Quick Recipes and Easy

How to Cook with Arrowroot

Arrowroot is the name of a plant–scientific name Maranta arundinacea–and also the white powder or starch that is derived from the roots of that plant.

The plant grows abundantly in rainforests of South America and in some of the islands of the Caribbean; it is also cultivated in southeast Asia. Supposedly, native Indians in the West Indies used arrowroot to draw out toxins from their body after being struck by poison arrows; hence the name. It is also called by some the obedience plant.

Arrowroot powder can be bought in cans or packages. Genuine pure arrowroot powder (not arrowroot that has been mixed with potato starch or other adulterants) is light and white, and odorless until cooked. In general it looks and feels very much like cornstarch.

In my kitchen, I like to use arrowroot to thicken sauces, gravies, fruit pie fillings, puddings and glazes. It has no taste of its own, so it is ideal for this job. It is also simple to digest, and should be considered as a substitute for cornstarch or flour when you’re cooking for someone with digestion or allergy problems.

You can substitute arrowroot for flour on a 1-to-3 basis; that is, 1 teaspoon of arrowroot equals 1 tablespoon (3 teaspoons) of flour. Substitute arrowroot for cornstarch on a 2-to-3 basis; 2 teaspoons of arrowroot equals 1 tablespoon (3 teaspoons) of cornstarch.

Boiling arrowroot in water will produce a really brilliant, very smooth jelly. You can use this jelly to make simple fruit gels and jellies. Experiment with adding different fruit flavorings, perhaps sweetening a small with artificial sweetener or sugar. You can make easily digestible treats by this method to offer to children or to people on restricted diets. For a different sort of taste, try boiling up some arrowroot with beef or chicken broth.

Here’s my favorite arrowroot tip of all: When you make homemade ice cream, sprinkle a small arrowroot powder into the ice cream mix. If you have any leftover ice cream that you plot to store in the freezer, this will prevent ice crystals from forming in it. Clean!

Sarah Sandori is the food and entertaining columnist for the solid-gold.info/index.html Solid Gold Info Writers Consortium. Have you ever wanted to be able to exactly duplicate a favorite dish from a favorite restaurant? Check out Sarah’s article where she reveals her source for the most mouth-watering secret restaurant recipes in America: solid-gold.info/most-wanted-recipes.html www.solid-gold.info/most-wanted-recipes.html

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