BY: ANNA BROWN, EXECUTIVE PASTRY CHEF
All-purpose flour (AP) is one of the most common ingredients in baking and cooking. However, many guests at CIVANA are looking for gluten free (GF) options due to celiac disease and other food sensitivities, which is why I love to feature decadent dishes that offer some health advantages. Here are a few recipes and tips I share in our Bake Shop 101 cooking class.
Favorite Gluten Free Alternatives to AP Flour
Coconut flour offers a mild coconut flavor and light texture that yields similar results to AP. This flour is high in the saturated fat lauric acid, which provide energy for the body and can help lower “bad” LDC cholesterol. This flour is a good source of fiber and can help maintain blood sugar levels. This is also a great alternative to those with nut allergies.
One of the most common grain- and gluten-free flour, that is rich in minerals and is a great source of vitamin E. It’s also a wonderful grain-free alternative to breadcrumbs. You can typically substitute wheat flour in a 1:1 ratio. If you are baking with this type of flour, use one extra egg, but note the batter may be thicker and more dense.
Oat flour offers more flavor than AP and results in a chewier, crumblier texture. Oats contain a soluble fiber called beta-glucan, which can help lower “bad” LDL cholesterol, blood sugar and insulin levels.
Oat bran is more of a raw form than flour with a lot more nutrients with an oatmeal texture. Oat bran is high in soluble fiber and packs more protein than rolled or quick oats, which may suppress hunger hormones and boost fullness hormones. Oat bran is high in beta-glucans, a type of soluble fiber that may help reduce cholesterol and blood pressure — two key risk factors for heart disease.
When baking, Bob’s Red Mill is one of my favorite shops to source unique flours and organic baking products. One product I use frequently is the 1:1 GF baking flour, which is a blend of GF flours and starches like xanthan gum. This all in one mix is ideal for cookies, cakes and muffins. It also does not contain added gelatins and milk powder which is great to keep items vegan.
Tips When Baking with Gluten Free (GF) Products
Bake at a lower temperature than normal. I prefer baking at 325 degrees.
Avoid Bulk Batches.
GF recipes tend to turn out better in smaller batches, so avoid making recipes in bulk. The end product will be more structurally sound and less crumbly.
Secret Ingredient – Apple Cider Vinegar.
When making GF cakes or muffins I always add in raw apple cider vinegar (roughly 1 tsp per cup of flour). The acid in the vinegar reacts with the soda releasing carbon dioxide. This forms bubbles and assists the GF product to rise. In the end, it creates a fluffier, less dense product.
Juicing Fiber Mini Muffins (V/GF/NF/No refined sugar)
Ingredients1 ½ C. GF oat bran
1 C. juicing pulp (such as carrot or beet)
¾ C. maple syrup
¼ C. olive oil
1 ½ tsp. apple cider vinegar
½ tsp. baking powder
½ tsp. baking soda
¼ tsp. sea salt
In a mixing bowl combine all ingredients and stir just until combined. Scoop into mini muffin pan and bake at 325 degrees for approximately 20 minutes.
Lemon Cookies (V/GF/NF)
½ C. vegan butter
¾ C. sugar
2 tsp lemon juice
1 T. lemon zest
2 C. Bobs Red Mill gluten free flour (or all-purpose GF flour of your choice)
1 tsp baking soda
¼ tsp salt
1/3 C. coconut milk (or dairy free milk of your choice)
In a mixing bowl combine butter and sugar mix until combined. Add in lemon juice and zest and stir. In a small bowl whisk together all of the dry ingredients. Add dry mixture to butter mixture alternating with the milk until dough is well combined. Depending on flour used dough may need more milk than called for. Add until the dough is moistened thoroughly but still firm. Scoop and roll dough into balls and place on a baking sheet. (Approx. 10 cookies) Slightly flatten with the palm of your hand. Bake at 325 for approximately 8 minutes.
Almond Butter Truffles
¾ C. almond butter
5 pitted Medjool dates
3 T. water
3 tsp maple syrup or agave
¼ C. coconut flour
¼ C. almond flour
½ C. ground almonds for coating truffles
In a food processor combine almond butter, dates, coconut milk, maple syrup & flours. Blend until all ingredients come together. Scoop by tablespoon or small cookie scoop. Roll into balls and roll mixture in ground almonds to coat.
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