Potato Starch Substitute: Top 9 Best Choices

Many people are trying to reduce their intake of starch, which is a type of carbohydrate that can be found in potatoes and grains.

Potato starch is commonly used as a thickening agent in sauces and gravies. Luckily there are many different substitutes for potato starch, so you will never have to worry about your favorite dishes being too runny again.

Let’s take a closer look at this topic in this guide, shall we?

What is potato starch?

Before getting into what you can replace potato starch with, let’s talk about what it actually is and how it works in cooking.

First off, potato starch is a product derived from crushed potatoes by peeling them first.

After they are peeled, they are turned into a slurry (a mixture of two or more substances) which is then evaporated to form its final shape: an edible powder that looks like flour.

As for the taste?

It doesn’t have one. It’s flavorless!

However, it has great texture-enhancing properties when used in other recipes.

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Are potato starch and potato flour the same?

Potato starch and potato flour are both made from potatoes. Potato starch is a very fine flour that is extracted from the potato in a way that only the starch remains.

It’s pure white and fine. Potato flour, on the other hand, is what you get when you take a piece of potato and peel it, cut it, dry it out, and dehydrate it.

After this process, the pieces look like wheat blossom but they can be white or off-white depending on which type of potato was used to make them.

Both products are made from potatoes but their end result is different. Potato flour is a lot heavier than potato starch since it has more bulk in there with the pieces of the potatoes themselves.

They are also different in their taste, look, and texture. Potato flour has a strong potato flavor and looks like wheat or oats.

Potato starch is pure white with little to no taste of potatoes at all.

The many uses of potato starch

Potato starch is used in multiple recipes for various reasons. Not only can it be used to thicken liquids, but it can also be mixed into dough before baking. It is even an alternative to potato flour when you don’t have any on hand!

Potato starch is also an additive that is often put on noodles, bakery items, processed meat, and cheese to make them last longer. It helps gelatinize these food items and keep their original taste and texture intact too!

What can you replace potato starch with?

Cornstarch

If you want your chicken to have a crispy coating, then cornstarch is the way to go.

Cornstarch prevents gluten development which makes the coating turn out crispier. The malt-based starch absorbs all moisture and creates an opaque finish at high temperatures.

It has a neutral flavor, so it’s perfect for gluten free dishes, but it also works almost the same as potato starch. If you use this in cooking like you would use potato starch, then everything will turn out fine!

Sweet rice flour

Sweet rice flour is a great alternative to potato starch because it doesn’t contain gluten and because it’s a finer flour. This means you don’t have the gritty feeling of regular rice in baked goods made with sweet rice flour.

Using Sweet Rice Flour as an alternative to potato starch, you should start out by adding 2 tablespoons for every cup of liquid that you use in your recipe for best results.

Water chestnut flour

Water chestnut flour is made from boiled water chestnuts. The raw water chestnuts are peeled and ground into a fine powder.

It makes a good replacement for sweet potato starch, because it has the same thickening nature that makes great batters for fried items, baked goods etc. It also does not contain gluten which is good if you have an allergy to gluten.

Water chestnut flour is a thickening agent that you can add to your desired food after mixing it with water. To make it last longer, store in a sealed container and keep in a room temperature place. It should be good for at least 6 months.

Arrowroot starch

Some plants that grow in the tropics have roots that you can crush and then process to make a powder. The plants are called arrowroot and they are used for making food.

Arrowroot powder is a thickening agent that you can use for baking like bread. It does not contain any protein and only has 3% fiber.

You can use arrowroot powder for items that are gluten-free. If you need to thicken something with potato starch, then just replace it with arrowroot powder without calculating the ratio.

Almond flour

Almond flour is a good choice for people who eat a grain-free diet. Almond flour has lots of vitamins and nutrients, such as protein and fiber.

One ounce of almond flour has almost 6 grams of protein and 3 grams of fiber. Almond flour is better than whole wheat or grain flours because it tastes less like nuts, but it can be more expensive than those other types of flour.

There is no standard conversation about using almond flour. It’s usually used to make sweet foods like brownies, cookies, etc., so just keep in mind that the flavor will change your baked food items into having a nutty taste to them.

Coconut flour

Coconut flour is a good substitute for those who are vegan. When you use this ingredient, it’s important to be careful.

This is because its texture can change the look and feel of your food. I recommend using 15% less coconut flour than the recipe asks for or else it will be too hard to work with.

Tapioca

Tapioca is a starch that comes from cassava roots. You need to use double the amount as you would with arrowroot powder to thicken your gravy.

This ingredient doesn’t work with acidic items, so it is best at the end of cooking when everything else has been added and mixed together.

Wheat flour

If gluten is something you are concerned about, then you can use wheat flour in your cooking. Wheat flour is used in baking and to make batters for fried or coated foods.

You should also cook on low heat when using this ingredient; otherwise, it may clump together in your food.

Ground matzo

Ground matzo is not very popular. The only time you should use it is when there are no other options left. The ground-up matzo becomes a flatbread that Jewish people eat.

To use it in your dish, first, you need to pound the matzo into powder and then add the powder into your mixture according to what recipe you are using.

Great tips to keep in mind

Starch is a thickener for liquids. You need to keep tasting as you mix the starch with water and other ingredients to make sure that it tastes good. Add salt or pepper, depending on your taste preferences.

Don’t dump the starch into your dish right away. Mix the starch with water and make a paste first.

If you want to use a powder instead of flour, try arrowroot. It will make your sauce or gravy thicker without it looking any different.

After you add the starch alternative, do not boil it again. If you do, your food will become too thin and gooey.

If you are using a different type of flour like coconut or almond, make sure to check the moisture level of the dough. If it is too dry, add more water; if it’s too wet, add more flour.

Store the substitute ingredients in a cool, dark place. The container should be sealed tightly and safe from pest attacks.

There are some differences between potato starch and its alternatives. You should start with a small amount of the ingredient and gradually increase it. That way, you will control the consistency of your liquid.

If you are making things with a lot of sugar, the best flour to use is sweet flour.

If you are on a diet and need to eat less, you might want to substitute almond flour for another type of flour. It is healthy and will make you feel full all day long.

Conclusion

Potato starch is a popular ingredient in many recipes. It provides the perfect amount of texture and acts as an excellent binder for gluten-free dishes like crêpes, cakes, or doughnuts.

If you can’t find potato starch at your grocery store (or if it’s too expensive), try using one of the alternatives above, and you won’t be disappointed.

Mariana Rouco

Mariana Rouco is the editor-in-chief of Elpasony.com. She loves traveling and writing about foods and cooking in general. She has a degree from the New England Culinary Institute and enjoys Mexican, Italian, and Chinese cuisines the most.

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