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Any experience with gums, thickeners?

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  • Any experience with gums, thickeners?



    I want to use one to make some things like pancakes or biscuits, salad dressings, or BBQ sauce more amenable to our low carb lifestyle.


    Here is a list of such products: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Category:Edible_thickening_agents


    I was surprised to learn that xanthan gum is synthetic! Than again, why should I be? Not that that automatically means it is bad....


    My mother uses blue cheese dressing on her salads. When I went to buy some the other day I discovered that the "lite" version has barely over half the calories of the regular dressing, replacing a lot of the oils with water and xanthan gum (somewhere under 2%.) I would like to make my own BC dressing with olive or coconut oils, but reduced in quantity for calories.


    The BBQ sauce project comes from my favorite sauce: Korean BBQ reduced to thick and then applied ten minutes before the meat finishes. Unfortunately, loaded with sugar. I would like to thicken with an edible gum and use stevia or Splenda to sweeten. (Frankly, the amount of sugar on the meat combined with the fat makes for a much lower glycemic index than would otherwise be the case. But who's counting?)


    My last desire is to make pancakes or biscuits from coconut flour, primarily. I can't recall which of the gums it was that I read about, but replacing gluten with the gum seems to do the trick.


    So, anyone with experience out there? What say you?


  • #2
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    have you tried the almond flour and shredded coconut pancakes recipe on the forum? We make about a dozen at a time and then freeze the extra for the week, they are great with some fresh fruit on them!


    no need to any thickeners in them...still working on BBQ sauce and ketchup too...ketchup was too vinegar-y... may have to try a small amount of honey next time...once I get that down, the BBQ sauce should follow as the ketchup is the base for it

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    • #3
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      Are you referring to homemade ketchup? What about "health food store" ketchup.


      Frankly, I rather choke on $10/pound for almond flour. A lot of calories, too.


      Tomato base (i.e. paste or ketchup) is one variation for BBQ sauces. So is cooking the sauce on at the end (K.C. Style)or a thin sauce put on repeatedly.

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      • #4
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        No one else? Any one?


        Yeah, I'm bumping this to the top for one last try.

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        • #5
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          sorry -- My one attempt at primal baking was wholly unsatisfying and so I've not studied it further.


          I don't see a reason for it in salad dressings, for a creamy dressing use egg yokes like in mayonnaise to thicken


          BBQ sauce, I would use tomato paste, and cook it down to thicken, so I don't see a need for a gum. Maybe some pectin from a fruit would help there if needed.

          It's grandma, but you can call me sir.

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          • #6
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            I want to make a soy sauce based BBQ sauce which is pretty liquid, obviously. Hence, a desire to thicken w/o tomato or sugar. Not that sugar thickens so much by itself, but in reducing it suddenly becomes a player.


            Pectin, I read, only thickens at lower temps, goes liquid at higher.


            Thanks for your thoughts.

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            • #7
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              Almond Meal is like $4-5 /lb at Trader Joe's so fairly reasonable at that price...


              I was using homemade ketchup...the store brands have agave nectar in them or some other sweetener..


              what about vinegar based BBQ sauce?

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              • #8
                1



                I'm not familiar with the kind of Korean BBQ you are referring to, I've only had Bulgogi type BBQ -- marinated think sliced steak grilled on the hibachi. Those use a thin marinade. I guess what you describe sounds a bit like Hoisin sauce. I understand that Hoisin sauce was traditionally made with sweet potatoes. Maybe that would work for you?

                It's grandma, but you can call me sir.

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                • #9
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                  OTB, do you have a non-primal recipe for the BBQ you want to use? You've got me thinking about a little Korean feast(or at least a gringo's approximation of a Korean feast) this weekend!

                  It's grandma, but you can call me sir.

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                  • #10
                    1



                    Sully, I take it that you are aware that TJ's is not everywhere? In fact, hardly anywhere, given the whole USA? We've had discussions here about them, how "everyone" (there was a dissenting voice, IIRC) loves them if one has ever lived in CA. Trust me, the almond meal/flour is $10/lb at Hole (In Your Pocket?) Foods. The only game/store in this town.


                    Korean BBQ sauce is in every Asian market, I'm sure. It's inexpensive. Mostly soy sauce and then with sugar, garlic, and other minor players I can't recall. As I mentioned, I reduce it on the stove to make it thicker and it is SO yummy. I'd prefer to ditch the sugar, hence my gum thread. But I also recognize that the amount of sugar on a given piece of meat is both minimal and has an effective low GI because of the fat and protein. Ain't gonna worry about it for something I do every two weeks.

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                    • #11
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                      Good thoughts about Hoisan sauce. I have some and sometimes put it on pork chops. I think it is heavely sugard soy, not sure how it is made thick.

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                      • #12
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                        Supposedly sweet potatoes were the thickener in Hoisin traditionally -- I'm sure it is modified food poison today.


                        Some suggestions:

                        http://lifelovefood.com/2008/thickening-sauce-without-cornstarch/


                        My guess would be that in ancient china sauces would have been thickened with water chestnut or mung bean flour. Nut butter might be the best primal alternative if you don't want to try sweet potatoes or something like that.


                        Since it has been established that you are not afraid of Peanut Butter, that sounds like the way to go -- it would taste good

                        It's grandma, but you can call me sir.

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                        • #13
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                          Sounds like everyone needs some access to a Wegmans. That's where I'm able to find nearly all my "off the wall" ingredients at a reasonable price.


                          Sadly TJ's is a 40 minute drive for me toward Philly.

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                          • #14
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                            Some interesting ideas, there, grandma. But I can't see any of them for my pet projects. Most of the commonly used thickeners are just dietary fiber, regardless of the origins.

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                            • #15
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                              I tried to make soy based BBQ sauce tonight. I used soy sauce, banana, ginger, lime juice. Simmered and mashed the banana until nice and thick. It was a little salty, but pretty good. In hindsight I should have tried cherries, that would have been a more appropriate flavor.

                              It's grandma, but you can call me sir.

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