While commonly associated with being a great thickening agent, arrowroot powder has many additional uses that we can incorporate into our daily lives to make us healthier and more attractive.
Arrowroot powder comes from the Maranta arundinaceae native to South America. It's better know as the "Ararot" plant - which you can see how we have turned it into "arrowroot". The plant is a perennial herb that grows to be between 3-5ft. tall. The root, where we find the substance that gives us the powder grows underground, as you might expect. The roots of the arrowroot plant have small potato like tubers with starchy white insides and brown tough scales on the outside.
These tubers, which contain about 23% starch are harvested and then smashed into a pulp. The pulp is separated out from the liquid where the insoluble starch then settles at the bottom of the liquid. The starch is then dried and voila!, you have arrowroot powder.
Arrowroot powder is a very fine, white powder that is tasteless and odorless. It is most commonly used in cooking as a thickening agent for things like gravy or pudding. It makes a great replacement for flour in that it has nearly double the absorbent qualities of flour but, is entirely gluten free.
Beyond just thickening up your gravy and making it so your gluten intolerant grandmother can tolerate Thanksgiving dinner, why else would you want to use arrowroot powder? Or, better yet, what else can one do with it? Let's answer those questions in this article.
Arrowroot powder aids digestion. For those suffering from irritable bowel syndrome, because it is so starchy, it can serve as a mild laxative while also soothing the bowels. It can also help relieve diarrhea due to it's absorbent qualities while helping to replenish nutrients lost from gastrointestinal ailments.
Arrowroot powder is used as an antidote for poisoning. While the chances of you carrying a bag of arrowroot powder with you on your next trip out to the bush probably arent good, it can be used to draw out the poison from insect and other bites such as scorpions and spiders. I wouldn't recommend you just slap some arrowroot powder on your bite and call it good. Find a physician and get treated as quickly as possible but, if you're ever desperate, arrowroot powder can be used.
Arrowroot powder is beneficial during pregnancy. Here's one you may use or, at least be able to pass along some day. One 100g serving of arrowroot powder contains 84% of the recommended daily value of folates during pregnancy. Folate, along with vitamin B12 is absolutely critical to DNA synthesis and cell division. It is recommended that anyone wishing to become pregnant in the near future begin taking prenatal supplements to prevent neural tube defects. Having a diet with arrowroot powder in them is a great, natural way to start preparing.
Arrowroot powder is a good source of potassium. Potassium is an essential mineral that is important for the proper functioning of many organs in the body, including the heart, kidneys, and muscles.
In fact, 100 grams of arrowroot powder contains around 454 mg of potassium, which is approximately 10% of the recommended daily intake for adults. This makes it a great alternative to other potassium-rich foods, such as bananas or potatoes, especially for those who are looking for a gluten-free and low-allergenic alternative.
Additionally, arrowroot powder is also a good source of other minerals like iron, phosphorus, and manganese, and is a low-calorie, low-fat, and low-sugar food. This makes it a great choice for those looking to maintain a healthy and balanced diet.
Arrowroot powder can be incorporated into your diet in various ways. Here's some ideas:
Baking: Arrowroot powder can be used as a gluten-free substitute for wheat flour in baking. It can be used in recipes for cakes, cookies, bread, and other baked goods.
Thickening agent: Arrowroot powder can be used as a thickening agent in soups, stews, gravies, and sauces. It has a neutral taste and doesn't change the flavor of the dish.
Smoothies and drinks: Arrowroot powder can be added to smoothies or drinks for a nutritional boost. It can help to thicken the drink and add a creamy texture.
Coating for frying: Arrowroot powder can be used as a coating for fried foods instead of wheat flour or cornstarch. It creates a crispy, golden-brown coating.
Baby food: Arrowroot powder can be used as a thickening agent in homemade baby food. It is gentle on the baby's digestive system and helps to thicken the food to a consistency that is easy for the baby to swallow.
Arrowroot powder makes a good.....powder. It's soft, very fine and super absorbent. You can use arrowroot powder as you would baby powder to prevent chafing and rash. It makes an excellent alternative to talc which has recently come under much scrutiny over its potential links to cancer.
In Your Deodorant. Because of it absorbency properties, arrowroot powder makes a great compound in natural deodorants. It has no odor and absorbs sweat incredibly well. At Green Theory, we combine the absorbent qualities of arrowroot powder and bentonite clay with 100% natural ingredients and probiotics to keep you dry and smelling great all day long. It's fresh pits and peace of mind.