Cream of tartar is an ingredient that often crops up on menus when we’re dining out, but we never tend to think about what it actually is. When grape juice is fermented into wine inside barrels, sediment is left behind. This acidic by-product of wine production is then refined and turned into a white powder, which is known as cream of tartar. It gets its name from its chemical makeup, which is called potassium hydrogen tartrate . In addition to its applications in cooking, you can also reap various health benefits from consuming cream of tartar. Keep reading to find out all about it.
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1. What Is Cream of Tartar?
2. Health Benefits
3. Cooking With Cream of Tartar
4. Making Baking Powder
5. Is Cream of Tartar Gluten Free?
6. Cleaning Applications
8. Side Effects
If you have ever encountered the word "tartar" it may have been in regards to tartar sauce. But cream of tartar is a lesser-known byproduct of the wine industry created during fermentation of grape juice in barrels. Tartaric acid crystallizes into sediment at the bottom of the barrel during the fermentation of the grapes but is not alcoholic. The residue is purified and turned into a white powder known as cream of tartar.
Professional bakers use cream of tartar to stabilize egg whites, creams and ice cream, and to maintain the white color of whipped cream. Even the baking powder we all know is made up of cream of tartar and baking soda. Cream of tartar is usually labeled with the code E336i on the list of ingredients. Cream of tartar (which comes as a powder) can be found in spice shops, nature stores, and specialty bakery stores, and is sometimes also available in large retail chains.
Use this recipe to soothe your painful arthritis:
• 3 oranges
• 3 lemons
• 3 grapefruits
• 50g Epsom salts (magnesium sulfate)
• 50g cream of tartar
• 1.5 liters of water
1. Scrub the fruits very well to ensure that all sprays or other contaminants are removed.
2. Blend the fruits well, including skins and seeds.
3. Leave the blended fruit mixture to stand overnight.
4. On the following morning, boil some water.
5. Add the Epsom salts and cream of tartar to the boiled water.
6. Add this mixture to the blend of citrus fruits.
7. Place in a suitable container and freeze.
How to take it
Consume two dessert spoons of the frozen mixture each morning, then follow up by drinking a glass of tepid water with ½ a teaspoon of a good vitamin C powder added to it. The batch you created and froze should last you for about two months.
Cream of tartar has a number of uses when cooking or baking, and here are some of the most common uses:
• Sprinkle a small amount on vegetables before cooking them to help preserve their natural color.
• Add volume to meringue by adding 1/8 of a teaspoon of cream of tartar for each 2 egg whites you use.
• Adding a pinch to whipped cream will stabilize it and prevent it from deflating.
• Add a small amount to frosting in order to give it a more creamy texture.
Here's how you can make meringue using cream of tartar:
Cream of tartar (potassium bitartrate) and baking soda (sodium bicarbonate) are two products that are closely related at the molecular level. They also serve very similar functions for many different purposes. However, this does not mean that they are the same thing.
When it comes to baking, they serve different purposes too, since baking soda has a far weaker stabilizing effect than cream of tartar does. However, when mixed together, they can create baking powder, which has a whole wealth of uses.
To make baking powder, simply add 2 teaspoons of cream of tartar and 1 teaspoon of baking soda to a bowl. Then, you only need to mix it vigorously until thoroughly combined, before using it immediately.
Learn more about the difference between baking powder and baking soda here.
If you are sensitive to gluten or have celiac disease, then you'll need to do your best to avoid ingesting any form of gluten, a certain type of protein. It primarily comes from rye, barley, and wheat, yet it can also be found in products that may have come into contact with these grains at some point.
In isolation, the cream of tartar is actually gluten-free. However, it's important to be aware that the food it is frequently found in may not be. That's why it is important to check the label of anything you plan on eating since the law requires manufacturers to list all gluten-containing ingredients.
Click here to learn about the difference between celiac disease and gluten sensitivity.
While the cream of tartar has plenty of fabulous uses, it can also pose a few risks to human health if used incorrectly or irresponsibly. As a result, it should be kept well out of reach of children.
Here are 3 ways that cream of tartar can harm your health:
It is an eye irritant.
Cream of tartar carries an NFPA rating of 2, which means that it is technically classified as a hazardous chemical. As a result, it could actually cause mild to moderate eye irritation, including swelling and redness if it were ever to get into your eyes. If this happens to you, you should immediately flush your eyes with water for at least 15 minutes. Make sure to remove any contact lenses first though!
It can cause skin damage.
Due to its acidic nature, cream of tartar is able to cause mild to moderate skin irritation too. If you find that your skin is showing signs of being irritated, then you should immediately wash that area with water and soap, covering it with some skin moisturizer afterward. If your skin is sensitive to cream of tartar, then it may be a good idea to use gloves when handling large amounts of it.
It can harm through ingestion or inhalation.
Ingesting or inhaling small amounts of raw cream of tartar could make you feel nauseous . However, if large amounts are inhaled or ingested, then toxicity could occur, meaning that you may experience dizziness, stomach cramps, or even difficulty breathing . If this happens to you, get some fresh air and seek immediate medical attention. Avoid inducing vomiting unless a medical professional instructs you to do so.
While cream of tartar is relatively safe to use, there are a few side effects associated with it that you should be aware of:
It Has a Laxative Effect
Due to the way that cream of tartar interacts with the digestive system, it can be considered to be a rather mild laxative . This is perfect for anyone who suffers from constipation but could be unpleasant for anyone else. If you opt to use cream of tartar as a laxative, you should avoid using it for extended periods of time, because its overuse may be detrimental to your bowel health.
It Increases Water Loss
Cream of tartar has been found to have a diuretic effect, which means that your body will begin to lose water at an increased rate. In fact, that is why cream of tartar is often taken as a natural remedy for edema , which is a condition where fluid becomes retained within your tissues. Make sure to stay hydrated while using cream of tartar, since losing too much fluid may cause an electrolyte imbalance or dehydration.
It May Increase Your Potassium Levels
Since it is made up of potassium bitartrate, taking large amounts cream of tartar could result in your body's potassium levels becoming too high. Your body naturally tries to balance out your electrolyte levels, which is why such disruptions typically have a negative impact. Cream of tartar should be particularly avoided if you suffer from any kidney problems.
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