How to Bake with Gluten-Free Flour and Get Fluffy Results

If you’re gluten-free or simply like to experiment with alternatives to white flour, chances are you’ve had a few kitchen catastrophe with gluten-free flour.

What was meant to be a moist cake or a chewy cookie has crumbled, sagged or hardened like a rock. What went wrong?

One of the common mistakes when baking gluten-free is expecting the same results when you swap white flour for the alternative.

Almond meal.

Almond meal is very soft and works best with moist, fragrant recipes. Almond meal can be substituted in a 1:1 ratio with flour, however, don’t expect it to rise like a normal cake!

To help the bake hold its shape, recipe developer Meg Yonson combines it with a firmer flour like buckwheat, quinoa or rice (more on that in a bit). And if you don’t have those on hand, you can still make a melt-in-the-mouth souffle or soft cookie just fine with almond meal and some baking powder.

Buckwheat flour.

Buckwheat flour is dense, nutty and lends itself well to almost anything. It’s our recipe developer’s favorite! It’s also high in nutrients like zinc, magnesium, phosphorus and manganese, giving your dessert a little health kick.

Due to its heavy texture, it’s best to combine it with almond meal so you don’t accidentally end up with rock cakes. But other than that, you can pretty much swap it for white flour in any recipe. We do!

Coconut flour.

While coconut flour can be a beast to work with, the results are well worth it when you get it right. Because yum, coconut.

It’s essential to remember to NEVER substitute coconut flour for white flour. It soaks up liquid like a ShamWow. You’ll need to use ¼ cup of coconut flour for 1 cup of regular flour, and maybe add an extra egg or two. And then some more liquid.

We recommend following a recipe from a trusted source before experimenting with this stuff. Our sweet potato brownies, luckily, are foolproof and only use 3 tablespoons of coconut flour. How’s that for budget-friendly?

Bonus round: all of the flours.

Almond, buckwheat and coconut are our favourite gluten-free flours due to their taste, texture and nutritional quality. But there are a few alternatives rising (get it?) up the ranks…

Green banana flour: Made from powdered unripe bananas, this flour gives fluffy results when you use 30 per cent less than white flour in the recipe. The great benefit is that it contains huge amounts of resistant starch, which is great for gut health.

Teff flour: Teff is tiny grain that packs a huge nutritional punch – iron, calcium, B vitamins AND it’s a complete source of protein. Teff flour can be used whole or in part for white flour, yielding dense but delicious results.

Quinoa flour: With the highest protein count of all the grains, quinoa flour is great for healthify-ing a sweet treat. While you can substitute it for white flour 1:1, we recommend combining with almond or coconut as the taste can be quite bitter.

Is Oatmeal Gluten-Free?

The dreaded question of every Celiac, gluten intolerant, gluten sensitive person. Is one of my favorite breakfasts gluten-free? The simple answer is yes! BUT…no. Unfortunately due to cross-contamination oatmeal is not gluten-free. The reason this cross contamination happens is because farmers do not only handle the oat grains. They handle all types of grains which unfortunately more often than not are gluten containing grains.

Since this cross contamination is very common with the oatmeal grain is it unsafe to have oatmeal on a gluten-free diet. Now this does not mean if you are gluten sensitive that you do not get to enjoy your favorite breakfast. If your sensitivity level is low you may be able to handle this cross contamination. However this is completely up to you and we advise you to try it in your diet in strides to make sure that your stomach is able to handle it. We recommend remaining on the side of caution if you are unsure of how sensitive you are.

We have more GOOD news!! There are gluten-free certified oatmeal brands!

Which oatmeal brands are safe to eat on a gluten-free diet?

Bob’s Red Mill is one of the most popular gluten-free oatmeal brands.  Not only are they the most popular but they produce all three types for your eating pleasures. The three types include steel cut oats, rolled oats and quick-cooking oats!

Bob's Red Mill Oatmeal

Arrowhead Mills is another completely that produces steel cut gluten-free oatmeal. Please be aware that Arrowhead also produces an organic brand of their oatmeal that is in a very similar box. Be sure that you choose the correct non gluten box or you will be sorry.

Arrowhead Mills Gluten Free Steel Cut Oats Hot Cereal

GF Harvest is another great company out of Wyoming. This company actually produces strictly gluten-free products which should make it an easy choice if you worried about others that may have cross contamination. This company does extensive testing on all products, so you can be assured they are Celiac and gluten-free safe.

GF Harvest Steel Cut Oats

We know you guys love your flavors! We also love our flavored oatmeal and when Glutenfreeda Foods came out with 4 flavors! We were so excited about this! The company sells natural flavor, banana maple flavor, maple raisin flavor and our all time favorite apple cinnamon flavor.

Apple Cinnamon with flax gluten-free oatmeal
Apple Cinnamon with flax gluten-free oatmeal

If you want to be sure that your gluten-free oatmeal is under 5ppm then Holly’s Oatmeal should be your number 1 choice. This company makes sure that every box produced is under that 5ppm, so if you have Celiac or are really sensitive it is a good idea to choose Holly’s. They also produce two flavors! These flavors are natural and cranberry. Who says a gluten-free diet can’t have some variety.

Holly's Gluten-Free Porridge

Looking to buy your gluten-free oatmeal in bulk? If so then Montana Gluten-Free should be your #1 choice. They sell in 3lb and 7.5lb bags. You can purchase directly from their website.

Montana Raw Gluten-free Oatmeal

If you are Celiac or gluten intolerant you have definitely heard of Udi’s. Of course since they market everything gluten-free they would also carry a gluten-free oatmeal. If you’re looking for a full healthy breakfast oatmeal then Udi’s will probably be your number one choice. They offer oatmeal with added flax seed, chia seed and currants. For you guys who like your regular oatmeal they also provide steel-cut regular flavor as well.

Udi's Gluten-free Steel Cut Oats

You should note before going shopping for your oatmeal, that many of these companies also produce non gluten-free products. Be sure to choose the right bag/box before leaving the store.

 

How To Start Your Own Successful Blog in Less Than an Hour!

Starting a website is hard!

or is it?

By using this step by step guide I can help you get from nothing to a blog in less than an hour. This guide is very easy to follow and even if you are a beginner you will be able to get through it and be on your way to a successful website/blog.

 

Step 1. Choose a platform, domain name and a host account

Step 2. Create your own design using a theme

Step 3. Modify design to fit your look and needs

step 4. Create content that will draw people to your blog/website

 

From my experience will all hosting providers I highly suggest using Bluehost. At a cost of $3.49/month and some of the best support I have used you can go wrong. Use this link to get 40% off your monthly price as well as a free domain.

 

How to start a website/blog: A step-by-step easy guide

 

Do not worry if you have no idea how to start. I didn’t either when I first started and many others do not as well. Following this guide will lead you to a complete and amazing website/blog.

 

  1. Domain and hosting: As noted above you can do this all in just a few clicks. Visit this link and choose the cheapest hosting plan. Once you have chosen your hosting plan you will be able to buy a domain. Note that the exact domain you want may not be available so be created. Once you have all of this and ordered. You will be redirected to a page called a cpanel. On this page go to wordpress and follow the steps choosing your newly created domain
  2. Choosing a theme. This is really really simple and with so many options you should be able to find the exact look your are looking for. Note: Most themes allow you to modify all theme, colors, fonts and much more. Go to Themeforest and check out all of the options.
  3. Modifying/Styling: Once all of the above is completed. This is where your creativity comes into play. Using the theme menu within your wordpress login page, play with different colours, layouts and fonts to get exactly what you want. I also highly suggest you installed tools such as Feedburner and Google Analytics. These two options will allow you to track everything that goes on, on your blog.
  4. Plugins: Plugins are an amazing way to add value and extras to your site. These can be anything from connecting your social accounts to adding pictures to your site. Note: Do not use to many plugins as it may slow down your site. I recommend no more than 10 plugins but not a huge deal if you go over that. Try and get plugins that have a lot of users and a good rating.
  5. Linkbait/Content/Media: Time to add some awesome compelling content to your site! Alright so your have two options for content on your site. You can write posts(These are usually your daily/weekly posts etc.). Also you can have pages. Pages are static pages that you want to stay on your main page or in your navigation. For example: About us, Contact page, shop, etc.

 

For a more in depth look into how to create a successful travel blog visit

Starting a Professional Successful Travel Blog in 10 Easy Steps

 

10 Must-See Guides That Make Eating Healthy Easy

1 Serving of Fruit

1 serving of fruit diagram

Photos by Grace Hitchcock for PopSugar / Via popsugar.com

5 Minute Dinner Combinations

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Paleo Diet Guide

is it paleo yes or noJenny Chang / BuzzFeed / Via buzzfeed.com

Amazing Tip For How To Choose The Best Avocado

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The Perfect Smoothie

perfect smoothie guideLexi / Lexi’s Clean Kitchen / Via lexiscleankitchen.com

The Mason Jar Salad

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Smoothie Combinations to Die For

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How long to steep your tea and at what temperature

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Guide For The Perfect Homemade Soups

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Make Your Own Salad Dressing Guide

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Gluten Free Eating in College

eating healthy in college contestYou are worried that you are going to college soon and have to be on a gluten-free diet (maybe, out of compulsion or maybe, just by choice). Well, there is good news for you – colleges these days are becoming more and more sensitive towards this.

Here are a few measures which you can take for you to be gluten-free as well as healthy at the same time, while at college –

Researching

The first step to a gluten-free diet at college is to do an extensive research on this well in advance. You need to be aware of the brands offering gluten-free items. This will be more than just a ‘Good to Know’ information as you will be more aware of the kind of choices you make towards a healthy gluten-free living. It is a good idea to read the fine-print before purchasing something.

  1. The grains and starch sources which are accepted as gluten-free are corn, rice, potatoes, and tapioca (derived from cassava). Gram flour, which is derived from chickpeas, is gluten-free as well. However, one needs to be careful not to confuse this with Graham flour, which is not gluten-free.
  2. Amaranth, millet, montina, quinoa, lupin, sorghum, taro, teff, almond meal flour, coconut flour, chia seed, pea flour, arrowroot, cornstarch and yam are also considered suitable for a gluten-free diet.
  3. You have to be careful about choosing the oatmeal. Oatmeal is grown in the same field when wheat is out of season and hence, inadvertently, the gluten-free oatmeal gets contaminated. However, companies like Bakery on Main which has gluten-free oats and oatmeal products on offer. They come in a variety of flavors – like Strawberry Shortcake, Maple Multigrain Muffinare and Blueberry Scone are certified gluten-free.
  4. Dancing Deer Baking Co. has come out with gluten-free brownies. These are produced in a dedicated gluten-free facility. These are soft and consistent and are made by blending brown rice flour, sorghum and potato starch.
  5. Quinoa Esta! Bakery prepares baked goods using organic, gluten-free quinoa flour. Quinoa flour is a natural gluten-free grain. Their products include – Snickerdoodle Cookies, Cherry Chocolate Chunk cookies, Pecan Pine Nut Shortbread Cookies, Raspberry Shortbread Bar and Brownie Bon-Bons which are dusted with Cocoa.

Eat Healthy and Fresh

While the gluten-free choices are almost limitless these days, it all depends on the kind of choices you make. Well, it might not be a good idea to include a lot of processed food in your diet as you need to keep up-to the requirements of an intense college schedule and a balanced and healthy diet would help you with it. A healthy gluten-free diet would consist of unprocessed food, which is naturally gluten-free, for example, fresh fruits and vegetables, fish, poultry, lean meat, granola and rice bread.

Be Known to the People Who Matter

You need to make the people in-charge (I mean the management team and dietician) of the dining hall to be aware of your situation. Let them know of your dietary needs and they would surely take action on this. Also, the dining room serving staffs are important. Help yourself by helping them to know you by your face. Talk to them, get friendly with them and am sure, they will comply by your dietary requirements.

If you have researched well, then you can also recommend the best gluten-free options available to the kitchen in-charge.

Also, an important thing you have to avoid is – contamination. Though, there will be separate cutting board and knife for making gluten-free food, however, if you want to have a sandwich, for instance, you have to ask the service staff to wash his/her hands, change gloves, get fresh meat and veggies for it from the refrigerator, and then use the separate cutting board and knife.

Wheat breadcrumbs fall into all the sandwich meats, toppings and condiments and would contaminate them. Hence, it is also essential to check if there is a separate gluten-free oven before toasting your sandwich.

Being Prepared

You will have to prepare well in advance when you might have to prepare your own meal. There might be days when the college cafeteria is closed or maybe just for snacking.

It is a good idea to let the college administration know of your health condition so that you are given apartments which have a kitchenette and a space for a small refrigerator. This way, you have more control over what you eat in order to be healthy and safe.

Choosing the Menu

The easiest gluten-free meal in college is Breakfast. While you may not have an option for a bowl of cereal, however, there are plenty of choices. A large omelette by itself is a filling meal. Hash browns, bacon, eggs, yogurt, and fruit are the other breakfast choices you have. You can have Granola (consisting of honey, oats, nuts and puffed rice) with yoghurt as well. To be on the safer side, carry your own packets of butter or jam as the existing condiments might get contaminated when it comes in contact with food which is not glutten-free.

Also, you have the choice to make some quick sandwich wraps. Get hold of some gluten-free frozen cheese wraps, you can put some poultry or meat chunks and some fresh veggies try in them. In case you cannot have cheese, then you can supplement them with corn tortillas, which are gluten-free. Rice is an excellent gluten-free choice. You could stir-fry it with meat, veggies and salt seasoning.

You could look for eating-out joints around your college which have gluten-free options available. An alternate, but expensive gluten-free choice you have is – Sushi. You could have it with gluten-free soy sauce.

To conclude, while it isn’t an easy state to be in, however, being gluten-free in college it isn’t impossible as well. With a bit of research, advance preparation and effort from your side, you could help your college administration get sensitized towards your dietary requirements.

 

Does organic mean gluten free?

Organic foods may not be gluten free, but gluten-free foods can definitely be organic. Do you know what organic foods are? These are foods that are grown naturally. This means they are not exposed to pesticides and fertilizers. Additionally, these foods are not exposed to additives, and industrial solvents. Traditionally, agricultural products were organic. The turn of the twentieth century brought about a transformation. Chemicals and fertilizers were used in the food business. But organic farming soon came into existence. Interestingly, organic farming came about as early as the 1940s. And it still continues in many parts of the world unabated. During the 1940s agriculture was heavily industrialized. Farmers concentrated on producing quick harvests. This lead to the invention of pesticides and fertilizers. But it also brought about the onset of organic farming as an agricultural specialty.

What is gluten?

Gluten does a lot like what its name suggests. It is used as a thickening agent. Being a sticky protein, gluten has many applications. This wheat protein is used in confectionery  bread, and other such related products. Gluten has so many applications that you’d be pleasantly surprised. For instance, many manufacturers use it as an anti-clumping substance when manufacturing spices. It is also used in cosmetics as a thickener. A lot many products have traces of gluten. It is difficult to completely list down all products that use high, moderate, low, and traces of gluten. A gluten free diet is primarily advised if you have celiac disease. When you are unable to digest gluten, you are said to suffer from celiac disease. Most people may not have a problem eating gluten rich foods. But some people do have this sensitivity to gluten. These people don’t just experience digestive problems. They experience brain fogging, memory loss, and depression. So it is a highly discomforting disease. And many manufacturers advertise their products as gluten free. Gluten free food can be organic, but not always There is a lot of misinformation about gluten free foods being organic. Gluten free means that there no traces of gluten. It does not necessarily mean these foods are organic. Well, they can be organic, but it is not mandatory for gluten-free foods to be so. Now this is where the misinformation lies. Many people assume that gluten free foods are organic. In other words, the quality of a food being gluten free automatically makes it organic. And this has lead to steady sales of gluten free products. All because rumors travel more than genuine information does. Another section of consumers think that a gluten free diet can help them lose weight. They feel that this type of food is good to maintain one’s body weight. There are so many gluten free foods that can increase weight rather than decreasing it. Some gluten free foods are rich in carbs, fats, and calories. Eating them regularly can actually make you gain weight in quick time. You will have a hard time losing this weight. Gluten free foods also use food additives and chemicals which are harmful. Unfortunately, many mainstream manufacturers use this as an opportunity to cash in on uninformed customers. They use the gluten free label to invite unsuspecting customers into buying their products. These customers are lead to believe that eating such foods is actually beneficial to their health in the long run. Another alarming trend is that manufacturers use this tag on foods that naturally have no traces of gluten. All this is done in an opportunistic manner. So what is the best way to deal with this? Customers are advised to gain as much knowledge on gluten free foods. Knowledge is power when it comes to choosing gluten free products.

A simple search on the Internet can help you understand which foods are rich in gluten and which foods are not. Additionally, you may read user reviews on popular food forums to understand which manufacturers resort to such unscrupulous tactics.

How much gluten is good for you?

  • People suffering from celiac disease must totally abstain from gluten. It has been researched that eating gluten can increase risks of osteoporosis, certain types of cancers, and cause infertility to people suffering from celiac disease.
  • No, there are no shortcuts for people affected with celiac disease. They ought to stay away and stay off gluten forever. This is a commitment they have to make. Understandably it is difficult. But there’s no other choice.
  • There are no general recommendations for people with gluten intolerance. There are no prescribed limits as well. The nature and intensity of the gluten intolerance varies by individual. But yes, there is a spectrum of gluten sensitivity that doctors refer to. The higher the sensitivity on the spectrum, the more chances of contracting celiac disease and vice versa.
  • Physicians feel that people who are on the lower end of the gluten sensitivity spectrum can eat healthy amounts of gluten. However it is yet to be established whether they could move up in the gluten sensitivity spectrum due to their eating habits.

Being gluten free doesn’t mean you are eating healthy

  • When you eat wheat, barley or rye, and feel a deep discomfiture, you may be having gluten intolerance. You have to get checked by a doctor immediately.
  • Before cutting off gluten from your diet, you should seek help from a good dietician. There are many foods that are gluten free, but are not healthy. They are high in fats, and calories. They use toppings, and additives that can do your health more harm than good.
  • You must know that there are plenty of foods that are a hidden source for gluten. Getting a collation of such foods is difficult. Only a qualified dietician or a nutrition scientist can help you with this. Gluten free food can be organic as well. At the same time, some gluten free foods can be nothing but junk food that you can do without.
  • Getting professional help is the right step forward. And you can see dramatic results in short time. Your world will be gluten and fat free. And you will be walking on the highway to healthy living.