Have you ever wondered what people use when it comes to thickening soups and stews or when breading their meats? People always wonder how my soups end up so thick and perfect without adding too much flavor. My secret? Corn flour!
But there are times people run out of this essential ingredient, making it difficult to thicken their soups or bread their meat and vegetables properly. But luckily, you can find an excellent substitute for corn flour that will have you be able to enjoy thick soups and crunchy breading.
Wondering what you can substitute for corn flour? Read on as I show you the ingredients you can use and what else you’ll need to know about these substitutes for corn flour!
Need a Substitute for Corn Flour? The Best Choices You Need to Try!
What is Corn Flour?
You’re probably wondering: Isn’t corn flour similar to cornmeal?
Well, that will depend. While corn flour is another name for cornmeal in various areas, there is still the main difference, and that’s through its consistency. Corn flour is another term for corn starch, which is a type of starch from corn maize grain or wheat.
Corn starch is made out of grinding whole corn kernels until it becomes a very fine powder, used with other flours to make bread or to fry. It has less gluten as compared to wheat flour, making it have a heavier result when making bread.
It’s made out of an endosperm of corn kernels, with its primary use to thicken sauces, soups, or stews. It also helps create syrups and sugars because of its thickening agents. Many people prefer using cornstarch as it has a translucent mixture.
But corn flour isn’t only used for culinary use! You can find it in other types of products, such as baby powder or cleaning and medical products. It’s a staple in many homes, but I know that there are times we forget to restock when we’re out, which is why it’s important to know proper substitutions just in case that happens.
Also Check: Where To Buy Biscuit Cutters
The Best Substitute for Corn Flour
If you’re out of corn flour while cooking, then here are the best alternatives you can use:
Here are some quick changes you can make since all these ingredients can be found in your home (if you just happen to run out of corn flour):
One tablespoon of cornstarch is equal to:
- 2/3 tablespoons of arrowroot. This type of starch is an ideal substitution, though expect it to have a slightly slimy consistency, which may alter the texture. BUT, it will be beautifully shiny and perfect for sauces, though it has a longer cooking time.
- Two tablespoons of all-purpose flour. Because flour isn’t mainly used as a thickening agent but a binder, more is required to achieve your desired consistency. But take note that this may alter the flavor, especially if you use flour made from certain ingredients, such as almond potato flour. Using grain flours like wheat and oat can also change its consistency as well. It also won’t have a shiny texture as compared to using arrowroot and will require longer cooking time.
- Two tablespoons of quick-cooking tapioca flour. This is a good substitute when in a pinch and you want to quicken the thickening process. Tapioca will be able to thicken your dishes nicely without compromising on the taste.
1. Rice Flour
I mentioned that you could use flour as an excellent thickener, though this will depend on what type of dish you’re cooking. If you will be using it for thickening your sauce, add more for a thick consistency, but avoid adding too much as it will end up having a gummy and floury taste.
Flour is more ideal for deep-frying, but again, you need to add twice as much to achieve the crispiness when frying. Instead of using regular all-purpose flour, rice flour is better for its taste and its less heavy results. When using rice flour, just like other types of flours, use about two tablespoons. You can increase it to three tablespoons if needed.
You can’t go wrong with replacing a starch ingredient with another one made out of starch. I recommend you to use either rice or potato starch, which have the same properties and will give you the same texture and consistency you’re looking for, may it be for cooking, boiling, or baking.
But when using potato starch, it may have a slightly different flavor. Potato starch also clumps quickly, so be sure to whisk it well until everything is well-incorporated. But with that being said, it won’t destroy the dish! Only use the equal amount of starch needed in the recipe, and you’re ready to continue.
If you don’t have anything at home but potatoes, then it’s still possible to continue with your recipe and create potato starch. corn flour can’t be made at home because of its process and ingredients needed, so this is the next best alternative. Simply grate the potatoes into a bowl and add warm water.
Strain the starchy liquid and let it chill in the fridge for four hours. Remove the top layer of water and use the starchy liquid at the bottom, using it either in liquid or dried, powder form.
3. Almond Flour
Almond – basically a highly nutritious food loaded with various vitamins and minerals, namely, zinc, magnesium, calcium, copper, fiber, and so on. Flour made of it, has a very distinctive nutty flavor, which adds extra delicacy in various dishes. But, to get the best out of it and use it as a corn flour substitute, its oil must have to be extracted.
In general, Almond flour isn’t that typical milled flour. Instead, are being produced from blanched almonds, which have had the skins removed and is ground a bit finer. Readily available in most grocery stores, 1 tablespoon of flour is equivalent to an equal amount of corn flour.
Despite the fact that four teaspoons of quick-cooking tapioca or two tablespoons of grainy tapioca is needed to substitute one tablespoon of corn flour, when you are out of options Tapioca offers the best solution. Especially, when you are about to prepare a dish that requires chilling, since it doesn’t coagulate in the refrigerator.
Being sourced from cassava – a root vegetable, commonly found in the South American region. Some cassava plants, however, contain cyanide, wherefore it’s highly recommended to buy Tapioca from trusted sources so that safety doesn’t get compromised. Popularly used for baking, Tapioca can be bought as flour, flakes or pearls and is also almost gluten-free. Just beware of overcooking, which will result stringiness.
If you happen to be a fan of unprocessed organic food products, you might have heard the name Kazu. If not, then it’s a macrobiotic staple that act to add the much needed glaze to the dish. One of the finest options to substitute corn flour, in particular, when you are thinking of making sauces, soups, or even beverages.
Besides, those who are suffering from blood pressure, should cautiously add sodium-free variety of Kuzu in their diet. Even if you have enough stock of corn flour available, taking into account that the treatment corn flour going through. Besides, being non-reactionary makes it the best choice for sweetmeats and dessert.
6. Guar Gum
People with knowledge in pharmaceutical ingredients will find it familiar owing to its medical application in various medications. In terms of calories, it simply harmless and known for producing soluble fiber. Actually a vegetable gum, Guar gum made from guar bean, which goes through some processing.
What we see is actually the central, starchy endosperm that is dried and ground to give it a powder form. As a good thickener, a small amount – around one-quarter of a teaspoon of guar gum is needed and it’s a much cheaper option to substitute corn flour. Best of all, people with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), obesity, and diabetes are going to be the direct beneficiary of it.
In terms of quantity, Arrowroot is directly proportional to corn flour. Arrowroot flour of one spoon will make the same impact you are expecting from equal amounts of corn flour, in fact with some added advantages. Abundant in red blood cell formatting folates that also helps in protein metabolism, Arrowroot doesn’t even possess any inherent aroma at all.
Thus, when it comes to thickening delicacies that are lightly flavored, even though it’s the most expensive among corn flour substitutes, it is still a very good option indeed. Over time it tends to lose thickening potency, so don’t store it for long. To get the best result and avoid lump formation, mix one and a half teaspoons of arrowroot with raw water of about twice of its actual amount prior of adding it to the heated water.
8. Wheat Flour
When it comes to thickening gravy, sauces or stews, Wheat flour beyond a shadow of a doubt poised as the best alternative to corn flour. If we talk about the health benefits, it’s high in protein as well as dietary fibers, while carbohydrate – a rapidly digested nutrients that increase the risk of heart disease, diabetes, and obesity remains low.
Nevertheless, with Wheat flour, it’s difficult to achieve the level of effect corn flour offers. Which refers to additional use, twice as much Wheat flour as corn flour in cooking. But, keep in mind that without proper mixing liquid lumps could be formed, and don’t forget to cook fully before intake.
9. Xanthan Gum
A well-known food additive known as an effective thickening agent with excellent binding properties. Actually, a vegetable gum, which gel being extracted and dried to turn into a powder form to be used in cooking. A small quantity can thicken a considerable amount of liquid, thanks to its superior binding capability.
Commonly used in salad and sauces, however, attention needed before applying in any dishes. Over use will yield health complications, in particular for those who are suffering from digestive issues. As a thickener you can apply the same amount as corn flour in dishes.
10. Pureed Vegetables
Not everyone will love to use Pureed vegetables to substitute corn flour, since it requires substantial effort to prepare. However, health benefits Pureed vegetables offer is quite astronomical. Contains fiber, antioxidants, vitamins and minerals a load that can notably minimize health issues.
Depending on in which dishes you are going to use it, types may vary. From binding casserole to moisten lean meatloaf, Vegetable Purees make the best alternative. Besides, has vast application in thickening soups, as a sandwich spread and base for pasta sauces.
Benefits Of Corn Flour
Corn – arguably the most popular cereal grains, which also termed as maize and being cultivated across the world. Native to Central America, corn is rich in various nutrients that are quite beneficial to human health. Corn flour is just the dried and finely ground gluten-free version of corn.
In the USA, people call it corn flour, while the properties remain the same and mostly used for thickening sauces. Typically yellow, but a number of other color variants also available. When it comes to the benefits it offers to the human health, notable ones are described below.
i. Regulates Cholesterol Level
Cholesterol is an important element to build healthy cells. Nonetheless, if the permitted level exceed, it poses serious threat to health. Described as the primary cause of heart disease, it also acts as the aid of other health complications too. A mere amount, only 10g of corn flour in your regular diet is enough to keep those issues in check.
ii. Lowers Blood Pressure
Nowadays, either for lifestyle or food habit people tends to be more prone to irregular blood pressure than before. Good thing, corn flour can be an easily accessible remedy of it. As a low-sodium diet, it improves cardiovascular functioning, which results in lowering the risk of stroke and other coronary artery diseases.
iii. Contributes To Weight Loss
Corn flour is the ground form of corn, however the fiber content still remains high. Besides, it contains a very insignificant amount of fat, thus consuming corn flour leads to weight loss. When you intake fiber you feel fuller, consequently you ended up consuming fewer calories than usual. Notwithstanding, having this powerful source of energy too much could result the opposite.
iv. Beneficial For Women in Pregnancy
If you follow the recent scientific developments, folic acid has a noteworthy role in spine formation of the baby. Moreover, believes to be helpful in preventing deformity in brain development too. Therefore, consuming corn flour, which contains folic acid, yield a lot of benefits during conception period.
v. Useful For Physical Soundness And Bone Health
Nutrients corn flour rich in, includes vitamin B that is responsible to enhance energy metabolism reaction of the body. Besides, it balances the calorie burning during daily activities by raising the body temperature. Other than that, minerals required to maintain a healthy bone mineral density – magnesium and potassium are abundant in corn. Hence, helps prevent the onset of osteoporosis – a bone disease that occurs when the body makes too little bone, loses too much bone, or in some cases both.
Tips When Using Substitutes for Corn Flour
To have even better dishes when using any of these substitutes, here are some tips you should follow when using and storing them:
- Always make sure that you measure the right amount of your corn flour substitute. While it will entail a bit of trial and error, it’s best to start off with less or equal measurements of what was asked for in the recipe to avoid messing it up. Only add a little more as you go until it reaches your desired consistency.
- When storing corn flour substitutes, follow the way you would typically store corn flour. Put it in an airtight container or leave it in its original packaging, placing it in a cool and dark area. You may want to consider putting it in the fridge, depending on the type of ingredient it is. Usually, corn flour substitutions would last for about three months or more.
- Wondering about what you can do with corn flour and its substitutions? The perfect use for them would be for any soups, specifically mushroom and creamy soups. I also use it for thick sauces like gravy or breading for my fried chicken. Baked goods also require corn flour! Only add a bit of corn flour substitute to the recipe, and you’ll have full or crispier results.
- To use any of these corn flour substitutes for thickening, make sure to mix it in with warm liquid and let it cook for a few minutes. Avoid bringing it to a boil and constantly stir it to prevent the liquid from sticking to the pan or having the corn flour substitutes clump together. Turn off the heat once the liquid begins to slightly bubble and thicken. It will thicken even after the that is off.
- For coating, use egg as a binder for the corn flour substitute. That way, you have more flavor, and the breading will stick.
Corn flour is a wonder ingredient that I ALWAYS have in the kitchen. Unfortunately, I sometimes forget or run out of it without knowing. If you’re in the same situation as me, then don’t fret. There are awesome ingredients you can still use as a substitute and still get the thick and creamy soups you want.
I hope that this list helped you find the best substitute for corn flour suitable for your needs. So don’t wait any longer or hassle yourself going to the grocery and leave your recipe behind! Try any of these substitutions today.
If you have any questions or would like to share your tips and experiences when using a replacement for corn flour, then comment down below. I would love to hear what you have to think.