Welcome to Four Score Living where we believe you can achieve and maintain a healthy lifestyle through 80/20 living - and that includes a balanced diet. We’re sharing everything we've learned about cornstarch, including what does cornstarch taste like.
We’ve put lots of facts and tips about cornstarch into this article and we're included a quick and easy recipe for a cornstarch slurry.
Cornstarch is considered a grain starch, while arrowroot, potato and tapioca starches are considered root starches. Potato starch, tapioca, and arrowroot are larger-grained starches which gelatinize at relatively lower temperatures. Sauces thickened with these starches are more translucent and glossy, feel silky to the palate and have less forward flavors once cooked. These root starches don’t stand up to longer cooking as well as grain starches, so they’re best used to thicken sauces toward the very end of cooking.
What is cornstarch?
Cornstarch is a medium-sized grain starch granule that thickens at a higher temperature than root starches. However, once that temperature is reached, thickening happens very quickly! Because cornstarch is almost pure starch, it’s more efficient as a thickener than wheat flour.
What is cornstarch made of?
Cornstarch is made from corn, like corn flour. Corn flour is made from grinding down whole corn kennels, where cornstarch is made from the starchy center of the kennel, without the skin.
Are cornstarch and corn flour the same thing?
Both cornstarch and corn are made from corn but they are processed differently. They are both used for different purposes and they have a different flavor profile.
What does cornstarch taste like?
Although cornstarch is made from corn, it doesn't have much of a taste. Cornstarch tastes more like flour or other neutral starches. When the kernel is removed during processing, a lot of the flavor is removed.
Cornstarch isn't sweet or bitter, it's pretty neutral. Although it's great for cooking and baking, we don't recommend you consume large quantities of cornstarch as cornstarch can raise blood sugar level.
What is cornstarch used for?
Cornstarch is used for an array of things from food uses to non food uses. You're likely to see cornstarch used for thickening gravy, soups, and stews. It also works great for making puddings, and you might find it in cheesecake.
You can use it as an egg substitute in cakes to replace 1 egg, in cookies and cakes to promote a fluffier texture, and in gluten free flour blends with other starches.
Another use for cornstarch is for frying. Want a really crispy fried chicken, consider dreading it in cornstarch instead of flour. We've used cornstarch to coat chicken in sweet and sour chicken, and when we want to make chicken tenders.
Is cornstarch gluten free?
Yes. Corn is gluten-free and thus cornstarch is gluten-free. I often get asked is cornstarch gluten-free. Cornstarch is a medium-sized starch granule that thickens at a higher temperature than root starches. However, once that temperature is reached, thickening happens very quickly! Because cornstarch is almost pure starch, it’s more efficient as a thickener than wheat flour.
Is cornstarch bad for you?
No cornstarch is not bad for you. It may raise blood sugar levels if consumed in large quantities, but otherwise, unless you're allergic to corn or intolerant, it's not bad for you.
What is a substitute for cornstarch?
I often get asked for a good cornstarch substitute or a cornstarch alternative. If you can't have corn products a good cornstarch substitute is arrowroot or tapioca starch. You can also use flour, potato flour, rice flour.
Just note, if you're using a substitute for cornstarch in a recipe to thicken it, you may need to adjust the quantities as each of these cornstarch substitutes work differently.
Can I use baking powder instead of cornstarch?
Baking powder and baking soda work a little different than cornstarch and the have very different flavors. It's not advised to use baking power or baking soda in place of cornstarch.
Where can you buy cornstarch?
You can buy cornstarch at most grocery stores and super stores. Sometimes you can find cornstarch at mini marts, in the food isle. Cornstarch is usually located in the baking isle, with the other starches and flours.
How to store cornstarch?
Cornstarch should be kept in an airtight container and stored in a dark, dry, and cool place (no refrigeration is required). You can also store cornstarch in the refrigerator or freezer, for a longer shelf life. Just make sure to bring the cornstarch to room temperature before baking and cooking with it.
Does cornstarch go bad?
Like most foods, cornstarch does eventually spoil, especially if left in certain conditions. It's best to store cornstarch in a cool dry place. If it get's wet or absorbs too much moisture from the air, it can go bad.
While cornstarch seem safe to consume, those with a corn allergy should not cook or bake with it. Even though the kernels are removed during processing, some of the same proteins remain. When in doubt, always seek medical advice from your physician.
Uses for Cornstarch
Besides food, there are other practical uses for cornstarch:
- Polishing silver
- Make dry shampoo
- Make deodorant
- Make a spray starch for ironing
- Increase grip on items, or use in place of chalk for climbing
- Absorb liquids from spills
What non-cooking ways have you used cornstarch?
WORKING WITH STARCHES:
- To avoid lumps, mix the starch with an equal amount of cold liquid until it forms a paste, then whisk it into the liquid you want to thicken. Once the thickener is added, cook it briefly to remove the starchy flavor. Don’t overcook! Liquids thickened with some starches will thin again if cooked too long or at too high a temperature.
- Cornstarch, arrowroot, and tapioca are the most popular starch thickeners. They have different strengths and weaknesses, so it’s a good idea to stock all three in your pantry.
- Starch thickeners give food a transparent, glistening sheen, which looks nice in a pie filling but a bit artificial in a gravy or sauce. If you want high gloss, choose tapioca or arrowroot. If you want low gloss, choose cornstarch.
- Cornstarch is the best choice for thickening dairy-based sauces. If you need a cornstarch alternative, try arrowroot or tapioca starch.
- Choose arrowroot if you’re thickening an acidic liquid. Cornstarch loses potency when mixed with acids.
- Sauces made with cornstarch turn spongy when they’re frozen. If you plan to freeze a dish, use tapioca starch or arrowroot as a thickener.
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- 2 tablespoons water
- 2 tablespoons cornstarch
- Add cold or room temperature water to a small mixing bowl.
- Add the cornstarch.
- Stir until combined.
You can make more or less cornstarch slurry, depending on what you need. The ratio is 1 part water to 1 part cornstarch.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 1 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 61Total Fat: 0gSaturated Fat: 0gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 0gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 3mgCarbohydrates: 15gFiber: 0gSugar: 0gProtein: 0g
The nutrition information for this recipe is an approximate total per serving. Please double check the nutrition information for your exact ingredients and brands.