference between using cornstarch and arrowroot flour in cooking. I’ll talk more about that in the section on cooking with arrowroot flour below.
Is Arrowroot Flour Keto? Is Arrowroot Flour Low Carb?
Arrowroot flour isn’t a low carb food – it is a starch, afterall. However, because most recipes require only a small amount (a tablespoon or less) of arrowroot flour, it doesn’t add a lot to the overall carb count.
One tablespoon of arrowroot flour contains around seven grams of carbs.
Of course, too much arrowroot flour will knock you out of ketosis – again because it’s a starch. Whether or not you use a small amount of arrowroot flour while on your low carb diet is up to you. Just be sure to measure it properly and do the math to determine how many carbs the arrowroot powder adds to each serving of the dish. In most dishes arrowroot flour will add only a negligible amount of carbs.
Three Ways to Use Arrowroot Powder
How to Use Arrowroot Powder in Cooking
Create a slurry with arrowroot powder and room-temperature liquid.
It’s best to dissolve arrowroot powder in cold or room-temperature liquid instead of in hot liquid. Simply whisk together equal parts room-temp water and arrowroot powder until the arrowroot powder is dissolved. Then add the slurry to the recipe.
Add arrowroot flour at the end of cooking.
I’ve found that I prefer the finished product when I’ve added arrowroot flour to a hot recipe closer to the end of the cooking time. I think arrowroot flour thins out under super-hot conditions a little faster than cornstarch or flour.
Substitute arrowroot powder for flour to make crispy recipes gluten-free.
I use arrowroot powder to coat the chicken pieces in my Homemade Gluten Free Chicken Nuggets recipe and in my Honey-Glazed Chicken Thighs recipe.
Simply replace the flour used to coat the ingredients with the same amount of arrowroot powder.
Use arrowroot flour cautiously with dairy-based dishes.
Adding arrowroot flour to milk may result in a slimy finished product. However, I’ve never had any trouble when using arrowroot flour in my cow’s-milk-based Homemade Vanilla Pudding and Homemade Chocolate Pudding recipes.
How to Use Arrowroot Flour Outside of the Kitchen
Outside of the kitchen I’ve found two more great ways to use arrowroot flour. (I buy arrowroot flour in bulk on Amazon so I always have plenty on hand for every use.)
How to Use Arrowroot Flour as Dry Shampoo
The first way I use arrowroot flour outside of the kitchen is as a dry shampoo. Have you seen the ingredient list on store-bought dry shampoo? Ugh! No thanks! And why do they make it so perfume-y? Yuck!
Instead of regular dry shampoo, I simply pat arrowroot flour into my roots using a kabuki makeup brush.
I have medium brown hair so sometimes I add cocoa powder to the mix so that the stark white arrowroot fkiyr doesn’t stand out. If you have dark brown or black hair you can add activated charcoal powder to match your hair’s color.
How to Use Arrowroot Powder As Baby Powder
I live in the Southeast U.S. We get brutally hot and unbearably humid summers here. Arrowroot powder makes a silky, soft absorbent powder to keep me dry on the worst weather days.
I don’t use antiperspirant. (You can read more about that in my quest to find the best natural deodorant.) So, I’ll often apply a mixture of bentonite clay and arrowroot to my underarms before bed to stay fresh and dry on the hottest summer nights.
Arrowroot powder is great to apply to specific areas of the body to prevent chafing during long hikes or vigorous exercise, as well.