Xanthan Gum is a popular ingredient in everything from cosmetics to food because it is a great thickener and emulsifier.
However, if it is not available or you prefer not to consume it, you can choose from several replacement options.
Before deciding on a xanthan gum substitute, there are several factors you may want to consider, such as dietary restrictions and the consistency you want your baked
goods to be.
Psyllium husk is obtained from the husk of psyllium seeds and is sold as a baking ingredient. It can help lower blood sugar as it acts very much like xanthan gum in the
gut, making it an excellent substitute.
While high amounts of xanthan gum may be associated with digestive and respiratory problems, several small studies suggest that high doses may help lower blood
sugar levels .
This effect may be related to the fact that xanthan gum and psyllium husk are soluble dietary fibre that the digestive tract cannot break down, although more research is
needed. Instead, they form a gel-like substance and slow food absorption.
When adding to the baked goods, replace each part of the xanthan gum with 2 parts of the psyllium husk.
Like xanthan gum, psyllium husk is a soluble fibre - an indigestible starch that forms a gel-like substance in the gut. For recipes requiring xanthan gum, use twice as
much psyllium husk.
Chia seeds, when soaked, form a gel very similar to xanthan gum. Moreover, these seeds are rich in fibre and important nutrients.
While you can use whole chia seeds, they add a bit of crunchiness and a mild nutty flavour to your recipe - so if you prefer a more even texture, you should grind them.
Chia seeds replace xanthan gum in a 1: 1 ratio. Use a mixture of one tablespoon of chia seeds to three tablespoons of water to replace one tablespoon of xanthan gum
Add 3 parts hot water for every 1 part chia seeds and then stir until the mixture is sticky.
You may need to add 10-15 minutes until baking to get used to using the chia gel.
Chia seeds are mixed with liquid to form a gel and can help thicken and bind baked goods. Use ground or whole seeds in place of 1: 1 xanthan gum and remember to mix
it with water.
Like chia seeds, flax seeds combine with water to form a thick paste. They are also easy to find and quite affordable.
However, whole seeds aren't a good substitute for xanthan gum, so you'll either need to grind them yourself or buy ground flaxseed, sometimes called flax flour. Mixing
them with water will activate their tartness.
Keep in mind that ground flaxseed can give a recipe a nutter, slightly grainy appearance.
Instead of xanthan gum, use 1: 1 ground flaxseed, mixing with 2 parts hot water for every 1 part linseed.
The crushed flax seeds replace xanthan gum in a 1: 1 ratio, but they should be mixed with hot water.
Corn starch has a consistency similar to xanthan gum. It absorbs moisture well, making it a great thickener for stews and sauces.
While it is naturally gluten-free, it can be contaminated with this protein in some cases. If you are gluten-free, check that the product is certified gluten-free.
Unlike other substitutes, you don't need to mix it with water before use.
His intercourse is also easy. Just replace your xanthan gum with the same amount of corn starch.
Corn starch is an excellent thickener and is very popular, especially in stews and sauces. Replace 1: 1 corn starch with xanthan gum.
Gelatine helps thicken many foods as it comes from animal collagen, the jelly-like protein that provides structure to connective tissue .
You will need 2 parts gelatine for 1 part xanthan gum.
It is an excellent addition to baked goods such as bread or muffins.
However, gelatine is not vegan or vegetarian. Given that most gelatine is made from pork skin, it is also not suitable for those on a kosher or halal diet.
Gelatine can help thicken almost any dish, but it's important to note that it's not suitable for vegans, vegetarians, or kosher or halal adherents.
Egg whites act as raising agents and binders, helping food to grow and thicken. This makes them a great replacement for xanthan gum.
They are especially suitable for making quick bread, cupcakes and cakes. As they make the texture of the baked goods light and fluffy, they are not ideal for baking
As egg whites are of animal origin, they are not suitable for vegans.
Use 1 egg white to replace each tablespoon (4.5 grams) of xanthan gum.
Egg whites form a light, airy texture in baked goods and act as a holding and bonding agent.
Agar agar is derived from red algae and acts like gelatine, thickening the vessel and creating a gelatinous consistency .
Because agar is plant-based, it is an excellent vegan gelatine replacement for vegans. It is usually sold in flakes, sheets, or powder.
Xanthan gum can be replaced with agar agar in a 1: 1 ratio.
First you need to dissolve it in water at room temperature. Use 4 tablespoons (60 ml) of water for 1 tablespoon (5 grams) of cereal or 1 teaspoon (2 grams) of powder.
Then heat it over low heat for 3-5 minutes or until it is completely dissolved, then let it cool down a bit before use. If it is too thick, mix it with a hand blender.
Keep in mind that agar agar can produce a harder or denser texture.
Agar agar is an algae-based thickener that works like a vegan form of gelatine. It requires a little more preparation than most substitutes, but can be replaced
with 1: 1xanthan gum.
Guar gum, also called guarana, is derived from guar beans. Like xanthan gum, it is a white powder that acts as a binder and thickener .
Use 3 parts guar gum for every 2 parts xanthan gum in your recipe.
A good rule of thumb is to mix the guar gum with the oils in the dish first, then add this mixture to the remaining liquids.
Guar gum is a binder that replaces xanthan gum in a 3: 2 ratio.
Glucomannan is made from the root of a plant called Amorphophallus konjac, and is widely used in Asian cuisine.
The high fibre content helps to thicken the food, as does xanthan gum.
Replace xanthan gum with glucomannan in a 1: 1 ratio.
More chewing foods, such as tortillas, usually require 1.5 times glucomannan.
For most baking, you can use the same amount of glucomannan powder as xanthan gum.
Carob gum (locust bean, abbreviated LBG) is a polysaccharide, the gelling active substance contained in the plant is galactomannan. Carob gum today is produced using
the same methods as it was produced a thousand years ago, and its most popular use is the preparation of Egyptian mumi :), although today almost the entire
production of this raw material is consumed by the food industry. Carob gum acts as a thickening agent rather than a gelling agent, but creates synergistic strong
solutions when combined with xanthan gum, such a mixture of thickeners is particularly well-suited to dietary ice cream,. Carob gum stabilizes dairy products well
and, in combination with xanthan gum, thickens fruit preserves well.
Arrow root is a gluten-free and easily digestible starch obtained from the roots of a Caribbean plant, popular especially in Vietnamese and Korean cuisine. In a gluten-
free diet, it works great as a thickener or substitute for gluten flour, it is valued for its beneficial effect on the digestive tract and the proper bacterial flora. The arrowroot
is a good binding agent, it can be used to prepare and thicken many dishes, it creates clear soups and sauces, it is suitable for jellies and baked goods for children.
Arrowroot leaves no aftertaste, and dishes thickened with it do not become glassy, which is typical of dishes thickened with potato or corn starch.
One tablespoon of arrowroot powder should be substituted with only a teaspoon of xanthan gum. While swapping arrowroot powder with xanthan gum is not as easy,
it is certainly a great option for vegans.
Carrageenan - polysaccharide extracted from red algae (Rodophyceae). We distinguish three forms of carrageenans: iota, kappa and lambda, which differ in the
structure of the dishes they create:
Iota carrageenan forms gels in the presence of calcium, which makes it suitable for use in combination with dairy products. It is a great alternative to gelatine for
Kappa carrageenan forms a stiff and brittle gel in the presence of calcium, and a strong and elastic gel in the presence of potassium
Lambda carrageen increases viscosity and is good for sauces.
The feature that distinguishes carrageenan from other thickeners is the ability to gel and thicken dairy products. As a result, it can be used as an analogue of fat and
eggs in the preparation of cheese, ice cream, desserts and hot creams. Carrageenan is not stable in an acidic environment, so if possible it is better to add ingredients
with a low pH (pH <4) at the end of cooking. Depending on the proportion, carrageenan achieves gelling properties between 40 ° C and 70 ° C.
Amaranth flour is made by grinding amaranth grains. The popular thickener of oriental cuisine is sold in the form of a white powder. Its main advantage is the
characteristic nutty aftertaste and colourless colour. Amaranth can be used as a substitute for corn starch or flour (a tablespoon of amaranth flour replaces two
tablespoons of starch). It is perfect for thickening sauces (fruit, dessert, vegetable), puddings, dressings and in baked goods (bread, pasta, pancakes, crackers). It
can also be used in ice cream as it counteracts the formation of ice crystals in the product. Amaranth flour achieves gelling properties at lower temperatures than other
thickeners known on the market, therefore it works well for products sensitive to heating. Amaranth is a gluten-free product. It is best for people who like to bake - both
cakes and bread, pasta and pancakes. For people who prepare gluten-free dishes, it is a great alternative to traditional flour.
Kuzu starch - also known as kudzu and kuzoko, is a thickening agent traditionally found in Chinese and Japanese cuisine. Also known as Japanese amaranth. However,
it should not be confused with it, because kuzu has better thickening, flavour and health-promoting properties. Kuzu root is a natural, unprocessed product with
properties similar to corn and potato starch. It is transparent, giving soups a shine and a velvety texture to sauces. It does not change the taste of the products.
It can be used for making candies, toppings and marmalades, as well as a crispy coating for deep-fried products. Kuzu is used in famous Chinese dishes such as
Chow Mein or sweet & sour chicken.
A half to one tablespoon of kuzu will thicken one cup of liquid (1 ¾ tbsp. of Kuzu can replace 1 tbsp of corn flour). Kuzu comes a solid and needs to be dissolved in a
cold liquid before adding it to anything hot. Stir constantly when heating until the milky white becomes clear. Kuzu is Fat and sodium free. Kuzu although often refered
to as japanese arrowroot is very different. Kuzu is far superior in jelling strength, taste, texture, and healing qualities.
Sodium alginate - contrary to what the name may suggest, it is not a synthetic thickener grown in a chemical laboratory, but an organic substance - this natural
polysaccharide is obtained from brown algae.
Although alginic acid does not dissolve in water, it absorbs it very well, increasing its volume (it absorbs up to three times more water than it weighs), therefore it is
used as a thickener in dietary products, increasing their volume without increasing the caloric value.
Alginate shows the greatest gelling properties in the presence of calcium, in the absence of calcium it becomes a moderately thickening and stabilizing substance, in
the food industry, as E400, it is used to thicken sauces, syrups, dessert coatings and ice cream, water-fat emulsions such as mayonnaise become more stable after
adding alginate to them and the tendency to precipitate water is reduced, for the same reason it is added to ice cream - to minimize the formation of crystals from the
ice water precipitated from the emulsion.
Xanthan gum, guar gum, agar or carrageenan and other thickeners made of mysterious substances available only to producers have recently become an addition that is
in everyday use in ordinary homes, especially for people associated with the world of fitness, body fitness or simply reducing weight and slimming. Despite the growing
popularity, many people still have doubts about how to get the best out of xanthan gum, how xanthan gum differs from guar or gelatine, in what portions and how to use
them to achieve the best results, and whether xanthan gum can be freely used replace guar. I hope this article has helped :-)