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Gumbo with Arrowroot

Since Celiac awareness month is upon us and our walk is less than a weeks away I decided to write about a thickener that can be used in gluten free cooking. I have been using arrowroot powder as a thickener for a little while now since I cannot use corn. It amazes me how it can thicken a gumbo or cream soup the same as any roux or cornstarch slurry can. Those of you who are gluten free or who cannot use cornstarch like me should definitely have this handy in your pantry.
What is arrowroot? Is a normal response I receive from patients when I tell them to make the switch. Arrowroot actually has a close resemblance to cornstarch. It is a white powder that is used as a thickener in recipes. Arrowroot, which is derived from a tropical South American Plant actually received its name for once being used to treat those injured with poisonous arrows.
Although now it is mostly used in the culinary world, especially by those looking for an alternative to flours and corn.
When cooking with arrowroot be careful of high heat as it tends to break down quicker. It is used in the same way as cornstarch by making a slurry. I used arrowroot last night to make a gumbo for my family. Since I was not using a roux (which means no butter) my husband thought that the dish had a lighter taste to it. Well atleast i know it was healthier. I hope you find this helpful and hope you join us this weekend on our celiac walk.

Theresa’s Goody Gumbo

6 sausage link (I buy the Adams variety)
1 pound chicken breast
2 tbsp coconut oil
2 tbsp arrowroot
1 onion, diced
3 pepper, diced
3 stalks celery diced
4 garlic cloves, minced
1 qt chicken stock
2 tsp paprika
2 tsp onion powder
1 tsp cayenne pepper
1 tsp black pepper
1 tsp oregano
½ tsp thyme

In a dutch oven heat coconut oil. Add sausage and chicken breast. Cook for 5 minutes. Next add onions, peppers, garlic and celery. Cook for an additional 5 minutes. Next add all spices and chicken stock (reserve ¼ cup). Simmer for 30 minutes. Turn heat down and mix arrowroot powder with reserved chicken stock. Cook for another 10 minutes on low.

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