Do you ever find yourself in the middle of a recipe, only to realize that you’re out of one key ingredient? It’s happened to all of us at least once.
For many people, that key ingredient is xanthan gum.
But what is xanthan gum, and what are the best substitutes?
While it may not sound very appetizing, xanthan gum is safe to eat and has several benefits.
However, it can be difficult to find in stores and expensive.
Fortunately, some good substitutes for xanthan gum can be easily found in most kitchens.
In this article, we’ll look at what xanthan gum is, why you might want to use it, and the five best substitutes for xanthan gum.
What is Xanthan Gum?
Chances are, you’ve consumed xanthan gum without even realizing it.
This versatile ingredient is found in various products, from salad dressings and sauces to ice cream and toothpaste.
But what exactly is xanthan gum? It’s a polysaccharide, a type of carbohydrate composed of long chains of sugar molecules.
In the case of xanthan gum, the sugar molecules are derived from glucose and mannose.
Xanthan gum is produced through a fermentation process, during which bacteria known as Xanthomonas campestris are used to break down carbohydrates.
The resulting substance is then purified and dried to create the final product.
Due to its ability to thicken and stabilize liquids, xanthan gum is an essential ingredient in many food products.
It also has a variety of other uses, such as being added to cosmetics and pharmaceuticals as a binding agent.
So next time you’re enjoying your favorite food or beauty product, take a moment to appreciate the humble xanthan gum.
The 5 Best Substitutes for Xanthan Gum
If you’re looking for a xanthan gum substitute, you have a few options.
Here are the five best substitutes for xanthan gum.
1 – Corn Starch
Fortunately, there’s a simple substitute that can be used in its place: corn starch.
Corn starch is a type of flour made from the endosperm of the corn kernel.
It’s readily available and relatively inexpensive, making it a great option for baking.
When substituting corn starch for xanthan gum, use half as much corn starch as you would xanthan gum.
For example, if a recipe calls for one teaspoon of xanthan gum, use half a teaspoon of corn starch instead.
With this simple substitution, you can easily make all your favorite recipes without breaking the bank.
2 – Unflavored Gelatin
Gelatin is a natural protein derived from the collagen found in animals.
It has a wide range of uses, including a food thickener, stabilizer, and gelling agent.
Unlike other protein-based thickeners, such as xanthan gum, gelatin does not require additional processing or chemicals to achieve its desired consistency.
As a result, it is a popular choice for looking for a more natural alternative to xanthan gum.
In addition to its simplicity, gelatin also has some distinct advantages over xanthan gum.
For example, it is more heat-stable and less likely to cause digestion issues.
However, one downside of gelatin is that it can be difficult to dissolve in cold liquids.
3 – Egg Whites
When beaten, egg whites form a stable foam ideal for creating a light, airy texture in baked goods.
In addition, egg whites can help bind ingredients together and prevent them from separating.
As a result, they make an excellent substitute for xanthan gum in most recipes.
Simply beat the egg whites until stiff peaks form, then fold them into the batter or dough before baking.
With this simple substitution, you can enjoy all your favorite recipes without having to break the bank.
4 – Arrowroot Flour
As any baker knows, arrowroot flour is a versatile ingredient that can be used for various recipes.
It adds a gentle sweetness to baked goods, but it also helps to bind and thicken them.
However, arrowroot flour is not always the best choice for recipes that require a lot of rising or stretching, such as bread and pizza doughs.
In these cases, xanthan gum is often used as a substitute.
Made from fermented corn sugar, xanthan gum provides the same binding and thickening power as arrowroot flour but less risk of collapse.
As a result, it is the perfect ingredient for bread and other high-rise baked goods.
5 – Psyllium Husk
Psyllium husk is a dietary fiber that is often used as a laxative or to relieve constipation.
However, psyllium husk can also be used as a food thickener or emulsifier.
When used in baking, it can help to create a light and airy texture.
Psyllium husk can also be used as a substitute for xanthan gum.
Xanthan gum is a common food additive used to thicken or stabilize products.
However, xanthan gum can be expensive, and it is not always easy to find.
Psyllium husk is a more affordable alternative that can be easily found in health food stores.
When substituting psyllium husk for xanthan gum, it is important to use a 1:1 ratio.
In conclusion, xanthan gum is a versatile ingredient that can be used in various recipes.
It is also relatively easy to find, and it tends to be fairly affordable.
However, there are a few substitutes that can be used using xanthan gum.
In particular, corn starch, egg whites, and arrowroot powder are all good options.
Each of these substitutes has its own unique set of properties, so be sure to experiment to find the one that works best for you.
With a little creativity, you can easily find a substitute for xanthan gum that will suit your needs.