This fat-free dressing is a great example of what can be achieved using Agar: it harmonises the texture without fat and is nutritionally dense.
Usually, dressing mixtures made at home will separate over a short period of time, with some ingredients coming to the surface while others will sink to the bottom. The oil will act as an emulsifier and keep the ingredients in suspension for a while. Agar can replace oil to achieve a similar effect, with the harmonisation effect lasting much longer, days, weeks or even months ! Create your own range of fat free dressings with an enviable texture & flavour, with the added advantage of significant nutritional benefits too.
500ml apple juice
50g whole grain mustard
200ml cider vinegar
Tarragon Sprig from my garden
1/2 tsp Pacific Harvest Agar powder
Roasted clove garlic,
Salt & pepper to taste
In a pot, sprinkle the agar on half the apple juice and let stand for 10 minutes.
Meanwhile, in a different dish, combine the other ingredients with the rest of the apple juice.
Bring the agar mixture to a simmer (90 C) on medium heat while mixing with a whisk. You will feel the texture change as the agar melts and the jelling properties are activated. Remove from heat and combine with the rest of the ingredients.
The dressing will set at room temperature and continue to stiffen over the next hour.
Conserve in the fridge in jars.
Note: Because of the small amount of agar in the recipe, the vinaigrette may need to rest in the fridge overnight to set to the right texture.
Chef's tips: this is just an example of what can be done. Try your own mixtures with different juices, herbs, spices & vinegar. You can even add miso, kombucha, coconut water...anything goes!
To keep the dressing 'raw', dissolve the agar in a small amount of liquid (water or a fraction of the liquids in the recipe) and them combine with the rest of the ingredients.
Agar is totally clear, odourless & tasteless and has 10 times the gelling power of its animal counterpart (gelatine). Agar is soluble in hot liquids (90 C) only and gels at room temperature. Great in a variety of applications besides replacing gelatine, read about how to use it successfully and you'll never look back! Read about other applications for NZ Agar: egg replacement , in raw foods or to convert from gelatine.
Agar is considered to be a functional food in term of its beneficial contribution to balanced nutrition. It has virtually no calories, is fat-free, is very high in fibre (75-80%) and has a beneficial effect on digestion. Being a seaweed extract, it contains minerals such as iron, calcium, magnesium, potassium and vitamin Bs, along with very little sodium. It has a good satiating ability and a purifying action on the body which is great for weight reduction. Click here to read more about NZ Agar.