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Xanthan gum

Lady Marmalade

Bad girl warning...
#1
Thought I would start a new thread for this as it may be of interest to people who have no interest in mince! :D It is basically a low carb thickener for sauces, soups and gravies.

From the Mince thread:
Well whaddaya know, Tesco now stock Xanthan gum!
Doves Farm Xanthan Gum 110g product information - Tesco.com

Apparently you only need to use about a tsp to thicken a sauce or gravy, and it is carb free. Woo!

... it is sold on the Free From (gluten free) products shelf in store.
I've got some in, will be using it for the first time on Monday night. Here is what they say about it in this book, which is where I first heard about this strange substance.

Guar and xanthan gums - These sound just dreadful, don't they? But they're in lots of your favourite processed foods, so how bad could they be? They're forms of water-soluble fibre, extracted and purified. Guar and xanthan are both flavourless white powders, and their value to us is as a low-carb thickener. Technically speaking, these are carbs, but they're all fibre. Nothing but.

...acquire an extra salt shaker, fill it with guar or xanthan, and keep it handy. When you want to thicken the liquid in your slow cooker [or pan/oven dish I guess - LM], simply sprinkle a little of the thickener over the surface while stirring, preferably with a whisk. Stop when your sauce, soup or gravy is a little less thick than you want it to be. It'll thicken a little more on standing.

... of the two, I slightly prefer xanthan.
So there we have it. Sounds like simplicity itself, doesn't it? I can't wait to try it out - will let you know the results!
 
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viks

Full Member
#2
Had a look in my local tesco...........didnt have any :-(
 
#4
I bought some on Saturday, I haven't used it yet. I like that idea above though LM, I'm sure we have a spare salt celler or tow around.
 

Lady Marmalade

Bad girl warning...
#5
Well I can HIGHLY recommend this stuff - its miraculous! Just like using cornflour, but without all the hassle of mixing it into a paste. I would just repeat this tip from the book:
Stop when your sauce, soup or gravy is a little less thick than you want it to be. It'll thicken a little more on standing.
I gave it an extra half tsp and my leftovers are practically blancmange and will need watering down, but that's better than runny stew any day!

I think from now on I will also use larger cuts of meat rather than diced, like stewing steak, chicken thighs etc so that it is easier to remove it from the pot before whisking in the xanthan, as a lot of my chunks of beef disintegrated at that stage. But that didn't affect the flavour which is the main thing as far as I'm concerned!
 
#6
Well I was a total failure, ended up with big gooey lumps! I think it's because I used to much of it and the liquid was already hot.
 

Sass

Silver Member
#7
Well I was a total failure, ended up with big gooey lumps! I think it's because I used to much of it and the liquid was already hot.
Poor Jim.

Thanks for this post, i'm going to ask my Oh to see if morrisons have it in.
 

Lady Marmalade

Bad girl warning...
#8
Well I was a total failure, ended up with big gooey lumps! I think it's because I used to much of it and the liquid was already hot.
Oh noes! Big gooey lumps is exactly what we're trying to get rid of on this here forum!

I gently whisked mine in to disperse it, then stirred it through the liquid with the whisk. The liquid had been off the boil and cooling slightly for a minute or two.


EDIT - the website claims national stockists include Tescos, Sainsbury's, Waitrose, Asda and Morrisons, Sass. But probably only larger stores. It said "NEW!!!" under it in my nearest big Tesco, I guess it is still being rolled out across the country...
 

Sass

Silver Member
#9
Thanks LM, well my OH came back empty handed but i really don't think he even looked lol. Oh well i cant moan he had just been on a shirt in the store so i cant blame him for wanting to get out fast.
 
#10
Success!! I was playing around with it last night and starting with cold water and a tiny amount I produced a nice thick sauce. Haven't used it yet as it has no seasoning but the consistency is fine. :D
 

Sass

Silver Member
#11
woohoo well done jim, i cant wait to get some of this stuff, it sounds like it could be quite fun working out how much to use :D.
 
#12
I used half a pint of water and a mustard spoons worth of the gum, it's strange very fine powder bit like corn starch.
 
#13
I think I used to much the first time and didn't stir enough Laura.
 
#14
LOL, mine too. Yes, I agree. I'm going to do what LM suggested and get a salt shaker.
 


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