Arrow Root

Arrowroot is a powder made from the ground root of a Marantha arundinacea, a plant indigenous to the West Indies.  The starch is extracted from rhizomes that have been growing for 6-12 months.

Considered easier on the stomach than other forms of starch, arrowroot contains calcium and carbohydrates (less than in cornstarch) as well as other nutrients, making it an effective digestive and nutrition aid.

Arrowroot is a more powerful thickening agent than wheat flour.  Substitute 2-teaspoons of arrowroot for 1-Tablespoon of all-purpose flour.  Half a tablespoon of cornstarch will give the same thickening power, so you can substitute one-for-one in recipes calling for cornstarch.

Arrowroot is flavorless and becomes clear when cooked.  Unlike cornstarch, it doesn't taste like chalk when undercooked, and it doesn't dull the appearance of sauces, fruit gels or ice cream.

In addition, arrowroot mixtures thicken at a lower temperature than mixtures made with flour or cornstarch, making it ideal for delicate sauces.  Like cornstarch, arrowroot should be mixed thoroughly with a cold liquid before being added to hot mixtures.

So go ahead and try it instead of cornstarch in stir-fries, stews, gravies and sauces, as well as in baked egg rolls, rhubarb crumble, and double-chocolate ice cream.