Agar agar, aka kanten, seaweed gelatin, China grass, sea vegetable gelatin (gelatina vegetal). Agar agar is a sea weed extract that is mostly found in health food stores and supermarkets, especially Asian supermarkets in a white powder or thread form. The thread form looks like translucent plastic threads. Agar agar is also used as a vegan substitute for gelatin.
Uses of Agar Agar
- Medicinally, agar has several applications. For instance, it is used as a mild laxative that can help in removing toxins, fats and sugar from the gut. Since it absorbs glucose from the stomach and passes through the gut quickly, agar agar is ideal for people with type 2 diabetes melitus. Additionally, it also absorbs cholesterol and is therefore good for lowering cholesterol. In fact, agar agar is even used as a more effective and vegan substitute for gelatin for treating bone, cartilage and joint damage. In fact, its use can prevent the need for operations like hip and knee replacement. Since it helps to regenerate tissue and organs, agar agar is even repairs kidney and heart damage. In fact, it is simply useful in the treatment of all diseases and injuries, including heart disease, cancer, Alzheimers and Parkinsons disease. Since agar agar can contribute to the reversal of any disease (and improvement of one's general health), its use may contribute to not needing / avoiding stem cell transplants (a common treatment for some types of cancer). Yes, it is also good estrogen-dependent cancers like breast cancer, ovarian tumors and uterine cancer. It is common for medical use to involve one serving daily for up to 2 months, 30 minutes before meals or 2 hours after meals. However, do NOT use agar agar if you have viral or bacterial infections (as it promotes microbial growth).
- For weight loss and as a high fiber, vegan health food in ice cream, jelly desserts, meal replacement recipes, 'milk' thickeners and so on. As with any other algae, it is rich in iodine and trace minerals. It is often used for weight loss because it is free of sugar, carbs, fat and calories but has lots of fiber. Furthermore, agar agar is free from starch, soy, corn, gluten, yeast, wheat, milk, egg and preservatives. Agar allows you to create solid forms from liquids to the extent that the end product may be sliced with a knife, chewed and swallowed. Although having 0 calories, it has a slightly sweet taste. Although the taste of end products can be the same as gelatin (an animal product), agar agar renders end products with a different feel. For instance, agar agar products do not have the same soft and bouncy feeling as gelatin. Agar agar is commonly used to thicken soups, ice creams and to create fruit desserts. NB, Agar agar is free of taste, odor or color. NB it will not set in certain conditions, namely in wine, vinegar, distilled water, foods rich in oxalic acid (like chocolate, spinach, beets, beet greens, wheat germ, peanuts).
- Cosmetically, agar agar can be used to soften and moisturize the skin and hair. It can therefore be used in soap, ointments, lotions and creams, especially since it has anti-wrinkling properties. It has been said to be used in toothpaste.
Agar Agar in Powder Form
Quantity to use is roughly 1 tsp powder : 1.3 cups liquid for a sold product that can be cut with a knife.
- Add the powder to only cold water or other clear liquid that allows you to see how well it dissolves. (It will form clumps if added to hot water).
- Whisk and bring to a boil until the powder is completely dissolved. Check whether the agar agar has completely dissolved by looking at the solution while it pours out of a spoon.
- Continue whisking until the end to ensure the agar agar does not settle and create a gel layer at the bottom of the pot.
- Dissolve sugar if you wish the sweet taste.
- Turn off the heat and quickly add fruit puree (and lime to taste if you wish), tea, milk and or juice.
- Pour into the mold while still hot. Get rid of air bubbles before the liquid cools and sets by stirring around them with a spoon and or tapping the bottom of a firm mold on a hard surface.
- Add chunks of fruit and pieces of leaves (like mint for instance).
- Allow to set either at room temperature or in the refrigerator. (Unlike gelatin, agar agar does not need to be refrigerated in order to set). If you wish to pour different layers, use a fork to stick holes in the first layer when it has already fully set before pouring the second layer. Do not worry about melting the first layer since agar agar does not melt easily with heat.
Agar Agar in Strand Form
Quantity to use is roughly 1/3 cup of chopped up strands : 1.3 cups liquid for a sold product that can be cut with a knife.
- Soak the strands in cold water or other clear liquid that allows you to see how well it dissolves for 15 minutes.
- When soft and hydrated, simmer for roughly 5 minutes or until the pieces are completely dissolved.
- Follow the steps used for the powder form after the powder is thoroughly dissolved in hot liquid. (See above)
MORE RELATED TO AGAR AGAR AS A MEDICINAL SUPER FOOD