Tapioca Starch (Arrowroot Flour) is a white powder. It is extracted from the root of the marantha arundinacea which is indegenous to the West Indies. The aborigines from the West Indes, called Arawaks, used this powder to draw out toxins from people who were wounded by poison arrows. Thus, the name arrowroot came to be.
Arrowroot is easily digested and is used in diets requiring bland, low-salt, and low-protein foods. It is, however, mostly used as a thickening agent for sauces, fruit pie fillings, glazes, puddings, but can also be used as a flour substitute mixed with rice flour for gluten-free baking.
Arrowroot will thicken any mixture at a lower temperature than using wheat flour or cornstarch. To use, mix arrrowroot with a cool liquid, add to any hot liquid, and cook until the mixture thickens. Then remove immediately to prevent thinning. Two teaspoons of Arrowroot can be substituted for 1 tablespoon of cornstarch. One teaspoon of Arrowroot can be substituted for 1 tablespoon of flour.Arrowroot makes clear, shimmering fruit gels and prevents ice crystals from forming in homemade ice cream.