Arrowroot is a great little ingredient that is most often used to thicken sauces. It can also be used in baked goods and even toiletries.
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Arrowroot is also full of nutrients. It has a high protein content and is also rich in minerals. But, it is also a tricky ingredient to find.
You might not be able to find arrowroot on your local grocery store shelves very often. Or maybe you’re just not a fan. So what else can you use?
Luckily, there are plenty of different options available. The nutrients may differ in each of these products, so that’s an important factor to consider. Each product will be compared with arrowroot powder.
We will then give you an overview of the replacement product itself and how it measures up to arrowroot powder.
When finding a substitute for such a specific product as arrowroot, it can be difficult to find an exact match. But that’s where we come in!
Read on to find out the best substitutes for arrowroot powder. As well as a few tips and FAQs to help you find the perfect substitute for your recipe.
Found yourself halfway through a recipe and with no arrowroot powder around?
No problem, here’s our top pick for the best arrowroot powder substitute so you can get back to baking ASAP.
OUR TOP PICK
Our top pick for the best arrowroot powder substitute is this organic tapioca flour from Arrowhead Mills. It has a wide range of uses and is closest to arrowroot powder in nutritional content.
Tapioca flour is not the most commonly found product. But this product has been produced by a company that has been making ingredients for baked goods since the 1960s. So they have had a pretty long time to perfect their products.
This product is very straightforward and you essentially get what you see on the packet. It’s great for thickening soups and sauces. But it can also be used to replace gluten flours in other foods such as bread and desserts. It can even be used to make vegan cheeses.
Unlike some other options on this list, tapioca flour can be used as a binding agent. So it can be used both to thicken foods but also to replace ingredients that are usually used to bind other ingredients together.
This is essentially a 3-in-1 product. It can replace flour, thicken foods, and replace other binding agents. This is definitely one of the reasons why it is our top pick for the best arrowroot powder substitute.
- Pack of 6
Rice flour isn’t one of the best known of the substitutes included on this list. But it should be! Especially this rice flour.
As can probably be guessed from the name, the Naturevibe Botanicals white rice flour is 100% organic. There is also nothing other than white rice flour included in this packet.
So you know exactly what you’re going to be getting. The organic nature of this product means that it is great for you but also for the environment.
This flour has been stone ground from premium-quality white rice. Every step of the production of this product has been considered and made as healthy as possible. '
Some people avoid white rice and favor brown rice due to it being a complex carbohydrate. But white rice flour is great for you.
Read on or scroll down for our direct comparison between white rice flour and arrowroot powder.
This white rice flour is also gluten-free. So as well as being a substitute for arrowroot powder, this product can also be used as a gluten-free alternative to normal flour.
- Ground by stone
- Keto diet-friendly
- 100% white rice flour
- Strong odor
Xanthan gum may have become more popular in recent years. But it has actually been around for quite a while.
Xanthan gum is a great substitute for arrowroot. Especially if you need something to bind together other ingredients. Read on or scroll down to our Buyers’ Guide for a direct comparison between xanthan gum and arrowroot powder.
This xanthan gum is suitable for those who follow a vegetarian, halal, or kosher diet. It is, however, not suitable for vegans. This is unfortunate as some people will be looking for a specifically vegan substitute.
One unique feature of this product is that every purchase comes with access to some tutorial videos. This is a great addition as using xanthan gum can take some getting used to.
It often clumps together (which for a binding and thickening agent is a good thing) but this can make it difficult to mix.
- Video tutorials available with purchase
- 100% non-GMO
- Not vegan
This is the second brand of xanthan gum included on this list. As you can tell from the name, Kate Naturals is dedicated to creating products that are 100% natural and healthy for you.
Xanthan gum can be a tricky product to use and it takes some getting used to.
But this product promises to be the perfect addition to any meal. Whether you’re baking a cake, cooking a pasta sauce, or making a breakfast smoothie. This product promises that it will provide the perfect texture.
This product is gluten-free so can be a great addition to baking with gluten-free flour. Gluten helps bind ingredients together, so it can be tricky to bake gluten-free foods.
But that’s where this xanthan gum comes in. Read on or scroll down to our Buyers’ Guide for some tips and tricks for replacing arrowroot with xanthan gum in your recipes.
For the amount of product included in the packet, this is quite expensive. This is common for organic foods but it’s surprising for this product. Xanthan gum is also generally quite cheap. So this is a downside.
- Resealable bag
Corn starch is one of the most popular substitutes for arrowroot powder. In fact, people are more likely to reach for the cornstarch before the arrowroot powder. Corn starch is very commonly used for thickening sauces and soups.
But this isn’t any old corn starch. You likely won’t find something like this in your local grocery store. This product is 100% pure corn starch.
This corn starch has been developed to be completely organic, vegan, and free from GMOs. This means that the product is great for your food, great for your body, and great for the environment.
That said, the packaging the product comes in is made from plastic. This is a little unnecessary nowadays as it’s possible to use a wide range of plastic-free packaging alternatives.
As the product itself is good for the environment, this is a little disappointing.
As it is common with organic products, this corn starch is pretty expensive. Especially in comparison to the kind you would find in your local store.
But, it’s worth paying that bit extra to lessen your environmental impact and make a change for you and your health.
- Plastic packaging
This is a great option if you bake and cook a lot. It is a gallon bucket of corn starch which will be great for storing away. You can almost always be sure that you will have some corn starch hanging about somewhere.
Corn starch is a very popular thickening agent. This is a great, natural product. The company name, the “Unpretentious Baker” is actually very accurate. Corn starch is a very traditional and no-fuss ingredient.
Although buying in bulk is a great idea and usually means you save money, this product is a little expensive.
Cornstarch is often a cheap product to buy, especially at your local grocery store. So it’s a little surprising that this product is so expensive.
- Premium food grade
- Available in large quantities
Describing a food product as “tasteless” and “odorless” is not usually a positive thing. But this is actually a great feature of this tapioca flour.
When choosing a substitute for arrowroot powder, you will definitely want something that will have the same texture. But you don’t want to replace it with something that has even a mild smell or taste.
Whether you are replacing arrowroot in a food recipe or in homemade toiletries or something else. You want something that won’t alter the taste or the smell.
The only thing that it should alter is the texture. Tapioca starch is a really great thickening agent.
This product is labeled as tapioca “flour starch” which might be confusing for some people. But tapioca starch and tapioca flour are the same thing. (Read on or scroll down for some more information on this in our Buyers’ Guide).
As this product is organic, free from GMOs, and is gluten-free, it can be used for a huge range of recipes. It is also a product that is good for you and for the environment.
This is a great thickening agent. But can also be used as a substitute for flours and thickeners that have a gluten content. Many grains have gluten but this (although often described as a flour) is completely gluten-free.
The Best Arrowroot Powder Substitutes Buying Guide
Finding a substitute for a product like arrowroot powder can be a little tricky. It’s difficult to find something that is identical in nutrients, texture, and taste.
So, to help you make the right decision for your recipe, we’ve compared arrowroot powder to other kinds of substitutes. This will help you make sure to buy the perfect product for you.
N.B. all of the nutritional information included is general. They mostly relate to products that have one single ingredient.
Nutritional information will vary product by product. Always make sure to double-check the ingredients list.
Nutrients and Benefits of Arrowroot Powder
Before we get into comparisons, let’s go over why people love using arrowroot powder.
So, what are the nutrients in arrowroot powder?
Nutrients per cup:
- Calories: 78
- Protein: 5g
- Fiber: 2g
- Fat: 0g
- Carbohydrates: 16g
- Iron: 15% of the Daily Value (DV)
- Sodium: 31mg
- It’s gluten-free. Arrowroot powder is a great binding agent for gluten-free foods.
- Rich in B-vitamin. This helps to regulate metabolism.
- Aids digestion.
- Aids growth. Arrowroot is rich in magnesium, zinc, and iron which promotes growth. So it’s great for children.
Arrowroot Powder vs Cornstarch
Cornstarch is one of the most popular arrowroot powder substitutes. In fact, arrowroot is often suggested as an alternative to cornstarch.
One cup of cornstarch contains:
- Calories: 488
- Protein: 0.5g
- Carbohydrates: 117g
- Fiber: 1g
- Iron: 3% of the DV
- Copper: 7% of the DV
- Manganese: 3% of the DV
The most obvious difference between arrowroot powder and cornstarch is the number of calories. Cornstarch has a much higher calorie content than arrowroot powder.
Cornstarch is probably the most well-known and recognizable product on this list. Arrowroot powder is normally suggested as a healthier alternative to cornstarch. Cornstarch isn’t necessarily bad for you. But arrowroot powder is much lower in calories and carbohydrates.
In fact, arrowroot powder is significantly lower in calories and carbohydrates than cornstarch. Cornstarch is a great substitute for thickening. You will only need a small amount, so the number of calories won’t really matter.
Arrowroot Powder vs Xanthan Gum
One cup of xanthan gum contains:
- Calories: 352.7
- Fat: 0g
- Sodium: 3057mg
- Potassium: 341mg
- Carbohydrates: 82.3g
- Protein: 0g
- Calcium: 0g
Xanthan gum is quite different from the other options available on this list. Most other flours, powders, and starches are primarily thickening agents. Xanthan gum can be used as a thickening agent. But it is most commonly used as a binding agent.
Xanthan gum doesn’t come as a gum. It comes as a powder and turns into a gum-like substance when mixed with water. All of the options on this list generally turn to a paste when mixed with water.
This should definitely be something to consider. When choosing how to substitute arrowroot powder, make sure to double-check why the recipe calls for it. Otherwise, the consistency might not be quite right.
Arrowroot Powder vs Tapioca Starch
One cup of tapioca starch contains:
- Calories: 100
- Fat: 0g
- Protein: 0g
- Carbohydrates: 26g
- Sugar: 0g
Tapioca starch might be a product that you have heard of before but might never have used or even seen in action. When most people think of tapioca, they think of tapioca pearls found in bubble teas.
So what exactly is tapioca starch? Tapioca starch comes from the roots of the cassava plant. These are the storage roots from which the starch is extracted. It is the closest option to arrowroot powder.
Arrowroot Powder vs Rice Flour
One cup of rice flour contains:
- Calories: 578
- Protein: 11g
- Carbohydrates: 121g
- Fiber: 7g
- Iron: 17% of the DV
- Magnesium: 44% of the DV
- Manganese: 317% of the DV
- Copper: 18% of the DV
- Zinc: 26% of the DV
As with several other options on this list, rice flour has a much higher calorie content than arrowroot powder.
But if you’re substituting arrowroot powder, this doesn’t really need to be a consideration. Arrowroot powder is mostly used as a thickening agent and so is only really used in small amounts.
You also only need to add rice flour in small quantities, so the calorie content would be relatively small.
The nutritional information has been included in cups for ease of understanding but it is very unlikely that you will need to use a cup to thicken recipes.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is xanthan gum made out of?
Xanthan gum might come in a powder and become a gooey, sticky substance (hence the “gum” in the name). But it is actually a sugar.
Xanthan gum is known as a polysaccharide. It is produced through the fermentation of sugars. It is a thickening agent and works to stop ingredients from separating. This is why it is recommended as a substitute for arrowroot powder.
Is xanthan gum good for you?
Xanthan gum isn’t necessarily good for you but it definitely isn’t bad for you either.
The nutritional content of xanthan gum means that it only provides nutritional value when eaten in large quantities. But, if you’re eating xanthan gum in large quantities, then you may develop digestive problems.
If you’re eating xanthan gum in large quantities, then you’re also not really eating it properly. Xanthan gum is only intended to be consumed about a few teaspoons or so at a time. This amount is small but it is mighty.
So you don’t have to be concerned about the health impact of xanthan gum. It isn’t bad for you but there’s also no reason to eat it for its nutritional value. It is added to food purely for the way it alters texture and consistency.
Is rice flour good for baking?
It absolutely is. Rice flour can be used in place of arrowroot powder and will act as a thickening agent in sauces, soups, and puddings. But it can also replace normal flour in cakes, muffins, breads, and more!
Rice flour is a great gluten-free alternative too. So, if you are wondering if you should buy some rice flour for a recipe, then you absolutely should.
It can be annoying when you buy a big packet of something for a recipe, only to never use the rest of it again.
Rice flour is incredibly versatile. So you won’t have to worry about it going to waste.
Are cornstarch and corn flour the same thing?
Some argue that they are the same thing. Whereas some people argue that they are ever so slightly different.
The differences are mainly in texture and nutritional content. But there are also some claims that there is a difference in taste.
Corn flour has an earthy and sweet taste. Similar to the taste of corn itself. Whereas cornstarch is essentially flavorless.
Nutritionally speaking, there are some important differences. Corn flour has fewer calories but is richer in other nutrients. Whereas cornstarch (in a ¼ cup) has no protein, fat, or fiber.
Corn flour has around 3g of protein, 1.5g of fat, and 2g of fiber. Cornstarch has more carbohydrates, however, with 28g to corn flour’s 22g. So, overall, it can be argued that corn flour is the healthier option.
What’s the difference between tapioca flour and tapioca starch?
Usually, nothing! Unlike cornstarch and cornflour, there isn’t any difference between tapioca flour and tapioca starch.
When you see tapioca flour and tapioca starch on grocery store shelves, they are usually the same thing.
There are some differences across the world and in some grocery stores. But, generally, they are the same product.