Xanthan Gum

My daughter would like to make a vegan cookie recipe from Cherry Bombe. It's also gluten free so calls for xanthan gum. When I went to buy some today, I found that the only way any of my local stores sell it is in a largish bag from Bob's Red Mill. Since we don't require gluten free, wondering if there's a good sub that won't require me to buy a $12 bag for 1 tsp. Can I use guar gum in equal proportion? I did find a small jar of that. Thanks!

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13 Comments

Melusine August 14, 2013
If you have to buy a larger packet... I've been experimenting with xantham gum as a thickener for spaghetti sauce, since I don't like the sweetness tomato paste gives it. Also used it with 'cream of....' soups or seafood bisques, instead of a roux or cornstarch. It's a bit tricky -- mixes better with warm liquids than cold -- but the results have been really good. There's no flavor added. Just have to add it in small amounts so the gum doesn't...well, gum up the sauce or soup.
 
healthierkitchen August 14, 2013
Hmmm. I'm not sure how I feel about the gums as I really haven't encountered them before. This is mostly just for fun, as the recipe my daughter saw in Cherry Bombe was created by Christina Tosi with the model Karlie Klass (sp?) and she likes vegan baking. Does anyone know if we can just use a little whole wheat flour?
 
SeaJambon August 13, 2013
One of the things that gluten adds to mixtures is "binding" capacity. None of the gluten-free's have this capability, so that's where gums come in. Xanthan gum is by far the most popular but can be used interchangably with guar gum. Shauna Ahern (aka "Gluten Free Girl") long ago gave up the gums but she replaces them with something else -- psyllium, flax or chia. I would highly discourage taking a recipe that expects a gum and just deleting it; you are unlikely to be happy with the result.
 
susan G. August 13, 2013
Some GF sources object to using the gums, and just omit them.
 
healthierkitchen August 13, 2013
Thanks cookbookchick! Where's the Thai cooking class? sounds fun!
 
cookbookchick August 14, 2013
It's at Herbal Thai on Industrial Parkway. Booked the class through TravelZoo. Did you find the xanthan gum or have you given up on it?
 
healthierkitchen August 15, 2013
I don't know the place, but enjoy the class! I think I will hold off and see if I can re-adapt this to use flour!
 
healthierkitchen August 13, 2013
Thanks for all the advice. I will give the dietetic section of my regular market a try and if that fails, use guar gum. Too bad I'm not closer to Annapolis, cookbook chick!
 
cookbookchick August 13, 2013
If you can't find it there, let me know. I'll pick some up when the Amish market's open later this week (Thursday thru Saturday) and either mail it to you or drop it off. We're going to Silver Spring on Saturday for a Thai cooking class.
 
SeaJambon August 12, 2013
And, yes, you can sub guar gum, equal amounts.
 
Sam1148 August 12, 2013
I've seen it in small amounts in both the diatetic section of the local super market and their 'green wise' section.

Ask your local supermarket they probably have it in small spice like bottles filed away from the spices but in the diabetic section.

 
cookbookchick August 12, 2013
Our Amish market in Annapolis has it in small plastic containers -- much smaller amounts than Bob's RM.
 
Monita August 12, 2013
You might find some solutions at this website:
http://glutenfreegoddess.blogspot.com/2008/12/baking-cooking-substitutions-for-gluten.html Scroll down - she offers some subs for xanthan gum
 
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