Xanthan gum: uses besides gluten free baking?
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?
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
I have a recipe that calls for "clear gel" which I think is a product that's often used for making jams/jellies.
I don't feel like going out just to buy some "clear gel" and I have a large container of xanthan gum. Any thoughts on substituting the xantham gum for "clear gel"? Is this a good idea? Will it work? If so, how much xathan gum should I use in this recipe?
Here is the part of the recipe that specifies "clear gel" (it's an apple filling for a braided cinnamon-apple bread). BTW, I see that the recipe specifies that flour can be substituted for clear gel but I'm not looking to do that.
1/2 cup (3 3/4 ounces) sugar
3 tablespoons (3/4 ounce) Instant ClearJel® powder or unbleached all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 cup peeled, grated apple (1 to 2 large apples, 10 to 12 ounces whole)
1 tablespoon lemon juice
Here's a link to the whole recipe: http://www.kingarthurflour.com/recipe...
Thanks in advance for any thoughts or advice.
I buy xanthan gum at a natural food grocery or you can get it sometimes at upper scale super markets in the bins. My main use is for jams and preserves. Here's what I so. Since it is very hard to mix, it clumps very badly if not careful, the best way for jams is to do this. Mix equal parts of your pureed fruit ( skin on) and sugar and bring to a rolling boil - don't put xanthan in yet. .
For 4 c. fruit and 4 c. sugar I use about 1 tsp of the xanthan gum.
Then dip into your hot mixture and take out about a cupful and have a small whisk in your hand - add the xanthan. Immediately start whisking about l0 x in one direction and l0 times in the other, no more or it will get too thick, and quickly pour it into the hot jam and whisk as you add. That's all there is to it. It makes a wonderful jam without dealing with pectin. I used 1 tsp for my 4 c. fruit,4 c. sugar mixture but it hasn't cooled yet, so if it needs more, next time, I'll try 1-1/2....... I'm sure it would thicken with less sugar if you are so inclined.
Its also good for thickening sauces and stuff if you have a too thin failure, such as a potroast, but as I said, be careful, its very potent and not easy to deal with.