Cornstarch: Why It’s Not Keto-Friendly
We’ve all been there, right? Standing in our kitchen, armed with a mouth-watering recipe, only to find cornstarch listed as one of the ingredients. We then face a daunting question: how do we make this dish keto-friendly? What can be used as a keto sub for cornstarch?
Let’s first understand why cornstarch isn’t suitable for those following a ketogenic diet. Cornstarch is essentially pure carbs. This white powdery substance comes from the endosperm of corn kernels and is often used as a thickening agent in dishes like soups, sauces, and desserts.
Here’s an interesting fact – just one tablespoon of cornstarch contains around seven grams of carbs! Isn’t that shocking?
Now some might argue about its negligible amount when added to recipes. But remember, these tiny additions could potentially kick you out of ketosis without even realizing it! Therefore, finding effective replacements for such high-carb elements becomes crucial.
The Role of Thickening Agents in Cooking and Baking
What is it that makes thickening agents so crucial? Well, they have a tendency to absorb water. This leads to an increase in viscosity or thickness of our food without significantly altering its other properties like taste or aroma. For those following a ketogenic diet, finding a suitable keto sub for cornstarch becomes essential due to the high carb content present in regular thickeners.
Now you might be asking yourself: “What substitutes can I use?” Some popular keto-friendly alternatives include Xanthan Gum and Guar Gum – both known for their high fiber content and low net carb count. They are used sparingly due to their powerful thickening ability – usually half a teaspoon is enough!
In addition to these gums, ground flaxseeds or Chia seeds can also serve as wonderful natural thickeners. They not only enhance thickness but also add beneficial Omega-3 fatty acids into the mix! We’ve even found psyllium husk helpful; it’s another fibrous option that is highly effective when making keto breads or pastries.
It’s worth mentioning though – while these subs work great in most recipes as a standalone replacement for cornstarch, occasionally combining them could yield better results depending on your dish specifics.
Keto Sub For Cornstarch
Diving into a keto-friendly lifestyle doesn’t mean you’ve got to give up on thick, hearty sauces or baked goods. We’re here with some top-notch substitutes that can replace cornstarch in your favorite recipes while keeping you well within your carb limits.
Firstly, let’s discuss Xanthan Gum. It’s an excellent thickener derived from sugar fermentation and is commonly used in gluten-free products. It’s perfect for keto as it contains zero net carbs and only a small amount required to achieve the desired thickness, making it a powerful keto sub for cornstarch.
Another fantastic option is Guar Gum which comes from the seeds of guar beans. Much like xanthan gum, it has no net carbs and acts as an effective thickener when used sparingly. But remember, use too much of this stuff and you’ll end up with something more gel-like than sauce-like.
Almond flour is a fantastic keto sub for cornstarch and can be used in many recipes. It’s high in nutrients, boasting healthy fats and protein while keeping those unwanted carbs at bay. But how do you use it instead of cornstarch?
If you’re thickening sauces or gravies, start by substituting almond flour at a 1:1 ratio with cornstarch. However, keep an eye on your dish because almond flour doesn’t have the same thickening power as cornstarch. You might need to add more or reduce your liquid content accordingly.
Next up are Gelatin and Collagen Peptides – both animal-derived products often overlooked as thickeners but they work wonders! While gelatin sets clear like cornstarch, collagen peptides dissolve without adding any texture – perfect for soups and stews!
Lastly on our list are Psyllium Husk Powder & Flaxseed Meal – these two come loaded with fiber that aids digestion besides acting as great thickeners. Their nutty flavor makes them ideal for baking too!
Remember folks, going keto doesn’t mean diminishing taste or consistency in your foods; it just means getting creative! With these awesome alternatives to cornstarch on board, we’re positive that you’ll be able to keep enjoying your meals guilt-free.