Also known as kanten it originates from Southeast Asia and was discovered centuries ago in Japan. It has a white and translucent gelling agent extracted from boiling red seaweeds (Gelidium sp.).
Its use is vast and ranges from biology, pharmaceuticals and food products to culinary use by chefs and in Asian and vegetarian diets. It is great alternative to the use of animal jelly (obtained from boiling animal remains – cows and pigs – as tendons, bones and skin), and as substitute in the preparation of food as a thickener and natural jelly.
High in minerals content, it is formed by 80% in fibers, and contains no carbohydrates, sugar, or fat. It is low calorie and an excellent adjuvant in weight loss and vegetarian diets.
Knowing that you can use a product of plant origin, without any preservatives or additives and dye would be a great attraction. But, if you still have any questions, learn more benefits to replace industrialized gelatin by the wonders of Agar-Agar:
- Agar-Agar – advantages and benefits:
-consistency 10 times stronger than the gelatin – it does not need refrigeration and maintains the initial consistency at room temperature. It’s very useful in cooking and as snack.
-controls appetite, as it promotes satiety and helps in weight loss. (add 1 teaspoon of Agar powder in 200 ml of boiled water or warm herbal tea, stir and take it once daily, 30 minutes before lunch).
-helps bowel movements removing toxins and prevents constipation.
-has neutral taste and odor and can be used in sweet (pudding, custard, flans) or salted dishes.
-vegetal origin, it is natural and chemical-free.
-absorbs glucose and fat and helps to dissolve bad cholesterol from the system.
-save money as it yields much more than the traditional gelatin.
It is found in dried seaweed strips, flakes, capsules or fine white powder (best for cooking and tea) in natural and Asian food stores or markets in your city. Buy the very thin, white and odorless powder. There are brands that sell sachets of 4 grams.
- IMPORTANT – HOW TO USE
Unlike animal jelly, which needs to be diluted in hot water, the agar powder needs to be diluted and boiled in water or fruit juice, flavored milk or broth for salt mousse, or as a thickener in vegetable sauces and cheeses. The powder cannot be added to the ingredients of a recipe without the process of the prior boiling. USE measuring spoon.
For replacements know the proportions:
12 g of powdered common gelatin OR 6 sheets of gelatin = 4 g Agar powder
-2 tsp (4 g) Agar powder
-500 ml of sweetened water or fruit juice, coconut water, coconut milk or milk with cocoa or coffee or smoothie with fruit – or salty broth. (If you want it firmer, use less liquid).
Add the powder to the liquid, mix well and if sweeten, mix the sugar now or add cooking sweetener; simmer over medium heat for 2 minutes, stirring constantly. If you want you can add chopped fruit or grated coconut after boiling the mixture. Put the mixture quickly in a mold and wait to cool. Put in the fridge if you want. Just cut into cubes or unmold to serve it.
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