is a gluten-free starch
obtained from the roots of arrowroot plant, a starchy tropical plant.
A native to South America and a staple in Caribbean cooking
, it is a perennial herb growing about 3 to 5 feet with turmeric-like broad, flat, ovate shaped leaves.
The plant was named ‘Arrowroot’ because it was used to treat people with wounds from poisoned arrows in ancient times.
Arrowroot powder is white and powdery
like cornstarch, but ranks much higher on nutrition content. In fact, it’s an excellent substitute for cornstarch and flour as a thickening agent
in sauces, soups, gravies and puddings. However unlike cornstarch, it does not impart a starchy taste to food.
The qualities of being easy to digest
and blending easily with a wide range of ingredients
make arrowroot powder the most sought-after starch in infant formulas and confectionary
. Always opt for fresh tender arrowroots for cooking instead of mature roots since mature arrowroots are less appetizing and difficult for cooking.
Health Benefits of Arrowroot
Since ancient times, arrowroot has been used in the diet of babies and convalescents
since it is easily digested
Arrowroot is an herbal treatment for small pox, gangrene, Athletes foot and sunburn. It also cures septic wounds like spider or scorpio bites. It relieves digestive discomforts
like acidity and indigestion
since it exerts a mildly laxative effect on the large intestine.
Arrowroot makes hair bouncy and soft and gives you acne-free skin
- Lowers cholesterol: Arrowroot boosts bile production, which increases cholesterol uptake by the gall bladder since cholesterol is required for bile synthesis. Thus, incorporating arrowroot reduces cholesterol levels.
- Facilitates weight loss: Fresh arrowroots are a healthy and low calorie option for weight-watchers.
- Benefits pregnant women:Fresh arrowroots are a good source of folates, which is an essential nutrient during pregnancy. A 100-gram serving of arrowroot provides about 84% of the daily recommended dietary requirement of folate. Folate is an essential component in DNA synthesis and cell division. Adequate consumption of folate during pregnancy prevents neural tube defects and other congenital malformations in the offspring.
- Gluten-free starch: Arrowroot flour is an excellent substitute for wheat flour in confectionary. Since it is gluten-free, it can be eaten by people who are suffering from Celiac disease.
- Soft, smooth skin: Arrowroot starch is often used in talcum powders and moisturizers. It enables active ingredients in talcum powders and lotions to penetrate into the upper levels of the skin as it possesses moisture absorbing qualities which make your skin softer and smoother.
- Good for digestive system:Arrowroot works wonders for digestive system. The high starch content and demulcent effects of arrowroot powder soothes bowel movement in patients suffering from irritable bowel syndrome. Arrowroot starch is an effective remedy for diarrhea and relieves nausea and replaces nutrients that are lost due to diarrhea and vomiting.
Interesting ways to include arrowroot in your diet include:
- 55 g butter
- 2 tablespoons honey
- 20 g almonds
- 2 tablespoons cocoa powder
- 80 g arrowroot
- 1⁄2 teaspoon baking soda
- Melt honey and butter in a saucepan.
- Remove from heat and mix the remaining ingredients into a dough.
- Keep aside for 10 minutes. If the dough is not firm, add more arrowroot.
- Roll into small balls and bake at 170°C for 10-15 minutes.
- 1/2 cup arrowroot powder
- 4 eggs
- 4 tsp oil
- Pinch of salt
- ˝ cup milk
- ˝ cup water
- Whisk together all ingredients to create a smooth batter.
- Heat a pan over medium heat.
- Brush a thin layer of oil on the pan. Using a measuring cup, pour about 3 tablespoon of batter into the pan. Tilt the pan around so that the batter spreads properly.
- Cook the crepe for about 30 seconds on the first side, till it becomes golden. Flip and cook for 30 seconds on the second side, until done.
- Repeat with the remaining batter.
- Serve hot with honey.
The nutritional values of "Arrowroot, raw" per 100 grams are:
Data source: USDA Nutrient Database, R25
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*Percent Daily Values (%DV) are based on a 2,000 calorie reference diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower based on your individual needs.