Monday, November 14, 2011

Cooking without Wheat!!!!

When it comes to cooking and baking, you don't have to limit yourself to gluten-free cookbooks just because you have Celiac disease or a wheat allergy. In fact, most recipes can be easily made without gluten, a protein found in wheat, rye and barley products. Here's how to convert a recipe to gluten-free.

Step 1: Swap the flour
Substitute all-purpose gluten-free flour in place of all-purpose regular flour at a ratio of 1:1. Coconut flour is fantastic for this! Try Bob's Red Mill all-purpose gluten-free flour. If you are baking items such as cakes and/or breads, add 1 teaspoon xanthan gum.

Step 2: Eliminate the flour
Try omitting the flour altogether. If you are craving peanut butter cookies, for example, try this simple recipe: 1 cup peanut butter, 1 cup sugar and 1 to 2 eggs (depending on how moist you want them to be). Blend ingredients and bake at 350 degrees for about 10 minutes. Yield: six to eight cookies. (most health food stores also carry a Egg Substitute, that has absolutely NO eggs in it.... you'll have to experiment, but it works pretty good!)

Step 3: Create flour mixture
In place of flour in a recipe try a combination of 3 parts white or brown rice flour, 2 parts potato starch and 1 part tapioca flour/starch. Add 1 teaspoon of xanthan gum for every 1 1/2 cups of the flour mixture. (since I'm allergic to all of the above ingredients.... I use COCONUT FLOUR! You have to lessen the amount of sugar, but it works great!)

Step 4: Consider arrowroot powder
Arrowroot powder is another ingredient that can be used in place of xanthan gum, if you are having a hard time finding the latter. As a general rule, use one-half teaspoon of arrowroot powder for each cup of wheat flour called for in any recipe.

Note: Round up if the recipe calls for a partial cup.

Step 5: Experiment with ingredients
Other ingredients in the recipe may need to be adjusted when trying new flours and flour combinations.

For example, use 2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder for every cup of flour used in a recipe. Some flours also may be a bit dryer, so you may have to add additional liquid ingredients such as water or oil, depending on what the recipe calls for.