How You Should Be Storing Xanthan Gum

If you've ever tried your hand at gluten-free baking, then you know the struggle is all too real. Gluten is a baker's BFF: It's what makes baked goods soft. Without it, you've probably found your bread and muffins crumbly. Maybe your cookies have the texture of cardboard and fall to bits as soon as you take a bite. The solution? Add some xanthan gum to the batter (via America's Test Kitchen).

Xanthan gum is a food additive made from sugar fermented by the bacteria Xanthomonas campestris. The result is a goopy substance that is dehydrated into powder (via Healthline). The powder can then be used to thicken soups and sauces or be added to homemade salad dressing to keep ingredients from separating. When it comes to gluten-free baking, xanthan gum is the missing link. It gives baked goods that fluffiness, moistness, and all-around yumminess that traditional gluten-filled recipes are known for (via The Kitchn).

Keep in mind that less is more when it comes to xanthan gum. King Arthur Baking recommends starting with ¼ teaspoon and not to exceed using more than 1 tablespoon in a recipe. So how do you store xanthan gum in between uses?

Store xanthan gum in an airtight container away from heat

The Spruce Eats recommends keeping xanthan gum fresh by storing the ingredient in an airtight container and away from direct light and heat. The kitchen cupboard or pantry is the perfect spot.

The refrigerator? Not so much. You've known since you first started cooking that keeping food in the fridge or freezer can extend its shelf life long past those pesky expiration dates. But a cold environment causes xanthan gum to absorb moisture and clump, according to Thrive Cuisine. You can still use it when it's clumpy, but if you're using it to bake, let it come to room temperature first. If properly stored, xanthan gum can last up to three years.

Now that you've added xanthan gum to your shopping list, where can you find it? Try the baking or gluten-free aisles at grocery and health food stores or online retailers.