Cooking Alternatives To Gums

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Cooking Alternatives To Gums

Sometimes you don’t have a particular item on hand (happens quite a bit here in Costa Rica).  Some items are hard to come by or you really want to make something at the last minute.  Well here are some alternatives to help you with your recipes.  Most of this information is available elsewhere on the internet.  I figured I’d gather some information here for you.  I’ve been where you are wondering about an alternative for something.

Some of you may not want any type of “gum” in your recipes.  That’s fine too.  There are alternatives for just about everything.

Substitutes for GUM’s

Agar Agar

Derived from algae or seaweed, it is a flavorless product sold in powdered form, flakes and sheets. It is a vegan alternative to gelatin.

If you try this delicious recipe, please review it up above and leave your comments below. Share us on social media. Be sure to tag @michaels_holistic_healing and #michaelsholistichealing so I’m sure to see it. Enjoy!

How it works in gluten-free baking: acts as a binder and thickener. Produces stretchy dough, chewy breads and moist cakes. If too much is used it will cause excess moisture to be retained in your baked goods, making them soggy.
How to prepare: in jelly-like dishes, it first must be dissolved in a liquid, boiled for 3-5 minutes, cooled (see agar’s package for more detailed instructions). However to use in baked goods, it can be used in its dry form.
How to substitute: For breads use 1 tsp powder for each cup of gluten-free flour. For cookies, cakes, and muffins use 1/2 tsp powder for each cup of gluten-free flour. Add in with the dry ingredients.

Chia Seeds

Harvested from a plant in the mint family, these flavorless seeds are extremely high in fiber and omega-3.

How it works in gluten-free baking: helps to bind and thicken.
How to prepare: in a small dish mix together 1 part chia seeds to 2 parts boiling water, stir vigorously then let sit about 5 minutes until thickened. Allow to cool to room temperature before using. Ground chia seeds are best, but whole can be used as well.
How to substitute: For breads use 1 tsp prepared chia seed mixture for each cup of gluten-free flour. For cookies, cakes, and muffins use 1/2 tsp prepared chia seed mixture for each cup of gluten-free flour. In place of xanthan gum, replace at a 1:1 ratio (dry). Prepare seeds as directed above before adding in with wet ingredients.

Egg Whites

How it works in gluten free-baking: acts both a binder and a riser. Best in cakes and breads. Egg whites alone might not be enough for certain recipes to achieve the desired results. In those cases it is best to add in another substitute like chia seeds for a cake recipe or psyllium for bread.
How to substitute: In addition to any other eggs called for in the recipe, whip 1 egg white and fold into the batter at the very end.

Ground Flax Seed

Because of their thick outer shell, they must be ground before using. You can buy them already ground, or use a coffee/spice grinder to grind your own.
Simmer flaxseed and water until thick
How it works in gluten-free baking: used to bind ingredients together, add moisture and softness.
How to prepare: in a small skillet mix together 1 part ground flax seeds to 2 parts water. Stir and let simmer about 5 – 10 minutes until thickened. Allow to cool completely before adding to recipe.
How to substitute: For breads use 1 tsp prepared flax seed mixture for each cup of gluten-free flour. For cookies, cakes, and muffins use 1/2 tsp prepared flax seed mixture for each cup of gluten-free flour. In place of xanthan gum, replace at a 1:1 ratio (dry). Prepare seeds as directed above before adding in with wet ingredients.

Pectin

Derived from a complex carbohydrate naturally found in many fruits (like in citrus peel), it is a vegan alternative to gelatin. More commonly used in jam and jelly making to thicken, it can also be used in making gluten-free breads.

How it works in gluten-free baking: helps mixtures to bind and retain moisture.
How to substitute: in bread recipes it can be added directly to the dry ingredients in its powdered form – 1 tsp per 2 ½ cups of gluten-free flour.

Psyllium Fiber/Psyllium Husk Powder

Psyllium is the husk from the seed of the Plantago ovata plant (also called ispaghula). It is most commonly used as a laxative and fibre supplement – it is the main ingredient in Metamucil. Besides using as a gum substitute, you can add it as a supplement to any bread recipe to improve its texture.
Stir with boiling water until thick
How it works in gluten-free baking: helps to bind and improve structure.
How to prepare: in a small dish mix together 1 part psyllium husk powder to 2 parts boiling water, stir vigorously until thickened. Allow to cool to room temperature before using.
How to substitute: When using as a dough improver for bread, add 1 Tbsp in its powdered form to the dry ingredients. When using in place of xanthan gum, in bread recipes add 1 tsp psyllium husk powder for each cup of gluten-free flour, prepared as above, added to the wet ingredients. For cookies, cakes, and muffins use 1/2 tsp psyllium husk powder for each cup of gluten-free flour.

Check out this delicious Chia Seed Pudding recipe.  Michaels loves to share his different recipes at our Costa Rica Retreat Center.

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