Oat flour and arrowroot flour may not be the most common flours found in every pantry, but they are definitely worth getting to know better.
In this article, I’ll take you through their unique properties and nutritional benefits, and determine which is the better flour for baking. Let’s get started!
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Comparing oat flour vs arrowroot flour
|Oat flour||Arrowroot flour||All-purpose flour|
|Common Allergens||None||None||Wheat, gluten|
|Pantry shelf life (unopened/sealed)||2 months||2-4 years, though may lose effectiveness after 2||6-8 months|
|Best for baking||Pancakes, muffins, cookies, fruit crumbles and crisps||Thickening agent for sauces, puddings, and fruit pie fillings, and in cakes and cookies||Non-yeast recipes, cookies, biscuits, and some breads|
*Because oat flour is heavier than all-purpose flour, it is best to measure by weight rather than volume to ensure accuracy. This way, you can use a 1:1 ratio. If done by cup, use 1 ⅓ cup of oat flour for every 1 cup of all-purpose flour.
**Avoid using arrowroot flour as a full replacement for all-purpose flour in large amounts since it has a different texture and consistency.
Differences between oat flour and arrowroot flour
Oat flour and arrowroot flour are two very different types of flour with distinct properties.
Oat flour is made by grinding whole oats into a fine powder. It is high in protein, fiber, and other nutrients, and has a slightly sweet and nutty flavor. Oat flour is often used in baking recipes to add moisture, texture, and flavor, especially in recipes such as pancakes, bread, and cookies.
Arrowroot flour, on the other hand, is made from the roots of the arrowroot plant. It is a fine, white powder that is commonly used as a thickener in cooking and baking. It’s actually more similar to cornstarch than a flour.
Baking with oat flour vs arrowroot flour
While both oat flour and arrowroot flour can be used in baking, they are not used the same. Oat flour has a distinct flavor and texture, while arrowroot flour is a neutral-tasting, fine powder that is primarily used as a thickener.
When used in baking, oat flour can add a nutty flavor and a denser texture to baked goods. It can also make baked goods moister and chewier. Oat flour is a good choice for recipes that require a heartier texture, such as oatmeal cookies or bread.
Arrowroot flour is often used in gluten-free baking as a binding agent to help hold ingredients together, and it can be used in combination with other gluten-free flours to create a similar texture to wheat flour.
It’s worth noting that arrowroot flour has a different texture and consistency than wheat flour, so it may not be a perfect substitute in all baking recipes.
Ingredients in oat flour vs arrowroot flour
Oat flour and arrowroot flour are pure, gluten-free flours that typically only contain one ingredient: oats or arrowroot starch. However, some brands of arrowroot flour may contain small amounts of other ingredients, such as anti-caking agents to prevent clumping.
Note that arrowroot flour is also sometimes referred to as arrowroot starch or arrowroot powder. These terms are interchangeable and all refer to the same ingredient.
Oat flour and arrowroot flour nutritional facts
|Oat flour (¼ cup)||Arrowroot flour (1 tbsp)||All-purpose flour (¼ cup)|
|Glycemic index score||44||14||85|
Oat flour is high in protein, fiber, and other nutrients. It is a good source of complex carbohydrates, which provide long-lasting energy, and it also contains vitamins and minerals such as iron, zinc, and B vitamins. However, oat flour is higher in calories and carbohydrates than arrowroot flour.
Both flours also have a much lower glycemic index compared to all-purpose flour, which means they do not cause a rapid spike in blood sugar levels.
Oat flour vs arrowroot flour storage
Oat flour is made from whole oats and is high in fat, which means it can go rancid quickly if not stored properly. Oat flour only stays fresh for a couple of months. To extend the shelf life of oat flour, it should be stored in an airtight container in a cool, dry place, such as a pantry or cupboard.
Arrowroot flour is not as susceptible to spoiling as oat flour. However, like all flours, it should be stored in an airtight container in a cool, dry place to prevent moisture and humidity from affecting its texture and quality. Arrowroot flour can last up to a 4 years if stored properly, but I would use it within 2 years for the best quality.
Oat flour vs arrowroot flour: Which is better?
So, which is the better flour? Here’s the deal. Because they are so different, it’s hard to say which one is better.
Oat flour is packed with nutrients like protein, fiber, and essential vitamins and minerals. This makes it a great option when you want to add some texture and nutrients to your baked goods.
Now, arrowroot flour is different. It has a silky-smooth texture that’s mainly used to thicken sauces, gravies, and puddings, and it’s also a popular choice for gluten-free baking recipes.
To sum things up, oat flour is better as a “true flour” that adds nutrients to baked goods, while arrowroot flour is great in small amounts when you need a thickener or when you’re making gluten-free recipes.
The flour that is closest to oat flour is spelt flour, as it also has a slightly sweet and nutty flavor profile, and can be used in similar ways in baking.
Cornstarch and tapioca starch are both good substitutes for arrowroot flour, as they have similar thickening properties and can be used in a 1:1 ratio in most recipes.
Whole wheat flour or all-purpose flour can be used as an equal substitute for oat flour in most recipes, though the texture and flavor will be slightly different.