What I like most about creating gluten-free baked goods is combining a range of flours, particularly whole-grain and nut flours, to replace the wheat flour that one would normally find in a cake or muffins. Small amounts of quite a few flours help achieve a better texture than just a single variety.
Millet is a golden-colored, gluten-free whole grain that tends to be a little dry when cooked, like rice or quinoa, but becomes soft and creamy when simmered with extra liquid. The addition of coconut milk complements it perfectly and gives porridge a luxurious texture and richness that really is a step up from your average winter breakfast cereal.
Wheat flours are an obvious no-no for gluten-free baking, but gluten is also commonly found in other baking staples like some brands of oats, as well as candies and leavening agents, so it’s important to read labels carefully. It’s also helpful to experiment with recipes ahead of time and find a good standard all-purpose gluten-free baking flour, like Bob’s Red Mill or Trader Joe’s brand.
If you follow a gluten-free diet or are just cooking for guests who do, here are some holiday sweets.
With more and more gluten-free products on the market, finding the tastiest can be tricky. Here are some recent arrivals to the gluten-free aisle, just in time for the holidays.
More than 3 million Americans suffer from celiac disease, an autoimmune condition that makes them unable to digest gluten. The only way to treat the disease is to exclude gluten from the diet or else risk damage to the digestive system as well as nutrient deficiencies and other serious medical problems.
The new FDA rule mandates that products labeled “gluten-free” must contain no more than 20 parts per million of gluten. While many companies have already set this limit for themselves, the FDA rule, which food manufacturers must comply with by this time next year, will help ensure that companies using the term are adhering to the standard.
#1: Paleo Diet
This plan recommends you eat like your caveman ancestors, emphasizing lots of fruits, veggies, lean meats and seafood. Dairy and grains aren’t allowed on the plan—omitting two important food groups and numerous important nutrients in your diet. This diet was ranked last by US News and World Report on their list of Best Weight Loss Diets. Their expert panel determined that there is a lack of scientific evidence to show that long-term weight loss can be achieved.
#2: Dukan Diet
Although celebs like Gisele Bundchen and Jennifer Lopez have reportedly followed this diet post-baby to shed pounds, it was ranked second to last by US News and World Report’s Best Weight Loss Diets. This updated version of the Atkins diet eliminated carbs, fruits and veggies (especially during the very strict first phase), while allowing unlimited amounts of lean protein. It’s a very restrictive plan that will have you losing weight rather quickly—actually too quickly according to safety guidelines set up by the National Institutes of Health. The end result: You’ll probably end up regaining your lost weight plus more.
Everyone loves a good bowl of comforting mac and cheese, right? When it’s too hot to turn on the oven to make baked macaroni and cheese, make this easy, stove-top version instead. It’s extra-flavorful and you can whip up this easy dish in no time. I’ve tossed in corn and spinach for added fresh flavor (plus fiber) as well as red pepper flakes for a bit of heat to fire up summer celebrations. And did I mention, it’s both dairy and gluten-free? So you can rest assured your guests all have something to enjoy. Leftovers for this dish taste great the next day added to a fresh bed of leafy greens such as arugula.
This party-perfect recipe is a great replacement for traditional mayonnaise-based salads; it gets its creamy texture from dairy-free yogurt. The fresh carrots, grapes and tarragon give this salad an exciting, fresh taste. Gluten-free pasta makes it gluten free, of course, but if you don’t have a sensitivity, any pasta will do.
When Elana Amsterdam was diagnosed with celiac disease, an autoimmune disorder that keeps the body from processing gluten, she challenged herself to come up with gluten-free recipes that tasted just as good as their regular counterparts. With two gluten-free cookbooks under her belt—and a third, Paleo Cooking from Elana’s Pantry, on sale next week—Elana has a little something for everyone. Find family favorites like pancakes and eggplant Parmesan in The Gluten-Free Almond Flour Cookbook, plus dozens of cupcake ideas in Gluten-Free Cupcakes.
You can buy your own copies of Elana’s gluten-free cookbooks or enter in the comments for a chance to win them. Just let us know, in the comments, which gluten-free flours you’ve baked with. The contest starts at 12:00 p.m. EST today, and ends on Friday, June 14 at 5 p.m. EST.
We’re giving away one copy each of Gluten-Free Cupcakes and The Gluten-Free Almond Flour Cookbook to five randomly-selected commenters. You must include your email address in the “Email” field when submitting your comment so we can communicate with you if you’re a winner.
You may only comment once to be considered and you don’t have to purchase anything to win; a purchase will not increase your chances of winning. Odds depend on total number of entries. Void where prohibited. Only open to legal residents of 50 U.S. states, D.C. or Puerto Rico, and you must be at least 18 to win. For the first day of the giveaway, all entries (answers) must be entered between 12:00 a.m. EST on June 12 and 5 p.m. EST on June 14, 2013. Subject to full official rules. By leaving a comment on the blog, you acknowledge your acceptance to the Official Rules. ARV of each prize: $34. Sponsor: Scripps Networks, LLC, d/b/a Food Network, 9721 Sherrill Blvd, Knoxville, TN 37932.
So tell us, have you tried almond flour? Coconut flour?