While Cornstarch is readily available in most grocery stores, did you know that you can make it at home? Not only is homemade Cornstarch a more natural and healthier option, but it can also save you money in the long run. I will walk you through the step-by-step process of how to make Cornstarch.
What is Cornstarch?
Cornstarch is a fine powder made from ground corn. It’s a popular thickening agent in cooking and baking because it can be used to thicken liquids without changing their flavor.
Cornstarch has been used for centuries as a thickener in many foods, including sauces, gravies, soups and puddings. It’s also added to some baked goods to help hold them together while they’re being baked.
Cornstarch is made from corn that has been dried and ground into a powder. The process is similar to how potatoes are made into potato starch or wheat flour into wheat starch. Cornstarch is often mixed with other ingredients like flour or baking soda to increase its effectiveness as a thickener or leavener in recipes.
Because Cornstarch does not react with acidic ingredients like applesauce or tomatoes, it won’t change the taste of the food being cooked or baked with it.
What are the ingredients in Cornstarch?
- Corn kernels
Step 1: Choose and prepare the corn kernels
Select high-quality, fresh corn kernels. If possible, choose organic corn. Wash and dry the corn kernels thoroughly to remove any dirt or debris.
Step 2: Grind the corn kernels
Grind the corn kernels into a fine powder using a blender, food processor, or a coffee grinder. Make sure the powder is fine and without any lumps.
Step 3: Soak the corn powder
Place the corn powder in a large bowl and add enough water to make a thick paste. Mix well to combine.
Step 4: Strain the mixture
Place a Sieve or cheesecloth over a bowl and pour the corn paste mixture. Use a spoon or spatula to press the mixture through the sieve, leaving only the liquid in the bowl.
Step 5: Dry the liquid
Pour the liquid onto a flat surface, such as a baking sheet or tray, and spread it out evenly. Allow it to dry completely in a warm, dry place, such as a sunny windowsill or a warm oven with the door slightly open. Stir it occasionally to help it dry evenly.
Step 6: Grind the dried Cornstarch
Once the Cornstarch is completely dry, grind it into a fine powder using a blender, food processor, or coffee grinder.
To store Cornstarch, you can keep it in a cool, dry place. This can be your pantry or a cabinet. You can also store Cornstarch in the freezer if you want to keep it longer.
Cornstarch does not require refrigeration, but it will stay fresher if you put it in the fridge (as long as no moisture is present).
What is Cornstarch used for?
Here are some of the many ways in which Cornstarch can be used:
- Thickening agent: Cornstarch is primarily used as a thickening agent in soups, sauces, gravies, and puddings. It is a great alternative to flour, which can add a distinct taste and texture to dishes.
- Baking: Cornstarch is also used in baking as a substitute for flour or as an ingredient in gluten-free recipes. It can be used to make cakes, cookies, and other baked goods lighter and fluffier.
- Coating agent: Cornstarch can be used as a coating agent for fried foods, such as chicken or fish. It creates a crispy, golden exterior while keeping the inside moist and tender.
- Face powder: It can be used as a natural alternative to store-bought face powder. It helps to absorb excess oil and gives a smooth, matte finish.
- Baby powder: It can also be used as a baby powder to help prevent diaper rash. It is a natural and gentle alternative to talcum powder.
- Stain remover: It can be used to remove stains from clothing and upholstery. Simply apply the Cornstarch to the stain, let it sit for a few minutes, and then brush it off.
- Deodorizer: Cornstarch can be used as a natural deodorizer for shoes, carpets, and other fabrics. Simply sprinkle some cornstarch on the item, let it sit for a few hours, and then vacuum it up.
- Playdough: Cornstarch can be used to make homemade playdough. Mix Cornstarch with water and food coloring to create a fun and non-toxic toy for kids.
- Fire extinguisher: Cornstarch can be used as a natural fire extinguisher for small fires. Throw a handful of Cornstarch onto the flames to smother them.
What can I use instead of Cornstarch?
If you don’t have access to corn or are looking for an alternative to corn-based products, there are other ingredients you can use to make a substitute for Cornstarch. Here are a few options:
1. Arrowroot powder
Arrowroot powder is a starchy substance made from the root of a tropical plant. It can be used as a substitute for Cornstarch in recipes that require a thickener. Here’s how to make arrowroot powder at home:
Step 1: Choose and prepare the arrowroot
Select fresh, high-quality arrowroot. Wash and peel the arrowroot, removing any brown or tough areas.
Step 2: Dry and grind the arrowroot
Cut the arrowroot into small pieces and dry them in a warm, dry place for several days until they are completely dry. Once dry, grind the arrowroot pieces into a fine powder using a blender or food processor.
Step 3: Store the arrowroot powder
Store the arrowroot powder in an airtight container in a cool, dry place. It will keep for several months.
2. Potato starch
Potato starch is a fine white powder made from potatoes. It is commonly used as a thickener in soups, sauces, and gravies. Here’s how to make potato starch at home:
Step 1: Choose and prepare the potatoes
Select fresh, high-quality potatoes. Wash and peel the potatoes, removing any brown or tough areas.
Step 2: Grate and soak the potatoes
Grate the potatoes into a fine pulp and place them in a large bowl. Add enough water to cover the pulp and stir well. Allow the mixture to sit for several hours, stirring occasionally.
Step 3: Strain and dry the mixture
Place a cheesecloth over a bowl and pour the potato mixture. Use a spoon or spatula to press the mixture through the filter, leaving only the liquid in the bowl. Spread the liquid onto a flat surface and allow it to dry completely in a warm, dry place, such as a sunny windowsill or a warm oven with the door slightly open. Stir it occasionally to help it dry evenly.
Step 4: Grind the dried potato starch
Once the potato starch is completely dry, grind it into a fine powder using a blender or food processor.
3. Tapioca starch
Tapioca starch is a fine white powder made from the starchy part of cassava roots. It is commonly used as a thickener in recipes that require a smooth, glossy finish. Here’s how to make tapioca starch at home:
Step 1: Choose and prepare the cassava roots
Select fresh, high-quality cassava roots. Wash and peel the cassava roots, removing any brown or tough areas.
Step 2: Grate and soak the cassava roots
Grate the cassava roots into a fine pulp and place them in a large bowl. Add enough water to cover the pulp and stir well. Allow the mixture to sit for several hours, stirring occasionally.
Step 3: Strain and dry the mixture
Place a cheesecloth over a bowl and pour the cassava mixture. Use a spoon or spatula to press the mixture through the sieve, leaving only the liquid in the bowl. Spread the liquid onto a flat surface and allow it to dry completely in a warm, dry place, such as a sunny windowsill or a warm oven with the door slightly open.
Cornstarch vs. Cornflour
Cornstarch is a fine, white powder made from the starchy part of corn kernels. It is primarily used as a thickening agent in cooking and baking, as it has the ability to thicken sauces, soups, and gravies without altering their flavors. Cornstarch also has a neutral taste and is gluten-free, making it a popular ingredient in many recipes, particularly those for individuals who are gluten intolerant.
On the other hand, cornflour is a yellowish flour made by grinding whole corn kernels, including the germ, bran, and endosperm. It is more coarse than Cornstarch and has a slightly sweet flavor. In the United Kingdom, cornflour is commonly used to refer to what is known as Cornstarch in the United States. In contrast to Cornstarch, cornflour is used as a primary ingredient in dishes such as tortillas, tamales, and cornbread, which require a grainy texture.
Can you make Cornstarch with flour?
Yes, you can use flour to make Cornstarch!
Making Cornstarch at home is a simple and rewarding process that can save you money and provide a sense of satisfaction just like making Cornstarch Chunk. All you need is corn kernels, water, and a food processor or blender. By following the steps outlined above, you can create your own high-quality Cornstarch free from additives and preservatives.
References And Resources:
- Is Cornstarch Safe To Eat Raw? – kitchenarry.com. https://kitchenarry.com/is-cornstarch-safe-to-eat-raw/
- Are potato starch and cornstarch interchangeable? – Bronnie Bakes. https://bronniebakes.com/potato-starch-cornstarch-interchangeable/
- Tapioca Starch In Lotion: A Thickening Agent For Smooth Soft Skin. https://thoroughlynourishedlife.com/tapioca-starch-in-lotion-a-thickening-agent-for-smooth-soft-skin/