7 Healthier Ways To Thicken Sauce Without Flour
If you’re trying to eat a bit healthier, chances are that means you’re doing more cooking at home. And while it can be fun to try new recipes, it can also be overwhelming and confusing as you attempt to make healthier swaps in some traditional recipes. One of the trickier ones is definitely sauces. Whether you’re looking to cut out gluten or simply just find healthier ways to thicken sauce, there are plenty of easy swaps you can start making right now.
No matter what your dietary needs are, we’ve got you covered. Check out the list of ways to thicken sauce without flour below!
7 Ways To Thicken Sauce Without Flour
Cornstarch is likely the most common way to thicken sauces without flour. It’s readily available at grocery stores, easy to use, and you only need about half the amount you would if you were using regular flour. Simply dissolve a tablespoon or two in water before adding it to the sauce, then bring to a simmer while whisking until thickened. However, if you’re trying to avoid grains, this might not be the best option for you.
Arrowroot or Tapioca Flour
Both of these options can be used in the same way you’d use cornstarch in a recipe. The main benefit here is that they are both grain-free, meaning they can be used in a Paleo diet.
Gelatin is an animal-based thickening agent used most often in recipes like no-bake cheesecakes, pies, or other custard desserts to help them set. It can also be used to thicken sauces by dissolving in some water before adding to the sauce. It can take some time for the gelatin to thicken, so be patient before adding more.
Vegetables such as cauliflower, potatoes, or even carrots can be used to thicken a sauce in a very healthful way. It’s also a great way to get an extra serving of veggies into your diet. The vegetables will need to be boiled until soft and then pureed with a bit of water, if needed, until smooth and creamy. Stir the pureed vegetable into your sauce, whisking until smooth.
Similarly to the vegetable puree above, cashew cream can be a great option for thickening a sauce and adds a velvety texture similar to the addition of traditional dairy cream. To make your own cashew cream, soak ½ cup raw cashews in boiling water for 15 minutes to soften. Drain and place the cashews in a high-speed blender with a tablespoon or two of water. Blend on high, scraping down sides as needed, until smooth and creamy. Add more water, as needed.
Oat flour is a great alternative to traditional wheat flour when thickening sauces. Use it the same way you would flour to make a roux or mix it with a bit of water to make a slurry before adding to the sauce. Oat flour does have a slightly more nutty, whole-grain flavor than traditional wheat flour, so keep that in mind.
It may not be the first thing that comes to mind but if you’re wanting to thicken a sauce without grains or added carbs, egg yolk is a great option. It’s particularly good if you’re making a rich, creamy sauce that will benefit from the silkiness of the yolk. You’ll need to temper the yolk before adding it to hot liquid. Place the egg yolk(s) in a bowl and whisk. Then slowly dribble some of the hot liquid into the scrambled yolk while whisking constantly until you have about a cup of liquid. Then you can whisk that back into the hot liquid and cook the sauce until it thickens.
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*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.