Xanthan Gum is a component derived from fermented bacteria and used as a food additive to thicken products that would otherwise fall apart. It is generally used as a binding agent in place of eggs in salad dressing, fruit juices, soups, ice creams and as an alternative for gluten in many baked recipes.
So, is Xanthan Gum plant-based? No, xanthan gum is not a plant based. While it is possible to use plant-based ingredients to make xanthan gum, it undergoes processing in the laboratory, which makes it difficult to be classified as plant-based.
Read on to find out whether there exists an alternative to xanthan gum that you can use in a plant based diet.
Top 3 Xanthan Gum Substitutes For A Plant Based Diet
Though xanthan gum may not always contain animal-derived ingredients, it undergoes a lot of processing with a number of components added, some of which can come from animals. It can even use such ingredients for purification, making it inappropriate for a plant-based diet.
There are some other alternatives like flaxseeds that work in the same way as xanthan gum and are ideal for a plant-based diet.
One of the best plant-based options for use as a thickening and stabilizing agent, flaxseeds are not only wholesome but also a superfood and an ideal addition to a healthy diet. Known as a rich source of omega-3 fatty acids, flaxseeds have been used for centuries in breads and other recipes. It delivers amazing health benefits, helping people with a number of diseases including cholesterol, obesity and cancer.
Flaxseeds can be ground into a powder form to get a powerful binding agent that substitutes the gooey gluten effect breads often need. Whole flaxseeds don’t work this way; it is necessary to break the outer shell to enjoy these properties. Just add little ground flaxseed to hot water to get a thick paste that replaces xanthan gum in numerous recipes.
Widely sold as a dietary fiber supplement, psyllium husk is an amazing gluten substitute. As soluble fibers become sticky and gelatinous in water, adding a small amount of this substance can improve the baking process for breads and other recipes. This characteristic makes this natural ingredient a great plant-based substitute for xanthan gum.
Psyllium husk is also known to be a healthy food capable of lowering cholesterol and improving insulin sensitivity. Using this ingredient in your daily diet is a great way to get several essential vitamins and minerals.
This plant-based product makes an excellent alternative for xanthan gum made out of seaweed. It is essentially a form of vegetarian gelatin that can be used in a variety of dairy-free recipes as a stabilizer and thickener. It is often used by the Japanese for weight loss due to its bulking effect and for treating problems like constipation.
Agar-agar has no flavor of its own and acts as a good stabilizing and thickening agent. When mixed with water, it gives a gel-like substance that helps get the gooey texture in baked recipes. It is also high in nutritional value and provides decent amounts of iron, calcium, folate, manganese and fiber. It contains no sugar or carbs and suits a healthy diet as a replacement for xanthan gum.