Talking Tubers: Why and How to Cook with Arrowroot
Food is no stranger to trends and there’s a new kid on the block! Arrowroot, a tropical tuber long used in cooking across the world, is being increasingly recognised as a particularly healthy alternative to cornstarch. Haven’t heard of it before? Here’s the rundown – and a few reasons you should have it handy in that pantry of yours.
What is it?
If you think yams and sweet potatoes, you’re not far off. Native to Indonesia, this vegetable is high in starchy carbs and has a solid nutritional profile that’s low in calories. For a hundred grams of the vegetable, you’re looking at around 70 calories, two grams of fibre and five grams of protein. It’s even high in iron, potassium, phosphorous and B vitamins like B9, which is very important during pregnancy.
Why arrowroot biscuits?
We’ve known about the wonders of arrowroot in England for some time! Known worldwide for over seven thousand years, it’s been used in cooking by British people in earnest since the 19th century, usually in the form of various health and cosmetic products as well as the now-popular biscuit form.
One of the main benefits in a practical cooking sense is that arrowroot has no taste. Compared to cornstarch, which has an unpleasant raw flavour that must be cooked out or concealed, arrowroot has similar starchy properties for cooking and baking while being completely tasteless. And better yet, it provides a wonderful crystal-clear finish when used in food.
Arrowroot biscuits are the definition of moreish. Call it savoury, call it umami, call it what you want – you’ll be going back to the kitchen for more every time.
Here’s what you could cook using arrowroot biscuits
Let’s get lemony. Meringue pie lemony, to be specific.
Arrowroot biscuits are the perfect base for a pie that will make mouths water throughout the house – and they’re no different to use in cooking than your typical digestives.
For the base
275g of arrowroot biscuits
250g melted butter
For the filling
750g condensed milk (sweetened)
Grated rind and juice of one lemon
6 eggs, with yolks and whites, separated
How to cook it
It’s a simple set of ingredients and the recipe is just as straightforward but no less wonderful in the end. Here’s how to do it.
- Preheat that oven: Set it to 180°C, or 160°C if you’re using a fan-powered oven. While that’s heating up, grab yourself a pan and some baking paper – a 23cm pan is a perfect size for this recipe.
- Get mixing: Butter and biscuits crushed up and in a bowl. Mix them so you create the base for your pie, press them right into the pan and ensure that things are smooth on the bottom and that the base mix rises up to around halfway up the pan. Throw that in the fridge and let it chill while you do the next step.
- Filling time: More mixing. Grab that milk, lemon rind and juice and egg yolks. Mix these together in a bowl or using a food processor and beat for several minutes – two if you’re using an electric mixer. After that’s done, it’s poured straight into the pan with the biscuit base.
- Egg whites: Next up, grab yourself a bowl you know is clean; it’s time to beat those egg whites. You’ll want to do this until you see soft peaks form when you run your whisk through it. Once you’ve reached that point, slowly add in your sugar and continue to beat until your mixture becomes thick and shiny.
- Cooking time: With your topping mixed, it’s as simple as pouring it over your base and main filling. If you fancy, you can create peaks on your meringue pie by running the back of a spoon across the top.
- Baking is as simple as 10-15 minutes in the oven you already preheated. Keep an eye on it and remove it once it’s golden on the top. You’ll want to let it cool a little before you serve it.
And that’s it, folks!
A little history of arrowroot and a great recipe for using arrowroot biscuits. Arrowroot is convenient, healthy and great in a wide variety of foods. A wonderful pantry staple. We hope you enjoy! Stay safe out there and have fun cooking.