I myself am not Gluten Free. Yet, I have several friends that are and as a future health professional, I ought to know at least the basics regarding gluten free products. I recently helped demo how to bake with gluten free products and would like to think I was able to show how tasty gluten free products can be!
While abstaining from gluten, a protein found in wheat, oats, barley and rye, can sound restrictive, especially with some beloved sweets, it’s more than manageable! One of the main properties of gluten, elasticity, seems to be quickly removed from gluten free foods, yet there’s been a lot of advancements in the use and production of gluten free baking products.
Common Gluten Free Baking Ingredients:
- Arrowroot powder:a starchy thickener, similar to corn starch
- Cornmeal: A gritty, yet sweet addition to include in breads and muffins
- Corn Starch: Often used in baking breads, cookies and cakes; make sure to get the GF brand
- Flaxseed Meal: Great source of fiber and antioxidants; can be used in replacement of eggs to provide structure; can be frozen or refrigerated
- Gelatin: increases the elasticity and strength of doughs; good source of protein
- Gluten Free Flour: i.e. all purpose gluten free flour blend, garfava flour, almond flour,soy flour, teff flour, white rice flour, coconut flour, bean flours, corn flour, millet flour, rice flour, potato flour, brown rice flour, chickpea flour, almond flour, buckewheat flour, sorghum flour and/or tapioca flour
- Gluten Free Vanilla: All vanilla extracts are produced without gluten
- Guar Gum: used as thickener and emulsifier; from seed native to tropical Asia; can have laxative effect
- Xanthan Gum: used as thickener and emulsifier ; made by xanthomonas campestris organism
If product has Certified Gluten-Free label, you’re guaranteed to be buying 100% gluten free.
Since Bob’s Red Mill gluten free products are pretty accessible and mainstream, we used the flours from his line and used recipes that coincided with the flours. While the chocolate chip cookies were most favored by the attendants of the cooking demo, I believe the fruit cobbler came out pretty well, with the ability to cater to different tastes depending on fruit used. I burned the bottom of the brownies, at least I know for next time!
If you’re having trouble finding gluten free products at your local grocery store, check out www.allergygrocer.com, www.glutenfreemall.com, and www.glutensolutions.com, which are sure to have what you need!
There’s so many variations to gluten free baking, to discover what recipes, ingredients and flavors work best for you, you may just have to keep testing recipes!