The Paleo List Answers:Is Cornstarch Paleo?
Whether you’re thickening your favorite gravy or dabbling in the world of Paleo baked goods, there’s a good chance that as a home cook, you’ve come across the use of cornstarch in a recipe. What exactly is cornstarch? Is it Paleo?
What is Cornstarch?
Cornstarch, simply put, is finely ground corn flour, with a few additional steps along the way. Due to its starchy quality, cornstarch is used to thicken soups, sauces, puddings, and dressings whenever a more viscous consistency is desired.
It sounds mostly innocuous, but the process for making cornstarch is a bit harsh. Corn is slightly fermented by steeping for up to two days, which makes it easier to remove the germ and isolate the super starchy endosperm. These wet ingredients are then blended and washed multiple times to separate the starch. It is often mixed with chemicals such as chlorine or sulfur dioxide throughout the process. The starch is sometimes treated with a number of different chemicals to make modified cornstarch (also called starch derivatives), which are made by chemically, physically, or enzymatically altering the properties of the starch.
Is Cornstarch Paleo?
No – cornstarch is not Paleo, primarily because it is a high-starch, low-nutrient grain that gets highly processed before hitting the supermarket shelves. Additionally, almost all cornstarch is made from genetically engineered corn. You could say that on one hand, you’re only using a little, so it probably won’t hurt you, but that can be a slippery slope. Fortunately, there are good alternatives, such as arrowrootpowder and tapioca starch, which render cornstarch unnecessary.
If you were to find, say, heirloom cornstarch that was grown organically, then you might be looking at a healthy thickening option that might fall into the Primal category, but isn’t exactly Paleo. If you’re still not sure about cornstarch, or you want to learn more, follow the PDF link to
Are you struggling with which foods are Paleo? Do you need help planning some Paleo meals? Check out this great Paleo cookbook: