Agar (also called agar agar) is obtained from algae and contains essentially no fat, carbohydrates nor protein.
Used as a gelatinous agent to create a smooth, silky texture in soups, sauces and dressings, in place of fat or in fat reduced recipes, it mimics the feel of fat on the tongue.
Since agar is not digested, it’s used as a weight reduction tool to speed the food through the digestive system.
Read more about its many uses: http://www.botanical-online.com/english/agar_agar_algae.htm
Agar is not cheap when purchased in small amounts in specialty stores, so I bought mine online at amazon.com from the United Kingdom at a much better rate. I make two types: a gel and a juice – the gel is for recipes and the juice is to take before meals with a glass of water to make you feel full before eating a meal. Eat or drink the agar, then drink a glass of water for best results. Google it for more info on pros and cons.
5 c. filtered water
2 T. agar
Bring water to boil in saucepan. Add the agar, whisking till dissolved. Cook 5-10 minutes, whisking often.
Remove from heat and let it set till it’s not super hot. Now, either pour into large jar with lid or pour into 2 oz. plastic cups with lids.
The plastic cups makes it easier for restaurants to be consistent with measurement, since the jarred type isn’t fluid enough to measure accurately. I do it both ways.
To make agar juice, bring to boil 2-3 cups of filtered water. Add 1 block (2 oz. container) of Agar Gel. Cook and whisk till melted. Transfer to bottle and refrigerate till ready to consume.
Sometimes I leave it out on the counter to keep it more fluid.
Notes: Agar has to be dissolved in boiling water before use. Don’t sprinkle it in soups or sauces dry. It won’t dissolve properly.
It lasts a long time in the refrigerator, and can also be frozen. The texture changes somewhat when frozen, but the result is the same in a recipe.