My mom recently has been switching over to a gluten-free diet. Not because it is the current trend, but because she has discovered that she feels better when she doesn’t eat gluten-y foods. (Makes sense to me – if it makes you feel cruddy, don’t do it.) Of course, that isn’t necessarily easy. Gluten hides in a lot of additives that are added to packaged goods. And avoiding all packaged goods isn’t always easy, either.
And then there’s the issue of baked goods. I’ve been doing a lot of experimenting with vegan muffins and cookies. (Oooh, so yummy.) But I’ve been using wheat and spelt flours. So, we decided to do some experimenting with making gluten-free baked goods! (Maybe next I’ll tackle gluten-free vegan baked yumminess? We’ll see!) Anyway, I started with getting various flours and experimenting. I had pretty good luck with combining three different gluten free flours, as long as I added a bit of xanthan gum. If I went a little heavy on the rice flours, the end result could be a bit grainy. But generally speaking, a mix of at least 3 has good results. You could still tell the coffee cake or pancake was a little different, but nothing that would stop you from devouring it.
Then I noticed a bag of gluten-free flour mix that advertised itself as being a direct replacement for regular wheat flour. I had to try it. Oh yuck. Everything we made with it was gummy, and chewy, and not what you want in a baked treat. I was kinda bummed. I don’t mind mixing flours myself, but it would be nice to have a pre-made combination as an option, especially for someone who isn’t comfortable experimenting in the kitchen.
Then I found another brand, with a different mix of gluten-free flours. I gave it a go. Success! This flour blend made muffins and pancakes that my family didn’t even realize were gluten-free. (My 5 year old was excited to discover they had no gluten – she likes to keep track of what grandma can and can’t eat.) I told Mom about the two, but realized that it might be hard to remember if she hadn’t seen the packages. So, I took photos, and edited them a wee bit before I sent them to her. Now, when she’s at the store and wants to remember which is the one we liked and which is the one we didn’t, she has her answer!
For more of today’s answers, take yourself over to Clan Donaldson!