Psyllium, also known as ispaghula is a type of fiber made from the Plantago ovata seeds. Psyllium husk powder is known as a natural laxative, and it has many health benefits but is also used in various baking recipes, preventing your baked goods from becoming crumbly and stiff. Since psyllium husk powder is not easy to find, you can substitute it with these products.
Substitutes for Psyllium husk in baking are Xanthan gum, Guar gum, potato starch, almond flour, and flax seeds.
In the next chapter of the article I will be explaining the uses for these substitutions, so make sure to read all the way through.
Psyllium Husk Powder Substitutes
Even though it has the word ”gum” in it, this product is nothing like gum, in fact, Xanthan gum is actually a powdery substance. It is mostly used as a thickening agent in many popular foods like jello, yogurts, soups, and pudding. You can even find this product in some of your skincare products, and personal care products. This is a lab-made fiber but don’t worry, it is completely safe to use and in fact, Xanthan gum has many health benefits like lowering blood pressure, weight loss, and can even help with those who struggle with dry mouth. To substitute Psyllium husk powder with Xanthan gum, just simply use the same amount that you would use Psyllium(ex. teaspoon of psyllium husk equals a teaspoon of Xanthan). Xanthan gum is a great replacement for Psyllium husk in baking.
This is also not real gum as some may think. Guar gum is made from legumes called guar beans and its main purpose is to bind and thicken processed foods, and it is an excellent alternative to Psyllium. It is very high in dietary fiber, and low on calories. Just like Xanthan gum, Guar gum also has some health benefits like lowering blood pressure, helping with weight loss, cardiovascular diseases, and maintaining blood sugar(for people with diabetes). If you want to use this product as a substitute for Psyllium husk, use the same amount that you would use Psyllium husk powder. For example, if you need a tablespoon of psyllium husk powder, use a tablespoon of Guar gum instead.
In What Foods Is Guar Gum Found
Whether you know it or not, you consume this product almost regularly. Here are some products containing Guar gum that we consume at least a couple of times a week.
- Sauces, and salad dressings
- Different types of cheese
- Ice cream
- Yogurt, Kefir, or Ayran
This starch is made from crushing potatoes and extracting the starch out of them. Potato starch basically looks like a powder or flour and it has the same abilities as corn starch(acts as a thickening agent in most foods). If you’re up for some gluten-free baking, then this is the product for you. Potato starch is flavorless and can fit in many of your baking and cooking recipes, without changing the taste. You can find it in almost every grocery store, in the regular flour aisle of the stores. There is not much to say about this product, except that it can hold up to high temperatures(higher than corn starch), and it is used as a thickening agent in soups, gravies, pie fillings, etc… One tablespoon of potato starch is equal to one tablespoon of Psyllium husk powder.
Almond flour is made from ground almonds. The process of making the flour starts with blanching the almonds in hot water to remove the skin, and then grinding and sifting the flour until it becomes a fine, powder-like substance. These days it seems like everybody substitutes regular flour with almond one. This is because almond flour is much healthier and very nutritious, acts exactly the same in baking and cooking as usual flour, and is gluten-free. If you happen to not have this particular flour, don’t rush to the store, check your pantry for some coconut flour, tapioca flour, and rice flour, as well as other gluten-free flours. Please do not use these flours if you have a nut allergy.
How To Use Almond Flour In Baking
Simply substitute your regular wheat flour with almond one. Almond flour is best when used to make pastries, coating your chicken with it(like breadcrumbs), and of course to make the best but also the hardest cookies to make, macarons. But with all the good things there must be one bad thing and that is that almond flour tends to make baked goods a little flat and dense because it doesn’t contain any gluten in it, which helps your dough rise and have a fluffy texture.
Flax seeds are all the noise in the beauty world, as well as the cooking and baking world. It is the best source for fiber you will ever find, and it is very nutritious as well. Many people use it as a source of fiber(Omega 3 fatty acids) and nutrients when they do diets for weight loss, it also gives you the feeling of fullness, even if you haven’t eaten that much. Flax seeds come from the flax plant, and normally only the seeds are used for eating and cooking. Flax seeds can help to lower LDL cholesterol levels, lowering blood sugar, heart diseases, and other health issues. These miracle seeds can do anything, including being an excellent alternative to gelatin, and psyllium husk.
How To Use Flax Seeds
- Take some ground flaxseed (you can use a coffee grinder to grind them if you don’t already have ground ones).
- Put them in boiling water, and stir non-stop.
- You will see that after a minute or so, the consistency will thicken and it will look like a gel.
- Stir another couple of minutes until you’re satisfied with the consistency.
- Take your finished product off the heat, and let it sit and cool for 10-15 minutes.
- Use your product to make some delicious baked goods or any baking recipe that you desire.
Like all high sources of fiber, flax seeds can cause some intestinal blockage, as well as constipation, so make sure you consume lots of fluids when consuming flax seeds, or simply just don’t overeat it.