Substitute: Xanthan Gum for Cornstarch

I wanted to make battered fried shrimp tonight and was out of coconut flour, and I didn’t think the almond flour would really do the trick.

Then I remembered I have a barely used package of xanthan gum! I put a few tablespoons in a plastic baggie, dumped the pre-cooked shrimp in there and gave it a good shake. I then dipped the shrimp into a bowl with a beaten egg and fried it in a mix of coconut and olive oil. Topped with lemon juice, salt and pepper, it was fairly tasty. Obviously the next round will need more spices/flavoring, but I was feeling super lazy tonight.

Xanthan gum has tons of uses, mostly as a thickening agent. It can often be found in many products in store, mostly salad dressing and sauces.

Check out these stats on xanthan gum vs cornstarch! 1oz/28g is the amount measured, link to the data source.

Calories: Not that big a difference but …
Xanthan Gum: 82
Cornstarch: 107

Net Carbs: check out the net carbs!
Xanthan Gum: 0 (19g carbs/19g fiber)
Cornstarch: 26g!!

But what IS xanthan gum, you may ask?

Good question. High level, it’s a carbohydrate secreted by a plant killing bacteria. Yum Yum! They make it in a lab where the bacteria will be introduced to an aqueous solution that contains ‘food’ sources for it to grow, and therefore produce the desired polymer. Then they dump in some isopropyl alcohol and it causes the polymer to turn into a solid that can the be extracted and dried out.

Needless to say, I doubt this product is whole food/paleo compliant. Granted, it’s from a plant source but it was derived through SCIENCE.

Hey baby, can I thicken your sauce?

Hey baby, can I thicken your sauce?

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xanthan gum
An article about how to use xanthan gum as a substitute for cornstarch!

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