Gluten Free Cooking Basics VI: Flour Mixes

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Hold onto your hats….I found a LOT of GF baking mix “recipes” to please everyone and anyone.





Gluten Free Baking Mixes & Blends


Living Without’s Gluten Free & More Quick Start Guide
Here is a simple overview of the gluten-free (GF) diet. Not all areas of the diet are as clear-cut as portrayed by this guide. This is intended to be used as a safe and temporary survival tool until additional information can be obtained. Understanding these dietary requirements will enable the newly diagnosed to read labels of food products and determine if a product is gluten free. Celiac disease (CD) is a life-long genetic disorder affecting children and adults. When people with CD eat foods that contain gluten, it creates an immune-mediated toxic reaction that causes damage to the small intestine. This does not allow food to be properly absorbed. Even small amounts of gluten in foods may affect those with celiac disease and cause health problems. Damage can occur to the small bowel even in the absence of symptoms. Gluten is the generic name for certain types of proteins contained in the common cereal grains wheat, barley, rye and their derivatives. Research indicates that pure, uncontaminated oats consumed in moderation (up to 1/2 cup dry oats daily) are tolerated by most celiacs. Gluten-free oats are currently available in the United States. Consult your physician or dietitian before including oats in your diet and for regular monitoring. Read more….
The Gluten Free Homemaker web site has some more mixes 🙂You have to ask yourself a few other questions.
• Do I want the convenience of buying a flour mix for all or part of my baking?
• Do I want to save money and make my own?
• Are there other types of flour I need to avoid?
• Is the nutritional content of a mix important to me?
• Do I want to avoid certain tastes, textures, and smells?
• Do you want to achieve certain tastes, textures, and smells?
Read More…

Mary’s GF blend Living Without’s Gluten Free mag. (yeast breads) – LIGHT
2 C brown rice flour
2 C white rice flour
1 1/3 C potato starch flour
2/3 C  tapioca starch

High-Fiber GF blend (master pizza dough – Loose)
Works for breads, pancakes, snack bars and cookies that contain chocolate, warm spices, raisins or other fruits. NOT suited for delicately flavored recipes.
1 C brown rice flour or sorghum
½ C teff flour (preferably LIGHT)
½ C millet or Montina flour
2/3 C tapioca starch
1/3 C cornstarch or potato starch flour

High-Protein GF blend (best for wraps & pie crusts)
1 ¼ C bean flour (can use soy)
1 C arrowroot starch, cornstarch or potato starch
1 C tapioca starch
1 C brown or white rice flour

Jeanne’s GF All-Purpose Flour Mix (Cooking Gluten Free! by Karen Robertson)
1 ¼ C brown rice flour
1 ¼ C white rice flour
1 C tapioca flour
1 C sweet rice flour (also known as glutinous rice flour or Mochiko)
2 scant tsp. xanthan gum

Mary’s Self-Rising Flour Blend (for muffins, cakes + using leavening)
There are lots more baking mixes at this link 🙂
1 ¼ C white sorghum flour
1 ¼ C white rice flour
½ C tapioca starch
2 T xanthan or guar gum
4 t baking powder
½ t salt

Alicia’s GF blend –
¾ C sorghum flour
¾ C brown rice flour
½ C tapioca flour
½ t xanthan gum
½ t baking soda
1 t baking powder

The following links for Bette’s mixes are all different web addresses. Check out all the information presented at these web sites 🙂

Bette Hagman’s Feather-Lite Mix
1 C rice flour
1 C tapioca flour
1 C cornstarch
3 t potato flour (1t per cup)

Bette Hagman’s Light Bean flour
I cannot remember which book I got her flour blends from 😦
1 C Garfava bean flour (avail from authentic foods)
1 C tapioca flour
1 C cornstarch

Bette Hagman’s Four Bean Flour Mix
2/3 part Garfava bean flour
1/3 part sorghum flour
1 part Tapioca flour
1 part cornstarch

Bette Hagman’s Bean Flour Mix
1 C Garfava flour
1 C brown rice flour
2/3 C potato starch flour
1/3 C tapioca starch

GF VARIABLE flour blend #1
This basic blend works for most breads, muffins, cookies, cakes and cupcakes.
NOTE: that if you use tapioca starch as your starch, blend it with a softer starch such as cornstarch or potato starch for the best results.

1 C sorghum flour (or oat flour, brown rice flour)
1 C potato starch, corn starch or tapioca starch
(if using tapioca blend it with another starch)
½ C almond flour, GF millet or GF buckwheat flour
1 t xanthan gum

GF VARIABLE flour blend #2
A slightly heartier blend for breakfast muffins, cookie bars and bread.
1 C sorghum flour (or oat flour, brown rice flour
¾ C potato starch, tapioca starch or corn starch
(if using tapioca blend it with another starch)
½ C millet flour
½ C buckwheat flour or cornmeal
¼ C quinoa flour or almond flour
1 ½ t xanthan gum
YOU CAN also add ¼ C flax meal to your flour blend for added fiber.

GF BREAD Flour Mix (store in fridge)
1 ½ C millet flour
1 ½ C sorghum flour
2 C tapioca starch
1 C potato starch

Carol’s GF Flour Blend   ALSO Mix (store in dark dry place)
1 ½ C sorghum or brown rice flour
1 ½ C potato starch
1 C tapioca flour

All Purpose GF Baking Mix (
1 C teff flour
1 C sorghum flour
1 C brown rice flour
1 C almond meal
1 C tapioca flour
1 t sea salt
2 ½ t baking powder
1 t baking soda
ADD 2 t xanthan gum to make baked goods hold together better

There they all are. If I find any more, I will certainly include them.
OR if you have any you love, please let me know:)

 Check out this web site I came across. If you love Cinnabon buns, maybe this copycat recipe is for you. NOTE: I have NOT made these so I cannot attest to their tastiness. Neither have I ever had a Cinnabon, so couldn’t compare even if I made this recipe 🙂


Gluten Free Cooking Basics V: Flour Substitutes & Baking Tips

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Updated: 05/17/14



Don’t you just want to pinch my grandson’s cheeks!!!!





Gluten Free Flour Substitutes & Baking Tips

We’ll start with the Baking Tips. I don’t have as many typed up as I thought I did. Oh well, just have to update this information at a later date.

Can you see why I haven’t been posting in months. I’ve been researching and rubbing my hands together, giggling over the information I have gleaned for you 🙂

I really like information from and

During my research I came across so very good web sites. I’ve listed them below:
My Gluten Free Table
Gluten free Goddess


Magic Line Loaf Pan (7.5 by 3.5 by 2.25)

This commercial quality, heavy-duty loaf pan is the perfect size for evenly cooking a loaf of bread made with almond flour. In author’s testing, she found that standard size loaf pans did not bake the bread through to the center, leaving the middle undercooked. This loaf pan is shallow enough that your breads will be cooked through!!!!

• Prefer dutched or dutch-process COCOA powder

• Maple Grove Farms Sugar Free Maple-flavored syrup AND
Vermont Sugar-Free Syrup

• Double-layered insulated pans cook more evenly and protect the bottoms of cookies

• Muffin liners (don’t forget to grease the liners!)


Cooking Tips

• If recipes are consistently under-cooking (gummy in the middle or sinking) see loaf pan above! your oven temp may be off. Some ovens can be quite temperamental. Even new ones. Purchase an oven thermometer to gauge how your oven is performing. You may be surprised, as one reader was, to discover that your preheating stage takes additional time before it reaches true baking temps–despite the on light that declares the oven’s ready.

• If your oven is on target, but your baked goods are gummy, first check your flour blend–is it white rice based? That alone can equal gummy. Try baking at a higher temp — at 375 or 400 instead. Keep an eye on it — it will rise faster and bake faster. But it just may solve your problem — especially for breads.

• Adding fiber to your batter can really help texture. Try adding flax meal.


Flour Substitutions

Corn free substitutions:

• potato flour
• arrowroot or tapioca flour
• garfava flour (for baking and coating)
• 1/4 C baking soda + 1/2 C cream of tartar + 1/4 C potato starch
• xanthan gum = guar gum


• Store whole grain flours in a cool, dark place for optimal quality
and to keep their delicate oils from turning rancid.

• Keep in the pantry no more than 6 months

• In the refrigerator for up to 9 months

• In the freezer for 9 to 12 months

Sorghum, brown rice & teff flours are interchangeable, but will alter the recipe slightly.

In GF baking, if there is only one flour, it almost always overpowers the taste of the whole dish. A blend of flours balances flavor and texture, giving a more pleasing neutral taste, while maintaining nutrition.

If you find a recipe that you would like to tweak to be gluten free OR would like to use ingredients you have on hand in place of gluten free flours found in a recipe, here are a couple of general outlines.
• In general, you want to use a ratio of 2/3 heavy-medium flours and 1/3 starch –light flours for the best texture. If you prefer a “white” flour replacement, switch that ratio.
• A very rough estimate is about 1¼ C GF flours to 1 C all-purpose wheat flour. The addition of about ½ teaspoon gum of choice is usually called for, for ideal texture. However, many recipes with additional binding ingredients (chia meal, flax meal, banana, applesauce) does not need the addition.
• If you want to sub GF flours for other ones you prefer, substitute a light for a light, med for a med, and heavy for a heavy.
Healthy GF Life Cookbook substitution suggestion (different than above–???)“converting a wheat recipe, take the amount of wheat flour called for in the recipe and divide it in half. The first half will be made up of one or two GF flours and the other half will be starches.
2 C wheat flour
1/2 C sorghum & 1/2 C teff
1/2 C potato starch and 1/2 C tapioca starch
**as you become more comfortable, make changes to your formula by 1/4C here & 1/4C there to see what you like.

Generally, GF flours should be combined to create the best possible results.
Experienced GF cooks and bakers advise consulting GF cookbooks for specific combinations.

Keep in mind that gluten provides cohesion, lightness and rising capacity in baked goods. When baking gluten free, adding some binder such as xanthan gum or guar gum and a bit more baking soda or baking powder will enhance the result.

Also, when adding gluten-free flours to liquid ingredients, take care to blend them gently and for as short a time as possible to avoid over beating their fragile structure.

To avoid dense GF batter, add a bit of hot water once you’ve mixed your other ingredients. This will give your baked goods a nice, light crumb.


A QUICK LOOK at the chart below will show you that all of these flours are relatively close to (or even higher than) wheat in proteins, which is not true of rice with only 6%, tapioca with 1% and cornstarch with only a trace. Thus, you can easily replace some of the rice flour mix with any one of the exotics and get more nutrition and sometimes more fat. As you work with them, you’ll find they often complement the flour mixes you are using, but many can only be used as 15% – 20% of the whole flour amount.

A Comparison of GF flours to wheat

Flour Carb % Protein % Fat % Fiber % Trace Elements
Amaranth 66 13 6 15 Balanced protein
Buckwheat 72 11.5 0 1.6 B vitamins
Millet* 73 10 3 3 Magnesium
Quinoa 66 12 5 7 Potassium, calcium
Sorghum* 75 10 4 2 Iron, B Vitamins
Teff* 71 11 4 3 Iron, some thiamin
Wheat* 76 10 1 3

*Grass Family grains

NOTE FOUND SOMEWHERE: If I was just getting started and only wanted to buy a couple of flours, I would get: brown rice flour, oat flour and tapioca starch. They have familiar tastes that most people like. Teff would follow next.

*Almond Flour – do not buy Bob’s Red Mill, it is too coarse. Unless you want coarse, or you can put it in the blender and make it more fine.

HONEYVILLE Almond Flour – buy from vendor who refrigerates it.
Store in a glass jar in fridge or freezer for several months.

Glycemic Index of sweeteners

58       Sugar
54       Maple Sugar
52       Honey
32       Light Agave (which is processed)

 Someone’s favorite starches: (just didn’t write down who’s favs these are 😦
Potato, Tapioca, Arrowroot

Favorite Healthy GF Baking author’s favorite flours:
Teff, Brown Rice, Sorghum, Amaranth, Millet, Quinoa

Paleo Flour Favs (maybe Diva):
Coconut, Almond Meal

GF Flour Nutrition Breakdown

Serving size
¼ C
Calories Carbs Fiber Protein Fat
Almond Meal 160 6 3 6 14
* Amaranth 110 20 3 4 2
Arrowroot 110 25 1 0 0
Brown Rice 140 31 2 3 1
* Buckwheat 100 21 4 4 1
Coconut 140 18 12 6 5
Garbanzo 110 18 5 6 2
Mesquite 40 44 6 2 0
* Millet 110 22 2.5 3 1
Oat 90 16 2 3 1.5
Peanut 49 5.2 2.5 8 >1
Potato Starch 160 40 0 0 0
* Quinoa 110 18 2 4 1.5
* Sorghum 120 25 3 4 1
Sweet Rice Flour 180 40 1 3 0.5
Tapioca 100 26 0 0 0
Teff 113 22 4 4 1
White Rice Flour 150 32 1 2 0.5

*Most nutrient-dense flours


How to choose and use gluten-free whole-grain flours

Many GF foods, mixes and recipes rely on a combo of white rice flour, potato starch and tapioca starch. There’s a place for these so-called white flours I our kitchens, but relying on these alone produces an empty carb load that stresses the body’s metabolism and contributes to obesity and diabetes.

In contrast, nutrient-dense power flours like Amaranth, Buckwheat, chickpea, flaxseed meal, millet, quinoa and sorghum provide more protein, as well as a host of vitamins and nutrients. Plus, they’re higher in fiber, which helps reduce cholesterol levels. What’s more, many are quite flavorful and they produce baked goods that help us feel fuller longer.

The higher protein content in these flours provides elasticity to baked goods.. The result is that finished baked goods are more moist, have a finer crumb and better texture.

For the best results, baking GF requires using a mix of flours. If you’re new to GF baking, start with a standard blend or purchase an all-purpose commercial blend at your local natural food store, some supermarkets or online. Once you’re comfortable with the nuances of a basic gluten-free blend, try introducing new flour varieties slowly into your repertoire. In time, you’ll be able to customize recipes to your individual preferences.

With these alternative flours, you can continue making your favorite foods without compromising taste and texture.


6 Tips for Whole-Grain Flours

GF flours behave differently than wheat flour. Here are some basic guidelines for storing and using them successfully.

  1. Mix Them Up

GF baking requires a combination of flours. No single flour will do the trick. To avoid a heavy, dense texture in your baked goods, use no more than 30% of any one flour. Generally, this means no more than 1 ½ C of one flour for every 4-5C of flour blend. The exception is the strong-flavored flours, like chickpea and millet, which can overpower delicate baked goods; use less than 25% of these. This means no more than 1 C for every 4-5 C of flour blend.

  1. Substitution Rules

Whole-grain flours are generally inter-changeable in equal amounts, except for flaxseed meal, which should be used in smaller quantities. Neutral flours are interchangeable in equal amounts. Flours are not interchangeable with starches, as they have different baking properties.

  1. Go Slow

Try alternative flours in small amounts and then monitor your reaction before increasing intake. Buy limited quantities of flour at first to make certain that you can tolerate it—and that you like the taste and texture—before stocking your pantry. Experiment until you find the whole-grain flours that you like best for your dishes. If you don’t care for chickpea flour, for example, try replacing it with an equal amount of quinoa or amaranth flour.

  1. Use Gum

To replace gluten properties in baking, use xanthan gum or guar gum, thickening agents that put back some of the necessary structure for leavening. Potato flour (not potato starch) can also be used to improve structure.

  1. Refrigerate Until Used THEN bring up to room temp before using

Store power flours in airtight glass containers with a wide mouth so you can measure over the container. To be on the safe side, refrigerate all GF flours. This is particularly true for power flours with higher fat and protein content, such as amaranth flour and flaxseed meal, which spoil quickly at room temps. Allow refrigerated flours to return to room temp before you use them, unless the recipe states otherwise.

  1. Watch for Cross Contact

Be careful of contamination. Companies that produce both wheat and non-wheat products often mill and process them in the same location. Particles can linger in the air and on equipment surfaces. Most companies clean the equipment between the processing of different flours but that doesn’t guarantee against contamination. If possible, purchase flour from a manufacturer that uses a dedicated wheat-free, GF facility.


GF FLOUR Substitutes

*** I have listed the weight of the flours to guide you to make your own substitutions in recipes. (IE, exchange heavy for heavy, medium for medium….)

Bean Flours              HEAVY, STRONG, distinctive flavor

Best in breads and spice cakes
Garbanzo/Chickpea flour is very similar to millet.
Garflava makes a better-textured baked product than many rice flours.
• Try mixing with tapioca flour, cornstarch and sorghum flour for a hearty, nutritious blend that lends structure to your baking. Use these flours as less than 30% of total flour blend.
A small amount (1/4-1/2 C) added to pie crust or wraps makes these items more elastic and easier to roll out.
• Use garbanzo bean and lentil flours for cookies, they can also be added to other flours (rice) quite well. They offset the grainy texture of rice flour.
• Use Sorghum flour to cut the bitterness of bean flour.
• The taste is offset in recipes containing brown sugar, molasses, chocolate or spices.
• Bean flours are not well suited to delicate baked goods like sugar cookies.

• Certain bean flours, particularly garfava and chickpea, impart an aftertaste that some people find unpleasant.
• Use these flours as LESS THAN 30% of your recipe’s total flour blend and use SORGHUM to cut the bitterness.

 WARNING: there are some bean flours now being sold that claim to be compounded but are often not the same formula. They may not produce equally good results in recipes. Look for the name AUTHENTIC FOODS on the label.

Almond Flour          HEAVY, Sweet, nutty flavor

Adds structure and texture to cakes, cookies and cupcakes.
Can be substituted for oats in oatmeal cookies.
Add up to 25% to a basic flour blend or use up to 50% or more in cakes leavened with eggs.
• Nut flours do tend to be heavier than classic wheat, so make sure to up the amount of baking powder and baking soda in the recipe so the dough can rise as normal.
• Another author states, “Does not need leavening/binding agents”???
• Almond flour MUST BE BLANCHED for recipes to work, unless otherwise stated.
• Almond flour can be substituted for oats in oatmeal cookies.

• Don’t over-grind; almond flour can turn into almond butter very quickly.
• Leaving the skin on the almonds will darken the final baked product.
• Nut flours don’t rise the same way as wheat flour, so an additional rising agent might be needed when replacing more than ¼ C of wheat
Can go rancid quickly. Store in a tightly sealed container in the fridge or freezer and use within a few months.

Amaranth Flour        MEDIUM, Distinctive, mildly nutty flavor similar to graham crackers without the sweetness.

• Works well in recipes that contain brown sugar or maple syrup. Breading, thickening sauces & baking.
• Use it sparingly—10-20% of a flour blend or no more than ½ C per recipe.
• Mix 25% amaranth flour with other flours, such as brown rice, quinoa, or oat flour to make up 100%.
• Helps baked goods brown more quickly.
• Can replace Amaranth with sorghum, teff or brown rice flour with no changes BUT, you CANNOT sub teff, brown rice or sorghum with Amaranth because it’s flavor is so strong.
• Amaranth flakes, sold as cereal, can replace rolled oats in some recipes.

• If too much is used, baked goods may have a bitter aftertaste and may brown too quickly.
• Store in fridge, as the flour tends to develop a stronger taste as it ages.
• Buy as fresh as possible

Buckwheat Flour   (grass family)       HEAVY, strong, robust flavor

• Light buckwheat flour is usually preferred for baking breads, waffles, pancakes and noodles.
• For breads and rolls, use up to 1 C per recipe to impart a taste and texture that comes close to whole wheat. Use less for delicate cookies or pies.

• Too much can overpower a baked product.
• Store in an airtight container in the fridge to extend shelf life.

Chestnut Flour       Nutty, earthy flavor (was not given the weight, but expect nut flours can be interchangeable.

• Used widely by Italian bakers and cooks in everything from pasta to cakes pancakes, breads and muffins.
• Because chestnut flour is low in protein, it should be combined with a HIGH-protein flour, such as bean, amaranth or soy, to ensure baked goods hold together.
• It can comprise up to 25% of a flour blend.

• Store in an airtight container at room temperature.
• Too much can impart an unpleasant earthy taste.
Don’t confuse chestnut flour with water chestnut flour, a very starchy, white powder with different baking properties.

Coconut Flour       HEAVY, subtle, sweet fragrance

• Usually well tolerated by people with allergies.
• Excellent for low-carb diets
• For best results, add up to 15% in a flour blend.
• If using 100% coconut flour, recipes usually call for extra eggs to create height and airiness.
• Used by itself requires a lot of eggs, but up to 30% can be subbed in a recipe for additional flavor and sweetness.
• It absorbs crazy amounts of liquid, use roughly 1/3 – ½ Cup other GF flour
•Be careful, using more than ½ cup at a time could allow the flour’s bitterness to take over.

Substitutions can be tricky in baking, so when using coconut flour, be sure to add an equal amount of extra liquid!
• Too much can create a very dense product.

Corn Flour       HEAVY, nutty taste

• Best used in making tortillas, wraps, waffles, pancakes, breads, breading.
• One form of corn flour is MASA HARINA (milled from hominy) used in making corn tortillas.
• If corn flour isn’t available, you can make your own by grinding cornmeal into a fine powder in a food processor.
Blend with other GF flours, preferably rice and sorghum, buckwheat or amaranth for hearty baked items.

• Refrigerate in an airtight container.
• Don’t confuse US-made corn flour with “cornflour” used in the UK.
• The British version is actually what Americans call cornstarch.

Corn Starch         STARCH     Gravies, soups and sauces

• It’s an important part of many all-purpose GF baking blends.
• Can be used in place of arrowroot or potato starch.
• Makes a transparent thickener for gravies, soup and sauces.

• Refrigerate to extend shelf life.
• The British term “cornflour” is really cornstarch

Corn Meal             HEAVY, has a nutty & slightly sweet taste.

• Best used in cornbread, breading, Johnny Cakes, anadama bread
• Lends excellent texture to foods.
• Select finer grinds for baking and for polenta.
• Use coarse meal for breading.
• Blend with corn flour or a GF flour blend.
• In most recipes, it should comprise 25% or less of the flours used.
• However, some cornbread recipes call for just cornmeal.

• Select the grind appropriate for your recipes.
• Using too much cornmeal or a grind that is too coarse, produces a gritty texture.

Hemp Flour         Nutty flavor

• Best used in breads, muffins, cookies, pancakes
• Very high in dietary fiber.
• Add 1/4 to 1/3 C to a flour blend.

• Too much produces a gritty texture.

Millet Flour         MEDIUM, strong, distinctive, mildly sweet, nut-like flavor. DRY

• Imparts a light beige or yellow color to foods.
• ***easy to digest
• Best used in flat breads, pizza, other yeast-containing items AND recipes containing moist fruit.
• Adds structure and great light cake-like texture to GF baked items.
• For best results, use no more than 25% millet flour in any flour blend.
• Loaded with nutrition. Millet raised for human consumption has a far higher nutritional value than rice and some growers claim, even higher than wheat.
• Millet’s drier, chalky consistency and medium texture makes it the perfect sponge for any baked good containing moist fruit or large amounts of heavy liquid, like banana bread.

• Short shelf life.
• Millet can quickly become rancid and bitter.
• Store in refrigerator or freezer in a tightly sealed container.

Montina Flour (Indian Rice Grass)               HEAVY, wheat-like taste and hearty texture

• Excellent choice for use in dark baked goods, like spice cakes and gingerbread.
• Blend up to 30% with an all-purpose GF flour blend to add fiber, nutrition and protein to baked goods.

• Refrigerate in a tightly covered container.
• Too much can overpower other flavors. Its whole-wheat appearance may not suit delicate, light cookies, cakes or sandwich breads.

Oat Flour              MEDIUM

• Best used in cookies, breads and other baked goods.
Quinoa flakes can be substituted for whole oats in most recipes
• In most recipes, oat flour should comprise less than 30% of a flour blend.
• Oat flour is too heavy to use for cakes, but does make nice cookies.
• I, Padme, have successfully used oat flour to replace wheat flour. Use 3/4C oat to 1C of wheat flour.
It does need additional xanthan gum and an additional egg in recipes.

• Store in a tightly sealed container in a cool, dry place or freeze to extend the shelf life.
• High probability for cross-contamination with wheat. I read in a Bob’s Red Mill article that they do their best AND make farmers sign things stating that their crops are not contaminated.

Oat Groats

• Minimally processed, an only have the outer hull removed. They are chewier, and need to be cooked for a longer period of time, after soaking first.

Oats, Steel Cut

• Whole grain. AKA: Irish oats, Scotch oats, porridge oats.
• Very chewy and must be cooked for a longer period than rolled oats.

Potato Flour       LIGHT

• Best used in baked goods, homemade pasta, breads and pizza crust
• Can be used in place of xanthan gum or guar gum in GF baking
• Add 2-4% per recipe (reduce or eliminate the gum ingredients accordingly) to lend a soft, chewy mouth-feel to baked goods.

• A little goes a long way.
Use potato flour in moderation when mixing with other flours, as it burns easily.
• Too much potato flour will create a gummy product.
• Don’t confuse potato flour with potato starch, which is used in much larger quantities in recipes and has different baking properties.
• Store in the fridge.

Potato Starch     STARCH

• Produces a crisp-on-the-outside, soft-inside texture for waffles
• One-for-one substitution for cornstarch or tapioca in recipes
GF recipes often call for /2 to 3/4 C potato starch as part of a flour blend.
• Like coconut flour, potato flour grabs moisture, but it contains less than half the amount of fiber found in coconut flour.
• It works well when combined with gritty flours like brown rice and sweet white rice to balance out the texture in cookie recipes and baked goods that contain less liquid.

• Potato starch tends to clump, so it should be stirred for accurate measuring.
• Don’t confuse potato starch with potato flour, which is used in much smaller quantities and has different baking properties.

Quinoa Flour      MEDIUM, delicate, nutty flavor similar to wild rice.

• Easy to digest
• Quinoa flakes are an excellent replacement for oats in cookies, breads, cakes and rolls.
• Can be used in cookies, pies, cakes and pasta.
• Works well combined with other flours.
• Mix with other flours, up to 25% of total blend, to increase the nutritional value of baked goods.
A delicious addition to granola.

• Too much can overpower the flavor of baked goods.
• Check the label; whole quinoa may have to be rinsed first to remove the bitter-tasting natural oil that sometimes lingers on domestic quinoa.

Rice Flour (White)           MEDIUM

• Easy to digest
• Texture varies depending on how it’s milled.
• Light/fine – cookies
• Medium – most baking
• Coarse – cereal and coatings.
• Relatively heavy and dense, white rice flour works best in recipes when it’s combined with other flours, especially those that are high in protein to balance texture and build structure.
• Easily interchangeable with brown rice
• Doesn’t distort the taste of any flavorings used.
Stay away from GF products made mostly from White Rice Flour

• Too much white rice flour (or coarsely ground rice flour) can produce a grainy taste and texture and makes baked goods crumbly.
• Store in the refrigerator.

Rice Flour (Brown)         MEDIUM

• Best used in breads, muffins and cookies where a bran (or nutty) taste is sought
• I personally replace brown rice flour for white rice flour all the time.
• If desired, you can replace the white rice flour in mixes for brown rice in breads and muffins.

• Has a shorter shelf life than white rice flour and tends to become stronger tasting as it ages.
• Store in the fridge.
• Always purchase fresh flour and store in the freezer if not using frequently.

Rice Flour (Sweet Rice/sticky)     LIGHT

• Short grain rice that has more starch than white rice.
• Has NO nutritive value
• Excellent thickening agent. Especially good for sauces that are to be refrigerated or frozen, as it inhibits separation of the liquids.
• Author uses it by the tablespoon to add to bread when the dough is too thin or to batters when they seem too runny.
Author uses sweet rice flour as the main flour in brownies because much like cake flour, it has lighter texture and is higher in starch than brown rice flour. It also seems to magnify the flavor and mimic the texture of the melted chocolate.

• Do not confuse with plain white rice flour.
• Store in fridge or freezer.

Rice Flour (Wild Rice Flour)       Hearty, interesting flavor and texture

• Best used in pancakes, muffins, scones and cookies.
• Wild rice has a long shelf life because it is dried and slightly fermented.
• Use it to thicken casseroles, sauces, gravies and stews.

• Wild rice flour imparts a distinctive flavor and adds a dark appearance to baked goods.
• Not suited for delicate pastries, such as sugar cookies and white cakes.

ROOT Flours      LIGHT

Arrowroot: breads and bagels
Sweet Potato: complements recipes containing chocolate, molasses spices.
• Well tolerated by food-allergic people
• Enhances baking performance and gives baked goods a chewy texture and increased browning capabilities.
• ARROWROOT – can be used to replace cornstarch. Sub cup-for-cup. Also is a great thickener for gravies and sauces.
• SWEET POTATO flour is produced from white sweet potatoes. It is stiff in texture and somewhat sweet tasting. High in fiber, it contains more carbs, but less protein than common flour.
• Arrowroot works well with acidic fruit sauces, and does not become thin or watery.
• When a recipe calls for an arrowroot slurry or paste, be sure to combine the arrowroot and water in a small bowl, making a smooth mixture without any lumps. Add to mixture on stove. When doing so, it is IMPORTANT to raise the heat to HIGH and mix thoroughly until the arrowroot is well integrated and the mixture on the stove completely thickens.

• Root and tuber starches should be part of a flour blend, up to 25%.
• Too much of any of these flours can produce a gummy result.

Sorghum Flour (Milo or Jowar)       HEAVY, very close to millet, slightly sweet, coarse texture

• High antioxidant levels
• Tastes similar to wheat.
• Best used for pancakes, breads, muffins and cookies
• May protect against diabetes and insulin resistance.
• May also help manage cholesterol
• Sorghum is high in protein, delivering all-important structure to GF baked goods.
• Sorghum flour is an ideal choice for darker-color, heavier baked goods like brown bread or ginger cookies.
• It should be no more than 25-30% of any GF flour blend
• Replace about 1/4 of the rice mix with sorghum flour.
• It cuts the bitterness of bean flour and is excellent in bean flour mixtures.
• Author prefers sorghum to many of the other GF flours because it so closely mimics wheat flour.
• When baking with sorghum flour, you will need to add arrowroot or cornstarch to the recipe (1/2-1 teaspoon per cup) and also add xanthan gum (1/2 teaspoon per cup) to bind it together.

• Darker in color than many other flours, it is not a good choice for baked goods that should be white.
• Sorghum is distantly related to sugar cane and although it stores well on the pantry shelf, if bought in quantity, will keep better in the fridge.

Soy Flour       HEAVY, distinctive, very nutty flavor

• Bean flour can be substituted in many recipes that call for soy.
• Best used in small amounts with other flours, such as rice flour to tenderize baked goods.
• Soy is sensitive to light and heat and is not recommended for sautéing or frying.
• Most successful when used in baking products that contain fruit, nuts or chocolate.

• Purchase in small quantities and store in the freezer or fridge, as it has a short shelf life.
• SOY is a hot-button in the 2010s. Risk factors include elevated hormone levels

Tapioca Starch/Flour       LIGHT

• Best used in pizza crusts.
• Lightens GF baked goods and gives them a texture more like that of wheat flour. It’s especially good in pizza crusts when used in equal parts with either white or brown rice flour.
• Tapioca flour is also called tapioca starch, so if you are searching for it in the store, don’t be dismayed if you cannot find tapioca flour.

• Can be stored at room temp for a long time.

Teff       HEAVY, mild, nutty flavor

• Best used cookies, cakes, quick breads, -pancakes and waffles
• Add teff flour to an all-purpose flour blend to produce high-fiber bread with a whole-wheat taste.
• It should be no more than25% of any blend.
• Excellent source of essential amino acids, especially lysine, which is usually deficient in most grains. Rice and oats have more lysine.
Nutrition powerhouse. It absorbs a LOT of liquid. If substitute teff, always use less to start say 1/3 teff to 1/2 C of other heavy flour.

• Too much can overpower delicate recipes.
• Refrigerate for longer shelf life.




Gluten Free Cooking Basics IV: Dairy-Free Baking & Kefir Info

1986 chris cow




Doesn’t my son at age 2 with the calves just make you smile?!

“Milk, it does a body good.” Not so fast, not for some people, me being one of them. But I’m learning that, at least I can get away with some dairy–hard cheeses, butter.



Dairy Free & Kefir Information

Here’s some information on lactose from People who don’t make enough of the lactase enzyme often experience symptoms of lactose intolerance, such as abdominal pain, gas, bloating and diarrhea, when they eat or drink lactose-containing foods such as milk or ice cream. Not a pleasant experience, to say the least.

Here’s why many people with lactose intolerance may still be able to indulge in certain dairy products without issue: Butter and many cheeses contain zero grams of carbohydrate, which means they contain zero grams of sugar. And zero sugar means zero lactose, or at least close to it. (Current labeling laws say that if a food contains less than 0.5 grams of carbohydrate or sugar per serving, these can be listed as zero on the nutrition facts label). READ MORE

Lactose content of common foods
1 Tbsp butter: 0.01 grams
1 oz Swiss cheese: 0.02 grams
1 oz mozzarella cheese: 0.02 grams
1 oz Parmesan cheese: 0.04 grams
1 oz cheddar cheese: 0.07 grams
1 oz brie cheese: 0.13 grams
1 oz reduced-fat cheese: 0.15 grams
2 Tbsp (1 oz) half & half: 0-1 gram
2 Tbsp (1 oz) fat-free half & half: 1-2 grams
100-percent whey protein powder: 1-2 grams per serving
1/2 cup low-fat cottage cheese: 3 grams
1/2 cup vanilla ice cream: 4.9 grams
1 cup plain Greek yogurt: 8-9 grams
1 cup plain low-fat yogurt: 13 grams
1 cup goat milk: 9-10.5 grams
1 cup cow’s milk: 13 grams


Dairy Free Options

Many people use soy milk in many of their recipes. It is low in fat and high in protein. Buy the “unsweetened” versions, as the regular or flavored milks have a very high sugar content.

• Almond milk is sweet and can be used to replace cow’s milk in recipes, too.
• Coconut milk
• Rice milk (good on cereal)
• Fruit juice
• water
• Goat’s milk
• Hemp milk
• Soy milk

Rice and soy milk can also be used as a milk substitute in just about everything. Consistency of these milks vary, and you must take that into consideration when looking for a substitute for cow’s milk. Soy milk or rice milk can be used as a thickener for gravies, but almond milk or coconut milk are delicious as a base for brown rice pudding. Be sure to refrigerate all of these milks after opening.


Smoothie Notes: You can make smoothies for breakfast and include the following: a ripe banana, soy milk, water, and a nondairy frozen dessert such as Sweet Nothings. It is all-natural and contains no sugar, dairy, gluten or artificial ingredients. Mango Raspberry is very good!

Another option is to add protein powder or some tofu.

To increase the protein in your morning smoothie, add 5 to 6 almonds.

Want to increase your fiber? Add 2 to 3 dried figs and 1/4 cup frozen or fresh berries, such as raspberries, blueberries or strawberries.

sweet nothings link:


Milk & Dairy information from Tessa the domestic diva 🙂

  • Milk: There are a vast array of non-dairy milks available now. My favorite for no detectable aftertaste is SO Delicious Coconut Milk, unsweetened. Be aware that most non-dairy milks labeled ‘Original’, ‘Plain’, and ‘Vanilla’ are sweetened. So, if you are making something savory, using an ‘unsweetened’ variety is your best bet.
  • Buttermilk: You can sour any milk by adding a teaspoon or 2 of either lemon juice or apple cider vinegar. Let the mixture sit for a couple of minutes to allow the milk to curdle. You can also purchase Kefir* in any variety of flavors for the same tangy flavor associated with buttermilk.
    • coconut milk
    • 7/8 C rice milk or fruit juice or water
  • Sour Cream: There are many soy-based sour creams available. Tofutti makes a good product, one of their versions has no hydrogenated oils either. Lots of plain non-dairy yogurts can stand in for sour cream in baked goods. So Delicious Coconut Milk Yogurt is a good choice.
  • Yogurt: There are many varieties of non-dairy: soy, coconut milk and almond are the most common. Consider kefir* (see below).
  • Cream: A hard one to replace. Sometimes, the coconut fat that is on the surface of an undisturbed can work in recipes, but it does not function the same. And there will definitely be a coconut flavor, not ideal in all recipes, but lovely in others. Mimicreme makes a great nut-based product meant to be subbed 1 for 1.
  • Sauces: For creamy warm sauces and soups, Tessa most often thickens unsweetened milk with rice flour or arrowroot starch. Depending on how thick you want it, 1 Tablespoon to 1-2 Cups liquid is a good starting point. You can always add more if you want it thicker. Whisk the flour or starch in a bit of water first before mixing in.

* Kefir is a fermented milk product similar to yogurt


Yogurt vs. Kefir

Yogurt and kefir differ based on the type of cultures used to ferment the milk. Yogurt uses only bacteria, primarily lactobacillus species, while kefir uses both bacteria and yeast. Although yogurt can range in texture from a thick liquid to a semi solid, gel-like consistency, kefir is primarily liquid.

Kefir Varieties

There are many recipes for kefir, which differ based on the specific bacteria and yeast used to ferment the milk and the type of milk used. In European countries, kefir is often made from goat, cow, or even camel’s milk. Most kefir sold in the United States is made from cow’s milk.

Kefir is available plain, which has a bright, tart flavor. To make it more palatable, many companies sweeten the kefir and add flavors like fruit or vanilla. Flavored kefir is closer in flavor to yogurt and may be more easily accepted by those who are new to kefir.

Kefir can also be made with non-dairy milks. These non-dairy kefirs are made using the same bacterial and yeast cultures, and offer the same pro-biotic benefits, making them an excellent alternative for vegan consumers.

How is Kefir Used?

Kefir is most often consumed as a cold beverage. Most people consume kefir because of its enjoyable flavor and texture, but some feel it aids in digestion and calming an upset stomach. Kefir can also be mixed into smoothies, poured over cereal or granola, or used in baked goods.

Purchasing and Storing Kefir

Kefir can be found in most health or natural food stores in the refrigerated dairy section. European markets may also carry kefir. Kefir making kits can also be found in specialty stores or online. These kits provide the kefir culture “grains” and instructions on how to safely ferment your milk.

Because kefir is a fresh product with live cultures, it should be kept refrigerated. After opening kefir, it should be consumed within five to seven days.

Gluten Free Cooking Basics III: Sugar Substitutes




Oh yeah, we all love our sugar, but some are better than others. The more I learn the more I prefer natural anything, but my diabetic hubby needs other options. Following is what I have gleaned so far. Enjoy: just like the company says–
in fact, Enjoy Life chocolate chips are AWESOME!!!!


Sugar Free Options with
vanilla & chocolate facts thrown in for good measure!


Natural Sweeteners (Healthy GF Life)

Glycemic Index is a numerical scale used to indicate how fast and how high a particular food can raise your blood glucose level.

*Its not just the GI alone that leads to the increase in blood sugar. Equally important is the amount of food that you consume. The concept of the GI combined with total intake is referred to glycemic load.

Example: a whole candy bar high load. Small piece of candy bar-small glycemic response.

Fructose – Another factor is fructose-GI of 19. Too prevalent in foods and is discouraged. Fructose may be a factor in metabolic syndrome and insulin resistance. High fructose promotes high blood cholesterol levels, decreases insulin sensitivity and increases organ fat—its what gives you that beautiful looking beer-belly look. Fructose can cause fatty liver disease and induce insulin resistance in humans, may accelerate the development of Type 2 Diabetes and may not trigger normal satiety, and may elevate blood pressure.

High Fructose

  • AGAVE because its heated. If you can find truly natural, raw agave—even real raw gets baked at 350 degrees which increases fructose.

• real MAPLE SYRUP Maple Grove Farms (SF) and Vermont Sugar-Free Syrup

• raw ORGANIC HONEY — raises A1C levels. Can lower triglycerides and fasting blood sugar levels. Good product to buy is Really Raw Honey. Buying local honey helps with allergies.

• COCONUT NECTAR – can use cup for cup to replace other liquid sweeteners.

• organic evaporated CANE JUICE (also organic powdered sugar and brown sugar)

Can replace sugar with maple syrup, raw honey or coconut nectar.

Don’t worry about replacing dry sweetener with liquid.



Author uses RIGOI di ASIAGO brand fruit spread, which is made from organic fruit. The fact that these fruit spreads are juice sweetened (with no refined sugars) adds to their appeal. When using jam, it’s extremely important to use an organic product. In conventional jams, as the fruit concentrates, so does the pesticide content. This creates an added toxic.



Yacon is a root composed primarily of water of fructo-oligosaccharides (FOS)—those types of short chain sugars have a lower caloric value (as they are digested anaerobically) and high fiber content. Author uses yacon syrup in recipes that traditionally call for molasses, such as gingerbread.


RULE OF THUMB for each 1/2C dry sugar, use 1/4C to 1/3C liquid sweetner

High Fructose Foods

• Apples, Boysenberry                                          • watermelon

• concentrated fruit sources                             • dried fruit

• fruit juice                                                                     • canned fruit in natural juice

• honey                                                                             • molasses

• rum                                                                                 • wine

• corn syrup

Using applesauce in place of sugar can give the necessary sweetness without the extra calories and, well, sugar. While one cup of unsweetened applesauce contains only about 100 calories, a cup of sugar can pack in more than 770 calories! This swap is perfect for oatmeal raisin cookies.
Pro Tip: you can sub sugar for applesauce in a 1:1 ratio, but for every cup of applesauce you use, reduce the amount of liquid in the recipe by 1/4 cup.


Converting a recipe from sugar to honey: Honey is 3x as sweet as sugar, so the conversion factor is 3:1. Reduce liquid in recipe by 1/4 C for each cup of honey used in baked goods. Add about 1/2t baking soda for each cup of honey used in baked goods. Reduce over temp by 25 degrees to prevent burning.


Converting a recipe to Agave Nectar:

White Sugar: For each cup of white sugar replaced, use 2/3 of a cup of agave and reduce other liquids by 1/4 to 1/3 cup. This substitution will also work for Demerara Sugar, Turbinado Sugar, Evaporated Cane Juice or Sucanat.

Brown Sugar: For each cup of brown sugar replaced, use 2/3 of a cup of agave and reduce other liquids by 1/4 cup. Because the moisture content of brown sugar is higher than that of white sugar, liquids may not have to be reduced as much when substituting agave nectar.

Corn Syrup: When replacing a cup of light corn syrup, use 1/2 as much agave, and increase other liquids in the recipe by up to 1/3 of a cup. Like corn syrup, agave nectar will not crystallize.

Stevia Conversion Chart (White Powder Extract only)

1/4 t Stevia white powder extract = 1 C sugar in sweetness. To make a liquid solution, dissolve 1 t Stevia white powder extract into 3 T distilled water. Refrigerate in a dropper bottle.

Granulated Sugar                                         Stevia Powder Extract

1/2 C                                                                           1/8 t

3/4 C                                                                           1/5 t

1 C                                                                                 1/4 t

Adapting favorite family recipes and baked goods to stevia may take several trials. Baked Goods made without sugar don’t brown well and need to be checked with a toothpick for doneness. Sugar adds volume to a recipe as well, so the liquid and dry ingredients will need to be drastically adjusted when just a dash of stevia is used.

Corn-Free Powdered Sugar

It is important to know that practically all commonly, commercially available powdered sugar contains cornstarch! It is VERY easy to make your own powdered sugar. Grind any kind of granulated sugar in a spice grinder and voila, instant powdered sugar!



When substituting sugar, you need to keep the following issues in mind:

  1. How much sugar are you substituting? If substituting only a small amount–say less than 1/4 C–you can use Stevia. Just add enough as needed based on taste preference-actually taste the batter. If substituting larger amounts, you need to recognize that the sugar is now serving the purpose of bulk in the recipe and that reduced amounts may affect texture and taste. Here is where you may need a bulking agent to increase the volume since Stevia is a very concentrated sweetness (30-40x sweeter than sugar in bulk), and add this in addition to the Stevia to your recipe.
  2. Which sugar substitute are you using? If it’s a liquid substitute and more than a few teaspoons, you may need to adjust the total amount of liquid in the recipe to accommodate for this added liquid. Often, you need to cut back about 1/3. The recipe may not actually tolerate the sugar change. Honey and other “substitutes” caramelize at lower heats and may burn. You need to check the package.

You can use Ultimate Sweetener (from birch bark) as a sugar substitute because you can use it in equal substitution for any amount of sugar (its the same sweetness, moisture content and granulation) without altering the recipe. And you can even add one T of molasses to each cup of Ultimate Sweetener to make mock brown sugar.



To replace granulated sugar**, try:

Palm sugar

Stevia or NuNaturals

Wax Orchards’ Fruit Sweet and Pear Sweet (corn -free)

Ultimate Life’s Ultimate Sweetener Honey Xylitol (FODMAP)

NOT Agave* (see note below)


Maple Syrup (the real stuff, not Mrs. Buttersworth!)

Rice Syrup

Palm Sugar

Coconut Nectar

Sugar Alcohols (i.e., xylitol) FODMAP 😦

To replace agave: honey, maple syrup, coconut nectar, stevia

Fruits as sweeteners: pureed reed soaked dates, banana, applesauce, pureed soaked raisins or plums are some of the more commonly used substitutions


* Agave: With an obscenely high amount of fructose (more than regular sugar), and the extensive refining process it goes through to become what it is, this is not a good option to replace sugar.

**Sugar is ‘addictive and the most dangerous drug of the times’

Soft drinks should carry tobacco-style warnings that sugar is highly addictive and dangerous, a senior Dutch health official has warned.


Vanilla Facts

Vanilla extract is typically on an alcohol base, which usually does contain some gluten. Some celiacs say the amount of gluten in a recipe made with it is too small to matter, and for some it’s too much. It is possible to find gluten-free vanilla (all pure Nielsen-Massey vanillas are gluten-free) made with corn alcohol (oh great!) The vanilla paste and vanilla powder are both gluten-free.

Another option is just to use whole or ground vanilla beans, which do not contain gluten. In any recipe which has a liquid phase, simply steep the bean in the liquid, or add ground beans to the dry phase of the recipe.

It is also possible to make your own gluten-free extract with vanilla beans, using a non-wheat based alcohol such as corn alcohol or very strong potato vodka. Authentic Foods Vanilla Powder, Frontier Foods Vanilla and other ready-made products are available online from retailers.

NOTE from Nielsen Massey company regarding their vanilla products:


Q: Are Nielsen-Massey products GMO-Free?

A: Yes. We use all-natural ingredients in our pure vanillas and flavors. The raw materials (such as vanilla beans or oranges) used to produce the specific flavor are free from any genetically modified proteins or DNA. The ethanol used as part of the extraction process is made from non-GM yeast using a starch fraction of corn. It is our ethanol producer’s policy to procure corn from crop sources that have received international regulatory approval. Testing of the alcohol has shown there are no genetically modified proteins or DNA present. In this way, we can safely state our products are GMO-free. 

Our Madagascar Bourbon Pure Vanilla Powder and Pure Vanilla Powder have maltodextrin, a starch made from corn, as an ingredient. This starch, which acts as a carrier for the vanilla flavor, has been tested and certified as not being made or mingled with any genetically modified corn.

Our Madagascar Bourbon Pure Vanilla Powder is simply our premium vanilla extract encapsulated on a cornstarch base. It’s all-natural, alcohol-free and sugar-free. Because it’s in powder form, it works well in mixes and other dry applications, such as cakes, cookies and pancakes. Or, sprinkle it on top of fruit or in beverages, such as coffees, cocoas or sodas. The powder also comes in handy for dishes that are sensitive to color and could be affected by the amber tint of our extracts. Pure Vanilla Powder can be used measure-for-measure the same as Pure Vanilla Extract in recipes.

Another gluten-free vanilla extract is manufactured by Flavorganics.


Chocolate Facts

Studies show that chocolate is a potent antioxidant that can reduce blood pressure and raise good cholesterol. These benefits are derived from eating dark chocolate, not milk or white-chocolate.

Use Dagoba organic unsweetened cocoa powder and dark chocolate (bars or choco drops) because Dagoba is organic and dark chocolate has a much higher cocoa content and less sugar than semisweet or milk chocolate. The choco drops are disks that are similar to chocolate chips, just a bit larger and flatter. If you want to use a bar of chocolate, just chop it into chunks and then measure it in a cup. If you are weighing the chocolate, one cup of choco drops is equal to approximately six ounces by weight.

Because the percentages of cocoa butter and powder vary from product to product and brand to brand, make sure that the chocolate you use is 73 percent cacao for these recipes.

Another author prefers • Prefer ditched or dutch-process COCOA powder


NEXT: Dairy-Free

CORN: the evil grain (or so they say)


Ripped from the October/November issue of Living Without magazine’s article titled, “Corn Fed”.

Here is a list of substitutions for corn products:

Baking corn-free can be a challenge because corn is hidden in some key ingredients. Try these corn-free alternatives.

  • Replace cornstarch with an equal amount of tapioca starch/flour or potato starch (NOT potato flour)
  • Replace corn flour with an equal amount of sorghum flour
  • Replace corn syrup with an equal amount of honey, agave* nectar, tapioca syrup or rice syrup.
  • Replace xanthan gum with an equal amount of guar gum
  • Baking Powder: Blend together 1/3 C baking soda, 2/3 C cream of tartar and 1/3 C arrowroot starch. For corn-free commercial baking powder, try Hain’s Featherweight Baking Powder (, made with potato starch.
  • Confectioners’ Sugar: Combine 1 1/2 T tapioca starch/flour or potato starch with enough granulated sugar to make 1 C. Process mixture in a blender on high speed for 45 seconds or until powdered. Store in an airtight container until used.

* Agave: With an obscenely high amount of fructose (more than regular sugar), and the extensive refining process it goes through to become what it is, this is not a good option to replace sugar.

DID YOU KNOW? – things I wish I didn’t know about whats in our food

tree perch_2644

White vinegar or just plain vinegar is typically distilled, and if so, are gluten-free.
Distilled vinegar can be distilled from wheat, corn, potatoes, beets, wood, apples, and many other things. Most in the U.S. are not made from wheat, but are instead made from corn, potatoes or wood, which are all CGCF safe. (Heinz white vinegar is distilled from corn). Distilled vinegar made from wood is gluten-free.

Wood-based vinegar is often the vinegar used in processed foods.
(Oh, wonderful–another reason to buy processed foods!)

Flavored vinegars are made with white distilled vinegar, to which favorings are then added.
They may not be gluten-free.

Malted vinegars are usually not gluten-free.

Red and white wine and balsamic vinegars are gluten free.

I buy Bragg Apple Cider Vinegar


Most all commercially available gelatins, including Knox powder and Jell-o are made from beef
(who knew!). There are many foods that also contain beef-derived gelatin such as marshmallows and vitamin capsules!


Powdered sugar contains corn starch 😦

Canola oil is used in biofuel product 🙂

Gluten Free Cooking Basics II: Egg, Sugar, Milk substitutes

~Oak Hill statue◊UPDATED 5/16/14

Buy the freshest organic eggs you can find. You also can use Energ-G Foods egg substitute.

There is also a fat and egg substitute called Wonderslim. It can be used for cooking, baking and making salad dressings. It is made of water, dried plum juice concentrate, oat fiber and soy lecithin (anyone with IBS needs to be careful about this product because of the plum juice).

Eggs & Egg Substitutes
AND Xanthan & Guar Gums, Vinegars, Nuts


Buy the freshest organic eggs you can find. You also can use Energ-G Foods egg substitute.

This powdered substitute for eggs in cooking contains no egg product and is also free of dairy, corn, soy, and gluten. I use a little of this for extra leavening in many recipes.

There is also a fat and egg substitute called Wonderslim & NoEgg by Orgran. It can be used for cooking, baking and making salad dressings. It is made of water, dried plum juice concentrate, oat fiber and soy lecithin (anyone with IBS needs to be careful about this product because of the plum juice).


Substitutions for eggs in a recipe:

•     2 T corn starch

•     2 T arrowroot flour

•     2 T potato starch

•     1/4 cup applesauce

•     1 T flax meal plus 3 T water (the consistency is vy similar to eggs)
The meal should gel within a minutes or two

•     2 T dried apricots (let stand in water until soft, then puree in a blender)

•     Chia Meal: adds great health to baked goods, is used just like flax meal. 1 T whisked with 3 T liquid which mimics 1 large egg. Gels within a few seconds*.

•     Moisture rich fruits and vegetables can also work: banana (1 banana = 1 egg in cake recipes, applesauce, sweet potato and pumpkin are best. There is no exact ration here, but if a recipe includes one of these fruits, usually there is no need for an egg too.


Tessa the domestic diva has a recommendation:

You’d be surprised how many baking recipes would be just fine without an egg or an egg replacer. I recommend getting hold of a good vegan baking book (like Vegan Cupcakes Take over the World, or Vegan Cookies Invade Your Cookie Jar) to learn your way through eggless baking.

* If you want to read about WHY you should be eating just about as many of these amazing seeds as possible, Nourishing Treasures has a great bulleted list on the benefits of this superfood.


Healthy GF Living Cookbook Tip

When creating recipes, if I have used enough baking powder for lift and am using flax meal mixed with HOT water for binding and lift, but the dough is a bit dry, simply add warm water until it’s right. Having your liquids very warm helps kick that baking powder into action.

SECRET: you don’t need egg replacer in GF baking!



NOTE: Guar Gum vs Xanthan Gum & Chia Seeds

by Cassidy Stockton May 14th, 2010 (Bob’s Red Mill)


They fight together for Gluten Free-dom!

Both ingredients are frequently called for in gluten free recipes and can seem exotic at first, but they both serve the same general purpose as thickeners and emulsifiers. Quite simply, both these ingredients help keep your mixes mixed. They keep oil droplets from sticking together and separating, and solid particles from settling to the bottom. You can use just one or the other; or sometimes for the best results, you can use them in combination together.

In conventional recipes containing wheat, rye, barley or triticale flour, the protein, gluten in these fours serves the same purpose that guar gum and xanthan gum do in gluten free baking. Gluten protein is what traditional recipes rely on to thicken dough and batters, and trap air bubbles to make your baked goods light and fluffy.

Xanthan gum tends to help starches combine to trap air, while guar gum helps keep large particles suspended in the mix.

One of the differences between the two products is where they come from. Guar gum is made from a seed native to tropical Asia, while xanthan gum is made by a micro organism called Xanthomonas Campestris*.

*Regarding corn in xanthan gum: The microorganism that produces xanthan gum is actually fed a glucose solution that is derived from wheat starch. Gluten is found in the protein part of the wheat kernel and no gluten is contained in the solution of glucose. Additionally, after the bacteria eats the glucose, there is no wheat to be found in the outer coating that it produces, which is what makes up xanthan gum. The short answer here is, there is no corn used at all in the making of xanthan gum.

In the kitchen, there are also important differences in using xanthan gum vs. guar gum. In general, guar gum is good for cold foods such as ice cream or pastry fillings. Foods with a high acid content (such as lemon juice) can cause guar gum to lose its thickening abilities.
Guar gum – using too much can produce a heavy or stringy texture in baked goods, so measure carefully.

NOTE: Guar Gum has a high fiber content and is usually sold as a laxative, it should be avoided by anyone who suffer from diarrhea or stomach distress.

Xanthum gum is better for baked goods. Xanthan gum is the right choice for yeasted breads. For recipes involving citrus you will want to use xanthan gum or increase the amount of guar gum used.
Xanthum gum: Lots of people can have trouble digesting it and find it disrupts their bowels and tummy.

In general, it is best to add both xanthan and guar gum to the oil component in a recipe, making complete mix of oil and gum before adding to the rest of liquid ingredients. Using a blender or a food processor is a great way to get the gums to dissolve properly.

The final difference between the two gums is the variation in quantities you will need for different foods. There are no hard and fast rules as to how to combine the two gums together, you’ll have to experiment yourself to see what works best in your recipes.

If you decide to use just one or the other, here are some helpful measurements for popular foods:

Be sure to use an electric mixer when using these ingredients, for best results.

How much Xanthan Gum for Gluten Free Baking?

Cookies…………………………………………………………… ¼ teaspoon per cup of flour

Cakes and Pancakes…………………………………… ½ teaspoon per cup of flour

Muffins and Quick Breads………………………. ¾ teaspoon per cup of flour

Breads…………………………………………………………….. 1 to 1-½ tsp. per cup of flour

Pizza Dough………………………………………………….. 2 teaspoons per cup of flour

For Salad Dressings………………………………….. Use ½ tsp. Xanthan Gum per 8 oz. of liquid.


How much Guar Gum for Gluten Free Baking?

Cookies…………………………………………………………… ¼ to ½ tsp. per cup of flour

Cakes and Pancakes…………………………………… ¾ teaspoon per cup of flour

Muffins and Quick Breads………………………. 1 teaspoon per cup of flour

Breads…………………………………………………………….. 1-½ to 2 tsp. per cup of flour

Pizza Dough…………………………………………………. 1 Tablespoon per cup of flour

For Hot Foods (gravies, stews , heated pudding)…………… use 1-3 tsp per one quart of liquid.

For Cold Foods (salad dressing, ice creams, pudding)…. use about 1-2 teaspoons per quart of liquid.


NOTE: CHIA Seeds have natural gelling properties that make them a good substitute for xanthan gum in recipes.


BAKING SODA: Author uses baking soda in conjunction with baking powder, as alone it will not cause a product to leaven. I use it quite frequently in biscuits, cookies, scones and the like.

it is best if you sift it with the flour and baking powder, as it is somewhat lumpy.


Baking Powder: If you are concerned about the health risks of aluminum, you can buy aluminum-free baking powder in health food stores. Author uses baking powder frequently in recipes, especially for cakes, cookies, bar and muffins.


Dough Enhancers: These powdered products are used in bread making to substitute for the vinegar that balances the pH in most waters. They also tend to make the bread stay fresh longer.

Dough enhancer makes for lighter, fluffier baked goods with a combination of several dough conditioners.

Always read the ingredient labels to find one that’s gluten free and doesn’t contain anything else to which you may be sensititve.

     I found L’Equip Dough Enhancer (not thru Amazon) Write up:

▪            Does not include gluten.

▪            Increases dough strength, extends shelf life and improves texture.

▪            Try it in all your baked goods.

Ingredients: Whey, Lecithin, Soy Powder, Citric Acid, Dry Yeast, Sea Salt, Corn Starch, Ascorbic Acid, Honey. Gluten Free & GMO – All Natural



White vinegar or just plain vinegar is typically distilled, and if so, are gluten-free. Distilled vinegar can be distilled from wheat, corn, potatoes, beets, wood, apples, and many other things. Most in the U.S. are not made from wheat, but are instead made from corn, potatoes or wood, which are all CGCF safe. (Heinz white vinegar is distilled from corn). Distilled vinegar made from wood is gluten-free.

Wood-based vinegar is often the vinegar used in processed foods. (Oh, wonderful–another reason to buy processed foods!)

Flavored vinegars are made with white distilled vinegar, to which favorings are then added. Some of these may also NOT be gluten-free (the cheapest vinegars are used since the flavors are masked by the herbs and flavoring).

Malted vinegars are usually not gluten-free. Red and white wine and balsamic vinegars are gluten free.

I buy Bragg Apple Cider Vinegar



Replace tree nuts or peanuts with an equal amount of one of the following:

• Toasted Coconut

• Sunflower Seeds

• Crushed crispy rice cereal

• Crushed potato chips

• Pumpkin Seeds


(roasting instructions)

It is not always necessary to toast nuts but, if time permits, it gives the nuts an earthy flavor.

Spread the nuts on a baking sheet and place in a 350F oven for 8-10 mins. Remove from the oven and cool.

Be sure to store any unused toasted nuts in the fridge. You can also freeze them for up to a few months.

(toasting instructions)

put in a frying pan on medium to low heat and heat for about 2 minutes. Don’t turn your back, they’ll burn



Primal Blueprint Cookbook – a review

primal blueprint cookbook

UPDATE: September 2practical paleo

I’ve “looked through” Practical Paleo (pictured below). I LOVE this book. The resource lists are amazing. While writing my notes I wished that some of the information sheets were “pull-outs”. Guess what, this book has them. There in the back and completely perforated. You will not be disappointed in this book and will probably learn a thing or two.

In fact, I’m looking into FODMAPs and this book shows which foods in their recipes include FODMAPs!

Practical Paleo includes 30-day meal plans designed to support…
* autoimmune conditions
* digestive health
* blood-sugar regulation
* thyroid health,
* cancer recover
* heart health
* parkinson’s ^ alzheimer’s”
* fat loss
* athletic performance and
* general health & more…

———— NOW, getting on with the Primal Blueprint Cookbook Review———–

From the inside Practical Paleo cookbook

The popularity of the low carb/paleo/Primal lifestyles has exploded as people discover an appealing and sustainable alternative to the restrictive diets and flawed conventional wisdom that lead to burnout and failed weight loss efforts.

I am not investigating this way of eating to lose weight…I’m trying to eat healthier…especially in light of my intestinal distress and chronic fatigue. Primal Blueprint seems to be part of a reasonable solution for me.

I really like this cookbook. It has lots of pictures and doesn’t put on “aires”. There are several recipes I cannot make for myself because of my IBS-restricted guidelines. But looking at all the little slips of paper sticking out of the book (marking recipes I want to make) tells me that this book is a keeper. It even has sauce recipes like ranch dressing, mayonnaise, ketchup and BBQ sauce!

I just looked through the Primal Blueprint Quick & Easy Meals cookbook. You’re supposed to be able to make these recipes in under 30 minutes. This cookbook doesn’t make my mouth water like the Primal Blueprint Blueprint did. I scanned this book in a flash, marking very few recipes. Who knows, you might feel differently. Just because I’m a meat and potatoes kinda gal, doesn’t mean you are.

primal cravingspractical paleoI am so glad I can “preview” cookbooks by getting them through my local library. I also go into Barnes & Noble and look at their books if I cannot get them through the library. That’s how I found two cookbooks I cannot wait to open up and cook from. They are Primal Cravings: Your favorite foods made paleo by Keatley (approved by Sisson Publishing! and Practical Paleo by Sanfilippo (Nutritionist).

Some may believe these cookbooks are better than the Primal Blueprint Cookbook. That’s okay. You’re entitled to be wrong 🙂

Happy cooking :0

making nut flours

I just read in Gluten-Free Baking by Rebecca Reilly: “when grinding nuts into nut flour, you may need to add a LITTLE SUGAR to keep from making a nut butter.

10 Symptoms of Gluten Intolerance

Thank you, Taylor, from Gluten Away for posting this article, ripped from the annals of!

I was surprised when the author, Dr. Amy Myers stated, tn_11266_10-symptoms-of-gluteran-intolerance-1365372514

I have found the single best ways to determine if you have an issue with gluten is to do an elimination diet and take it out of your diet for at least 2 to 3 weeks and then reintroduce it. Please note that gluten is a very large protein and it can take months and even years to clear from your system so the longer you can eliminate it from your diet before reintroducing it, the better.

Drats, once again a great doctor who believes in IBS, etc. and she’s in Austen, TX. I guess doctors are getting closer. The last one I found was in Seattle, Washington!

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