Gluten Free Flour Guide
You have been diagnosed with Celiac disease or gluten intolerance (also called sprue, gluten enteropathy or gluten-sensitive enteropathy), now what?
If you think your baking life is all over now that you can’t use traditional flours, think again. While gluten free flours certainly do take some time to learn to work with they are every bit as versatile as the gluten flours and usually come packed with extra nutrition to boot.
This gluten free flour guide can help you navigate the world of gluten free flours. I’ve included a brief description of the gluten free flours and a recipe or two to get you started.
Many of the following recipes contain sugars (and you may know I’m not a big fan of sugar), but I’m also not a big fan of grains (especially the gluten grains). Consider kicking the gluten grains as a first step and then moving on to kick sugar out of your life (see my 30 Sugar Free Days Program).
|Carob seed pods come from a tree and the pods are ground to create a flour. The taste can best be described as “chocolate like,” but carob has a natural sweetness that cocoa (baking chocolate) doesn’t|
|Corn is so versatile and is used in so many dishes that it hardly needs an introduction. I would caution anyone with Celiac disease to watch out for corn because it is another common food allergy.|
Garbanzo Bean Flour
|I like to add potato flour to a number of dishes; it is great as a thickener in soups. As a baking flour it adds a smooth taste to most dishes.|
|Sorghum flour is another flour with a distinctive flavor. I think it is best used when combined with other flours.|
Soy (soya) Flour
|Similar to garbanzo flour, soy flour is a light flour that adds a high amount of protein to any meal. It works well with many other non-gluten grains.|
Sweet Chestnut Flour
|I haven’t used chestnut flour, but many people use it in baked goods such as cookies and pancakes.|
Thickeners and binders
If you are going to use grains without gluten, then you often need something to hold them together (gluten means “glue”). The following are good replacements for gluten:
- Tapioca (cassava)
- Xanthan gum
- Taro flour
- Guar gum
Most people who start eating a non-gluten diet feel much better than they have in years. This is a big transition, but once you learn the tricks it gets much easier.
Do you have some great recipes of your own? Leave them in the comment section below (or provide us with a link to the recipe).
I also have a guide to cooking with non-gluten grains, check it out here: Cooking With Non-Gluten Grains.