Wednesday, June 18
Xanthum or Guar, it's an Alien ingredient, but we need it.
Xanthum gum is made from a seaweed, no an cephalopod, no it's a rare derivitive of the seashell of a mollisk...
Xanthan gum is a long chain polysaccharide - a polymer made up of sugar subunits, like starch or cellulose. Xanthan gum is composed of glucose, mannose, and glucuronic acid linked together to form a strand of cellulose with trisaccharide (three sugar) sidechains branching off every fifth cellulose sugar. This gives Xanthan gum the consistency of corn starch while making it undigestible (and thus more stable) like cellulose. Xanthan gum is produced by fermenting corn sugar with Xanthomonas campestris bacteria which produce Xanthan as part of their cell walls. This makes Xanthan gum a natural food just like wine, cheese, and yogurt which are also the products of bacterial fermentation
And, it's really difficult to spell, with an n or m, who knows, so I do it both ways.
Okay, that definition does go far to explain why this food additive is a pricy as gold. When we are checking labels, we find it is a lot of foods now. It's a common ingredient that common people eat, but common people didn't cook with. But, it is used by us Celiacs and in many diabetic recipes to add chew and durability to our "flour" products.
GUAR GUM is an equally good, and much less expensive alternative. Check for these in health food stores and large grocery stores in the baking aisle.
I'm sticking with the "from the sea" story. It is a great way to get my boys to eat GF food, "I Double Dog Dare ya", I challenge.