When I learned that the “secret” ingredient in Starbucks ice crystal-free frappuccinos was xanthan gum, I bought some post haste. It performs as promised, preventing ice crystals and lending a creamy smooth texture to frapps and smoothies. However, clean-up was a mess because, as soon as water touches it, it turns into a slimy, almost impossible to clean-up substance, as it contains molecules that cause particles to bond, hence its use in some gluten-free baking mixes.
So I wondered about adding it to a simple syrup made of stevia (a plant-derived natural no-calorie sweetener) and water to create a syrup similar to what Starbucks dispenses into their frapps. What I ended up with was gel more than a syrup, but it works beautifully and keeps for what seems like forever, covered, in the fridge. Use about 2 tablespoons of my “Smoothie Gel” for 2 to 2 1/2 cup frapps or smoothies
1 cup ice cubes
1/2 cup canned pureed pumpkin
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
2 to 2 1/4 cups vanilla soymilk (or your favorite non-dairy vanilla beverage like almond,rice, or hemp milk)
2 tablespoons Smoothie Gel (recipe follows) or sweetener to taste and about 1/2 teaspoon xanthan gum
Place all ingredients in a blender or Nutri-Bullet and blend until smooth. Enjoy this portable, filling, nutritious and milkshake-delicious breakfast in your favorite go-cup witha straw, though it’s lovely color and texture makes it pretty enough to serve in a glass at the breakfast table.
Sugar-Free Smoothie Gel:
5 3/4 cups Stevia in the Raw Natural Sweetener (I purchase the 9.7 ounce bag and make double this recipe in two batches; one batch is a bit unweildy)
5 3/4 cups water
1/4 cup Xanthan Gum
In a large saucepan, make a simple syrup by whisking together stevia and water. Bring to a simmer, whisking frequently, and simmer for 1 minute. Remove from heat. Allow to cool several minutes, whisking ocasionally. Pour half into food processor, add 2 tablespoons Xanthan Gum, and process until smooth. The consistency will be similar to a jam or jelly with a white translucent color. Transfer into a lidded storage container (I use a large Mason jar) and repeat with remaining syrup and gum. Allow to cool completely, cover, and store in refigerator. Will keep for weeks if not longer.