Can I use Psyllium Husk Powder in this recipe? How much do I use?

This is probably the question I’ve been asked most in the last month…and I’d be lying if I said I haven’t asked the same question myself.

Since it is my awesome readers and blog followers who inspired me to answer this question, I thought I’d take you behind the scenes with me while I Break A Recipe!

If this is your first time visiting Break A Recipe, thank you so much for stopping by! If you’re a returning visitor or subscriber thank you for visiting and Breaking Recipes with me. I value your feedback and I enjoy hearing about your cooking!

My name is Nina, I am a Grain-Free and Allergen Friendly Self Taught Chef who breaks recipes removing the most common allergens so that we can eat these foods safely! I enjoy sharing these recipes with you! I’m a food nerd who loves connecting with you on social media.

I’m so excited to take you behind the scenes so you can Break A Recipe with me today!

When we Break A Recipe, it’s important that we understand our ingredients and how they work.

So before we go talking substitutes, let’s talk about Xanthan gum…

In gluten free cooking, xanthan gum mimics gluten, the protein in wheat. It gives our baked goods and sauces the stretch and body we associate with gluten, it’s what allows our gluten free baked goods to maintain their fluffy rise!

Sweet Grain-Free Breakfast Bread Made Without Allergens

Those fluffy air pockets in this bread are brought to you by Xanthan Gum!

Now, that we know what xanthan gum is, why would someone want to replace it?

I didn’t know what made people want to avoid xanthan gum until I had some unexplained inflammation. Like I do when this happens, I looked for the source. Usually it’s a food allergen or skin allergen. This time I couldn’t find it…so I looked into the ingredients in the food I was eating. Lots of foods I was eating contained xanthan gum. I decided to research what xanthan gum is made of. I learned that there are common sources of xanthan gum: dairy, soy, corn, and sometimes wheat!!!

I’m allergic to all of those, no wonder my body was reacting with inflammation!!! I did some searching and I was able to find a brand of xanthan gum which is made without those allergens. Huge, win. I was back to baking in no time!

My favorite xanthan gum is free of allergens!

I highly recommend Authentic Foods, Xanthan Gum. I am allergic to Apples, Almonds, Bananas, Beef, Blueberries, Cassava, Corn, Dairy, Eggs, All Grains, Pork, Potatoes, and Soy. I do not react to this brand. So if you are worried about xanthan gum being derived from corn, soy, dairy, or wheat, those are not used in making this brand of xanthan gum.

Some people still ask for substitutes for xanthan gum. They have an allergy to it or would like to avoid it.

Here are a few popular links you might find helpful if you are looking to replace xanthan gum in your cooking.

Before I came across Authentic Foods Xanthan Gum, I also looked for alternatives to it.

Here’s a quick summary of the substitutes I’ve tried and the results I got:

Chia–added a nice flavor to the baked goods, but didn’t hold the rise the same way xanthan gum did. Baked goods were far too dense for me. Cupcakes and breads should be fluffy!!!

Agar Agar–The big win with agar was that it didn’t change the flavor, the baked good didn’t crumble but it didn’t hold a rise either. It was a loaf of flat bread.

Gelatin–similar to the agar-agar–no change in flavor, but the baked good was gel like, not fluffy!

None of the xanthan gum replacers I tried could do half of what xanthan gum goes. When I found the Authentic Foods Xanthan Gum, I went back to baking with a safe allergen free xanthan gum.

These ingredients and equipment are what I use in my own kitchen. In some cases I recommend a newer version of a tool, since I only upgrade my tools when they are truly broken. As an amazon associate, I earn from qualifying purchases. If you purchase anything through an affiliate link, I earn a small commission at no extra cost to you. Thank you for helping to “keep the lights on,” here at Break A Recipe.

Enough With the Words, Let’s Break A Recipe!

Now That We Know What Xanthan Gum Is, And What It Does, We Are Ready To Go Behind The Scenes And Break The Recipe!

Today, we are hoping to answer the question:

How Can I substitute Psyllium Husk Powder for Xanthan Gum in a Gluten Free Recipe?

After reading about Xanthan Gum, I was ready to try making my chocolate chip cookie recipe with it. In order to make sure that we are evaluating the effectiveness of the Psyllium Husk Powder as a binder in place of the xanthan gum, the xanthan gum is the only ingredient we will replace. Otherwise we won’t know if the results are due to the Psyllium Husk Powder or the other ingredient we change. (Simple scientific principles at work!)

Chocolate Chip Cookies (Gluten-Free, Vegan, Allergen Friendly)

Perfect chocolate chip cookies without gluten, dairy, egg, or soy!
Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 12 mins
Course Dessert, Snack
Cuisine Allergen-Friendly, Dairy Free, Gluten Free, Grain Free, Nut-Free
Servings 5 Dozen

Equipment

  • Baking Sheets/ Baking Stones
  • Mixing bowl
  • Electric Mixer
  • Measuring cups
  • Measuring Spoons
  • Cookie Scoop

Ingredients
  

Wet Ingredients

  • 1 Cup Coconut Oil
  • ¾ Cup Coconut Sugar
  • ¾ Cup White Sugar (Beet Sugar or Cane Sugar)
  • 1 teaspoon Vanilla Flavoring
  • ½ Cup Chickpea Flour
  • Cup Coconut Milk

Dry Ingredients

  • 2 Cups Grain Free Flour (see link below for recipe)
  • 1 teaspoon Salt
  • 1 ¼ teaspoon Baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon Cream of Tartar
  • 1 ¼ teaspoon Xanthan Gum
  • 1 Cup Chocolate chips

Instructions
 

  • Beat coconut oil with an electric mixer until light and fluffy. Add sugars to fluffy coconut oil.
  • Add chickpea flour to coconut oil and sugars, mix until well blended (30 seconds to 1 minute). With mixer running on low speed, add coconut milk and mix 1 minute. Mixture will have a thick creamy consistency.
  • Gradually add grain free flour, and mix thoroughly. Sprinkle xanthan gum and salt over the top of dough, and mix one minute. Sprinkle salt, baking soda, and cream of tartar on top of dough and mix.
  • Add chocolate chips to dough and mix on low speed.
  • Using a 1 or 2 tablespoon cookie scoop, evenly space dough on baking sheet or stone. Bake 8-12 minutes.
  • Cool 1 minute on baking sheet or stone before transferring to cooling rack.

Notes

The texture of your cookie will change based on the consistency of your coconut oil.  For perfect cookies, coconut oil should be soft enough to cut with a spoon.  If coconut oil is too hard, microwave for 10-30 seconds on low power.  
If you’re looking for a cookie that doesn’t have a coconut flavor, use refined coconut oil, a variety of coconut oil know for its neutral “non-coconut” flavor.  
This recipe makes 2 1/2 dozen large cookies if you use a 2 tablespoon scoop, or 5 dozen small cookies if you use a 1 tablespoon scoop. 
These cookies freeze well, I like to make “dessert trays” with a few of each kind of cookie I make.  Then I defrost them and it’s like I went shopping because I have a whole tray with different varieties of cookies ready to go!
 

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So? How Did It Go?

Can We Replace Xanthan Gum With Psyllium Husk Powder?

Let’s look at the results…

Adding More Psyllium Husk Powder helped the cookies act more like traditional cookies .

When I researched the amount of psyllium husk powder to use, it was recommended to use double the amount of psyllium husk powder as xanthan gum. I started by following that suggestion. Let’s look closely at the results…

2x psyllium husk powder–cookies are too thin, crispy, and crumble when picked up.

Replacing the xanthan gum with double the psyllium husk powder produced a cookie which puddled as it baked and then stopped spreading as the sugar in the cookie crisped up (see the brown edges). The cookies did not taste like my usual cookies, the crumpled when picked up, and bumping one of them with the oven mitt caused a dent in the cookie!

Maybe the problem was that I didn’t use enough, so I added more Psyllium Husk Powder.

With 3x the amount of Psyllium Husk Powder, the cookies were less brittle and less crumbly. They were not soft or chewy.

I added more Psyllium Husk Powder. I was hoping that 3x the amount of the xanthan gum would produce the moist chocolate chocolate chip cookies I get when I use xanthan gum. I was disappointed again! The cookies didn’t puddle like the first batch and they didn’t crumble as much as the first batch. They also weren’t soft or chewy and they still crumbled! So I decided to see if 4 times the amount of xanthan gum would do it.

With 4x the amount of psyllium husk powder the cookies had better shape, but when tasted had a strange flavor which I assume was the psyllium.

Using 4 times the original amount of Psyllium Husk Powder as Xanthan Gum produced a cookie which looked similar to my usual Grain-Free Allergen Friendly cookies. I was hopeful! They came off the baking stone easily and they didn’t crumble much. They weren’t soft like a homemade cookie, and there was a taste that I did not enjoy in the cookies. It was a deep earthy flavor that might taste good in bread—but one that we don’t usually associate with cookies.

So What Did We Learn From Breaking The Recipe?

We learned you can substitute psyllium husk powder for xanthan gum but the results will differ significantly.

For best results using 3-4x the amount of Psyllium Husk Powder.

Adding More Psyllium Husk Powder helped the cookies act more like traditional cookies .

Allergen Friendly cookies made with Xanthan gum

You can see there really is a difference in the appearance and texture of the psyllium husk powder cookies when compared to the xanthan gum cookies. The taste is even more different than the appearance!

I shared these Psyllium Husk Powder cookies with friends and family who have tried my Grain-Free Chocolate Chip Cookies and the verdict was unanimous! “Not bad for a gluten free cookie, but I prefer the Grain-Free Chocolate Chip Cookie the other way (with xanthan gum)”

The best feature of the Psyllium Husk Powder cookies is how nicely they crumble! They made a great ice cream topping!

Thank you so much for reading this blog post! I love talking food. Before you go, remember to subscribe, follow on instagram, and Pinterest so you can see more behind the scenes baking! Your feedback on the photos of the recipes I am developing is so helpful! For more great grain-free allergen friendly recipes like the Chocolate Chip Cookies (Vegan, Gluten-Free, & Allergen Friendly) subscribe to my newsletter!

Thank you for Breaking A Recipe with me today! As you can see, substituting one ingredient for another doesn’t always give us the results we are hoping for. The best recipes are the ones we can eat safely with those whose company we enjoy! Now that you’ve seen the results of baking the cookies with Xanthan Gum Vs. Psyllium Husk Powder, which do you think you would enjoy most? Leave your answer in the comments!

Wishing you safe and delicious foods ❤️ Nina

Recipes Are Meant To Be Broken! How Will You Break This One? Post Your Idea In The Comments.

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