Category Archives: Cooking

“Chewing gum is really gross, chewing gum I hate the most.”

The use of xanthan gum and guar gum in gluten-free baking is almost ubiquitous, both used together or one gum used to mimic the binding and thickening qualities of gluten. I have little experience with using either gums, though I decided to write this post about what I do know and what I’ve learned so far.

When you read the title of this post, you were probably thinking I was going to go on a tangent about chewing gum, perhaps recalling once a time when I expounded upon the fascinating history of chewing gum during my sister’s birthday dinner when we were all eating sushi. That’s for another time and place. In this case, I’m merely using a Willy Wonka quote.

This is not a xanthan/guar gum 101 or any sort of guide about how to use them in gluten-free baking. This is a post simply about my experiences with it, from which possibly some wisdom may be gleaned. I am not an expert, as you’ll find out.

I’ve wanted to write a post for a long while about how I use these gums, xanthan and guar, in my baking and I’ve been spurred to do so now after some tweets yesterday. There’s this magic about Twitter that I’ve read about on other people’s blogs, in which you ask a question and you’ll get answers, but I never had experienced this myself – until yesterday.

As you may know, I’ve been regulating my tweeting to the evenings to allow myself the time to focus more on my studies during the day and accomplish other tasks. This has mostly been a practice in discipline – not that I was a tweetaholic, which I’m not – and it’s been really good so far. I had to tweet yesterday morning, though, to ask a question about if guar gum could be used instead of xanthan because I was planning for pot stickers. (I don’t know these things, so I ask!)

This was my tweet:

I got answers! Two minutes had not even passed.

I am extremely grateful to Caneele, Jeanne, and Laura (the author of The Gluten-Free Asian Kitchen, from which the recipe for pot stickers come) who answered and provided input. I learned that guar can be used instead of xanthan, but it is less elastic – and, I learned from Laura, she tried using guar gum for the pot stickers but it didn’t work. I was so glad I’d asked instead of deciding to just wing it and hope for the best.

I got more xanthan gum, for the first time in almost two years.

Continue reading

About these ads
6761502253_b1591bddf0

Quinoa Pancakes

I’m up at 6AM making pancakes and I feel slightly Julia Child-like standing over the stove, wearing my fake pearl necklace I posted yesterday on trend & chic, my fashion (among other interests) blog.

These pancakes are hearty, fluffy pancakes that are the epitome of classic pancakes. These are the pancakes you think of when you think of your basic breakfast pancakes. They have a slightly nutty flavour as well from the quinoa (we use quinoa flour and cooked quinoa in the batter), which compliments itself well to being generously spread with butter and drizzled with honey or maple syrup.

Thanks to quinoa being nutrient-dense (protein and fibre, among other nutrients), these pancakes also fit the bill for this month’s theme of Go Ahead Honey, It’s Gluten-Free! hosted by Maggie of She Let Them Eat Cake.

Continue reading

20111207-105855.jpg

Broccolini and Corn Quinoa with Shrimp with Olive Oil Lemon Garlic Dressing

Have you ever noticed how sensual and alive whole, unprocessed foods taste – food that uses fresh ingredients – after eating lots of sugar and carb-heavy foods? It’s refreshing. All you want is a nice, simple salad; nothing fancy. All those checkpoints are met with this simple quinoa dish and it can be prepared and on the table practically within no time at all. It is an easy and quick dish to make.

When Amy (Simply Sugar and Gluten Free) invited me to participate in the launch of hers and Maggie’s (She Let Them Eat Cake) new website, Balanced Platter, I immediately said yes. As I started to think about what I could share, I thought what better choice – and more appropriate – than this recipe?

Continue reading