Have you ever spent hours making ice cream just to have it turn out with icy crystals? It still tastes great, but just doesn’t have that smooth texture? Now there is an answer! A little bit of Guar Gum can prevent ice crystals from forming. It is a standard ingredient in store-bought ice cream. It is their secret ingredient if you will! Ok, maybe it’s not such a secret, but something I wish I knew years ago!
Guar Gum is made from guar beans, making it a great vegan stabilizer and emulsifier. It is a fine powder that can be used as a binder in gluten-free baking as a gluten replacement or as an emulsifier in suspensions such as salad dressings.
To add Guar Gum to an ice cream recipe, start with 1/2 teaspoon for 3 cups of liquid. It will add a creaminess to your ice cream. If you find your ice cream is too thick, almost like taffy, try cutting back a little at a time. A little goes a long way!
Guar Gum should be added to the ice cream mixture prior to churning. Add it slowly, sprinkling it on top of the liquid while stirring or whisking. Adding it too fast will result in clumps.
There are other alternatives to Guar Gum that can have the same stabilizing effect on ice cream. Xanthan gum, locust gum, gelatin, and carrageenan have all been known to be used in ice cream. You can also try a combination of these for great results!
When making ice cream with an egg base, the egg acts as a stabilizer. You may still find icy crystals in an egg-based ice cream, but probably less than in an egg-free ice cream. In this case, you may decrease the amount of guar gum in the recipe to get the best results.