I have a couple of vegan/vegetarian cookbooks and they feature some of the weirdest (to me) ingredients I’ve ever seen.
- Guar Gum
- Xanthum Gum
- Arrowroot Powder
- nutritional yeast
- slippery elm powder
Those are just a handful of the odd ingredients I came across leafing through the books recently.
I gotta tell you, reading a recipe with stuff like lecithin and xanthum gum makes me think of a science experiment. It looks like the weird chemical lists on the back of prepackaged foods and that is really not appealing.
I think it is the use of these sorts of ingredients in the cookbooks I have that really turned me off of trying out more vegan/vegetarian food. I never really missed the meat in any of my regular recipes (like a chili or pizza or burrito) but a mom needs to cook more than that every night of the week, every week of the month, and on and and ad nauseum.
Maybe I just didn’t have the luck of being exposed to cookbooks with simpler foods. I just can’t get over the ick factor. Honestly, I don’t care how in love I am with rice pudding, having arrowroot powder and guar gum in the list of ingredients instantly makes it look inconvenient and gross tasting.
And where do you get ingredients like that? I’m pretty sure most of them are not sold at the Bulk Barn.
And, it’s a bit funny, too, looking through those cookbooks because you can totally see each author’s “go-to” ingredients. One author as a think for sea kelp and tamari soy sauce. She puts it in EVERYTHING! Another uses silken tofu and Succanat in everything. I guess I can be like that. Montreal Steak Spice, despite it association with meat, is my go-to multipurpose flavouring agent. I chuck it into potato salad, soups, pasta salads, marinades… When I finally make my own veggie ground round, MSS will probably be the main flavouring ingredient.
What do you think of all these crazy ingredients? Do you have a couple of go-to ingredients that make it into most of your food?
Filed under: Thoughts