Even though I was blessed to spend a long weekend in Kentucky as the house guest of my way-beyond-blend Brittany (a trip I will regale in perhaps excruciating detail over the next week), I could not let a Monday go by without participating in–also more-than-blend–Heather‘s Meatless Monday A-Z challenge.
Xantham gum was actually one of my own suggestions for the letter X. Mostly because
googling ‘foods that start with x’ didn’t produce any other results I couldn’t think of anything else that started with the letter, but also because I often see it listed in smoothie recipes or on salad dressing labels, and regularly had to answer questions about it–and the difference between it and its plant-derived (and less expensive) cousin, guar gum--when I was working at Central Market in Austin.
Research ensued, and I learned that xantham gum is a bacteria-derived thickening agent, most often used in gluten-free baking for its ‘gumming’ or textural transformation talents, salad dressings for its suspension skills, and sorbets or dairy-free frozen treats for creating creaminess.
As a former fifth grade science teacher, I knew that the only way to truly understand this lab-based additive was to experiment.Turns out, it made almond milk thick enough to support my cereal obsession–in more ways than one.
Maybe it is because I’m a teacher. Maybe it is because the little symbol for my website that I never knew was called a favicon until I had my blog redesigned is an apple. Or maybe I just have an excess of applesauce in my fridge at all times.
This takes all of three minutes to make (and even less to devour), with the key being working immediately once adding the xantham gum.It gums VERY quickly, so you should either leave your blender running, or give up any thoughts of trying to take true step-by-step photos.As I’m not really sure what an appropriate serving size of xantham gum is, but I did discover that usually you use about 1/4-1/2 teaspoon per cup of liquid when baking, I might have overdone it a bit using 1/2 of a tablespoon.
But considering I was starting with straight up liquid at 100% viscosity, I guessed it wasn’t that bad.How you use it is up to you: dollop on actual pie or cobbler, scoop it into a yogurt bowl sprinkled with chocolate-covered amaranth……or eliminate the yogurt entirely and just eat a bowl of whipped cream.[With a cereal 'crust' of puffed rice, cinnamon squares, and Peanut Butter Toast Crunch, and 5-minute microwaved ginger-mon apples and blueberries.]
- 1 cup unsweetened (vanilla) almond milk
- 2 Tbsp. unsweetened applesauce
- 1/4 tsp. apple pie spice
- 5 drops NuNaturals vanilla stevia [or 1/4 tsp. vanilla extract + sweetener of your choice]
- 1/2 Tbsp. xantham gum
- Combine almond milk, applesauce, spice, and vanilla in a blender.
- Blend until well incorporated.
- WIth blender running, add in xantham gum.
- Blend until thickened.
- Store in refrigerator or serve immediately.