My favorite gluten-free flour combination.
I’m a foodie, but not much of a rule-follower in the kitchen. I have a tenancy to develop my own recipes. In my mind I’m an artist in the moment of painting a masterpiece – unfortunately I make very few notes along the way. This makes my husband crazy; he’ll fall in love with a masterpiece, only to find that I have no idea how to recreate it. I tell him I’ve given him the gift of enjoying the moment.
When I was diagnosed with Crohn’s disease 9 years ago I went gluten-free, and started experimenting with different flours. My penchant for creative cooking came in handy, and I eventually found my own stride with allergy-free alternatives. Fortunately there are more gluten-free options available today, but I don’t love all of them and find I still fall back on some tried and true.
Enter New Year’s 2013. My oldest, perpetually healthy child was diagnosed with Juvenile Diabetes, and I had a new challenge – like I needed one. My mission was to find whole grain, healthy recipes with low carb counts that satisfied the palate of a teen. Bonus points if I could make it gluten-free for me. Here are my favorite flours for baking gluten-free and/or for diabetic blood sugar control.
My first low carb discovery was the awesomeness of almond flour (3 grams net carbs per 1/4 cup!) It’s a little mealy and dense to use alone in some kinds of baking, but makes an incredible crust for low carb yogurt and whip cream pie, coating for fried chicken, and base for bite-sized chocolate brownies. I’ll also mix it with other flours to reduce the carb counts of cookies and other baked goods. And it’s gluten-free, love that! Make sure that you refrigerate it after opening to keep it from spoiling.
Ever since I heard the story of the secret ingredient for Neiman Marcus cookies, I’ve been adding ground oatmeal to my cookie recipes to rave reviews. When I went gluten-free I started using gluten-free oat flour in more recipes – it adds a great texture, taste, and fiber. Bonus, it stabilizes blood sugar, is rich in vitamin, minerals, enzymes and antioxidants. Oat flour is a little controversial in the gluten-free world, make sure that it is from oats processed in a gluten-free environment so that there isn’t a risk of contamination from other grains like wheat milled at the same facility.
Coconut flour is gluten-free and low carb. It’s a little trickier to cook with because it absorbs liquids like a sponge, so less is needed. I have added coconut flour into my baking mix, but I’m still working on the right ratio and how this impacts liquids. I haven’t gotten it quite 100% right yet, but I have enough success to know it’s worth the effort.
My Favorite Gluten-Free Flour Combination
When I’m baking, the first thing I do is pull out my VitaMix and throw in raw almonds and gluten-free oats, 1 cup oats to 1/2 c. almonds. I’ll use this alone, or in a 1:1 ratio with Pamela’s Gluten-Free Baking Mix. The almonds and oats mix is lower carb. I used Pamela’s for my Gluten-Free Individual Pot Pies and my whole family loves them. Quick note – Don’t try to grind the almonds alone or you’ll end up with almond butter.
Now I’m in the mood to bake something – I’ll try to write down the recipe this time…