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 ....