Gluten Free
Understanding Gluten-Free
  • Celiac disease causes an autoimmune reaction to gluten.
  • Some people who don’t have celiac still can’t tolerate gluten
  • Gluten is a protein found in wheat, barley, and rye (it makes bread springy).
  • The International standard for Gluten-Free requires that there can be no more than 20 parts per million of gluten in the food.
  • If you’re trying to avoid gluten, keep in mind that wheat goes by other names like semolina, durum, graham, spelt, kamut, and enriched flour among others.
  • People with celiac can gain weight when they go off gluten because the healing in their intestines allows for more absorption of nutrients.
  • If you’re planning to go gluten-free, be conscious of low fibre and vitamin levels in your diet as many gluten-free foods are not fortified or enriched.
  • Because wheat bran (a major source of fibre) is not gluten free, ground flaxseed can act as a supplement for daily fibre.
  • Gluten can be present in foods such as deli meats, salad dressings, and condiments.
Gluten Free Options
FLOURPROTEIN
CONTENT
TASTE
AmaranthHighAssertive, Nutty
BuckwheatLowEarthy, mild, or strong (depends if roasted)
ChickpeaHighMild, not beany
CornLowNutty, corn flavour
MilletHighMild, slightly nutty
OatHighSweet, earthy
PotatoLowMild potato flavour
QuinoaHighMild, nutty
RiceLowMild, earthy, nutty
SoyVery HighMild, slightly, beany
TeffHighMild to rich (depending on molasses)
Grains and Seeds and Other:
  • -     Beans
  • -     Flax
  • -     Legumes
  • -     Nuts
  • -     Psyllium
  • -     Quinoa
  • -     Rice (all)
  • -     Sago
  • -     Seeds (all)

Now, it is possible to get all sorts of things gluten-free. Pasta is made available by using ingredients such as chickpeas and lentils. Cookies, treats, and snacks are also made gluten-free – just look for the GF label.

Alternatives, explained.

Xanthan gum: Typically used as a thickening agent and a stabilizer to prevent ingredients from separating. To increase the viscosity of a liquid, a very small amount of xanthan gum is required. It is found mostly in salad dressings and sauces. It is also used to give gluten-free dough elasticity. It can be used as an egg substitute.

Guar Gum: comes from the guar bean and it has the ability of almost eight times the thickening potency of cornstarch. It is used as an emulsifier or a stabilizer. In bread making, it increases the dough yield and improves the texture. In baking, it prevents wateriness in fillings, and keeps pastry crust crisp.

Potato Starch: Very refined starch extracted from potatoes containing minimal protein or fats. It has a neutral taste and has a high binding strength.

Arrowroot Powder: this powder makes fruit gels and prevents the formation of ice crystals in ice creams. It can be used as a thickener for acidic foods. It allows a sauce to be clear and thick, unlike cornstarch or other thickening agents. It thickens at a lower temperature than cornstarch and has a neutral taste.

Gluten-Free Flour Mixes
1.   All Purpose Wheat Free
Rice Flour8 cups
Potato Starch2 23 cups
Tapioca Flour1 13 cups
 
2.   All Purpose Wheat Free – Lite
Rice Flour4 cups 
Tapioca Flour4 cups
Cornstarch4 cups
Potato Flour3 tablespoons
 
3.   Bean Flour Wheat Free
Garfava Bean Flour2 23 cups
Sorghum Flour1 13 cups
Cornstarch4 cups 
Tapioca Flour4 cups
 
4.   Bean Flour Wheat Free – Lite
Garfava Bean Flour4 cups 
Tapioca Flour4 cups
Cornstarch4 cups
Helpful Hints
  • Ground nuts such as filberts, pecans, and almonds (also called almond meal) are often suitable replacements for flours in cookies.
  • Coarse flours require more leavening than wheat flour. For each cup of coarse flour, use 2 ½ teaspoons of gluten free baking powder.
  • Using buttermilk in place of regular milk often translates into lighter textured products.
  • Cornstarch, tapioca starch, and arrowroot starch are best for thickening sauces, gravies or fruit pies.
  • When mixing gluten free flours, let the mix sit for 5 to 10 minutes before using it.
  • It can be challenging to get gluten-free breads to rise. Additives such as xanthan gum, eggs, or guar gum can be used as alternatives to help with the elasticity of dough.
  • Psyllium husk can be used in gluten-free baking as the husks bind moisture resulting in less crumbly bread.