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
- Flax seeds/flax meal
- Corn starch
- Tapioca powder/tapioca starch
- Chia seeds
- Hemp flour
- Sorghum flour
- Coconut flour
- Arrowroot powder
- Rice flour
- A cup of regular, all-purpose flour
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 creamÂ
- 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/Flax Meal
Flax seeds are all the noise in the beauty world, as well as the cooking and baking world. It is the best source of 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.
Cornstarch is the starch that’s extracted from the corn grain. This is a white/yellow powdery substance that is used as a thickening agent. You can also bake with it and treat it a regular flour.
Tapioca Powder/Tapioca Starch
Tapioca powder, also called Tapioca starch, is a white powdery substance made from the cassava root.
If you want to do some gluten-free baking or cooking, then this is the right thing for you. You can easily substitute your cornstarch with this gluten-free option.
Chia seeds are great binding agents and when put in water, they can absorb up to 12 times their own weight. Chia seeds are very flexible to work with and can easily improve the consistency of your dough.
I can’t close this chapter without mentioning that you can make a whole no-bake dessert with this.
In only ten minutes you can prepare an amazing chia pudding by just putting two tablespoons of chia seeds in 1/4 cup of water. You can add any topping you want.
Hemp flour is made from ground hemp seeds, and it’s used mostly in baking and thickening soups, sauces, and gravies.
Don’t worry, hemp flour won’t get you high even though is made from Cannabis Sativa. The THC is totally extracted and safe to use.
This product is safe to use for all of your gluten-free recipes since it doesn’t contain any grains or wheat.
This powdery substance is gluten-free and it’s made from Sorghum bicolor grass. Despite its slightly nutty and sweet taste, Sorghum flour really resembles wheat flour and it’s an excellent substitute for it.
This alternative to Psyllium husk can be a little tricky to find in the grocery stores but you can always check in the health food stores.
Â Coconut Flour
This Coconut Flour product comes from dried coconut meat and it’s made its way as one of the most popular flours in the world.
It’s completely gluten-free and grain-free. You can make your amazing baked goods even better by adding this product to your recipes.
That is, of course, if you don’t mind the coconut taste or have any allergies.
This Arrowroot powder is a great alternative for either Psyllium husk or regular wheat flour.
It adds a lighter structure to your baked goods, especially if we’re talking pastries like croissants that should be light as air.
Arrowroot powder is also a great thickening agent for stews, soups, sauces, and gravies.
This is Rice flour, a productÂ made from finely milled rice. Not only is rice flour the perfect alternative for Psyllium husk in baking, but it regularly substitutes wheat flour.
As I said, you can treat it as a regular flour in your baking and cooking, without worrying about the structure of your final product.
Agar-Agar or just Agar is vegetable(plant-based) gelatin that is usually made from seaweed.
This gelatinous product can be used in dairy-free and vegetarian recipes since it’s not made out of animals.
Simply just use your Agar powder(it can also be sold in blocks or flakes) as you would regular gelatin.
All-purpose flour needs no introduction. You probably have it in your pantries as we speak.
It comes from a blend of different types of wheat, and it’s sold everywhere. While this is not a gluten-free alternative, I thought it was worth mentioning since it’s available everywhere and very affordable.