How To Keep Psyllium Husk Powder from Turning Purple UPDATED
Keep your psyllium husk powder from turning purple with the simple ingredients listed below!
What is Psyllium Husk Powder?
Psyllium husk powder is made from the husk, or outer covering, of the seeds of the Plantago Ovata plant. This crop is grown mainly in the Gujarat and Rajasthan regions of India. Until recently, it was used mainly in digestive products.
Now don’t let that prejudice you in any way! This is a pretty handy little seed that is both healthy and useful, especially in gluten-free baking!
The seed of the Plantago Ovata plant has a husk around it that is nearly all soluble fiber. It’s been used in baking for centuries and is most commonly found today as a supplement for digestive health. It can be eaten every day and in addition to improving digestion also reduces cholesterol, especially the LDL kind. Even better, it works especially well at giving gluten-free breads the texture of “real” bread.
Psyllium Husk Powder in Gluten-Free Baking
Psyllium husk fantastic to use in gluten-free baking and adds an authentic, chewy texture that will make you believe you’re eating real wheat bread!
Gluten-free baking has come a very long way in just the past several years. Gluten-free pasta is fantastic now. So good, in fact, it can be difficult to tell the difference between GF pasta and wheat pasta. And baked goods like cakes and cupcakes are virtually undetectable as being GF. However, really good gluten-free bread that is also vegan is pretty hard to come by. Using psyllium husk powder is a game-changer in that regard. It’s gelatinous when wet and gives am authentic chewy texture to bread that will make you think you have a real, wheat baguette.
Gluten-Free AND Vegan
It’s not all that difficult to be vegan but add in the restriction of no gluten as well and that limits choices considerably. Most gluten-free baking, including bread and pizza crusts, use eggs to give a sturdier texture. This doesn’t work for vegans but it also doesn’t work very well. The texture is still weird and it will smell like eggs, which is pretty bad. Psyllium husk powder solves that problem handily adding a chewy sturdiness without any animal products.
Sounds perfect, right? Well … The only drawback is it can turn your baked goods a shade of light purple or gray!
Best Tips for Keeping Your Psyllium Husk Powder from Turning Purple
So the problem with psyllium husk powder or psyllium husk is that it starts out slightly purple. The seeds look like this …
That purple hue, which isn’t harmful and doesn’t affect the flavor or texture at all, will give a purple or greyish cast to baked goods that include psyllium. It’s only a cosmetic issue and, if you don’t want purple bread, it’s easy to remedy!
Keep Psyllium Husk Powder from Turning Purple Using These Ingredients
It’s the acid in these two ingredients that bleach out the purple hue. Both are going to make any recipe slightly more acidic and also will add just a slightly sour flavor. This isn’t unpleasant and even makes bread taste more like sourdough.
1. Lactic Acid (BEST)
I’ve updated this post to add lactic acid as THE BEST product to add to bread to prevent it from turning purple when using psyllium husk. Despite what it sounds like, most lactic acid is vegan and uses no animal products. It’s not usually made from milk, does not contain milk, and has no milk ingredients. It’s actually the byproduct of the fermentation of sugars.
HERE is a vegan lactic acid
The reason I’m listing this as the best one is that each acid has a different flavor profile. Citric is very citrusy, for example. Lactic acid has a much milder flavor that is more like sourdough. So it goes really well in breads. I’ll be making recipes in the near future for different gluten-free breads using psyllium husk powder and lactic acid.
Avoid Purple Psyllium Husk Bread with this formula using Lactic Acid
- 1 cup gluten-free flour
- 1 tablespoon psyllium husk powder
- a scant 1/4 teaspoon lactic acid powder
That’s it. So very simple! Double or triple depending on the recipe. Also, if you’re making something you want to be extra “toothsome” and chewy, just add about a third more psyllium husk and a corresponding amount more of the lactic acid.
If you don’t have lactic acid on hand and simply must make bread using psyllium husk powder, here are two other methods that will also lower the pH of the psyllium husk powder enough to keep it from turning purple.
2. Lemon Juice
The acid and bleaching action in lemon juice works really well to stop psyllium husk powder from turning purple. Most of us will have it on hand, as well. Stir together equal parts psyllium husk powder and lemon juice and let stand for a few minutes. This will turn into a hardish, gel-like, bleached-out blob. To use in a recipe, put the blob into a bullet-type blender with some of the liquid from the recipe you’re making and puree it until it’s smooth and can be worked into the recipe.
3. Citric Acid
Citric acid works the same way and is, perhaps, an easier fix if you have it on hand. For every 1 cup GF flour and 2 teaspoons of psyllium husk powder simply add 1/8 teaspoon of powdered citric acid. Citric acid can be found in the canning supplies section of any grocery.
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Try this Perfect Vegan Gluten-Free Pizza Crust Recipe that uses psyllium husk powder for a great texture!
This vegan gluten-free pizza crust is deliciously chewy, bakes up nice and crispy, and will make you feel like you’ve had a “regular” pizza!
Hello! I’m Lisa, a vegan artist, photographer, author, Vegan Life Coach Educator, and RYT 200 yoga teacher. I love showing others how simple and delicious a plant-based diet can be. I draw and paint, cook, write, take lots of pics, eat lots of chocolate, and practice gratitude daily.
Thank you for this information! My gluten free pizza was a bit too purple/gray.
I looked for the lactic acid but it’s not available. I found this on Amazon and it’s food grade as well. Also, it doesn’t have silicone dioxide in it. Not sure if that matters, if it’s better or ?
I can’t wait to try this in my dough next time!
Hi Cheryl, yes, that’s a good brand. It doesn’t matter if it has silicon dioxide unless that’s a personal preference. It’s the acidity that keeps the psyllium husk from turning purple.
@Lisa Viger Gotte, Thank you for the reply!
Yesterday I made my first gluten and egg free bread. Main ingredients were tigernut flour, cassava flour, psyllium husk powder and ground flaxseed. It turned out looking purple grey which I don’t mind, but it smells like mushrooms. I have cooked with cassava flour before and it tastes fine, tigernut is supposed to be sweet and nutty and flaxseed is flaxseed. This leaves the psyllium husk that I’ve never used before. Is it normal to have this mushroomy smell or should I assume it’s off for some reason? I haven’t tried how it tastes because I’m worried it might make me sick.
Thanks in advance!
Hi Domi, I’ve never had psyllium husk smell mushroomy to me. Everything you’ve mentioned is a dry ingredient that isn’t going to go bad easily, so 🤷♀️ . Don’t eat something you suspect might have gone bad, for sure. I did google it and there’s one other comment out there about psyllium husk smelling like mushrooms. Maybe some people are more sensitive to it.
I do know you can get rid of the purple color by adding in an acid. Lactic acid (which is plant based) works really well for this. All the best, let me know what happens regarding the mushroomy smell!
@Lisa Viger Gotte, thanks for such a quick reply! I’m just really mad that I might have wasted £7 worth of tigernut flour 🤦♀️
I can not imagine making anything sweet like banana bread with this psyllium husk powder, the smell is too much. Maybe it’s the combo of the ingredients, but I can’t see how. Other stuff I used was baking powder and soda, water, olive oil and cider vinegar.
To be 100% sure I’m gonna try and make 2 recipes, one with the tigernut flour and flaxseed and the other with standard gluten free flour and the psyllium husk. It should become apparent which one’s the culprit.
I’ll update after, maybe it’ll help someone else in a similar situation!
Thank you very much. Made a pizza crust last night. It turned out grey in the middle. It just looked yuk. I thought I did something wrong or something was off. Started testing to look to see, everything looked fine until I cooked them. Then yuk. Coming across your post (thank God) meant I didn’t have to give up on my recipe. God bless you. Thanks Libi
Hi Libi, so glad to hear this is going to help you! Let me know how it turns out 😊
Thank you for your suggestions about using lactic acid to stop psyllium husk powder turning purple. I tried doing that but my flay breads all turned deep purple.
I seem unable to find your updated measurements . Any chance yo could tell me where to find your update please?
Hey Joe … It’s towards the bottom … here are the measurements …
Not all psyllium husk (or anything, really) is exactly the same as another …. some may have more persistent color than another one. I’ve updated this again to double the amount of lactic acid. Try that and let me know if it works out. If it doesn’t maybe we can troubleshoot from there. I hope it works for you … I’m SO happy to be able to make “real” bread again!!
You’ve added lactic acid as being the best for bread, but you haven’t provided the measurement?
Hi Matt, thank you for pointing that out! I’ve updated the post and the exact measurements for everything are now included.