Alternatives to Cornstarch That Will Make Your Food Thick and Nutritious

Alternatives to Cornstarch That Will Make Your Food Thick and Nutritious
Alternatives to Cornstarch That Will Make Your Food Thick and Nutritious

No matter if it’s Chinese stews or broths, cornstarch is a fairly handy constituent frequently utilized to ensure acquiring the appropriate texture. Nonetheless, while it may enable your sauces to achieve the ideal thickness, it may not be favorable for your well-being. Cornstarch is high in carbohydrates and can make your meal excessively calorie-rich. Nevertheless, fret not! There are numerous nutritious substitutes for cornstarch to attain similar outcomes in your culinary creations. Continue reading for additional information!

Cornstarch: What’s it all about?

All our cereals such as rice, wheat, and corn possess a starchy endosperm segment. Its thickening capabilities make it a sought-after element in both sweet and savory recipes, providing a consistent method to achieve the desired thickness without altering the taste of the final product,” remarks Garima Goyal, a nutritionist. Nevertheless, there exist numerous alternatives to cornstarch that can also be incorporated into your delicacies.

Why is cornstarch harmful?

Cornstarch is a processed product that is dense in carbohydrates. Although carbohydrates are necessary for a balanced diet, these forms of carbs are plain and straightforward. Nonetheless, it’s vital to comprehend the appropriate amount of carbohydrates to ingest. They are effortlessly digested, leading to rapid spikes in blood sugar levels.  It lacks significant quantities of vitamins, minerals, or fiber, which are essential for overall wellness,” Goyal asserts.

Woman cooking food.
 Image Courtesy: Freepik

According to a study published in Clinical Nutrition, consuming cornstarch can result in a higher glycemic index. Furthermore, a separate study published in Nutrition highlights that cornflour has inadequate fiber content, hence it is not very beneficial. It may also lead to cardiac health complications. This underscores the necessity of seeking out effective and nutritious alternatives to cornstarch.

Can consuming excessive cornflour adversely impact your well-being? Strangely enough, yes

What is the safe daily intake of cornstarch?

Cornstarch is not absolutely detrimental and can be part of a wholesome diet. Employing it in small amounts generally does not pose any harm to health. However, remember to use it sparingly! “Using cornstarch in moderation is a safer choice. There’s no set amount, but one way to estimate it is based on your caloric needs. Typically, the calories from cornstarch need to be calculated just as you would calculate the calories from the remainder of your food, and it should align with your requirements,” suggests Goyal.

7 substitutes for cornstarch that can be experimented with!

While corn starch commonly functions as a thickening agent and coating, here are a few options you could explore. Nutritionist Garima Goyal presents 7 alternative components that will deliver equivalent outcomes, but are more wholesome and delectable!

1. Coconut

To thicken gravies or curries, consider supplementing coconut instead of cornstarch. The inclusion of coconut enhances the flavor of your sauce and certainly results in a denser texture.

2. Chia seeds and flax seeds

For jams and desserts, you can incorporate chia seeds or flaxseeds as they gel effectively and aid in thickening the mixture.

3. Chickpea flour

Chickpea flour, derived from ground chickpeas, also known as gram flour, is rich in protein and fiber and is effective in savory dishes.

4. Almond flour

Almond flour, obtained from ground almonds, is abundant in beneficial fats, protein, and fiber. It serves as a rich source of vitamins and minerals, making it a nourishing alternative to corn flour. It can be employed in both sweet and savory dishes.

Flax seeds are great for weight loss
 image courtesy: Adobe stock

5. Potato starch powder

Potato starch powder is another viable replacement. In comparison to cornstarch, it contains additional nutrients and fewer calories, making it a superior option for cooking purposes.

6. Coconut flour

Coconut flour, derived from desiccated coconut, can also serve as a substitute for fresh coconut in quick preparations.

7. Millet flour

Flours derived from millets can be integrated for thickening. Their nutritional profiles surpass those of cornstarch and can still gratify the taste buds.

“Other alternatives include extended cooking time, which aids in thickening, using less water, and incorporating ground vegetables,” Goyal adds.

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