Ever since I started using sweet rice flour, it has been one of the indispensable ingredients in my pantry. Be it for baking recipes or as thickening agents; sweet rice flour is a worthy, invaluable ingredient.
But what happens on a day when you realize you are out of it for baking? You must have earnestly wished for a few substitutes. Some of the best substitutes are tapioca flour, potato starch, almond flour, and coconut flour.
Sweet rice flour is the ground version of sticky rice, also known as glutinous rice. It is not the same as the rice flour which we come across. Known for its high-quality starch content, it is an effective thickening and binding agent.
That said, let us look into the details of sweet rice flour, what it is, its uses, and the best substitutes which can save your day, anytime.
What Is Sweet Rice Flour?
Before getting to know sweet rice flour, let me introduce you to sweet rice.
Sweet rice is also known as sticky rice or glutinous rice. It is a rice variety mainly grown in Asian countries such as India and Bhutan. It has round, opaque grains which get all sticky and glue-like once cooked.
This sticky texture is a characteristic of sweet rice. The term glutinous doesn’t imply that it is rich in gluten. In fact, contrary to the name it bears, sweet rice is devoid of gluten.
Sweet rice is rich in starch content, and that makes it a versatile ingredient as it is already gluten-free. It is different from other types of rice varieties, which have high amylose content making them fluffy and non-sticky.
So, sweet rice flour, as you can easily surmise, is prepared by grinding sweet rice or sticky rice. Don’t let the name fool you. It is not as sweet as you may deem it to be.
It has a subtle, sweet flavor which is often less when compared to other types of rice. When cooked, it has a chunky and sticky texture.
Uses of Sweet Rice Flour
Sweet rice flour is used as a thickening agent in baking recipes such as bread, cakes, pastries, and pancakes. It is utilized for a crunchy texture in cakes, desserts, sauces, and savory dishes.
It ensures enough moisture for batters and sauces. Additionally, it can be used to render a crispy texture to your tacos or scones.
It is equally not disappointing on the health radar. It has a remarkable ability to control diabetes and prevent the chances of chronic diseases. It is great for boosting metabolism and improving cardiovascular health.
All is well so far, but what about the substitutes? Let us talk about them now – the best substitutes for sweet rice flour.
7 Best Substitutes For Sweet Rice Flour
Now is the time to talk about the substitutes. Let’s see the 7 best substitutes for sweet rice flour.
1. Tapioca Flour
Tapioca flour is a white powder obtained as the starch of the cassava plant. Also known as tapioca starch, it is gluten-free and one of the best substitutes for sweet rice flour.
Tapioca flour has a sticky and chewy texture akin to sweet rice flour. It is basically flavorless, unlike sweet rice flour, which is mildly sweet. You can add a pinch of sugar while using tapioca flour instead of sweet rice flour.
2. Potato Starch
As the term gives away, potato starch is the starch obtained from potatoes. Once dried out, it has a flour-like consistency and is the next alternative for sweet rice flour.
The flavorless potato starch is often used for thickening in baking recipes. It also ensures sufficient moisture for baked goods. It can be used to replace sweet rice flavor successfully with the addition of sugar or sweeteners.
3. Almond Flour
Almond flour is made by grinding peeled almonds. There are two types of almond flour; blanched and unblanched. Blanched almond flour is the flour of blanched or peeled ground almonds, while unblanched is that of raw almonds with skins.
Almond flavor doesn’t have that sticky consistency of sweet rice flour and also has a characteristic nutty flavor.
But, it may work well as a substitute considering its binding properties as well as impressive health benefits. For a similar texture to sweet rice flour, you will have to add in extra ingredients.
4. Coconut Flour
Coconut flour is basically the powdered version of coconut. It is a versatile ingredient in gluten-free and grain-free diets. It has a mildly sweet flavor reminiscent of coconut.
It has somewhat a grainy or gritty texture, unlike sweet rice flour. You will have to grab a binding agent into your recipe for a thick consistency if you are using coconut flour to replace sweet rice flour.
5. Sorghum Flour
Made from whole grain sorghum, sorghum flour is a versatile substitute not only for sweet rice flour but for other types of flour as well. It has a slightly sweet and earthy flavor with a smooth texture.
For a sticky texture like sweet rice flour, add double amounts of sorghum flour while using it as a substitute for sweet rice flour.
Cornstarch is the white-colored powdery, starchy portion of corn. It is one of the best thickening agents used in sauces, gravies, soups, and casseroles. It is flavorless with a smooth texture.
While replacing sweet rice flour with cornstarch, you will have to be patient while adding. Cornstarch thickens your recipe when heated, and therefore, be cautious with the amount you add.
You have an added advantage of a silky appearance when using cornstarch which even sweet rice flour can’t afford!
7. Arrowroot Powder
The last on our list, arrowroot powder, is a white, flavorless powder obtained from the plant Maranta arundinacea. With no taste and a fine texture, it is an option worth your time.
You may have to add sweeteners or binding ingredients to get the same feel of sweet rice flour. However, feel free to choose arrowroot powder in case of an emergent situation.
That was all about the best possible and easily available substitutes for sweet rice flour. All of them have distinctive taste and flavor, which are nevertheless good replacements in an urgent situation. Try them out and let me know the results. See you soon!