Taro powder is an increasingly popular ingredient in recipes and dietary products like protein powders. But what are the nutrition facts and health benefits of taro powder?
We give you a detailed breakdown of the nutritional profile and key nutrients found in taro powder.
What is Taro Powder?
Taro is a starchy root vegetable that originated in Southeast Asia and is a staple food in many parts of the world. The root can be ground into a fine powder that has a nutty, earthy flavor. Taro powder is often used to make desserts, baked goods, and even bubble teas. It's naturally gluten-free and rich in carbohydrates.
Some key facts about taro powder:
- Made by drying and grinding the root of the taro plant into a superfine powder
- Has a sweet, nutty taste that works well in both savory and sweet dishes
- Naturally gluten-free, grain-free, and paleo/keto-friendly
- Provides an excellent source of energizing carbohydrates and fiber
- Popular in Hawaiian, Japanese, Chinese, and Southeast Asian cuisine
- Frequently used to make healthier versions of boba tea, lattes, and desserts
Nutrition Facts of Taro Powder
Taro powder is packed with important vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. Here is the nutritional profile of 100g of taro powder:
- Calories: 467
- Fat: 17g
- Carbs: 73g
- Protein: 0g
- Fiber: 0g
- Sugar: 37g
The nutrients found in a typical serving of taro powder include:
- Vitamin E - An antioxidant that boosts immunity and heart health
- Potassium - Helps control blood pressure and prevents muscle cramps
- Copper - Essential for energy production and collagen formation
- Manganese - Aids nutrient absorption and bone development
- Vitamin B6 - Supports metabolism and red blood cell function
- Phosphorus - Assists with tissue and cell repair throughout the body
While taro powder is high in natural sugars, it has a low glycemic index, meaning it does not spike blood sugar levels as rapidly as refined sugars.
|Nutrition Facts||Health Benefits|
|467 calories per 100g||Excellent source of carbs and energy|
|17g fat per 100g||High in fiber when consuming whole root|
|73g carbs per 100g||Contains antioxidants|
|37g sugar per 100g||Naturally gluten-free|
|0g protein per 100g||Supports heart health|
|0g fiber per 100g||Good source of B vitamins|
|Potassium||Contains minerals for bone health|
|Vitamin E||May have cancer-fighting properties|
|Vitamin B6||Improves skin health|
|Manganese||Safe starch for diabetics|
Benefits of Taro Powder
Adding taro powder to your diet provides a wide array of health benefits:
1. Excellent Source of Carbs and Energy
Two tablespoons of taro powder offers around 25 grams of carbohydrates, making it an excellent source of energy. The natural sugars and starches provide sustained energy, without causing a sugar crash like refined sugars. Taro powder is especially beneficial before or after exercise to replenish glycogen stores.
2. High in Fiber When Consuming Whole Root
The fibrous nature of the taro root helps to keep the digestive system regular. When you consume taro powder made from the whole root, you get 4-5 grams of dietary fiber per serving. This promotes healthy digestion and relieves constipation.
3. Contains Antioxidants
Taro root is rich in antioxidants like vitamin C, vitamin E, and phenolic acids. These compounds help neutralize free radicals and lower oxidative stress in the body. The antioxidants in taro powder support a healthy inflammatory response and boost immunity.
4. Naturally Gluten-Free
For those following a gluten-free diet, taro powder provides a nutritious, gluten-free source of carbohydrates. The powder can be used as a substitute for wheat flour in recipes. Going gluten-free with taro powder does not mean sacrificing taste or nutrition.
5. Supports Heart Health
The fiber, vitamin E, potassium, and magnesium in taro powder helps lower cholesterol and blood pressure. This in turn reduces the risk of heart disease. The antioxidants also help improve blood flow and vascular function.
6. Good Source of B Vitamins
Taro powder provides B vitamins including vitamin B6, riboflavin (B2), niacin (B3), thiamine (B1), and folate. These essential vitamins are required for converting food into energy, building DNA, and supporting neurological function.
7. Contains Minerals for Bone Health
Minerals like calcium, phosphorus, and magnesium are needed for building and maintaining strong bones. Getting sufficient amounts of these minerals from taro powder reduces the risk of osteoporosis and fractures.
8. May Have Cancer-Fighting Properties
Early research indicates that taro root contains flavonoids and phenolic acids that exhibit anti-cancer and chemo-preventive abilities. More studies are needed, but adding taro powder to your diet may help lower cancer risk.
9. Improves Skin Health
The vitamin E found in taro root powder has antioxidant properties that help protect the skin against damage from UV radiation and pollution. Vitamin E also supports new skin cell growth and collagen production for youthful, wrinkle-free skin.
10. Safe Starch for Diabetics
Despite being high in carbs and sugar, taro powder has a low glycemic index of 53. This means it does not spike blood sugar levels rapidly compared to refined carbs. In moderation, taro powder can be safely consumed as part of a diabetic diet.
How to Add Taro Powder to Your Diet
Here are some easy ways to incorporate taro powder into your meals and snacks:
- Make healthy homemade boba tea or lattes
- Add to smoothies for thickness, nutrition, and sweetness
- Use in place of flour for pancakes, waffles, muffins, or bread
- Mix into oatmeal, yogurt, chia pudding, or overnight oats
- Make taro-based ice cream, popsicles, or protein bars
- Coat fish, chicken, or tofu before baking for a crispy crust
- Use as a thickener for curries, soups, stews and gravies
- Sprinkle on top of fruit, cereals or desserts as a garnish
Start with 1-2 tablespoons per serving and adjust according to your taste preferences and dietary needs. Combining taro powder with nut milk, fruits, extracts, and spices results in endless flavor possibilities.
Taro Powder in Boba Tea & Drinks
One of the most popular uses of taro powder is to make homemade boba tea, milk tea, lattes, and other healthy drink recipes. The mild, slightly nutty flavor pairs perfectly with teas and milk.
Major bubble tea franchises use powdered taro to get that quintessential taro flavor in their beverages. But homemade taro drinks with the powder allow you to avoid added sugars and control the ingredients.
To make taro boba tea:
- Mix 1-2 tablespoons of taro powder with hot water or milk
- Then add black tea, green tea, or another type of tea bag or powder
- Sweeten lightly with a natural zero-calorie sweetener like monk fruit or stevia
- Top with ice cubes and boba pearls
You can also use taro powder in lattes, smoothies, hot chocolate, chai tea, and fitness drinks like protein shakes.
Taro Powder in Baking Recipes
In baking, taro powder works well as a substitute for wheat or other grain flour. Its binding qualities make it ideal in recipes for:
For every 1 cup of all-purpose flour, you can replace it with 3/4 to 1 cup of taro powder. Start by substituting 25% of the flour with taro powder and adjust as needed.
The taro flavor pairs well with coconut, pecan, vanilla, cinnamon, nutmeg, and fruit flavors like banana. Get creative and whip up keto mug cakes, protein bars, granola, and more with taro powder!
Is Taro Powder Keto-Friendly?
The high carbohydrate content means taro powder is not keto-friendly if consumed in large amounts. A 2-tablespoon serving of taro powder has around 13 grams of carbs, which could surpass your daily carb limit on keto.
However, using small amounts of taro powder to thicken sauces or add flavor to foods should be fine for most keto diets. Focus on keeping your net carb intake under 20-50 grams if you include taro powder in keto recipes. Track your macros carefully.
Keto dieters can still enjoy tasty taro-flavored protein shakes and baked goods made with low-carb taro protein powder supplements. These provide the flavor without all the carbs.
Does Taro Powder Have Gluten?
One of the benefits of taro powder is that it is naturally gluten-free, unlike wheat which contains gluten. This makes it an ideal flour substitute for those with celiac disease or gluten intolerance.
When buying taro powder, always check the label to confirm the product is 100% gluten-free. Some brands may blend taro powder with other flours or starches that contain traces of gluten.
As long as you purchase pure taro root powder, you can enjoy gluten-free baked goods, boba tea, thickened sauces, and more. Taro powder provides safe, wholesome carbs for gluten-free diets.
Healthy Taro Powder Recipes
Here are some nutritious recipe ideas using taro powder:
1. Taro Protein Pancakes
2. Taro & Peanut Butter Smoothie
3. Crispy Taro Tofu Bites
4. Taro Breakfast Porridge
Cook steel-cut oats in coconut milk with taro powder, cinnamon, raisins, and sliced almonds for a warm breakfast.
5. Taro Chicken Nuggets
Make baked chicken nuggets coated in taro powder, parmesan and breadcrumbs for a gluten-free spin on a classic.
6. Taro & Sweet Potato Soup
Whip up this creamy, comforting soup with taro powder, sweet potato, onions, coconut milk, and spices.
7. Taro Powder Energy Balls
Bind together dates, cashews, cacao powder, protein powder, and taro powder to make protein-packed energy balls.
Potential Side Effects of Taro Powder
Taro powder is generally well tolerated without adverse effects for most people. However, there are a few things to be aware of:
- Since it is high in carbs, excessive intake can contribute to weight gain if you consume too many calories.
- Allergy to taro is rare but possible. Discontinue use if you experience signs of food allergy.
- The raw taro root and leaves contain oxalic acid and may cause throat irritation and digestive issues in some individuals. These compounds are destroyed by cooking or drying the root into powder.
- Taro leaves contain calcium oxalate crystals and should not be eaten as they can cause kidney stones. But taro powder made from the root is safe.
Always start with small amounts of taro powder to assess your tolerance, especially if you have sensitivity to high-carb foods. Introduce it slowly as part of a balanced, healthy diet to benefit from its nutritional value.
Is taro powder healthy?
Yes, taro powder provides important vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and fiber. In moderation, it can be part of a healthy diet. It offers more nutrition than refined flour or cornstarch.
How much protein is in taro powder?
Taro powder contains almost no protein with only 0-1 grams per serving. Combine it with protein-rich ingredients like Greek yogurt or protein powder.
Does taro powder have caffeine?
No, taro powder does not naturally contain any caffeine. Caffeine is only present if taro powder is blended into drinks like coffee or black tea.
Where can I buy taro powder?
Taro powder can be found at health food stores, Asian supermarkets, and online retailers like Amazon and Vitacost. Purchase organic brands to ensure quality.
Is taro powder better than all-purpose flour?
Taro powder makes a healthier, gluten-free alternative to wheat flour. But for some recipes, all-purpose flour may be better suited depending on the texture you want.
Can you replace wheat flour with taro powder?
Yes, you can substitute about 3/4 to 1 cup of wheat flour for every 1 cup of taro powder in recipes. Adjust the ratios based on the texture you desire.
Taro powder offers a sweet, nutritious way to add starch and flavor to recipes. It provides energy-boosting carbohydrates, antioxidant vitamins, important minerals, and gut-healthy fiber. Usage in moderation as part of a healthy diet can provide these benefits without weight gain or blood sugar spikes.
Switch up your usual recipes by using taro powder in place of flour or cornstarch. Or get creative and use taro powder to make gluten-free baked goods, nourishing smoothies and shakes, healthy desserts, and trendy boba tea beverages. With its easy digestibility and mellow flavor, taro powder makes an excellent addition to any diet.