What Is A Substitute For Xanthan Gum? The Answer You Need

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Xanthan gum is a commonplace ingredient in many kitchens. This is especially true for those who do a lot of “from scratch recipes.” So, running out of this product can be a huge inconvenience.

Luckily, we found many substitutes that can take the place of xanthan gum. These products are easier to find and use while still providing the same desired outcome.

Below is a list of eight substitutes for xanthan Gum that can make all the difference in your next dish.

If you run out of xanthan Gum and are unsure what to do, sit tight and keep reading. We have a great list of xanthan Gum alternatives that will get the job done.

Take a look at the items below and see if you have some of them sitting in your cupboard. Chances are good you have one or two of these products, and you can refrain from a last-minute trip to the store.

1. Chia Seeds as a Binding Agent

Chia seeds are a high fiber ingredient and a good source of protein and Omega-3. When wet, chia seeds become slimy and act as a beneficial binding agent when baking. It is also perfect as a thickening agent while cooking.

Chia seeds benefit your digestive tract and help keep you well hydrated.

If you use Chia seeds instead of xanthan gum, place them in 2 parts water to 1 part seeds. Do this for around 20 minutes, giving it time to gel.

Best Used in:

  • Porridges
  • Puddings
  • Bread
  • Cakes

How to: When using Chia in place of xanthan gum, follow a 1:1 ratio. One TBSP of Chia seed to one TBSP of xanthan gum.

2. Egg Whites Are a Must Try

Egg whites are one of the easiest and more common options when looking for a xanthan gum substitute.

This popular breakfast food is high in vitamins and minerals your body needs. Aside from that, it is an excellent option for those with soy or gluten allergies.

To use egg whites as a xanthan gum replacement, whip them until firm before adding them to the recipe.

Best Used in:

  • Gluten and Soy free recipes
  • Paleo and Keto Recipes
  • Baked goods

How to substitute: When using egg whites in place of xanthan gum, use one egg white for 1 TBSP of xanthan gum.

3. Gelatin Can Work Wonders

Gelatin is a tasteless product that comes from collagen. This item is a popular gelling agent for cooking and baking.

Gelatin often comes from animal bones and is dry and brittle until moist. Once wet, it becomes a rubbery substance.

Gelatin is an alternative to xanthan gum in baked goods, jellies, and jams. But, it can also be a great thickening agent for cooking.

Best Used in:

  • Jellies and Jams
  • Ice cream and yogurt
  • Gluten-free recipes

How to substitute: When using gelatin in place of xanthan gum, Use a 2:1 ratio. Two TBSP of gelatin to one TBSP of xanthan gum.

4. Grab a Box of Corn Starch

Cornstarch is another easy xanthan gum substitute and is a staple in most homes. It is often used as a thickening agent when cooking up savory dishes.

Aside from cooking, xanthan gum is also an emulsifier for dressings. Or it can be a binding agent in baked goods and other desserts.

Corn starch is also gluten-free, giving those with allergies an easy-to-grab option.

Best Used In:

  • Sauces
  • Soups
  • Gravy
  • Gluten-free recipes

How to substitute: When using corn starch in place of Xanthan gum, use a 1:1 ratio. One TBSP of corn starch to one TBSP of xanthan gum.

Learn more: The Best Cornstarch Substitutes

5. Guar Gum is Always an Option

Guar gum comes from Gaur Beans and is an ideal substitute thickening agent for xanthan gum.

It is a water-soluble fiber with eight times the thickening effect of cornstarch. This product also acts as a helpful stabilizer and is a plant-based product.

The downside of Gaur gum is its price tag. Not only is this product expensive, but it isn’t found as often in most pantries as some of the other options on our list.

Best Used in:

How to substitute: When using Gaur Gum in place of xanthan gum, use three parts guar gum for two parts xanthan gum. Use 3 TBSP of guar gum instead of 2 TBSP of xanthan gum.

6. Psyllium Husk

Psyllium husk is a soluble fiber that is another plant-based replacement for xanthan gum. It has an earthy taste and a unique texture, making it best suited for a binding agent when baking.

Psyllium husk also has a great reputation for being beneficial to gut health. This product aids in digestion by expanding and forming a gel-like substance in the gut.

Best Used for:

  • Baking
  • Oatmeal
  • Smoothies

How to substitute: When using Psyllium husk in place of xanthan gum, use double the amount of psyllium husk in a 2:1 ratio. Use 2 TBSP of psyllium husk to 1 TBSP of xanthan gum.

Learn more: 10 Helpful Substitutes For Psyllium Husk Powder When Baking

7. Grab Some Agar Agar (Low Carb, Keto Friendly)

Chances are pretty good; you won’t have any Agar Agar sitting around. But, if you do, you can use this instead of xanthan gum.

Agar Agar is similar to gelatin in the way it thickens up a dish, forming a rubbery jelly texture.

This product is often sold in sheets, powders, or flakes and is a good plant-based option for those who can’t use gelatin. (i.e., vegans)

Agar Agar comes from red algae. It can benefit the body by

  • Supporting regularity,
  • Enhancing weight loss
  • Helping you to feel fuller longer.

Best Used for:

  • Cooking bases
  • Baked goods
  • Desserts

How to substitute: When using Agar Agar in place of xanthan gum, follow a 1:1 ratio. One TBSP of Agar Agar for one TBSP of xanthan gum.

Learn more: A Comprehensive Guide To Agar-Agar Substitutes! (Updated)

8. Give Ground Flax Seed a Go

Flax seeds are comparable to Chia seeds, creating a thick paste when mixed in water. Unlike Chia seeds, you should only use ground flax seed in place of xanthan gum.

You can grind flax seed yourself or buy it premade. This option will is pretty inexpensive and easy to find at any local grocery store.

Flax seeds are a healthy substitute for xanthan gum.  It is a better option because they are high in nutrients, Omega-3 fats, fibers, and more.

When preparing flax seed for a binding or thickening agent, mix two parts seed with one part of hot water. Let the mix sit for about 20 minutes before using.

Best Used for:

  • Recipes with a nutty flavor
  • Baked goods
  • Soups and stews

How to substitute: When using flax seeds in place of xanthan gum, substitute a 1:1 ratio. Use one TBSP of flax seed to one TBSP of xanthan gum.

Learn more: The 8 Best Flaxseed Meal Substitutes (FOR ANY RECIPES)

What Is Xanthan Gum, Exactly?

Xanthan gum is a common thickening agent and is often used in bakeries and kitchens around the world. It is also often used as a food stabilizer keeping ingredients from separating.

This product also locks in moisture, ensuring that your recipe won’t dry out too fast.

So, where does it come from? Xanthan gum is the product of the Xanthomonas Campestris bacteria. It is fructose that undergoes the fermenting process.

Xanthan gum is also a substitute for flour in gluten-free recipes, taking the role of this binding agent.

Xanthan gum comes as a fine powder and is white,  like baking soda or baking powder.

What Does Xanthan Gum Do?

  • A great thickening agent in many recipes like stews, dressings, and sauces.
  • Keeping ingredients from separating while baking.
  • A gluten-free option.
  • A moisture-locking ingredient when cooking.

Where Can You Buy Xanthan Gum?

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Most people are not familiar with xanthan gum, so when a recipe calls for it, it can be confusing where to look.

Yet, most grocery stores carry this product, and you can usually find it on the shelf in the gluten-free section. You might also be able to grab a container of it in the baking aisle.

You can also buy this product online or in specialty baking stores.

Xanthan Gum FAQs

Is Xanthan Safe to Consume?

According to the FDA, Xanthan gum is a safe product to consume. It is also a good alternative for those trying to avoid gluten.

Is Xanthan Gum Expensive?

Xanthan gum is more expensive than many of the items we listed above. This higher price tag has a lot to do with the manufacturing of the product.

Can I Skip Xanthan Gum or any Alternatives altogether?

While you can skip xanthan gum, you need some type of thickening agent when the recipe calls for it. Without this, your dish will not turn out right.

Summing Things Up

Xanthan gum is key to creating a well-prepared dish. Using its thickening, moisture locking, and binding powers create an unforgettable meal.

With that said, you must remember to choose the best option for the dish you are designing. Not all xanthan gum substitutes will work in every recipe.

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