Many of you are viewing this page because you – or someone you love – has an intolerance to gluten, been diagnosed with celiac disease, Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS), or are simply experiencing general digestive upset.
Or perhaps you’ve decided to jump onboard ‘the gluten-free bus’ for the ride to a healthier lifestyle.
Whatever your reasons – welcome! Gluten-free baking is a whole new world.
But first, let me make this clear. Rachael and I are not nutritional experts. Any recipes you see on this site are there because they work for our gluten-free, low glycemic dietary needs/preferences.
We do, however, both know first-hand how painful and debilitating food intolerances are. These are the foods that work for us. If you are keen to learn more about your own personal dietary needs, we advise seeking help from a natural dietary or nutritional expert.
Ready to eat gluten-free?
When you are ready to bake, cook and eat gluten-free, there are a few things you need to learn to achieve success in the kitchen…
For starters, gluten-free baking is very different than baking with glutenous flour mixes. This first thing you’re going to have to sort out is which flour to use.
There are now many gluten-free flour blends on the market found readily without having to go to a specialty store. I have my favorites and there are also some I really don’t like based on the ingredients, outcome, and of course – taste.
You will find that different ready-made mixes are better for specific products. For example – one mix might be perfect for cakes while the same mix makes a horrible bread. It can be hit and miss at the beginning and there is definitely a rather steep learning curve. Expect many experiments that sometimes fail.
Expect many experiments and imperfect outcomes!
But by no means do you need to buy a commercial flour blend. You can easily make one yourself and find what works best for your tastes.
Here is a breakdown of the more popular options for flours…
A general rule of thumb in Gluten free mixes is 40% whole grain gluten free flours and 60% gluten free white starches. Beans, nuts, and seeds can typically be classified under the grain category for the sake of the ratio stated above. However, they can react differently depending on the recipe you are making. Confusing right!
It definitely takes a little more experimenting with these flours until you find what you like and get it right. Bean flours have strong flavors and I don’t like using large quantities as they are quite dense and overpowering. Here is a breakdown of the gluten-free flour options I like to use in my blends. There are more gluten-free flour substitutes but I haven’t listed them as they’re not available where I live.
Whole Grain Flours and Pseudo-Cereals
- Brown Rice
- Corn Meal Flour
- Millet Flour
- Teff Flour
- Quinoa Flour*
- Gf Oat Flour
- Amaranth Flour*
* Pseudo-Cereals are non-grasses that for the most part act the same way as cereals. The simplest way to explain it is that cereals are grasses ground into flour and pseudo-cereals are seeds ground into flours and used in much the same way.
Bean, Nuts,and Seeds
- Chickpea Flour
- Fava bean Flour
- Soy Flour
- Almond Flour
- Hazelnut Flour
- Coconut Flour
- Chestnut Flour
- Flaxseed Meal
- Chia Flour
- Hemp Flour
- Potato starch
- Potato flour
- Tapioca starch
- Arrowroot Flour
- White Rice Flour
Feel free to experiment through trial and error – it’s the best way to learn in this new world of flours.
For a self-rising option – add 1 ½ tsp baking powder, ½ tsp salt to 1 cup of your gluten-free flour mix.
Oh – and a word of advice from experience – if you buy in large quantities, store your flour in a sealed container in the fridge or freezer. I learned the hard way that gluten-free flours go off very quickly. You can store your flours up to one year in the freezer.
For more detailed information check out ForkandBeans.com ‘Guide to Gluten Free Flours‘.