Find out all about what is Xanthan Gum substitute/s in this article.
What is Xanthan Gum substitute?
To replace xanthan gum in recipes, first you have to understand its purpose. This powder is a natural, gluten-free compound that adds viscosity to recipes that eliminate gluten. When mixed with water, it forms a gel that binds ingredients together and provides a decent elastic texture for breads and cakes. It also forms air pockets that give bread and cakes their characteristic crumb texture.
When used in liquid recipes, such as salad dressings, it helps keep the mixture blended and emulsified. While you can find a number of good substitutes, it will take practice to determine the right proportions so that your baked goods turn out the way you want them.
Arrowroot has a similar appearance and consistency to cornstarch. The arrowroot plant is native to South America where historically it served many purposes. When used as a thickening agent, it coagulates at a lower temperature than cornstarch. However, more arrowroot powder is needed to produce the same effect as xanthan gum.
What is Xanthan Gum substitute – Agar Agar
Agar agar is a vegan alternative to gelatin (and less expensive!). It is derived from seaweed and is a common food additive in food processing plants. Much like gelatin, agar agar can be found in a flavorless variety and it acts as a thickener, stabilizer, texturizer, forming a gel-like substance when mixed with water.
Guar gum is another natural gluten-free alternative to xanthan gum. It is a white powdery substance similar in consistency to cornstarch. It is derived from a legume plant found in East India. Guar gum functions as a binder that works well in creamy dishes and sauces. However, it can have laxative properties in some people. Use 1 1/2 times the amount of guar gum in a recipe that calls for xanthan gum.
What is Xanthan Gum substitute – Gelatin
Gelatin is made from boiled animal bones and other tissues (kosher gelatin can be produced from fish bones). This product is most often associated with colorful desserts and store-bought pastry fillings. While gelatin is a viable substitute for xanthan gum, vegetarians and vegans tend to avoid it because it’s an animal product.
Psyllium Fiber (Psyllium Husk Powder)
Psyllium fiber is found in most health stores as a dietary fiber supplement. It’s popular among bodybuilders and athletes as it helps maintain their digestive health while actively helping to reduce cholesterol. So that’s why it may come as a bit of a surprise that psyllium husk powder has been shown to be a great binding agent which improves the baking quality of bread.
What is Xanthan Gum substitute – Chia Seeds
Chia seeds are used for everything from sprinkling into flour mixes to add a nutritional boost to substituting for an egg. From a nutritional perspective, chia seeds are as close to a ‘super food’ as you can get. They are rich in Omega 3 fatty acids (more than 2.5 times that of flax seed), protein and fiber, just to mention a few. On top of all that, they can be used as a binding agent too.
Besides being very high in soluble fiber, they are also hydrophilic (water absorbing). Chia seeds can absorb up to 12 times their own weight in water, forming a gel like substance which locks in moisture.
Egg whites are both a binder and a leavening agent, which means that not only can they be used to help bind foods together, they can also help them rise. Egg whites make an excellent substitution for xanthan gum in cakes and quick and batter breads. They do not work as well in kneaded breads. Use one egg white for every tablespoon of xanthan gum in a recipe. Keep in mind that your finished product will be very light and airy and may need a larger pan.
What is Xanthan Gum substitute – Ground Flax Seeds
Flax seeds are far more common than their chia counterparts. While we tend to associate them with baking, flax seeds are healthy too.
In gluten-free baking, ground flax seeds do a great job of binding ingredients together and mimicking that desirable ‘gluten effect’ by adding moisture and softness to your baking.
With a similar consistency to xanthan gum, cornstarch is a great filler for yourif you need more volume.
Obtained from the red algae, Irish moss, carrageenan is a plant-based product that can be used in place of gelatin or xanthan gum in cakes, pastries, dairy products, and more.
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