We all live a life of choices every moment of our lives.
They can be deliberate or unconscious, but each and every one creates its own ripple effect, as an option for something is always simultaneously a move against something else.
A vegan life style is one that is focused on excluding all forms of animal cruelty and abuse concerning food, clothing or any other purpose.
This agenda defines dietary regimens as those that are devoid of all animal products, including meat, eggs and dairy.
Vegans also tend to avoid the use of all personal and household products that are tested on animals and the purchase of all animal-derived, non-food products, such as leather, fur, and wool.
What Is Considered A Vegan Diet?
Vegans enjoy many of the same common foods that everyone else does, such as: green salads; spaghetti; peanut butter sandwiches; cornbread; chips and salsa.
Specifically some other favorites include: burritos without cheese or sour cream; Thai curry made from coconut milk;.egg-free pasta with tomato sauce or other non-meat and non-dairy sauce and most breads.
Fermented foods are also popular such as tempeh, which is a soybean product that is also available in a sprouted version Other fermented choices include: miso, kimchi, and sauerkraut.
A multitude of vegan diet choices include: soy milk; non-dairy milk substitutes; nutritional yeast, and hemp tofu, which is made completely from hemp seeds, and is far less processed than its soybean alternative.
A typical vegan diet includes all grains, beans, legumes, vegetables, fruits and the vast number of foods that can be made by combining them.
In addition, there are vegan versions of hot dogs, ice cream, cheese, non-dairy yogurt, and mayonnaise as well as veggie burgers.
What Exactly Is Gluten?
Gluten is a family of proteins that are commonly found in grains, including wheat (most common), rye, spelt, and barley.
When flour mixes with water, the gluten proteins in the flour form a sticky matrix that has a glue-like consistency. This-property renders the dough elastic and gives bread the ability to rise during baking. It also provides a chewy, satisfying texture.
The name, gluten, actually derives from this glue-like characteristic of wet dough.
The use of gluten is a moot topic today. Most sources claim that it is safe for everyone except those who have celiac disease.
On the other hand, some health experts believe that gluten is harmful to most people.
The truth lies probably somewhere in between, but for the most part, those seeking gluten-free and vegan alternatives can find happiness in the use of guar gum powder.
Gluten binds ingredients together into one viscous mixture; stretches and maintains elasticity in dough; allows air pockets to maintain shape; retains moisture and prevents the formation of crumbly textures.
Baking without gluten affects the texture, taste and structure of baked goods, which is why a binding agent like guar gum powder is so important in a recipe.
Here are 10 tasty recipes that use guar gum.
Why Guar Gum Is A Perfect Gluten Replacement
Guar gum powder is the ideal choice for the traditional vegan who is focused on cruelty-free extraction processes with no animal ingredients or testing and an ongoing concern for the environment.
Additionally, it’s all-natural, there are no chemicals added into its production process, it’s less costly and often provides better results than other baking alternatives. Even more, in the case of our guar gum powder, it comes with the added bent if of being fully USDA certified organic.
Its popularity in vegan foods has soared over the last few years because it mimics the elusive and difficult to replicate textures of yogurt and soft cheeses.
It aids in preventing plant-based milk from curdling in hot drinks and provides a smooth and oily character to plant-based faux creams.
Why Is Guar Gum Better Than Other Vegan Alternatives?
One of the many benefits of guar gum for vegan cooks is that it does not require heat to thicken. It does, however, retain its thickening properties when it is heated.
As well as being suitable for vegan diets, guar gum is also beneficial to gluten free recipes as a stabilizer for bread, cakes, baked goods and pasta.
Additionally, gluten-free flour that is infused with guar gum helps to keep products firm and prevents them from losing their shape and crumbling.
And the costs of producing guar are substantially lower when compared to those of most other vegan food thickeners.
The following provides a comparison between guar gum and other alternatives, such as gelatin, agar agar, flax seeds, psyllium husk powder, Xanthan and chia seeds.
Guar Gum Versus Gelatin
Due to the fact that gelatin is derived from animal connective tissue, vegan (or kosher) lifestyles demand alternatives.
Guar gum is often used to substitute gelatin because of its similarity when blended with water. When used for this purpose, one-sixth the amount of guar gum replaces the gelatin amount.
Explore our guide to avoid clumping when mixing guar in water.
It improves the consistency of plant-based milk and cream substitutes, as it helps to maintain the “mouth feel” of dairy products, which otherwise can seem thin or watery.
In some instances, guar gum can transform a non-vegan (and even non-vegetarian) recipe into a vegan-friendly one in seconds.
Very effective in gluten-free pizza crust recipes, dough becomes more pliable and easier to shape without cracking when guar gum powder is used. In other recipes, gelatin is also used to bind and thicken batters and dough.
Gelatin is also often utilized as an egg substitute, and in this capacity, serves as a binder. The one drawback with gelatin is the fact that it is more costly than guar.
Guar Gum Versus Agar Agar
Agar agar is not as accessible locally and is pricier by more than 50 times than guar gum powder.
As a gelling agent, this ingredient which is derived from seaweed, has properties that are very similar to guar gum.
It is valued as an ingredient in many vegan cheeses because it helps create pliable textures.
When agar agar is mixed with water, it forms a gel-like substance, which in baking renders breads that are chewier, moister and have increased dough elasticity.
Still, using too much agar agar can result in the retention of excess moisture, making bread or cakes soggy.
Due to the fact that the Internet is the main marketplace for agar agar, guar gum powder is the safer alternative and better consumer choice.
Guar Gum Versus Flax Seeds
Flax seeds are often used to replace eggs in vegan recipes, and they tend to share some similarities with guar gum.
Like guar, they are not used in their natural state and must first be ground and mixed with.
Although they are less effective than guar as binding agents, flaxseeds are extremely popular in gluten free baking.
Guar Gum Versus Psyllium Fiber (Psyllium Husk Powder)
Psyllium fiber is a superior binding agent that improves the baking quality of bread. Once it is combined into a main batter or dough, it retains liquid and won’t dry out the mixture.
It is this factor alone that makes psyllium fiber very effective at giving height to baked goods.
While psyllium is commonly added to fruit juices or water and drunk as is, it can also be added to baked goods, soups, stews and even pureed vegetables.
When used in cooked foods, it needs to be mixed with enough fluid so that the husk can absorb it and bulk up. In gluten free recipes, it helps to bind and improve structure.
While ground psyllium husk works well in gluten-free recipes, some people are allergic to it.
Home bakers are also sometimes unsatisfied with the powerful taste or texture psyllium husk powder can render to recipes, which somehow miss the mark.
Guar gum powder is far more predictable and popular in vegan cooking for these reasons.
Guar Gum Versus Xanthan Gum
While xanthan gum is often used both interchangeably and in conjunction with guar gum in many gluten-free recipes, it an entirely different product.
Unlike guar gum, which is the byproduct of a seed that is indigenous to Asia, xanthan gum is synthetic.
While both gums succeed in keeping oil droplets from sticking together and separating, and solid particles from settling to the bottom, xanthan gum is better for baked goods such as yeasted breads, and guar is best for cold foods such as ice cream or pastry fillings.
Guar is more economical however, because xanthan gum has a limited shelf life and is generally not recommended for use after the expiration date.
Guar gum powder, on the other hand, retains its properties for as long as 12 to 18 months, and this time can even be extended with the addition of preservatives.
Read more about the benefits of Guar Gum over Xanthan.
Guar Gum Versus Chia Seeds
Chia seeds are quite versatile and are used for everything from sprinkling into flour mixes for an added nutritional boost to substituting for an egg.
Nutritionally speaking, chia seeds are rich in Omega 3 fatty acids (more than 2.5 times that of flaxseed), protein and fiber and they can be used as binding agents as well.
Chia seeds do not require grinding in order to be effective binders when added to flour blends. They have a very mild, nutty flavor which generally does not alter the taste of the foods they are added to.
Guar gum is just as effective, and when sold by the pound, is also somewhat cheaper than chia seeds.
The Nature of Guar Gum Powder
Guar contains large amounts of galactomannan gum, which transforms into a gel when the bean is ground into a powder and then mixed with water.
It is this powdered form that has been in continuous use since the 1950s both as an ingredient in foods and as a supplement.
Guar gum is vegan to the core, and it is extracted from the seeds of the desert legume known as the guar bean plant via a rigorous process that entails roasting, de-husking, grinding and sieving. The resulting powder is flour-like and off white in color.
The majority of guar is grown for its endosperm, which is a source of water soluble gum that is utilized as a stabilizer, emulsifier and thickener in a multitude of food products.
While India produces about 100 million tons of guar annually and is responsible for 80% of the world’s output, increasingly more guar is being planted and manufactured in China, Africa, Australia and by Guar Resources within the United States.
The Leading Provider Of USDA-Certified Organic Guar Gum
Within the United States, the only producer and purveyor of guar gum is Guar Resources.
Our manufacturing facility is located in the heart of the southwestern plains of West Texas, where we produce millions of pounds of guar gum annually.
Pertinent to the discerning vegan, we are also the only manufacturer of 100% USDA-certified organic guar gum.
Aspects of this certification include: the selection of a USDA-accredited certifying agent; the submission of an application and fees; review and verification that practices comply with USDA organic regulations. and the issuance of an organic certificate and an annual review and inspection.
While other companies and foreign nation producers may claim their guar gum to be “certified organic”, there is nothing more guaranteed than that which is certified by the United States Department of Agriculture.
Simply put, our certifications, state-of-the-art technology and industrial expertise guarantee the creation of the highest quality guar gum powder possible.
Extremely appealing to vegan lifestyles is the fact that the guar gum powder produced by Guar Resources assures buyers that their purchase is of the highest standards of production.
If you’re a manufacturer of vegan products, contact our team today! If you’re a consumer looking for the highest quality guar gum powder to mix into your dietary needs, purchase our guar directly!
It is guaranteed to soon become a valued and indispensable item in every vegan’s kitchen pantry.
Photo Credits: Pixabay