Arrowroot Flour Substitute

So, today’s article is all about arrowroot and its substitutes! This may be something new to some of you, if it is well it brings great joy to know that we can enlighten you about it. Get a nice little healthy snack and let’s dive right in!

Also check out, Substitutes For Thyme and Substitutes For Cumin

cornstarch in a glass bowl


What is an arrowroot?

Others include Zamia integrifolia (Florida arrowroot), Manihot esculenta (tapioca from cassava-habitually labeled as arrowroot), Tacca leontopetaloides (Polynesian arrowroot), and Pueraria lobata (Japanese arrowroot). Maranta arundinacea is a perennial plant belonging to the Marantaceae family or arrowroot family, where it is popularly known as; arrowroot, West Indian arrowroot, maranta, obedience plant, Bermuda arrowroot, ararao or hulankeeriya.

The plant has small white flowers in clusters that bloom after around 88 days but the edible part of the plant is the rhizome.

How do I plant arrowroot?

The plant hardly ever produces seeds; hence, reproduction is normally done by planting part of a rhizome with a bud. The rhizomes are mature for harvesting after 10–13 months after implant. 

Where the rhizomes are fleshy, light brown (exterior, while the interior is white), and tubular that can grow up to 20 inches long, that looks similar to cassava, yucca or kudzu. It is said that the arrowroot plant is native to the Amazon rainforest in Brazil and nearby countries.

What is arrowroot powder?

Arrowroot powder is popularly otherwise known as arrowroot starch or arrowroot flour, where it is a white starchy substance used as a thickener or thickening agent used in food, once it has been grounded to its powder form.

Nutritional Value

This is one of my favs! Why? Because when I’m consuming something, I want to know what it’s doing to my body and what it comprises. Without further ado, here are the components present in arrowroot.


  • Carbohydrate
  • Fiber
  • Proteins

Other nutrients, minerals, and components

  • (Folate) Vitamin B9
  •  (Niacin) Vitamin B3
  • Vitamin B6 (Pyridoxine)
  • Vitamin C
  • Phosphorus
  • Iron
  • Potassium
  • Magnesium
  • Calcium

Please be advised that the components above are not limited to what is found in arrowroot, but rather the top components that are notably present.

Top 13 Health Benefits of Arrowroot

Arrowroot is good for:

  1. Circulation and heart health.
  2. Boost the immune system- Studies have shown/proven that arrowroot can rouse immune cells to function efficiently and helps to provide substances it needs to operate effectively.
  3. Helps with wound healing.
  4. Magnificent for gluten-free diets.
  5. It May help with regulating diabetes.
  6. May assist in preventing anemia.
  7. May assist in fortifying the bones, muscles, and teeth.
  8. Reduce high cholesterol levels.
  9. May assist in boosting metabolism.
  10. Therapeutic for lack of sleep/insomnia.
  11. Promotes growth and development for kids.
  12. Has antibacterial and antifungal properties.
  13. Used to treat poisons and insect bites (externally on the wounds).

Just simply amazing right? Now we know what it’s good for, let’s find out what it’s used for


Arrowroot is used in or as a:

  • Food gluten-free thickener
  • Ingredients binder (holds ingredients together well)
  • Baking and dessert products
  • Pan-fry
  • Dry shampoo
  • Deodorant ingredient
  • Talcum and baby powder substitute
  • Homemade makeup

Arrowroot Flour Substitute

Arrowroot is a great substance to use in meals due to its neutral flavor and odorless scent. It even has twice the consistency of wheat flour! But in the case where you run out then some good Arrowroot Flour Substitute are as follow:

Tapioca Starch

Tapioca starch, also known as tapioca flour, is the starch extracted from cassava rhizome and grounded to be in the form of a powder. It works well just as arrowroot starch, hence, a good gluten-free alternative for arrowroot flour.

Fun fact- despite tapioca flour comes from cassava it differs from cassava flour. The main difference is that tapioca flour only uses the starch pulp from cassava while cassava flour uses the entire root/rhizome.

A keynote to reflect on is that sometimes when you visit the grocery store, there are some packages that mark tapioca flour/starch but are representing cassava flour. So read the labeling and ingredients clearly before purchasing or check for markings like tapioca starch or tapioca flour only as of the label.

You can add 1 teaspoon of tapioca starch to replace 1 teaspoon of arrowroot starch. A good rule to follow is to always start off small first than excess, so use moderately.

tapioca starch in a wooden bowl with cassava cut in slices. A great Arrowroot Flour Substitute


Instant Tapioca

Instant tapioca is the granulated form of tapioca that many people prefer to use for baking purposes than tapioca starch. This is because it has prodigious absorbing strength/power, adds sheen/gloss, adds no coloring effect and it doesn’t break down in acidic fillings, frozen, or under high heat as some of the other thickeners.

A recommendation is to crush instant tapioca before using it because tapioca doesn’t dissolve fully when cooked. However, it is said that due to its properties stated above, it is an excellent Arrowroot Flour Substitute, especially for fruit pies.

Arrowroot can be replaced by instant tapioca in a 1:1 ratio. This means 1 teaspoon of arrowroot powder = 1 teaspoon of instant tapioca. Remember to use it moderately and adjust if necessary!

tapioca pearl in a wooden bowl on a wooden bowl on a wooden background. Arrowroot Flour Substitute



Cornstarch, cornflour, or maize starch is the starch that comes from corn grain, specifically the endosperm of the kernel. Corn starch is commonly used to thicken sauces or soups, corn syrup, and other sugars.

When starch is heated, it’s very good at absorbing water. Therefore, cornstarch is a good component to use to replace arrowroot powder due to its ability to endure a certain degree of heat and insoluble in water but rather absorbs it, which is good because its main or popular usage is to be a thickener.

To replace ½ teaspoon arrowroot flour, use 1 teaspoon of cornstarch. However, a rule in cooking or baking is to always start off small then gradually increase where necessary; hence, start off with ½ teaspoon of cornstarch.

As a side note- Add 1 tablespoon to 1 cup of liquid, when used as a thickening agent.

cornstarch in a glass bowl with a wooden spoon on a white background with dried corn ears and kernels. A great Arrowroot Flour Substitute

Mash Potato Flakes

Mash potato flakes are also known as potato flakes and are used as a thickening agent. It’s a good source of carbohydrates and is popularly used in gravies, sauces, soups, and even in baking!

To use mash potato flakes as a substitute for arrowroot powder, then 1 teaspoon of mash potato flakes equates to 1 teaspoon of arrowroot powder. Because it is a thickening agent, use it in small proportions first and adjust when necessary.

potato flakes overhead photo on a white background. Let us make rrowroot Flour Substitute

Where can I buy arrowroot and its substitutes?

You can find the products within this article at your local supermarkets in the baking, gluten-free, or natural food aisle. You can also order it online or try a health food store near you.

Enjoyed this article? Send us feedback by leaving a comment! It’s always a pleasure reading your comments. Catch you later h-steppers! And of course, Bon Appétit!

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