Affairs of Living

Gluten-free, allergy-friendly, whole foods recipes

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Unless otherwise noted, all recipes on this blog are free of gluten, peanuts, soy, corn, tomatoes, potatoes, shellfish, cane sugar, oranges, and yeast. Most recipes are also free of egg, dairy, and tree nuts (if used, reliable substitutions will be provided for these when possible). Check out my recipe index for a full list of recipes by category. 

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Ingredients Glossary > Glossary > agar agar

Gluten-free, allergy-friendly, and whole foods ingredients are sometimes confusing. Everyone knows what carrots are.  But what about arrowroot starch, coconut oil, umeboshi vinegar, or miso?  Here is a growing glossary of ingredients that may be slightly off the beaten path. 

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Agar agar:

Also known as kanten, agar agar is a gelatinous substance derived from seaweed, and is traditionally used in Japanese and macrobiotic cuisine in both sweet and savory dishes.  It comes in three forms (powder, flakes, and bars) and is an excellent vegan substitute for gelatin.  It is rather expensive; look for it in the Asian specialty food section of natural food markets or grocery stores, or at Asian grocery stores.  I've used bothEden Foods and Mitoku agar agar flakes, and my favorite agar agar powder I can get for only $.80 per pouch at my local Asian grocery store (MUCH cheaper than buying it in bulk or packaged at the co-op).