In the past if you needed to bake a gluten free recipe you had to make your own baking mix. This took a lot of trial and error and often resulted in disaster. Now there a a few gluten free mixes available in general grocery stores in the specialty food sections.
Gluten free baking doesn't mean you need to lose the nutritional value of many flours. Image credit: Bev Lloyd-Roberts/sxc.hu
These mixes are convenient and easy to use, and the results are usually tasty. However, the downside to some of these baking mixes is that they are not as nutritious as they could be. They may not include enriched products like normal baking mixes and flours. They may also be lacking in fibre and have too much fat.
Here's how you can create healthier baked goods with a few easy tips.
Reduce the amount of baking mix in the recipe and add a whole grain flour like amaranth, brown rice, buckwheat, millet, oat, quinoa or roasted soy.
The recommended daily fibre intake for women is 25 grams, and 30 grams for men. Many people don't meet this requirement on a daily basis. One way of including more in your diet is by adding fibre to your baking mixes. Add ground flaxseed, chia seeds, nuts or sunflower seeds.
Add extra fibre into your diet with flax seed, chia seeds or sunflower seeds. Image credit: Rosck/sxc.hu
Many baking recipes, both gluten free or regular, ask you to include too much butter or oil which increases the fat in your diet. You can safely decrease the butter or oil used by half but you may have to experiment to get the taste and texture of your baked goods just right for you. You can also replace butter or oil with fat free plain yogurt, unsweetened apple sauce, pumpkin puree, prune puree, pureed canned pears or mashed bananas.
Reduce the amount of sugar by up to half. For example if a cup of sugar is called for use only a half cup. If you want to use a sugar substitute follow the directions that are on the packaging. You can also reduce the amount of other sugary ingredients like chocolate chips and you can make smaller portion sizes.
Make baking healthier by cutting back on the sugar or using a sugar substitute. Image credit: SH White/sxc.hu
If your recipe calls for eggs you can either use an egg substitute to reduce cholesterol or use less yolks and more whites. Whip egg whites and fold into the rest of the batter to get lighter baked goods. You can also use the recipe below to substitute for one egg. Double for two eggs, triple for three eggs, etc.
Flax Egg 1 tablespoons flaxseed meal
3 tablespoons water
Directions Combine flaxseed meal and water and allow to sit for about 5 minutes. Add this ingredient to your recipe as you would the eggs.
Baking gluten free can be easy, nutritious and delicious with just a few adjustments. Try one or more of the tips above in your gluten free recipes to create baked goods that you and your family will love!