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Xanthan gum: uses besides gluten free baking?

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I bought a package of xanthan gum because I made cookies for a friend with celiac disease. What do I do with the rest of it that doesn't involve gluten-free baking? Could I add it to all purpose flour when making bread or something?

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    1. A small amount works as a great stabilizer in sorbet and gelato. It helps to prevent ice crystals which really helps when making sorbets with ingredients that have high water content. I've never used a teaspoon of it and never seen any recipe calling for a teaspoon of it. Its never overpowered or created glue in any of the gelato or sorbet I've made. I typically used 1/8-1/4 of a teaspoon for 4 litres of product. I have no qualms with using xanthan gum.

      Wow, just noticed how old this threat was.

      1. I too have a friend with Celiac disease and I cook for her and other special dietary needs people regularly. I use Xanthan gum for non-gluten free cooking too, often as a thickening agent in salad dressings and other mixtures ( a very little bit goes a very long way as a thickening agent)
        If you find that Xanthan gum is introducing "off" flavors to the things you mix it with it may be old (beyond it's use by date - which for this product can be important) or that you've used more than necessary to get the job done.

        1. You could always just give it to your friend, since gluten free baking is so expensive.

          1. It is an excellent thickener (used in very small quantities, ideally blended into a sauce since it can clump). It thickens both hot and cold sauces, leaving a fatty mouthfeel and without dampening the flavor of sauces as much as other thickeners do. It also can be useful in even smaller quantities to stabilize sauces that are prone to breaking or separating - the idea is to use so little that you don't noticeably change the texture of the sauce. Personally, i think it is badly overlooked by homecooks at large when it is a perfectly healthy and enormously useful ingredient.

            1 Reply
            1. re: cowboyardee

              I have made a really quick mousse with it - put some frozen raspberries and a bit of frozen banana in a food processor until ground up into icy powder. Add some heavy cream (or milk if you want a lower-fat version), a bit of sugar if you like, and a 1/2 tsp or so xanthan gum. Process minimally, and voila, a quick cold and quite healthy mousse.

              Also use it to thicken frozen coffee concoctions and make smoothies, but a little goes a long long way, and I find it is really best when used with milk, otherwise the texture is weird.

            2. Xanthan gum is used as a gelatin substitute when making vegetarian/vegan marshmallows. You might check out other gelatin-based foods adapted for the veg. world.

              1. I've read that a pinch is the secret to Starbuck's blended coffee drinks not separating. I bought some to try in my vitamix...I need to try it.