Thickening Sauces, Stews etc.

Thickening Sauces, Stews etc.

1. Arrowroot. I don't use this. I could, I suppose, just that it's very carb high. [Richard Geller]

Using arrowroot shouldn't be a problem in moderation and small amounts. I myself wouldn't use it on a regular bases though for the same reason you don't use it. [Patti Vincent]

2. Nuts. Ground up, they were used in the middle ages to thicken sauces. Get out those middle age cookbooks. I tried making a pesto from pine nuts, roasted garlic and cilantro, but it didn't really thicken a broth very well (perhaps need more pine nuts?) [Richard Geller]

I would think nuts would make sauces a bit grainy but I've never tried to use pine nuts myself. Maybe sauces made with nuts would just need to be cooked down for longer periods of time to thicken. Just a guess. I used to use carrots grated very fine in tomato sauces to help the thickening process. Depending on the sauce I suppose other vegetables could be steamed, mashed or riced and added to sauces for thickening.... Broccoli, cauliflower, brussel sprouts etc. [Patti Vincent]

3. Here's an interesting one: squash. I thickened a chicken curry with squash and it worked great. [Richard Geller]

4. Gelatine, demi glace, etc. make stock and reduce it, it will thicken and have great flavor [Richard Geller]

5. Tomatoes, ground up. I am not eating tomatoes much these days as I think they cause me problems. I used to use them quite a bit to thicken things. [Richard Geller]

6. Kuzu root starch is used in macrobiotic cooking. It is a superior quality thickener. I do not know if kuzu root is edible raw but I do know that it is gluten free. I use this together with gelatin to make a delicious gravy, which is totally lump-free and not at all starchy tasting. [Stacie Tolen]

7. Coconut milk is a great thickener for shakes, smoothies, etc. and also for curry. Pumpkin curry is a thick and hearty fall/winter supper. [Stacie Tolen]

8. I discovered WAY back, when trying to get people to eat vegetables, that using a lot of onions, carrots, celery while cooking a roast or chicken, then blending the softened veggies together with the broth made a delicious thick gravy that anybody would eat. A Vitamix works great for this. I guess you could try the same method with sweet things as well - fiber-rich fruits, with juices. [Holly Krahe]

9. Besides kuzu and arrowroot, I go to the Oriental grocery and purchase dried powdered white yam flour and sometimes dried acorn flour. They are neutral in flavor. For a sweet flavor, you can use chestnut flour. Mix them off heat in cold water to make a paste, and then slowly stir them into your sauce, soup, etc. I don't worry about the carb content, because a little goes a long way, especially when it becomes lost in a large pot of soup. Also, I'm sure aboriginals used ground acorns, chestnuts and tubers to make porridges, so in my kitchen, they are paleo. [Judy Genova]