Ever since switching to a gluten-free diet, I have found countless recipes calling for Xanthan Gum. (This helps keep baked goods from crumbling, in place of gluten.) However, I was stunned by the price of a bag of xanthan gum at my local grocery stores (around $11 for a package!).
I knew there had to be a more frugal solution (without eating sandy-textured foods!), and quickly began my search.
I stumbled across this delicious waffle recipe, which contained the answer: ground flax seeds! Packages of ground flax seed also suggest using flax seeds as an egg substitute, as well, with the ratio of 1 Tbl. flax + 3 Tbl. water per egg, in baking recipes.
**UPDATE**: I am now using chia seeds instead of flax seeds. See this post for a recent explanation.
I have successfully used a few teaspoons of ground flax seeds in all of my baked goods, without any problem. I simply add the flax into a measuring cup of the recipe’s liquid ingredients, in order for them to begin soaking, while I mix together the dry ingredients. By the time I pour everything together, the flax seeds have begun to “gel.” Perfect!
An added bonus is the nutritional benefits of flax seeds. They are a good source of Omega-3 fatty acids!
I purchase the local Bob’s Red Mill brand of flax seeds, which they have guaranteed to be gluten-free. I’ve also discovered that a local grocery store (Win-Co), offers their ground flax seeds in bulk! Most grocery stores offer flax seeds in their baking or cereal sections.
(And, if you’re so inclined, I have heard that this flax seed gel also works as a natural hair gel substitute. Let me know if you try it!)
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