I actually had a cookie post for today, but I decided to put it off in favor of talking about Ultra Gel because we’re creating some confusion and confusion is bad…well…at least in most circumstances. 🙂
Cornaby’s Ultra Gel
Cornaby’s Thick Gel
Ultra Gel is a product which has been on the market for about 22-23 years. We lost track at some point just how long we’ve been doing this. It was the brain child of my mother and my auntie in response to all the cool things the commercial industry was doing which we couldn’t do at home. Wanting the ability to control what their families were eating without added chemicals, preservatives and other such they still wanted the ability to have moist cakes, cookies that stayed chewy and gravy that didn’t separate in the fridge. A bunch of research lead to the conclusion that the biggest thing the commercial industry had over the home cook was better starches…hundreds of them actually.
Given this information these smart ladies went into development mode and ended up with two new cornstarches. These products are gluten free and non-GMO made only of the starch from a specific variety of corn, so safe for special diets. Unless you have a corn allergy there are no problems here. The two products were named Ultra Gel and Thick Gel.
Thick Gel measures like standard cornstarch and requires being heated in order to thicken, but the thickening is beautifully smooth with no flavor, color, scent or other discrepancies and products thickened with Thick Gel can be put in the fridge, frozen or canned with no problem.
Ultra Gel is just like Thick Gel except that it is an instant version. It can be used with hot or cold liquid and will immediately thicken any liquid at any temperature. For example if you mix it with water before adding to a soup, the way you would with cornstarch, you will get thick water (If you really want to freak out your friends thickening up soda pop is hysterical since it tastes like the soda and the bubbles get pulled into this thick solution so it’s like gelatinous pop rocks). So you can make homemade puddings and dressings which are cold, put it in baked goods to keep them moist and chewy, or add it to spaghetti sauce for a perfect set which, again, remains thick after freezing or processing.
We really didn’t intend for this discovery to lead to a business, but over the years we kept bringing food to family events and church events and neighborhood gatherings and folks kept asking for the recipes. In some cases we could adjust the recipe to use either these new starches or the traditional ones, but in other cases we didn’t have any substitute so we started selling the starches as well so that others could enough the same positive results we enjoy. This is what happened to Julie, by the way, I introduced her to Ultra Gel early on and you can see what happened! My husband actually calls the product “Kitchen Crack” because he says once you start using it you’ll never go back.
As a note the only things we’ve found that break the thickening power of Ultra Gel is 1: Saliva. If you use a spoon to taste from and stick it back into your salad the enzymes in your saliva will seek and eat the starch. Enzymes do their job, in your mouth, on a spoon or in the bowl. This is likely 98% of the problems people have with the starch. 2: Fruits and vegetables which give off water as they are cooled. So, for example, if you make a fresh salsa with really juicy tomatoes it may be plenty thick until you put it in the fridge. Once in the fridge the tomatoes shrink and add liquid to the mixture. So the starch hasn’t stopped working, but the liquid level has increased. A little more starch stirred in will make up for the extra juice and you’ll be back in business.
So that’s the long and short of it – I guess mostly long. I can answer a lot of other questions if you have them, but this will be our go to post for the many occasions when people want to know what the heck this Ultra Gel stuff is.
Ultra Gel is commercially available in Associated Food Stores in Utah, Bosch stores and lots of other small kitchen stores. It is also available online through the Cornaby’s website or through Amazon where it falls under their get $25 worth of stuff and the shipping is free! (And really, who gets away from Amazon spending less than $25?) There are a few competing products which I can’t speak to cause I don’t know what they have in them. So if it says Cornaby’s Ultra Gel or Cornaby’s Thick Gel…or really any other Cornaby’s product…I can help, but anything else you’d need to go to their producer.
Whew…that was long…but necessary I think. No more confusion! At least I hope not.