Gluten-Free Flours

t

Hi Ruby Lynn,

Your Gluten-Free recipes for muffins, cookies, cakes and pancakes (and everything else) taste even better than my regular recipes using wheat flour.  Why is that?

Just Wondering

k

Dearest Wondering,

Gosh!  Thanks!!!  I use a variety of Gluten-Free flours to get the best texture and flavor; and I experiment (a lot) until the recipe is truly yummy!

Big Hugs to YOU, Ruby Lynn


ALMOND FLOUR  

Almond Flour is made from raw, blanched almonds that have been ground into flour.  Heart-healthy Almond Flour is high in protein and fiber and makes the most delicious baked goods!  I love to mix Almond Flour with other Gluten-Free flours to get the very best texture in baked goods. Here are some wonderful Gluten Free recipes made with Almond Flour that will move you into celestial heights:

ARROWROOT STARCH

Arrowroot Starch is a white powder starch made from the roots of the Arrowroot Plant.  Arrowroot Starch looks exactly like cornstarch, but unlike cornstarch it is a “Paleo-Friendly” flour.  (Hooray!)   Arrowroot is terrific in baking and cooking and it comes with a huge bonus: It is easy to digest and is healing to the body!  This is a “must have” flour in your Gluten-Free pantry.  

When to use Arrowroot Starch:

  1. Arrowroot is fabulous in baking.  I love mixing Arrowroot with other Gluten-Free flours to get marvelous texture and flavor in baked goods.
  2. Arrowroot is  wonderful when you want to have a shimmering, clear fruit sauce.  Mix the Arrowroot with cold water first to blend it; this is called “making a slurry.” Add “the slurry” to your sauce, stirring constantly as you heat it.   
  3. Use Arrowroot if you need to freeze your sauce.  Cornstarch will break down when frozen but Arrowroot or Tapioca Starch do not break down when frozen.  

When NOT to use Arrowroot:  

  1. Arrowroot imparts a shiny gloss which is wonderful for fruit; but looks a bit odd in meat gravies or sauces.  I recently tried making a roux using melted Ghee (clarified butter) then stirred in Arrowroot starch to thicken a meat gravy.  I found that even a little bit of excess Arrowroot will give a slimy texture to gravy.  Eeek!  Now, if you insist on using Arrowroot for making gravy (and I really can’t blame you, because Arrowroot is a super-healthy starch) just be sure to have a lot of broth on hand so you can thin your gravy to the correct consistency.  (Note:  The gravy did have delicious flavor when I fixed it with the broth, but unless you are on a Paleo diet, I recommend using brown rice flour to thicken gravy for the best texture.) 
  2. If you are thickening a Dairy Based Sauce; it is best to use Cornstarch because dairy products tend to make Arrowroot become slimy.  Fascinating!  
  • How to Substitute: You need less Arrowroot than cornstarch when you are thickening a sauce: Substitute 2 teaspoons of Arrowroot for 1 tablespoon of cornstarch. 
  • Did you know:  The Arawak Indians used Arrowroot as a medicine to draw out toxins in wounds from poisoned arrows. 
  • Where to find Arrowroot: You can find Arrowroot Starch at Natural Food Grocery Stores, Asian Markets and online. 

 Irresistible Gluten Free Recipes with Arrowroot Starch: 

BUCKWHEAT 

Yes, Buckwheat is Gluten Free.  But, I think it needs a new name since the name, “Buckwheat” causes confusion among us folks who need to eliminate wheat!   Nutritious, slightly blue-grey in color, Buckwheat is delicious! 

Seriously, precious people; you haven’t lived until you have had my lovely Gluten-Free Buckwheat Pancakes.  Oh my goodness!  I dearly love these pancakes; especially when served with fresh blueberries, real maple syrup (and if you’re feeling decadent – whipped cream!)  

COCONUT FLOUR  

Coconut Flour is extremely high in fiber, making it extremely desirable in Gluten-Free baking and is a favorite among those on the Paleo diet.  Coconut Flour is a high protein, naturally-sweet flour made from fresh coconuts.  Coconut flour adds flavor, texture and nutrition.  I am in love with this flour!  However, Coconut  Flour can be very tricky to bake with unless  it is in the proper proportion.  When you get the right balance of coconut flour with other flours – it is downright amazing.  

WARNING:  Do NOT attempt to substitute a different flour for coconut flour.  Coconut Flour absorbs liquid like crazy and you will not get optimal results in your baking if you use a different flour.  Follow my recipes with the recommended flours and you will get healthy, delicious and lovely results.

CORNSTARCH

Cornstarch is usually used as a thickening for sauces – 1 tablespoon of cornstarch will thicken 1 cup of liquid.  But, if you are thickening an acidic food – such as a fruit juice, it is better to use tapioca, potato or arrowroot starch.  Cornstarch is best for thickening dairy sauces or puddings.

Cornstarch is also used in baking; especially in baking cookies and cakes.  Cornstarch has the ability to “lighten” baked goods; however, cornstarch is not a nutritious flour so I use it sparingly and combine it with other flours that have a higher vitamin and fiber count. 

Substitutes for cornstarch in baking:  Potato starch, Tapioca Starch or Arrowroot Starch.  However,  if you are using Arrowroot to replace cornstarch in a Sauce you need less Arrowroot Starch.   Use 2 teaspoons Arrowroot to replace 1 tablespoon of cornstarch. 

Here are some delicious Gluten Free cakes that use cornstarch:

FLAXSEED MEAL (I use Organic Golden Flax Seeds)  

I love baking with ground Flaxseed!  Flaxseed is packed with omega-3 fatty acids which make us healthy and beautiful!  You will be surprised at the lightness Flaxseed Meal gives to baked goods.  It doesn’t seem possible that such a high fiber seed can give such a light texture!  Give these fabulous Gluten Free recipes a try; Flaxseed Meal will become your new “best friend” in the kitchen.  

I always store my Organic Golden Flaxseeds in the refrigerator and grind them fresh, when I need them, with my trusty electric coffee grinder.  We use coffee pods now, so my coffee grinder is perfect for this.  Did you know that the vitamins “run away” immediately after the Flaxseed is ground?  It’s true.  Hang on to all your vitamins and grind your own Flaxseed.  You will love the freshness!

HAZELNUT FLOUR

I love Hazelnut Flour!  However, there is something important I need to tell you about Hazelnut Flour:  Check the expiration date.  I’m going to say that again because this will make a huge difference in your enjoyment of this wonderful nut flour: “Check the expiration date!”   There is nothing worse than getting stale nuts; but when you get fresh Hazelnut Flour ~ it is heavenly!  

You’re going to love these cookies made with Hazelnut Flour!  And you can eat them anytime – don’t wait for a Holiday.  

MILLET FLOUR 

Mild, unique flavor, slightly nutty taste.  Millet flour is a beautiful golden color – I simply love millet flour!  This nutritious flour makes baked goods crumbly; but pairs well with other flours such as oat flour.  Millet flour is especially wonderful in baking breads and scones.

OATS & OAT FLOUR

Oats do not naturally contain gluten.  However,  Oats can get cross-contaminated with wheat in the fields.  Now this is where it gets tricky:  Sometimes, Oats even if cross-contaminated,  don’t bother people with wheat sensitivity, but other people are highly sensitive and may have a reaction to Oats.  If you have Celiac Disease or are highly sensitive to any Gluten, purchase only Oats  and Oat Flour that is clearly labeled, “Gluten Free.”   

POTATO STARCH  

Potato Starch is very fine, pure white flour with a bland taste that adds moistness and gives a wonderful texture to baked goods.  Potato Starch makes a great cake.  I LOVE it in my Scandinavian Chocolate Torte.  (I wish I had a slice of that cake right now…)  Potato Starch can also be used as a thickener for sauces, soups, gravies and stews; however, do not boil potato starch for any length of time; it breaks down.  You can substitute Potato Starch with Cornstarch, Tapioca Starch or Arrowroot Starch.  

  • NOTE:  Do NOT substitute Potato Flour for Potato Starch.  It is an entirely different product and will ruin delicate baked goods.  

Enjoy these wonderful Gluten-Free recipes made with Potato Starch.  Yummy!

RICE FLOUR:  BROWN RICE FLOUR

Brown Rice Flour is the “Gluten-Free Master-Grain of Flours.”  Yep, it’s true.  Tons of Gluten Free Recipes use Brown Rice Flour in their basic flour mix; and with good reason.  I love to use Brown Rice Flour mixed with other flours – it’s a wonderful flour.  Try different brands of Brown Rice Flour; some brand are a bit “gritty” and some are smooth.  Here are some favorite recipes that use Brown Rice Flour. Enjoy ~

WHITE RICE FLOUR

A Gluten Free Flour you can use instead of Brown Rice Flour if you desire a “whiter” color in your recipes.  White Rice Flour can be “gritty” so check different brands until you find one that you really like.

SWEET RICE FLOUR 

Sweet Rice Flour is different from the other rice flours.   Sweet Rice Flour is made from a glutinous (high-starch) sticky, short grain rice and helps mimic gluten-like qualities.  Now, don’t let that word “Glutinous” through you off: Rice, whether it’s Brown, White or Sweet Rice are all Gluten Free.  “Glutinous” is referring to the sticky qualities of the rice.  If you have ever had “Sticky Rice” at a Thai restaurant then you know how glutinous this rice can be.  (Gosh, I love that stuff!)  

  • Sweet White Rice will help give a nice “chewiness” to baked goods; which is great if you are making a hearty bread, for instance.  I’ll be putting up some recipes with Sweet Rice Flour, soon. (I promise!)

SORGHUM FLOUR

Sorghum, originally from Africa, is America’s third leading cereal crop.  Sorghum is a neutral flavored, sometimes slightly-sweet grain.  Many Gluten Free bakers consider Sorghum Flour to be the most similar to wheat in flavor.  Sorghum Flour is excellent when mixed with other flours in Gluten Free baking.  You can successfully substitute equal amounts of Millet Flour for the Sorghum Flour.  Lately, I have been preferring to use golden-colored Millet Flour instead of Sorghum Flour.  I find that the Sorghum Flour takes on a “grassy” taste after a short time, so it’s just my personal preference to use Millet  Flour, but you do whatever “lights your fire” okay?  Both flours are terrific when they are fresh.

TAPIOCA FLOUR/STARCH

Baking:  I love this flour.  Tapioca Starch is a wonderful flour and works really well in baking; especially when mixed with other flours.  It helps to give a wonderful texture to breads and baked goods.  

When NOT to use tapioca flour/starch

  • Pudding: I used tapioca flour/starch to thicken chocolate pudding and this did not work out well.  Use cornstarch instead.  I tried tapioca flour for thickening both whole milk and dairy-free milk chocolate pudding.  The texture was almost slimy and definitely odd in both puddings.  So again; use cornstarch for thickening cooked puddings.

TEFF FLOUR   

Before going Gluten Free I had never heard of Teff.  But Teff has been around for thousands of years!  Teff is the smallest grain ever; Teeny-tiny.  But the little Teff grain is highly nutritious and highly respected.  In Ethiopia it is used to make the delicious, slightly sour, flatbread, Injera. 

I love to add a small amount of Teff to “round out” the flavor of baked goods and to add extra nutrition to them.  I have tried leaving out that little bit of Teff and Gluten Free baked goods taste “a bit flat” without it.  So be sure to keep Teff Flour in your Gluten Free Pantry; you will love Teff in these recipes and everyone will think your baked goods are amazing.  

Note:  Lately, just because I have so many flours – I have been using Millet Flour for the Teff Flour.  The Teff Flour is an awesome, healthy flour – but in case you can’t find it (it is sometimes hard to find) you can successfully substitute Millet or Sorghum Flour for the Teff Flour.

 

Pin It on Pinterest