What is ULTRA GEL THICKENER?
The only thickener that:
An all purpose thickener for hot and cold foods, Ultra Gel Thickener is a corn based "modified food starch". Formed from waxy maize, a specific variety of corn, this thickener is a versatile alternative starch that can be used in most cooking with ease. The Ultra Gel Thickener can be used as a substitute in many products for high fat and cholesterol eggs or high calorie sugar for the most health-conscious chef. Our favorite use is to make our jams and preserves using 1/2 the sugar yet they thicken nicely with 1 Tbsp. of the thickener into each cup of sugar used.
Starches such as Ultra Gel Thickener are used commercially in an incredible number of applications. Modified food starches make gravies, soups and sauces smooth and attractively colored (Ultra Gel® will not add color to your food; it becomes clear when added). They allow convenience foods to be refrigerated or frozen and reheated by conventional or microwave methods. They stabilize low-fat products such as salad dressings, add body to low sugar foods (such as jams), and allow artificial sweeteners to be used in a wide variety of foods. Even bakery mixes use modified food starches for moistness. Sauces made with Ultra Gel Thickener will not set up or separate like traditional cornstarch-thickened sauces. You can truly enjoy refrigerated or frozen meals made to your family's exacting standards! And because you make it fresh, you can avoid the additives and preservatives essential to commercially prepared products. This thickener is also EASY! If you like the idea of mixing a thickener into soups, gravies or sauces straight from the container without having to make a "thickening" that may or may not be smooth, Ultra Gel® is for you. If you like the flexibility of being able to adjust the thickness of a product at any point of preparation, Ultra Gel is for you. Too thick? Add a little more liquid. Too thin? Add a little more of the thickener. Ultra Gel is a real boon to those who are concerned about health. It improves the texture of many reduced-fat products and allows "jams" to be made with very small amounts of sugar. It is particularly well suited for instant fruit glazes and fresh fruit pie fillings. Ultra Gel will begin to swell as soon as it is added to liquid, so the starch granules must be dispersed to prevent lumping. Be sure to add it gradually, stirring with a wire whisk. You don't need to remove vegetables or meat first. If it looks like lumps are forming, keep stirring! They will usually stir out. Next time add Ultra Gel a little slower. For better results, add it before hot liquids reach a boiling temperature. This thickener disperses easier in cooler liquids.
Gravy: 2-3 T. thickener per cup of broth
Dessert Topping: 3 T. thickener per cup of liquid
Pie Glaze: 4-5 T. Thickener per cup of liquid
1 T. cornstarch = 1 1/2 T. Gluten Free Thickener
2 T. flour or Tapioca = 1 1/2 T. Gluten Free Thickener
Uses of Ultra Gel
SALAD DRESSINGS AND DIPS--Salad dressings and dips made with your own fresh ingredients and Ultra Gel have a rich, creamy consistency without preservatives, artificial ingredients, or other additives. Most commercial salad dressing mixes contain large amounts of monosodium glutamate, which can affect those who are sensitive to it or have high blood pressure. Homemade dressings and dips are real money savers, costing about one-fourth as much as commercially prepared mixes and products, and there's no need for an emergency trip to the store, since you probably keep most of the ingredients on hand
Ultra Gel makes possible flavourful salad dressings and dips that are thick and creamy, yet are low in fat and calories. When compared to a traditional ranch dressing, up to 1/2 the amount of mayonnaise (at 100 calories per T.) can be replaced with buttermilk (at 100 calories per cup), a difference of 755 calories per pint!!! And it tastes great!!! The fat content can be reduced even more by using low-fat mayonnaise.
FRUIT SALADS AND DIPS---Nothing says "fresh" quite as well as fresh, flavorful fruit at the peak of the season. Whether it's strawberries in June, navel oranges in December, or bananas all year round, fresh fruit is always available for fruit salads and fruit plates. Fruit salads and dips made from Ultra Gel stay smooth and creamy, even when refrigerated, and the quality of the fruit is never compromised. Strawberries stay firm. Even apples and bananas remain white when they are lightly coated with a thickened mixture of fruit juice to prevent browning.Fruit salads containing whipped cream are no longer a problem either, since Ultra Gel® keeps the cream from separating or going watery. And your favorite fluffy fruit salads can even be frozen, for delightful chilled summer salads Fruit salads containing whipped cream are no longer a problem either, since Ultra Gel® keeps the cream from separating or going watery. And your favorite fluffy fruit salads can even be frozen, for delightful chilled summer salads .
Fruit dressings made with Ultra Gel thicken instantly, eliminating cooking and cooling time. Best of all, the fruit retains its natural flavor and nutrition without large amounts of added sugar or other sweeteners. Even rich, creamy fruit dips can be made with little added sugar or fat.
MAIN DISHES-- Ultra Gel is used in main dishes, particularly soups, sauces, gravies, and casseroles for two main reasons. The first, and most obvious, is an improved appearance and texture. The second is less obvious, but perhaps even more vital. Products made with flour or traditional corn starch set up very rigidly upon cooling and often separate or curdle when reheated. Most people do not consider these to be acceptable products for even short-term storage in the refrigerator or freezer. Food items made with Ultra Gel can be refrigerated or frozen while maintaining the original quality . In a world of convenient "make-ahead" foods, stability during storage is imperative.
The introduction of Ultra Gel for home use is a breakthrough in preparing convenience foods that accommodate the preferences and dietary needs of family members. The concept of "cooking for a whole month" is now possible without sacrificing quality.
Ultra Gel also accommodates family members with special dietary needs, particularly low-sugar or low-fat diets. It is easy to become frustrated with the high cost of purchasing convenience foods that meet these needs, especially when the product is often bland and flavorless. Ultra Gel makes possible gravies and soups that are virtually fat-free, total control over sodium content and sugar content, and the taste and quality that only come from "homemade."
Ultra Gel combines quality with convenience. A real timesaver, it gets you out of the kitchen fast with time- and pot-saving shortcuts. What are you waiting for?
BREADS---Quick breads have always been a family favorite, especially when the bananas in the cupboard get a little too ripe or the six pumpkins you planted turn out to be zucchini! In the past few years there has been a gradual change in our expectations of muffins and quick breads. We are seeing exciting new flavors and textures that more closely resemble cakes than the bland-flavored, pebbly-topped muffin of the past. And they are taking center stage as a dessert or snack, rather than a meal accompaniment. Ultra Gel
is added to quick breads and muffins to give a fine, even texture and moist crumb. The commercial industry uses modified food starches and gums in reduced fat products, maintaining the texture and flavor we have come to expect. Many of the quick breads made with Ultra Gel® are lower in fat, and much lower in sugar than a cake or other dessert. But the flavor is all there!
DESSERTS - Ultra Gel can be used in any dessert that requires thickening: pie fillings, puddings, refrigerator desserts, ice cream, or other special treats. One advantage, however, is that it is an instant starch and requires no cooking or cooling, reducing preparation time substantially. It also makes possible the use of aspertaine, since the mixture doesn't need to boil to thicken. Microwave heating of Ultra Gel puddings and sauces is simple! Since the product is already thick, it doesn't need to be stirred as frequently to avoid lumping.
Baked pie fillings made with Ultra Gel cut well with a fresh, clear flavor and no pasty aftertaste. They don't weep or change in consistency, either -- the crust stays crisp and flaky and the filling remains tender. Best of all, the oven stays clean!
The FDA has strongly cautioned against using raw eggs in products such as homemade ice cream. Ultra Gel eliminates the need for eggs in ice cream mixtures, as well as the need for cooking them before freezing. The result is a superior quality product that doesn't form large ice crystals when stored in the freezer.
STEWS AND SOUPS - Ultra Gel really shines in soups and stews! A little of the thickener gives a broth soup more body. Cream soups and stews maintain a good quality when refrigerated or frozen and much of the fat can be eliminated.
Another major advantage is that the amount of thickening can be adjusted easily. Soups and stews are not an exact science, for in the long cooking time more or less evaporation can take place according to the type of cookware used and the heat maintained, resulting in more or less broth to thicken. Ultra Gel makes it easy to adjust to your liking -- the soup doesn't even have to be boiling. When the soup or stew is ready to be thickened, just stir in the Ultra Gel® according to the recipe. If it isn't thick enough a few minutes later, stir in a little more. If it's too thick, add a little broth, water, or milk according to your recipe.
SAUCES AND GRAVIES-- Ultra Gel is great for sauces and gravies! It adds no flavor of its own, so there's no need to worry about the taste of "raw" flour or cornstarch. Gravies and sauces are easy to make and lump-free, even for the beginner. And since mixtures don't need to boil in order to thicken, the chance of scorching delicate milk dishes is eliminated. Sauces become quick and easy and the variety is endless! Eggs can also be eliminated from pumpkin and other custard pies, significantly reducing dietary cholesterol.
Whether you want a perfect ending to a perfect meal, or just a snack for your sweet tooth, it's only minutes away with Ultra Gel!
CAKES AND COOKIES-- Ultra Gel It is often used in baked goods to make them more tender and moist. Instead of using additional flour in a cookie recipe that spreads on the cookie sheet, try adding a small amount of Ultra Gel (about 1 1/2 T. per cup of flour). It will absorb the excess moisture without making the cookies dry or tough. Since this product doesn't reach maximum viscosity for about 5 minutes, let the dough rest before rolling it out or adding extra flour. Ultra Gel also alleviates the need for a long refrigeration period to make cookie dough easy to handle.
Ultra Gel often replaces part of the flour in cakes and tortes. Since it is made from corn it adds no gluten like wheat flour does. The result is a fine-textured product with a moist, tender crumb.
Have you ever wondered how the commercial industry is able to produce reduced fat cakes and cookies that are still edible? This is another secret to using food starches and gums. Small amounts of these non-traditional thickeners combine with other ingredients to give the product a light texture and improve browning, the very reasons fats are added to baked products. After all, how much flavor does shortening contribute? To reduce the fat in your own baked recipes, substitute half of the fat with milk and add about 1 1/2 T. of Ultra Gel per cup of flour. If the recipe calls for butter or margarine, a little butter flavoring will perk up the flavor.
JAMS, JELLIES, AND PRESERVES--One of the best applications of Ultra Gel Thickener is for jams and preserves. Pectin jams have long held a fascination since nobody is ever sure exactly how they will turn out. They require a specific proportion of acid (occurring either naturally in the fruit or added with lemon juice), pectin (some of it natural, some from a box), and sugar. People in little white lab coats with a lot of fancy equipment figure all this stuff out.
If you want a low-sugar jam where you can taste the fruit and not just the sugar and you don't mind a soft jam, you will find Ultra Gel® a godsend. It doesn't depend on scientific proportions to work, so you sweeten and thicken to your own liking. There are several advantages to this besides the obvious ones: The amount of light corn syrup in a freezer jam may be reduced when less sugar is used because the sugar dissolves easier with less crystallization. There is also no need to heat freezer jams, since there is less sugar to dissolve.
Another advantage of using Ultra Gel® instead of pectin is the flexibility. If you want a jam thicker, stir in more. If you want it thinner, use more fruit or juice. Also, Ultra Gel® jams may be made from any type of fruit mixture desired. For this reason, many people like to freeze fresh crushed fruit to combine with other fruits later in the season for unique flavor combinations.
Unfortunately, they have to work on averages, so your jam may or may not set up the same, and there's really no way of knowing or making changes. And there's absolutely no way to cut down on the sugar because it just won't work! And besides that, pectin is expensive!
HOME-CANNED SPECIALITIES - Tomato products tend to separate during processing, even after long periods of simmering. The addition of Ultra Gel® prevents this, resulting in a smooth, thick texture and improved appearance.It is very important to follow processing times carefully when using starch in canned products. Since the initial product is thicker, the processing time must be longer to make sure the entire mixture reaches the temperature necessary to ensure safety.
If you have a favorite recipe for a tomato based product such as salsa, barbecue sauce, chili sauce, etc., be sure to double check it with an approved source (such as your County Extension Office) to be sure it follows recent guidelines. Then substitute Ultra Gel® for any other thickeners (cornstarch or flour) according to the conversion chart. Be sure the starch is added at the end of the cooking period. When the starch is added near the first, the product will scorch more easily and it is more difficult to ensure the proper cooking times and temperatures.
Ultra Gel® is also useful when preparing salsas and other sauces for home canning. No more "simmer for three hours until reduced by half!" It reduces the length of cooking time substantially, allowing foods to retain more color, nutrition and flavor, and is a real time-saver.