When going to the trouble of cooking Paleo or if you’re just trying to make sure that what you eat is as free from weird junk as possible, make sure you don’t overlook the little things.
One example is cornstarch. When a recipe calls for this as a thickener, arrowroot usually makes a great Paleo substitute. Cornstarch is a highly processed “food” that always involves prolonged chemical exposures and almost always is a GMO. Pure arrowroot powder, on the other hand, is milled pretty much the same today as it was ancestrally and is something that, unlike cornstarch, you could make pretty easily at home if you wished.
Arrowroot can be used as a Paleo alternative to cornstarch or flour in cooking as long as what you are using it in is non-dairy (can become slimy in milk) and will not be exposed to heat for a prolonged period of time as arrowroot loses it’s thickening power at extended high temperatures. When substituting for cornstarch, it’s an even exchange. When using arrowroot as an alternative to flour, use half as much arrowroot as flour.
A few other things to know about arrowroot: It will clump up when added directly to liquids so it is recommended that you mix it into a small quantity of your liquid before stirring it into the main pot, so to speak. And when purchasing arrowroot, be on the lookout for additives as some manufacturers combine it with potato starch.
- 2 cups coconut milk or nut milk of choice
- 1/4 cup honey
- 1/3 cup cocoa powder
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1/8 teaspoon salt
- 1 1/2 tablespoons arrowroot
- 3 large egg yolks
Put 1 1/2 cups of the milk, the honey, vanilla extract, cocoa and salt into a saucepan set over medium-high heat. Bring to a simmer, then remove pan from heat.
Meanwhile, whisk the remaining 1/2 cup of the milk, arrowroot, and egg yolks together in a bowl. Gradually whisk the hot chocolate milk into the egg mixture.
Return to the saucepan and cook over medium-high heat stirring constantly until the pudding comes to a full boil. Reduce the heat to maintain a simmer, and continue stirring until thick, about a minute or two more.
Pour the pudding into approximately 6 small serving bowls; I like to use sake cups or shot glasses. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until set – 4 hours to overnight.