How to Substitute Chia for Xanthan Gum

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You can replace xanthan gum, which is typically pricey, with chia seeds to create gluten-free baked goods with a different mouth-feel, but equally good structure. These high-fiber, nutrition-packed seeds can be sprinkled on cereals, added to smoothies or used to make puddings. As an added bonus, chia seeds, like xanthan gum, act as a gluten replacer, adding elasticity and structure to gluten-free baked goods. All you need to get started are chia seeds, a spice grinder and some water, and you’ll be well on your way to delicious gluten-free baking.

Grab a small pot or tea kettle, fill it with water and put it on the stove. Turn the burner on the medium-high or high and bring the water to a boil.

Grind chia seeds in a spice grinder or a clean coffee grinder. Keep in mind, that 1 tablespoon of whole chia seeds becomes approximately 1 1/2 tablespoons once it's ground.

Place the ground chia seeds in a bowl. Pour the boiling water over the seeds, using a combination of one part chia seeds to two parts water. For example, if you are using 1 tablespoon of ground seeds, using 2 tablespoons of boiling water.

Stir the water-seed mixture, and let it sit until it develops a thick, gel-like consistency. Add the mixture to your batter, and bake according to your recipe’s directions.