There has been quite a buzz about gluten and the negative ways in which it can affect many people’s bodies and health; so much so that had to cut it out of their diets completely.
People that have been diagnosed with celiac or atypical celiac disease, people that are allergic to wheat, people with neurological conditions (like my daughter) or simply people who just choose to remove it from their diets.
As time goes by it seems that this subject has grown and more and more people are affected. It has not yet been discovered why gluten affects so many in a negative way. There has been a lot of speculation about the quality of wheat that has certainly altered over time.
So the big question you may ask is… If we remove gluten from our diet… what can we eat? What can we substitute it with?
And my answer to you is… Honestly.. nothing! Each thing or ingredient has its own unique make up and cannot be substituted with anything else.
But! There are many ingredients and recipes that you can find to create food and sweets that will be extremely impressed with.. and you would never think that they are gluten free!
Let’s take a look at some of these ingredients that mainly come in the form of flour.
1. Almond Flour/Almond Powder
You can buy it or make it on your own by grinding almonds in a food processor.
It is a simple process that can be done in 2 ways:
You can simply beat the almonds in a food processor until they are finely ground… or soak them overnight and make almond milk as well as almond powder! 2 in 1! Almond milk is also very easy to make. The following day, remove the almonds, bake them until they dry and then beat them in the food processor until they are finely ground.
There is only one thing you need to be careful with…. Do not over process them! Almonds are oily nuts and can turn in to butter if beaten for too long!
If you need to use the almond powder in sweets and you need the texture to be extra fine, just sift it.
It can be used as a base to make tart shells and cakes and as an ingredient to make cookies, bread, pies, crepes and in endless other recipes!
Almonds are nuts very high in nutritional value and should not be consumed in such large quantities since it contains a large amount of omega-6 fatty acids.
2. Coconut Flour
Coconuts are a nutritional treasure!
I use all of the products made from it. Coconut oil, grated coconut, coconut milk, coconut flour and coconut milk and coconut cream!
It is low in carbohydrates but rich in nutritional ingredients that make the coconut one in a million!
There is one thing one thing you need to keep in mind when using coconut flour in recipes.
It does not work like any of the well-known flours. It has the capacity to soak up large amounts of liquid. This is why it is used in such small quantities in recipes compared to regular wheat flour.
It is also not very elastic which is why it is combined with eggs in recipes. It needs this ingredient to be able to come together and have some consistency.
3. Tapioca Flour/Starch
This is a widely known and widely used ingredient especially by people following a paleo diet.
It is a starch that is extracted from the cassava or yucca root. (Something like corn starch.)
It is very elastic and is usually used along with other flours in a recipe or else it takes on a gelatin like consistency.
It is perfect to use when making cookies and helps create a nice texture when used to make gluten free baked goods!
Of course there are many, many other flours that can be used, such as linseed or flaxseed flour, millet flour, buckwheat flour etc. In my recipes, I prefer to use these three types of flour that I have mentioned here.
Did you know about them?
Special thanks to Ganasoyli Georgia Irini, known as Mamangelic for this special and informative article.