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Flax Gel (thickener, binder)

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flax-gel-featureI learned about flax gel a long time ago,from the the Artisan Vegan Life website.  She boiled the flax seeds to create a gel but it got me to wondering if I could do it in a raw way.

You know me, I am always researching and scratching my head. :)  I did my best to research this topic but when it got into the deep science of it, my head was spinning.  There are days when I wish that I was a food scientist, because I so crave new information.

So here’s the scoopy-doop (I am sounding more and more intelligent every day)  When you mix flax or even chia seeds with water, the polysaccharides (carbohydrate molecules) in the outer coating of the seeds, form a gummy gel.  You typically see me refer to this as mucilage in other recipes.  It is also known as:

Flax Gel / polysaccharides gum / mucilage

From my years of experience I have found this mucilage very helpful in many of my raw recipes.  It works as a binder, adds moisture, and can help produce a desired mouthfeel.  You and I see it all the time when we use soaked flax seeds in breads, crackers, and other various raw recipes.

If you want to use it as a gel in the baking culinary world, it needs to be heated to break down the starches within the seeds, to create a structure that will react better when combined with other ingredients that are baked. For instance, many people use flax gel as a egg replacement. (1,2) So far I have used it in raw cheese recipe such as in my Cultured Cashew Cream Cheese (recipe coming on the 26th).  I just love playing around with it.

I should let you know that once the gel is separated from the seeds, you can use the seeds in other recipes… therefore nothing goes to waste.  See my Salsa Flax cracker recipe (recipe coming on the 26th).  So get your flax gel started so it will be ready for Thursdays recipes!  Have fun experimenting!  Blessings, amie sue

Ingredients:

yields 1 1/2 cups gel 

Preparation:

  1. In a medium-sized bowl, stir together the water and flax seeds.  Work out any lumps.
  2. Let the mixture rest for 8 hours or overnight. Do not go over 24 hours.  I have tested it and it seems that that the gel thins out, losing it’s structure.
  3. After the soaking process, place a fine mesh colander over a bowl and pour the flax seed mixture into it.
    • Let the gel drip into the bowl.
    • You can help speed the process along by stirring the mix and somewhat pressing the spoon into the mesh.
    • Otherwise just allow the gel to drip.  I let mine sit  covered on the counter overnight.
  4. Place the gel in an airtight container and keep in the fridge for 1-2 weeks.
  5. The seeds can still be used in other recipes so nothing goes to waste.

2 thoughts on “Flax Gel (thickener, binder)

  1. BellaNguyen says:

    Hello Amie, may i use this flax seed gel to substitute sunflower lecithin in your recipes of milk or others? Thanks Amie. Bella

    • amie-sue says:

      Hello Bella,

      I don’t see why not. I haven’t tested it. I use the lecithin for nutritional reasons and also to help emulsify the milks. If you didn’t want to make the flax gel, you could add flaxseeds into the blender with the nuts or seeds and strain as normal. So now you have options :) Blessings, amie sue

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