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Is Xanthan Gum a Good Cornstarch Substitute?

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When creating a stew, soup, or sauce, you may wish to add a thickening agent to make it thicker. When baking or making a dessert, you may want to thicken the liquid or filling to enhance the texture. This is where cornstarch and xanthan gum come into play. Cornstarch is made from finely ground corn kernels. Meanwhile, xanthan gum is a food additive made by fermenting cabbage, maize, soy, and wheat with a bacterium called Xanthomonas campestris.

During the process, the sugars in the veggies begin to break down, forming complex sugar molecules that convert into a liquid fluid that is typically sticky. After it has hardened, it is soaked in alcohol and dried before being pulverized into a powder. Xanthan gum is a very effective emulsifier or gelling agent. It’s typically found in store-bought products including salad dressings, drinks, soups, and ice cream.

What Exactly is Xanthan Gum?

Is Xanthan Gum a Good Cornstarch Substitute?

Although the real technical meaning of xanthan gum may surprise or offend you, it is a powdered food thickener made from bacteria that regularly infect plants.

When you open a container of baking ingredients, you would never guess they were manufactured by plant-infecting bacteria, but they are! It is basically a form of sugar generated by the Xanthomonas campestris bacterium during fermentation.

Applications of Xanthan Gum

Xanthan gum is typically utilized in two ways in processed goods and recipes:

Thickener: A compound that makes liquids thicker. It is often used to thicken smoothies, puddings, and keto baking recipes.

Emulsifiers bind substances together and prevent them from separating. This is especially important in low-carb and gluten-free baking and salad dressings.

This binding component is utilized in many keto baking recipes. Gluten is what binds bread together and may be found in whole wheat or all-purpose flour.

To avoid the bread from breaking when using almond or coconut flour in instead of flour, add xanthan gum (or a substitute).

What are the Other Alternatives for Cornstarch?

1. All-Purpose Flour

Plain all-purpose flour is another pantry essential that may be used in lieu of cornstarch, and it is particularly excellent as a thickening agent in sauces and roux.

Because all-purpose flour has half the thickening ability of cornstarch, use two teaspoons flour for every one tablespoon cornstarch. Remember that flour will not offer the same glossy sheen as cornstarch; your ultimate result will be more matte and maybe opaque. Using flour as a cornstarch alternative is also not a smart idea for baked goods: adding more flour to a recipe will likely result in a heavier, rather than lighter, final product.

2. Potato Starch

Potato starch is one of the greatest cornstarch replacements in terms of performance. This fine white powder is flavorless and works well as a thickening. The greatest feature is that it can typically be replaced with a 1:1 ratio, removing the need for mental calculations. Because potato starch works well in baked items like shortbread, many people believe it is a decent all-purpose alternative for cornstarch.

3. Rice Flour

Rice flour, which is not to be confused with rice starch, is another cornstarch replacement that is gluten-free and manufactured from finely milled rice.

We may also use it to thicken soups, sauces, and gravies, but it requires double the amount of rice flour as cornstarch.

If you don’t have rice flour on hand, crush rice in a food processor or spice mill to create your own. Rice flour may be made from either white or brown rice; for the best results in cooking or baking, crush it into a fine powder.

4. Tapioca Starch

Another expert-approved option for Cornstarch is tapioca starch (also known as tapioca flour), a neutral-flavored powder derived from cassava root. It’s best used in baking recipes (for example, to thicken the filling of a fruit pie).

Another big benefit of tapioca is that it freezes well, allowing your baked items to retain their precise consistency. Tapioca starch, on the other hand, should be avoided in any recipe that asks for boiling since the high heat will cause your sauce to become stringy.

5. Arrowroot Powder

Arrowroot powder has thickening qualities that are quite comparable to cornstarch. To get a gorgeously glittering sauce, use the same quantity of arrowroot as you would cornstarch.

There are a few things to bear in mind while cooking using arrowroot powder. To begin with, it is rather pricey.On Amazon, a 16-ounce jar costs roughly $10, so it’s definitely not the ideal solution when you need a significant lot. For the best results, dissolve it in cold water before adding it to a recipe. Arrowroot powder does not reheat well and has a poor thickening power. For these reasons, it is best used in dishes that will be served immediately.

6. Psyllium Husk

Many individuals choose psyllium husk, a form of soluble fiber, in lieu of cornstarch since it is low in carbs. When this powder is mixed with liquid, it immediately develops a gel-like consistency that works well in soups and stews. A modest quantity of psyllium husk is usually required: In your recipe, start with 12 tablespoons and gradually increase to reach the required texture.

So, is Xanthum Gum a Good Cornstarch Substitute?

Because it contains essentially no nutrients other than salt and potassium, xanthan gum is not necessarily an acceptable alternative for cornstarch. However, it is a fantastic thickening, emulsifier, and gelling agent. Because xanthan gum is so strong, a little goes a long way.

When Baking, Should you Use Cornstarch or Xanthan Gum?

Both of these thickening agents have a role in baking, depending on your aims for your baked products. In gluten-free baking, xanthan gum is widely used to promote emulsification and contribute structure and moisture. Xanthan gum aids in the prevention of crumbling in bread, cookies, muffins, cakes, and other baked products. Gluten includes proteins that aid in the binding of substances, while xanthan gum functions effectively in their absence.

Meanwhile, integrating Cornstarch into your delightful baked products will aid to retain moisture while also providing a lighter texture. Combining a starch, such as cornstarch, with other flours may help soften the flour’s stiff proteins, resulting in a light and chewy treat. Check the batter’s consistency to check whether there’s enough Cornstarch; if so, there’s no need to add any more; if it’s still too runny, sprinkle a little more till it’s just perfect for your taste.

Is Xantham Gum Healthier than Cornstarch?

Xanthan gum is supposed to be useful when ingested in high amounts, however this is difficult to obtain and is likely to create stomach difficulties. Some argue that xanthan gum is devoid of nutrition. Cornstarch is also regarded unhealthy owing to its high carbohydrate and calorie content, as well as a lack of vitamins, minerals, and fiber. Cornstarch should be used sparingly and as part of a well-balanced diet.

You should also read food labels carefully since many prepared and processed items, such as salad dressing, include Cornstarch, and you may be consuming more of it than you know. If you want a healthier alternative, ingesting these two thickening agents in moderation is your best approach.

Is Xanthan Gum Free of Gluten?

Yes, it is completely gluten-free. It does not include gluten since it is fermented sugar. In gluten-free recipes, xanthan gum is widely employed as an emulsifier!

What is the Cornstarch-to-Xanthan Gum Ratio?

Although these two thickening agents may frequently be used interchangeably depending on what you’re manufacturing, one is occasionally a superior or best option when employed for a particular reason. The good news is that these thickeners have the same one-to-one ratio. Even though the quantity is the same as for cornstarch, adding xanthan gum gently is crucial since a little goes a long way.

More significantly, xanthan gum has the ability to rapidly render liquids gooey, something you generally don’t want. If this occurs, you may not be able to reverse the sticky mess, requiring you to start again or suffer with an unpleasant texture. Remember to add it gradually to ensure that the consistency of whatever you’re cooking is what you want.

Xanthan Gum Or Cornstarch, Which is More Expensive?

When it comes to the pricing of each of these thickeners, there is a clear winner. That is, one is undeniably more expensive than the other. Xanthan gum is substantially more costly than cornstarch, and not only is it more expensive, but the packet or box size is also smaller. As a consequence, you’ll end up spending more for less.

On average, an 18-ounce bag of cornstarch costs $3.19, whereas an 8-ounce bag of xanthan gum costs $12.99. If you plan to produce a lot of gels or bake a lot of gluten-free goods, the food additive and thickener xanthan gum may be worth the investment. Cornstarch, on the other hand, is the way to go if you need a general thickening agent for sauces, custards, pie fillings, or to give chewiness to cookies and brownies.

Is Xanthan Gum Safe to Consume?

We realize that the genesis of xanthan gum is amazing. There are countless food additives to be aware of, and remembering which ones are healthy and which are harmful may be tough. Xanthan gum, according to Healthline, is reasonably harmless and may even offer health advantages. Because xanthan gum is a soluble fiber, research suggests that it may help reduce blood sugar levels. In larger dosages, it may also boost feelings of fullness and reduce cholesterol levels.

However, some individuals have stomach difficulties after taking excessive quantities of xanthan gum. These symptoms include laxative effects, bloating, and gas, according to Self Hacked. Those who are sensitive to maize should avoid xanthan gum, according to The Spruce Eats. Overall, it looks that xanthan gum is safe to ingest in goods. According to LifeSavvy, there is no need to seek out or avoid xanthan gum unless you are allergic to or avoid an item manufactured from maize, soy, or wheat.

Is Xanthan Gum Healthy?

There are constantly fresh research being conducted on the possible health advantages of using this substance. For the time being, the modest quantities you consume while baking with it are unlikely to affect your health significantly.

Hearing about the research and what experts are finding is still exciting.

A 1987 research, for example, revealed that males who drank xanthan gum for three weeks experienced a 10% decline in cholesterol.

Another research discovered that it has laxative qualities, which may be useful if you are constipated.

The most important health advantage is that it binds foods together, resulting in delectable meals that help you avoid manufactured sugar.

It’s fantastic to be able to eat donuts on a keto diet!

Is Xanthan Gum Suitable for your Keto Recipe?

That’s a lot of data to take in! I hope you see the importance of xanthan gum. Despite the fact that it was manufactured in a laboratory, it is fully natural and generated from bacteria.

This component is critical for making dishes that feel and look just like gluten-free alternatives. There are several replacements for this substance, but none work as well.

It’s incredibly easy to use and delivers delicious dishes!

How do I Thicken a Sauce with Xanthan Gum?

To thicken a liquid using xanthan gum, combine it with the liquid to be thickened. The liquid will thicken fast. To facilitate the flow of heavier sauces sitting, quickly stir or whisk them.


So, here is how you may substitute Xanthum Gum for cornstarch. If you don’t have cornstarch, all-purpose flour will suffice. Use twice as much flour as cornstarch. Potato starch is another ideal thickening and baking replacement since it delivers comparable outcomes and uses the same quantity as cornstarch. This post is related to Keto Cornstarch Substitute For Frying

Cornstarch may be replaced with rice flour, tapioca starch, xanthan gum, or psyllium husk. Some individuals substitute glucomannan, ground flaxseeds, or guar gum for cornstarch; however, these substitutions may not have the same texture and may contribute undesirable odors.


How much xanthan gum to replace cornstarch?

For every tablespoon of cornstarch, use 2 teaspoons.4 to 1 Xanthan Gum – A typical keto substitute for cornstarch in sauces. Use 1

What is an acceptable substitute for cornstarch?

Most chefs advocate using 2 tablespoons tapioca flour for 1 tablespoon cornstarch. Tapioca is a starch flour derived from the root vegetable cassava. For each tablespoon of cornstarch, use about 2 teaspoons tapioca flour.

What is the most popular substitute for thickening cornstarch?

All-Purpose Flour 5 Best Cornstarch Substitutes. Yes, all-purpose flour is a very stable thickener.
Powdered arrowroot. You’re in luck if you have this starch on hand: It has the same thickening power as cornstarch and produces a lovely, sparkly sauce.
Starch from potatoes.
Flour made from rice.
Tapioca Starch is a kind of starch.

Is xanthan gum a good thickening agent?

In tiny doses, xanthan gum works well as a thickening agent for sauces, to generate light foams, and to prevent components from separating while producing smoothies, dough, and batter.

What happens if you put too much xanthan gum in a recipe?

In fact, too much xanthan gum may degrade the texture of your baked products, leaving them sticky and gummy. If you’ve ever had a recipe that just won’t bake through, we suggest examining the quantity of xanthan gum you’re using – that might be the reason.

What is the best way to dissolve xanthan gum?

Xanthan gum may be spread in hot or cold liquids and comes in a variety of grades. When added to water, the powder has a significant propensity to form lumps, and a variety of dispersion and hydration procedures are utilized to attempt to overcome this.

What can I substitute for 2 tbsp cornstarch?

Tapioca Flour

“I have used tapioca flour in place of cornstarch for crisps, pie fillings, and cobblers,” Guas explains. “A rough substitute for 1 tablespoon cornstarch is 2 tablespoons tapioca flour.” Another big advantage of tapioca is that it freezes well, preserving the right consistency of your baked items.

How do you thicken stew without cornstarch?

Arrowroot starch and tapioca starch are two alternatives to cornstarch slurry. Purée should be included. To adopt this approach, purée less than half of the stew and leave out the meat lumps. Use a food processor, high-powered blender, or immersion blender to combine the ingredients.

Why avoid cornstarch?

Cornstarch has a high calorie and carbohydrate content but is deficient in important elements. It may also raise blood sugar levels and impair cardiovascular health.

What thickens better than cornstarch?

Although xanthan and guar gum are far stronger thickeners than cornstarch, they may be more difficult to acquire and utilize. Blending fruits and vegetables, adding coconut milk, or cooking dishes for a bit longer may also assist reduce the need for thickening agents like cornstarch.

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