7 Gluten-Free Cooking And Baking Tips For Beginners

gluten-free cooking

If you are going gluten-free for the first time, you are at the right place.

Know What Gluten Is

A piece of bread on a plate

Gluten is a family of several proteins that are different but interrelated. Found in some cereal grains including wheat and barley, gluten is the reason behind the sticky consistency that is formed when flour is mixed with water. This glue-like property also helps the bread to rise whenever its dough is baked.

Discover Where Gluten Is Present

A sunset over a body of water

Gluten is found in grains like rye, spelt, barley, wheat and also the food stuff cooked with these grains. It is also present in some oats and triticale, a cross product of rye and wheat. Generally, you will find gluten in almost all processed foods including pasta, cookies, cakes, crackers, bread, sauces and condiments, salad dressings, beer, ice cream, readymade soups, and processed cereals. As gluten can be hidden in almost every processed food item, we recommend reading the label carefully.

Things To Use For Gluten-Free Cooking

There are many food items that are naturally gluten-free. Some of the items you can use for your gluten-free cooking include:

Whole grains including millet, corn, brown, wild, and black rice, quinoa, sorghum, arrowroot, buckwheat, oats, and amaranth.

Fresh fruits and vegetables

Legumes including lentils and beans

Nuts and seeds

Soy food, fresh red meat, fresh poultry, and fresh seafood.

Unflavored dairy products

Pure chocolate

Where To Use Gluten-Free Flour

Flour made from whole grains like corn, millet, buckwheat, etc. are gluten-free. These flours are low-protein and work perfectly in making flatbreads, coating meats, and thickening sauces. High-protein gluten-free flours, on the other hand, are prepared from legumes like soybeans. If you are baking or making desserts, use gluten-free flours like almond flour, coconut flour, or oat flour. You can also look out for gluten-free flour mix that’s a blend of garbanzo bean flour, gluten-free starch, fava bean flour, and sorghum flour.

Replace Gluten While Baking

Gluten gives stickiness to dough and gives it the right texture. Replace gluten with chia or flax in your baked goods. You can also add gums like xanthan gum to your flours for that required sticky effect. Just make sure to use them in small amount such as 1/4 tsp. in a cup of gluten-free flour.

Experiment With Your Favorite Recipes

Going gluten-free doesn’t mean you have to ditch your favorite recipes. Try your favorite food and desserts by replacing regular flour with gluten-free ones. Read gluten-free recipes available on the internet or in cookbooks to make your favorite food items. For healthy gluten-free cooking, opt for less carbs and also try to add some protein. If you aren’t using high-protein gluten-free flour, add eggs in your recipes.

Try Making Your Own Gluten-Free Flour

Making your gluten-free flour is extremely easy. Aim to combine 70% low-starch flour that’s high in protein with 30% starchy four that’s low in protein. Mix 4 cups rice flour of choice, 2/3 cups tapioca, 4 teaspoons xanthan gum, and 1 and 1/3 cups of potato starch to make your own gluten-free flour. Use this gluten-free flour blend to make cakes, pastries, cookies, pancakes, crepes, and more. You can also replace rice flour with millet flour. Make sure to keep this homemade flour blend in a glass jar or airtight vessel.

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