" For, lo, the winter is past, the rain is over and gone; the flowers appear on the earth; the time of the singing of birds is come, and the voice of the turtle is heard in our land. " Song of Solomon

June 8, 2008

Xanthan Gum Powder

I rarely use purchased salad dressings preferring to make my own. Doing so, I am able to control the ingredients. Because I want to minimize the number of calories in my salad dressing I use less fat than the typical 2/1 or 3/1 ratio of oil to vinegar. To keep my dressing from being too tart I generally use some water to replace some of the oil.

I discovered that by using xanthan gum powder, which is a natural substance and common ingredient in most bottled salad dressings---including Annie's Naturals line ---I could get a nicer consistency and thicker emulsion. I decided to bite the bullet and buy a package. It "weren't" cheap. Eleven dollars plus tax. But well worth the investment, because the package I purchased will last ages.

It only takes 1/4 teaspoon to bind one cup of dressing. The trick to getting it to work is this: you must flagellate it with metal. You can use a whisk and beat it hard for about 3 minutes, or you can use a blender or mixer. Once it binds it won't separate.

I've been using it in "ranch" dressing too. On the Internet I found a good recipe, tweaked it a bit and reduced the amount of mayonnaise by half and replaced the reduction with additional buttermilk/water plus yogurt/plain milk. The xanthan gum powder thickens it up and binds it together making a nice dressing.

You can use the powder as well in smoothies. I checked several protein powder smoothie mixes and they too have xanthan gum powder.

Mine was purchased at my local Kroger's in the health food section. It is the Bob's Red Mill brand. I imagine you can find it, too, at Whole Foods. If you can't find it locally you can order it online from Bob's Red Mill website.
Note: When using it combine with the dry ingredients like the salt, spices, sugar, then add the liquid/wet ingredients. 1/4 teaspoon is plenty for one cup of dressing. I estimated my package will do 275 batches of salad dressing.
For more information on xanthan gum powder check out these links: here and here.
"....there have been many times when I have shed bitter tears, when if I had understood the situation better, I would have celebrated my good luck instead."


I am not a doctor and all information, suggestions, etc are my personal opinion only.