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Old 11-14-2008, 10:28 AM   #1
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How do I use Xanthan gum?

I just bought some and tried to use it last night to make a gravy from my roast and it came out like jello. I guess I used too much?

How much liquid to gum do I use? Any advice
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Old 11-14-2008, 10:40 AM   #2
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How much did you use? Dana Carpender recommends 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon per cup of liquid.
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Old 11-14-2008, 10:43 AM   #3
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I just kept adding till it got thick and then it was too thick. do I just wisk it in?

Thanks for that info
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Old 11-14-2008, 10:47 AM   #4
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Use it waaay sparingly. Don't use it til it's thick, it continues to thicken and you will have concrete! .
1/4 teaspoon per cup may even be too much. Just sprinkle a little over the top and whisk it in, yes.
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Old 11-14-2008, 10:49 AM   #5
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Thanks, I was expecting instant thickening
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Old 11-14-2008, 11:54 AM   #6
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oneoftwo- It does seem to take alot of practice getting used to xanthan gum. Linda Sue recommends putting it into a shaker and gently sprinkling it in while wisking with the other hand. One of those things where ...practice makes perfect
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Old 11-14-2008, 12:17 PM   #7
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the sprinkle method works great. i think linda said at one time that when you sprinkle it on top of something hot....give it a few seconds to "soften up" and then whisk, or blend, or whatever you need to do. works great for me.

JAN
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Old 11-14-2008, 12:40 PM   #8
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As someone else said a little goes a long way. Go light on it and let it heat up as you are whisking it in it will thicken you just need to give it a little time. If you find it is too thin you can always add a little more and if it becomes too thick you can always add more liquid. Practice makes perfect.
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Old 11-14-2008, 04:32 PM   #9
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Here is what I've got posted on my site:

WORKING WITH XANTHAN GUM
A little xanthan gum works great to thicken sauces and puddings, but can turn gummy if not added properly. What works best for me is to put what I need in a measuring spoon and, with one hand, very lightly sprinkle it over the surface of my sauce while briskly whisking it in with my other hand. I add it as gradually as I can. Ideally, sprinkling it from a shaker jar would be the best way to go, but I have to measure mine when I'm testing recipes. Xanthan gum is more likely to clump if you add it too quickly to liquids. I've had very good luck sprinkling it a bit more liberally over the surface of more solid foods like chili or stir-fries. I find that I don't need to be quite as careful in those cases.

If your recipe doesn't call for xanthan gum, and you'd like to add a little, start with only 1/8 teaspoon then wait a minute or so to see the results before adding more an 1/8 teaspoon at a time. As far as cleanup goes, you don't want to rinse your measuring spoon with water. You'll end up with sticky slime that's very difficult to clean off the spoon as well as your hands. Instead, take a dry Kleenex or napkin and brush the powder off the spoon.
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Old 11-14-2008, 10:53 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by oneoftwo View Post
I just kept adding till it got thick and then it was too thick. do I just wisk it in?

Thanks for that info
I take some of the liquid from the main pot and whisk the xanthan into that, then pour the mixture back into the pot. That way, if I've been too heavy-handed with the xanthan and it clumps, I haven't ruined the bulk of the dish.
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Old 11-15-2008, 03:41 AM   #11
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A little cream stirred in at the end makes the gravy smoother and closer looking and tasting to flour gravy. It's also delicious that way.
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Old 11-15-2008, 03:42 AM   #12
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be careful with it cuz it can make tummy troubles
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Old 11-15-2008, 04:39 PM   #13
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I use it to lighten baked goods made with "flours" that don't have gluten - whey protein powder, almond meal, oat flour, etc. My jar says 1/2 teaspoon of xg per cup of flour.
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Old 11-15-2008, 04:54 PM   #14
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I use it to lighten baked goods made with "flours" that don't have gluten - whey protein powder, almond meal, oat flour, etc. My jar says 1/2 teaspoon of xg per cup of flour.
Interesting. Thanks for that info!
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Old 11-20-2008, 11:19 AM   #15
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Just a warning - it makes it light because it creates a gas and if you taste the batter you will swear adding the guar or xanthan ruined it. But that taste bakes off.
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Old 11-20-2008, 11:41 AM   #16
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Just a warning - it makes it light because it creates a gas and if you taste the batter you will swear adding the guar or xanthan ruined it. But that taste bakes off.
Are you saying that the Xanthan is acting as a leavening agent? I always thought it simulated the "binding" of gluten. . . .
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Old 11-20-2008, 12:22 PM   #17
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^^You're right, retro. It creates a gel matrix that binds the "flour" like gluten. It also thickens to give a "creamy" texture without adding a lot of fat if you don't use too much.
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Old 11-20-2008, 02:10 PM   #18
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What she (Lauren) said....

Goodness, a gas...who'd a thunk it?

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Old 11-21-2008, 10:37 PM   #19
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Xanthan and guar gum have a synergy with each other. Not only do you end up using less overall (and saving money), but the end result is is less slimy. I use about 2 parts xanthan to 1 part guar (this is where my 1/32 t. smidgeon measuring spoon becomes invaluable).

Even with combining xanthan and guar, it's still a little too slimy for me, so I add a fraction of a carb's worth of a starchy thickener like arrowroot. The arrowroot goes a long way in mitigating the texture of the gums. Pretty much all thickeners have a synergy with each other, so if you're using one starchy thickener out of 3, the carb impact is minimal. Depending on the sauce, sometimes I'll play around with gelatin, although that can make for a gummy sauce.

Also, as long as you have time to spare, some clumping is not the end of the world. I sprinkle xanthan with one hand while whisking like a madman with the other hand, but occasionally I do get some small clumps. Gum clumps in a gravy, if given enough time, will break down eventually. Heat will accelerate the hydration process. Small clumps can usually be lightly simmered out in a few minutes.

If the clumps are really bad, blending can be used as a last resort. Blending will weaken/slice most thickener molecule chains with the except of xanthan. Xanthan thins out while blending and then returns to it's original thickness once the blending stops.

Lastly, xanthan is one of the few thickeners, low carb or otherwise, that is resistant to salt. For instance, the corn starch that's in Chinese sauces- if you refrigerate them overnight, the salt breaks down the starch and they go watery. Teriyaki sauce is also almost impossible to thicken with anything but xanthan. Same thing for salty Buffalo Wing sauce.
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Old 11-21-2008, 11:15 PM   #20
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Scott, what do you know about acacia gum. I finally bought some in hopes of making a better blend.
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Old 11-21-2008, 11:52 PM   #21
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Acacia.... hmmmm... accessing memory (machine gear sound )

Acacia varies in grades from white to tan. The whiter, the better the grade. That's just in the literature I've read. I'm not sure what a better grade brings to the table. Solubility perhaps? A more neutral flavor profile? I don't have my hydration numbers memorized, but I believe it's slightly harder to hydrate than guar or xanthan. One of the gums (tracanth?) takes something ridiculous like 24 hours to hydrate. To make a long story short, I think you're pretty much in the same territory as xanthan/guar when it comes to solubility. It should be super fine for best solubility. If it isn't, I might toss it in a spice grinder for a bit.

Because acacia is the gum using in diet rite to give it a sugary texture, I'm leaning towards dissolved acacia being more sugary/less slimey than either xanthan or guar. Although not starch and not sugar contain the same ingredients, I have long theorized that not sugar contains proportionately more acacia.

If I had acacia, I'd probably make a faux not/starch using something like

1 part acacia
1 part guar
1 part xanthan

and a faux not/sugar using

2 (maybe even 3) parts acacia
1 part guar
1 part xanthan

That's probably where I'd start. Since everyone seems to speak so glowingly about not/starch/sugar, I think you should be very happy with the results you achieve by adding acacia.

P.S. Halloween is past, but if you wanted to put on some fake facial hair, I believe acacia (aka gum arabic) is the stuff traditionally used. I played a werewolf in a high school play once - used a ton of the stuff
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Old 11-22-2008, 06:47 AM   #22
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Woa! The reappearance of Scott123!

Hope ya' stick around!
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Old 11-22-2008, 04:24 PM   #23
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Woa! The reappearance of Scott123!

Hope ya' stick around!
Thank you, you're very kind. I can't make any promises, but I'm here now

An update on acacia. I did a little more research. Apparently many colas (diet and regular) use acacia to emulsify their oil based flavorings, so it's purpose in Diet Rite is not for body/texture like I previously reasoned, but... I still stand by my hypothesis- that acacia is more sugar-like than either xanthan or guar.
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Old 11-22-2008, 05:01 PM   #24
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its also quite a bit more expensive also.
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Old 11-25-2008, 11:59 PM   #25
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its also quite a bit more expensive also.
...hence the higher costs of the 4-gum synergistic blends of the ThickenThin line (i.e., not/Starch, not/Sugar).

Irish Moss/Carrageenan, though hard to get hold of, has an especial affinity with dairy experiments...I love mixing up little custom batches of multiple thickeners/gellers. I should take better notes!

Welcome back, Scott! Lovely to "see" you!

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Old 11-26-2008, 12:06 AM   #26
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Welcome back, Scott! Lovely to "see" you!
Thanks! It's lovely to "see" you as well Jude!
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Old 07-15-2011, 02:35 PM   #27
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LindaSue View Post
Here is what I've got posted on my site:

WORKING WITH XANTHAN GUM
A little xanthan gum works great to thicken sauces and puddings, but can turn gummy if not added properly. What works best for me is to put what I need in a measuring spoon and, with one hand, very lightly sprinkle it over the surface of my sauce while briskly whisking it in with my other hand. I add it as gradually as I can. Ideally, sprinkling it from a shaker jar would be the best way to go, but I have to measure mine when I'm testing recipes. Xanthan gum is more likely to clump if you add it too quickly to liquids. I've had very good luck sprinkling it a bit more liberally over the surface of more solid foods like chili or stir-fries. I find that I don't need to be quite as careful in those cases.

If your recipe doesn't call for xanthan gum, and you'd like to add a little, start with only 1/8 teaspoon then wait a minute or so to see the results before adding more an 1/8 teaspoon at a time. As far as cleanup goes, you don't want to rinse your measuring spoon with water. You'll end up with sticky slime that's very difficult to clean off the spoon as well as your hands. Instead, take a dry Kleenex or napkin and brush the powder off the spoon.
Hi everyone, just barging in to ask a question- this sounds like the thread where people have tried everything they are talking about! Can anyone fill me in on how to... count Xanthan gum as far as how many carbs? or is it negligible? Thanks so much folks.... laure
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