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Old 02-06-2007, 11:19 AM   #11
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have you thought of arrowroot?


xanthun gum is a good alternative too, but can be pricey.
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Old 02-06-2007, 11:33 AM   #12
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Soy flour can be used as a replacement for corn starch on a 2 to 1 basis and for wheat four on a one to one basis for thickening. The health benefits are a severe reduction in carbohydrates for whatever is being thickened.
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Old 02-06-2007, 12:11 PM   #13
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I realize that we are not talking about a significant amount of corn starch vs whole wheat flour. I do know that ww flour has less calories because it is not all starch. There is the fiber advantage in ww flour and the germ which contains most of the vitamins. I'm just always looking for ways to add healthier options to my cooking even though the amount used to thicken is very small.
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Old 02-06-2007, 12:16 PM   #14
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WW flour would change the texture, flavor and color of the sauce.

For such a small amount, the IMO undesirable change in the sauce would outweigh any discernable health benefits. I wouldn't sub.
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Old 02-07-2007, 08:17 AM   #15
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I'd go the arrowroot route.. (try to say that a few times fast :) ) for clearer sauces. unless you have the option to just cook it down a bit.

you could also use gelatian (sp? sorry too early for me to remember how to spell yet) if you have an option to cool said sauce and re-heat before service.
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Old 02-07-2007, 06:12 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Roxannewwdb
I realize that we are not talking about a significant amount of corn starch vs whole wheat flour. I do know that ww flour has less calories because it is not all starch. There is the fiber advantage in ww flour and the germ which contains most of the vitamins. I'm just always looking for ways to add healthier options to my cooking even though the amount used to thicken is very small.
I guess it depends on how you guage "healthier" Roxan. Yes, WW flour will give you fiber and vitamins that cornstarch doesn't - but they are going to be trace amounts for the amount normally used in thickening a sauce or soup, plus you are adding fat that cornstarch doesn't have, and more calories.

Using the standard equation that 1 Tablespoon cornstarch = 2 Tablespoons flour (in thickening power):

1 Tbsp cornstarch = 30 calories ... 2 Tbsp WW flour = 50-55 calories. The cornstarch contains no fat, the WW flour has 2.5 grams. If you make a roux or beurre maniť from the flour - add about another 200-220 calories and 22 grams of fat - how many grams will be saturated fat depends on the fat source (type of oil or butter).

The reason cornstarch, arrowroot and tapioca are interchangeable is because they have essentially the same carbohydrate content (7-8 grams/Tbsp). Soy flour is reduced in carbs (compared to cornstarch) - but about the same level as wheat flour, which is why it can be subed about the same as for wheat flour in thickening things. What does the thickening is in the carbs - amylose and amylopectin. If soy flour was "severly reduced" in carbs compared to "something" - you would have to severly increase the amount used to achieve the same level of thickening as that "something".

Just something to think about ....
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Old 02-07-2007, 09:29 PM   #17
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Thank you all for your input!
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Old 02-09-2007, 04:15 PM   #18
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Has anyone used potato starch as a thickener?
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Old 02-10-2007, 05:40 AM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bandonjan
Has anyone used potato starch as a thickener?
I have used instant potato flakes (NOT buds) to thicken soups or stews, because that is what I have on hand.

But here are some of the wonders of potato flour. Very interesting.

Authentic Foods Gluten-Free Potato Flour

And here is a lot of information about thickeners.

Kitchen Myths
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Old 02-10-2007, 12:08 PM   #20
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Carbohydrates:

Whole wheat flour = 22g in 1/4 cup
Cornstarch = 32g in 1/4 cup
Soy flour = 7g in 1/4 cup

As I said, "a severe reduction."
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