Reading recipes for healthy baking without traditional flour, you may come across such a mysterious and little-known ingredient in Russia as psyllium.
This is plantain bran flour (plantago psyllium L.). But not the weed that we used to apply to our wounds as children. This is its relative, a valuable medicinal plant from which popular nutritional supplements are made.
Psyllium grows in the Caucasus and many other places, but the center of its industrial production is in the Indian state of Gujarat. It is sold as whole flakes or more commonly as flour.
Psyllium has almost no taste of its own and consists of 80-85% fiber, which is why it is valuable. 71% is soluble fiber, which is an excellent food for beneficial intestinal microflora. For comparison, popular oat and wheat bran contain only 10-15% fiber, with only 5% soluble fiber.
Psyllium has virtually no digestible carbohydrates, and this again compares favorably with oat bran, which has more than 62 percent carbohydrates. The main culinary property of psyllium, which makes it a key ingredient in low-carb and gluten-free baked goods, is its ability to absorb moisture and form a gelatinous mass.
Thanks to this property, psyllium perfectly holds the dough together and gives baked goods a porous, airy structure. It replaces gluten (gluten), and this is very important, because all popular types of low-carb flour - coconut, almond, sesame - do not contain gluten and without psyllium, baked goods from them are quite dry and crumbly.
The beneficial qualities of psyllium have been proven in various scientific studies: