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Wheat starch is a common ingredient in many products such as bread, pasta, pizza crust, and others. Also, it works as a great thickening agent. Although wheat starch is a healthy product, it is not suitable for everyone, including those who are gluten intolerant or on a low-carb diet.
If you have any of these concerns, you can use many alternatives instead of wheat starch. These alternatives are often healthier than traditional wheat and can be more cost-effective. Below, we’ve listed some of the most common types of wheat starch substitutes and what they taste like:
10 Wheat Starch Substitutes
Tapioca starch is derived from the cassava plant’s root. It is a versatile baking and cooking ingredient because it can be used in place of wheat flour.
It is frequently used in bread and cakes because it makes them lighter than traditional flours. In addition, it can also thicken soups, gravies, sauces, and desserts like puddings.
When tapioca starch is cooked at high temperatures with other ingredients such as eggs or butter, it produces fluffier textures than other starches such as cornstarch or potato starch.
This makes dishes like biscuits or muffins less dense while adding moisture to baked goods like fruit pies, which require some liquid to hold their shape while cooking because tapioca does not absorb water.
One of the most common wheat starch substitutes is cornstarch. It’s a good choice if you use it in a 1:1 ratio. The main difference between the two is that cornstarch has less flavor than wheat starch.
Cornstarch also has greater water retention capabilities than wheat starch. Therefore, cornstarch is an excellent option if you’re looking for something to keep your food moist.
Finally, cornstarch has a lower glycemic index than wheat starch. So if your family has diabetes or insulin resistance issues and you want to control their blood sugar levels while still enjoying some sweet treats, consider using cornstarch instead of wheat starch.
LEARN MORE: Where is Corn Starch In the Grocery Store?
Rice starch is derived from rice. This is one of the best substitutes for wheat starch if you’re on a restricted diet and trying to avoid gluten or wheat products.
You can substitute rice flour for regular flour, wheat starch, or other flour.
Rice starch is a good substitute for wheat starch in recipes that call for flavor. There are many ways to incorporate starch into your diet, from making hearty meals to gluten-free desserts.
Rice starch has a mild, neutral flavor that will not overpower other ingredients in your dish. Instead, the flavor of the other ingredients will shine through, making it an ideal substitute for wheat flour.
It also means it’s easy to use rice starch as a thickener for soups, sauces, or puddings without significantly altering the flavor.
Another option for wheat starch substitutes is arrowroot powder. It is gluten-free and is used in sauces, gravies, and baked goods.
You can thicken soups and stews with arrowroot powder or make a roux with it before adding other ingredients to make a sauce or gravy.
Arrowroot is also commonly used in baking to help bind together ingredients and keep them from crumbling apart.
For example, suppose you’re making gluten-free muffins, cookies, cakes, or other baked goods that crumble easily when cut into shapes like bars or squares. Arrowroot will help the final product hold together better after cooling on the countertop or while transporting them.
Xanthan gum can also be used as a substitute or other starches used to thicken sauces and make foods creamy. Xanthan gum can be purchased online or at many health food stores.
It’s especially helpful if you’re trying to cut back on gluten, a protein found in wheat that does not affect the body when consumed in small amounts. Indeed, it has improved gut health by increasing beneficial bacteria.
Guar gum is another excellent substitute for wheat starch. It has a neutral flavor so that it won’t affect the flavor of your dish, and it can be measured by weight, making it much easier to use than wheat starch. It is great if you’re looking for something light and airy.
Guar gum is a thickener and stabilizer. It works well as a gluten-free substitute for wheat flour in baked goods and other recipes. Guar gum is also commonly found in ice cream and other frozen desserts.
This flour is made from blanched and finely powdered almonds. It has a somewhat creamy, crumbly, and grainy texture. To bake cakes and cookies, you can use it as a substitute for wheat starch or all-purpose flour.
Although almond flour is an excellent substitute for wheat starch, it’s essential to know that it has a high-fat content, which means it will have a different texture than wheat starch. Therefore, if you’re using almond flour as a substitute for wheat starch in your recipe, you may need to adjust the number of liquids and eggs that are called for.
Because of its low carbohydrate and gluten-free content, almond flour is an excellent choice for those with diabetes or trying to slim down on a low-carb diet.
Mung Bean Starch
Mung bean starch is derived from the mung bean, a legume indigenous to East and South Asia. Depending on where it’s grown and what language you speak, it’s also known as green gram or moong dal in some countries.
Mung bean starch is most commonly used as a thickener. Mung bean starch can be used as a wheat starch substitute when making noodles or candy.
Wheat starch can easily be replaced by potato flour in various dishes.
For example, you can use it to thicken soups, sauces, and gravies, and it is often used as a thickener in products like instant puddings and pie fillings.
Potato flour has a smooth texture similar to cornstarch, but it has a slightly sweet taste that makes it ideal for desserts. You can also use it to replace flour when making homemade bread or pastries, but you should not use it alone because it does not contain enough protein to give baked goods structure.
Psyllium husk is a natural dietary fiber derived from the dried seed coat of the plant Plantago ovata. In numerous food products, psyllium husk powder can be substituted for wheat starch and other gelling agents.
Psyllium husk has been used as an ingredient in numerous gluten-free, low-fat, and cholesterol-containing dietary supplements and foods.
Psyllium husk is flavorless and can be added to any dish without altering the taste. For example, it can be baked into bread, cakes, muffins, and cookies or combined with other ingredients to make meatballs or stir fry.
When baking or cooking, there are lots of reasons you might want to keep a stock of wheat starch substitutes. If you’re intolerant of gluten, you’ll need to find a new way to thicken your sauces or avoid using wheat flour altogether.
Luckily, plenty of other options can help you get the thickening effect you want without sacrificing taste. While this is not intended to be an all-inclusive list of wheat starch substitutes, these ingredients are useful in making wheat-free recipes.