Xanthan gum is a common ingredient in many foods as a thickener or stabilizer. If you don’t have it on hand or are looking to omit it from a recipe, then you can use a xanthan gum substitute. There are many great alternatives to this additive that you can use in your favorite recipes.
No matter the reason you are looking to avoid it, there are plenty of great substitutes that will work in its place. Some people avoid it because it can cause upset stomachs, whereas others avoid it because manufactured and not natural. It can be an important ingredient in some recipes, so having a good substitute is important.
What Is Xanthan Gum?
Xanthan gum is a substance used in making foods and medicines for texture and consistency reasons. It works to add thickness, prevent textures from changing and keep ingredients in place.
In food, it is commonly used as a stabilizer and thickening agent. In medicine, it is often used in eye drops and tablets that break down slowly by the body.
Xanthan gum is manufactured, as it is not naturally found. It is made when sugar is fermented Xanthomonas campestris, which is a type of bacteria. Once the sugar becomes fermented, it gains a consistency similar to goo or broth.
Then, it becomes solid by adding alcohol. Next, it is dried and turned into a powder, which is how xanthan gum is sold as.
Once is added to a liquid, it quickly disperses, creating a stable solution. This process allows it to be a good thickening and stabilizing agent for different foods.
Xanthan gum is added to foods to improve texture, consistency, flavor, shelf life, and even appearance. It is commonly used in gluten-free recipes as it provides the elasticity and fluffiness that gluten creates in baked goods.
What is xanthan gum used in?
Xanthan Gum is used in a variety of different dishes including ice cream, soups, salad dressing, fruit juice, gravy, and syrup. It is also commonly used in store-bought baked goods as well. In addition, it is also used in medicine, toothpaste, lotion, shampoo, and creams.
Xanthan Gum Substitute
If you are making a recipe that calls for xanthan gum and doesn’t have any on hand or want to use an alternative, there are some great options to use. Though xanthan gum is safe to eat, it is processed and there are natural alternatives you can use for it.
Agar-Agar is a popular vegan alternative to gelatin that can also be used in place of xanthan gum. It is made of red algae and is generally sold in flakes, sheets, or powder.
You can replace agar-agar with a 1:1 ratio of xanthan gum. To use, you will need to dissolve it in water by using four tablespoons of water for every one tablespoon of flakes or one teaspoon of powder. Heat it on low heat for three to five minutes until dissolved and then let it cool before using.
Cornstarch, which is commonly used to thicken, stews, soups, and pasta can be a great alternative for xanthan gum. It has a similar consistency and it is also naturally gluten-free. You can easily substitute it for a 1:1 ratio when using it in place of xanthan gum.
Unflavored gelatin is used in many dishes including gummy bears, pudding, ice cream, cheesecake, yogurt, and marshmallows. It works great as a thickening agent and stabilizer in many different foods. However, since it is derived from animal collagen, it is not vegetarian-friendly.
To replace xanthan gum with gelatin, you will need two parts of gelatin for every one part of xanthan gum. Be certain that you are using unflavored gelatin when using it as a replacement.
Chia seeds are packed full of many healthy nutrients and fiber. By combining chia seeds with water, you can create a xanthan substitute.
Though you can use whole chia seeds, you can also grind them up to achieve a smoother texture. Allow one part of chia seeds to soak in two parts of hot water until the mixture becomes thick. Then, replace the xanthan gum with chia seeds using a 1:1 ratio.
Psyllium Husk comes from the husks of Plantago ovata seeds. It is ground up so it can be used for making and makes a great substitute for xanthan gum. When using it, substitute one part of xanthan gum with two parts of psyllium husk.
Ground-up flax seeds mixed with water can make a great substitute for xanthan gum. Mix two parts of hot water with one part of ground-up flax seeds and let the mix sit until it thickens up. Then use a 1:1 ratio of flaxseed to xanthan gum when substituting it.
Great Xanthan Gum Substuites
No matter why you are substituting xanthan gum, there are some great alternatives. They will work to provide texture, thickening, and stabilizing in your recipe.
Do you have any questions regarding using a xanthan gum substitute? If so, please ask any questions regarding the best substitutes and how to use them in the comment section below.
What is a Substitute for Xanthan Gum?
Since xanthan gum is a thickening and stabilizing agent in food, you need to replace it with an ingredient that can do the same. One of the best xanthan gum is substitutes is psyllium husk, as it is a soluble fiber like xanthan gum.
What Can I Substitute for Xanthan Gum?
You can substitute psyllium husk, cornstarch, agar-agar, chia seeds, flax seeds and unflavored gelatin for xanthan gum. They will all work to thicken and stabilize the texture of the recipe you are making.
How Much Cornstarch to Substitute for Xanthan Gum?
Cornstarch can make a great substitute for xanthan gum. You can easily use it as a substitute with a ratio of 1:1, no need to change any measurements or add water.
How to Substitute Gelatin for Xanthan Gum?
To substitute gelatin for xanthan gum, use two parts of gelatin for every one part of xanthan gum. Be sure to prepare the gelatin as the directions say on the box before using it in your recipe.