When you follow a gluten-free diet, you surely find potato starch useful when baking, frying, and giving texture to certain dishes. However, potato starch is not always available and can be expensive at times. There are other options out there to include in your pantry from now on.
What Is Potato Starch?
As the name suggests, potato starch comes from potatoes. This starch is what is left after potatoes have been crushed, dried out, and made into a fine powder. The flavor is neutral and can add thickness or texture to sauces, soups, creams, and dips.
Potato starch has virtually no protein and fat, so it can be added to baked dishes for gloss and shape too. This type of starch is 100 percent gluten-free, and because of this, many individuals include it in their list of ingredients.
Potato Starch vs. Potato Flour, What Is The Difference?
Unlike potato starch, potato flour is thick and contains more calories, flavor, and traces of protein. Potato flour comes from actual peeled, cooked, and ground potatoes until they become a thick powder that can be used just like regular flour.
You can use potato flour in baking, making bread, and thickening.
Potato starch, though, is used more as a coating and for thickening. This food also doesn’t have any flavor or any nutritional content, so it won’t alter recipes.
What Can I Replace Potato Starch With?
If you want to find another choice, then these potato starch substitutes are perfect for you:
For Frying, Baking, and Soup
You may already have some cornstarch at home, as it is a common thickener and coating ingredient. Cornstarch is made just like potato starch but from a corn kernel and it contains virtually no nutrients and no flavor.
This choice can be used to create a roux, as a coating for frying and baking, or thickening soups.
Cornstarch is common everywhere, but if you have a gluten allergy, make sure to double-check the labels, as some manufacturers may contain wheat traces. You can use the same amount of cornstarch that the recipe calls for without much change.
See More: Cornstarch Substitutes
#2. Tapioca Starch
Tapioca starch comes from the roots of the cassava root. While it is now becoming popular as a vegan and gluten-free choice, it has been part of South American cooking for years. This choice is great if you want to bake pies, bread, chips, and wafers.
Use tapioca starch to thicken soups and sauces, but consider that it may leave a bit of a bitter aftertaste. Unlike other choices, tapioca doesn’t change the final color of your dish.
#3. All Purpose Flour
If you don’t have dietary restrictions or a gluten allergy, then all-purpose flour can be a good way to substitute potato starch. You can use flour in more ways than simply for baked goods, including coating for frying, making a roux, adding texture, and thickening soups and sauces.
Keep in mind that flour is thicker and contains more protein, so you should cut the amount you use by at least half.
When thickening, flour can make the sauce or soup turn a bit cloudy. Add the flour slowly to make sure you don’t burn it. Also, this choice adds more calories than other choices.
For Bread, Cake, and Cookies
#4. Arrowroot Powder
This option also comes from the cassava root, but in this particular case, it is the result of grinding the arrowroot rhizome into a fine powder. It is a great choice for baking, especially because it can work well with acidic ingredients and doesn’t break down.
You can also use it to thicken foods, like soups, as it doesn’t alter the taste or color.
As a quick tip, use arrowroot powder if you are trying to stay healthy, as it has a lower glycemic content. Many people on diets that are gluten-free, vegan, or paleo use arrowroot powder.
See More: Arrowroot Powder Alternatives
#5. Rice Flour
Since it comes from another very starchy food, rice flour is a good alternative when you need to replace potato flour. You can use this option in all sorts of baking and cooking and it will act in the same way as wheat flour, except that it doesn’t contain any gluten.
Something to keep in mind is that rice flour will not render the glossy look that potato flour does. Also, this choice may add more starch and calories than others on this list.
#6. Coconut Flour
This is another vegan and gluten-free option, but the texture and flavor vary. If you decide to use coconut flour, we suggest you stick to using it in sweet recipes, like cake, cookies, and muffins.
Since it is a bit thicker, you should cut down the amount you use to about 1/3 of what the recipe indicates.
It’s also important to note that coconut flour has a sweet and distinct coconut flavor to it, so it may not work out in all dishes. If you overuse coconut flour, your dish may turn hard and too thick, so always measure carefully.
See More: Coconut Flour Shelf Life
#7. Almond Flour
You probably already know about almond flour, especially because it seems to be a fan favorite for those following a keto, low carb, gluten-free, or vegan diet. This flour, though, is just a powder that comes from grinding down almonds.
You should use almond flour when you prepare cookies, bread, cakes, or biscuits.
Unlike most of these choices, almond flour does have a brownish color and can alter the final aspect of your dish. Also, it may contain pieces of almond, which can also alter the texture.
See More: Almond Flour Replacements
Yes, you can replace potato starch with flour in some cases. Flour can be a good substitute when you want to make a roux, when coating foods for frying, and when you need to thicken certain foods.
Because this powder is high in starch, it is usually added to baking to create glossiness, to increase crispness, and to thicken. It can also be used during the preparation process to gelatinize.
The main difference is where these two come from. Potato starch comes from the tuber potato, while cornstarch comes from the grain corn. Potato starch tends to be clearer and doesn’t alter the color, while cornstarch is more opaque and can make things cloudy.
Whether you have used potato starch before or not, you may know how great it can be when preparing things like soup, fried foods, or desserts. However, not everyone can find it at all times or even afford it as it is, so a replacement will always be handy. These 7 alternatives are all easy to use, and some are very common everywhere.
*Image by depositphotos.com/ruslanchik