Guar gum, a source of fiber, is a white powdery substance derived from guar seeds. Often used as a food or cosmetic thickener, it is eight times stronger than cornstarch. Guar gum is typically used in foods such as ice cream, smoothies, puddings and soups because of its water-absorbing properties. It is only to be used in small amounts in food as it can bind necessary liquids in your stomach and intestines and cause serious health issues. Guar gum can be used in lotions, gels and cosmetics because of its ability to mix oil and water, says WebMD.
Place guar gum in an empty salt shaker. Guar gum has a tendency to clump when added to liquids, so shake it into liquids while whisking at a high speed to keep your food smooth and thick.
Mix with liquids first. Small amounts of guar gum can give fruit smoothies a milkshake texture. Mix a pinch of guar gum with water or any other liquid used in your drink, and make sure all lumps are dissolved. Use ¼ tsp. for every quart of liquid to prevent gelling.
Use guar gum in bread, pastries or cake for a low-cost way to increase the volume of dough or batter. It also can be used in place of cornstarch in pie or pasty fillings to prevent the fruit from running.
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Mix guar gum in dairy-based dressings for a thicker, more appealing appearance and texture, combining it with your liquid elements first.
Use guar gum when creating dry soup mixes. Follow your recipe exactly, and use ¼ tsp. for every quart of liquid used. The guar gum will bind to the water or broth, creating a luxurious and thick texture.
Use guar gum in gluten-free baking. The gluten in wheat acts as a protein binder in bread, creating a chewy texture. When you omit wheat from your recipe, your bread will fall flat. Guar gum will replace gluten as a binder, allowing you to achieve the same chewy results, says the Celiac Sprue Association.
Guar gum can be purchased at most health food stores.
Consult a nutritionist before substituting guar gum for any ingredient in your diet.
Lorrie Fenn is a designer and writer who lives in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia. After moving to New York City in 2006 she began writing her own personal blog, which has been featured on AOL and various other websites. Fenn holds a Bachelor of Arts in graphic design from Marshall University.