No well-stocked kitchen should be without food starch. The tasteless and odorless powder is primarily used as a binder. It can be used to thicken sauces and soups, for example. If corn or wheat starch (corn starch or wheat starch) is used, it can also be used to lighten dough without changing its flavor. This is not true for potato starch. If we are missing food starch, we usually only notice it when cooking or baking – which can be extremely annoying. In these cases, quick help is needed so that sauces or cakes do not end up in the trash can or have to be eaten in a state that is far from perfect. Fortunately, there are some remedies that are suitable as food starch substitutes.
Cooking starch substitute
Which food starch substitute is suitable varies from case to case. Of particular importance is whether the starch should be used for cooking or baking. If you are cooking a sauce or soup and have noticed that you are short of cornstarch, you are in luck. There is a very simple substitute that is always available: flour.
Flour can be added in small doses to sauces and soups to thicken them. If we do not use too much flour, it will not change the taste of the dish. However, it is important to be careful when adding it, as flour can quickly form unsightly lumps in liquid – ruining the consistency of the sauce. To prevent this, you should gradually add the flour to the sauce in small portions and stir constantly. It is also helpful to add the flour through a sieve, as this ensures that only small amounts are added to the sauce at a time. Even then, however, constant stirring should not be dispensed with.
Other means that can be used, but are less practical, are the following:
- Egg (changes the taste, not suitable for vegan dishes)
- Flea seed hulls (at least one hour distance from medication required!)
- mashed vegetables (changes the taste and consistency significantly)
Replace food starch in baking
When baking, your options for replacing food starch are much more limited. Many people use baking powder as a substitute for cornstarch. However, this is not particularly practical, as baking powder acts not only as a binding agent, but also as a leavening agent. This makes the dough particularly airy and fluffy, which is not desirable in every case and almost never to a high degree. Alternatively, you can resort to the following agents that have a binding effect in baking:
- pudding powder
- rice flour
- potato flour
- guar gum
Pudding powder has the advantage that it consists largely of starch. However, this is offset by significant disadvantages. So pudding powder is almost always added flavors, which are to provide a certain flavor, usually vanilla. This in turn changes the taste of your baked goods considerably. Furthermore, custard powder is often not vegan, which makes it unsuitable for corresponding products.
Rice flour, potato flour and guar gum do not have these disadvantages. However, they are rarely available in the household. Wheat flour, on the other hand, should not be used because it affects the ingredient ratio and thus the consistency of both the dough and the final product. Ultimately, this means that you will have to compromise on baking if you want to use a starch substitute.