A lot of my audience loves baking but gluten-free baking is often intimidating for them. Are there any tips you can share for gluten-free baking?
Tip 1: Remember that gluten-free flour is not cup for cup the way wheat flour is. Using a gluten-free mix or someone else’s gluten-free flour blend that you can find in a gluten-free magazine is best to start with when you are new to gluten-free baking.
Tip 2: Who cares if you mess up! Go for it. Try it. If you end up failing you’ll know and if you don’t you’ll have a new recipe to make. You have to learn so fail often and don’t be so scared to mess up. How do you think I learned?
Tip 3: If you can’t use eggs or dairy there are plenty of subs as well from avocado to banana, to pumpkin or sweet potato puree to a chia egg and a flax egg.
Tip 4: There are MANY different gluten-free flours out there. Realize you have options like chickpea flour, millet flour, quinoa flour, teff flour, rice flours, banana flour, tiger nut flour, cassava flour, cornflour and many more. Don’t let this scare you, let it inspire you. You have options.
Tip 5: Read baking blogs and health blogs, especially ones that use gluten-free recipes. See what is trending, what’s doing well, what you’d want to make, how you would recreate said recipe, and let the ideas flow.
Tip 6: Make other bloggers gluten-free recipes. Get a feel for how it is all supposed to taste so that when you start baking you’ll know if it tastes right.
Tip 7: Corn starch is not the only thickener when it comes to gluten-free baking. So if you need something like a thickener to try in addition to corn starch, try tapioca starch/flour, cassava flour, coconut flour, or arrowroot.
Tip 8: When making any gluten-free cookie you MUST flatten the cookie either with the backside of a spoon or the palm of your hand. Because wheat, when baked, flattens the cookie that doesn’t happen in gluten-free baking. If you don’t flatten the cookie ball dough before adding it to the oven they will not flatten on their own and your cookie will be gross.
You are so creative in the kitchen! The chocolate sunbutter crunch slices and cantaloupe strawberry popsicles definitely caught my eye! Creativity in the kitchen is something I sometimes struggle with and I’ll go back to the same old recipes. Where do you get your inspiration?
My brain. I know that’s a weird thing to say but that’s where it comes from. I was born a creative. A gift from god. Ideas flood out of my mind like a running faucet. It’s pretty wild.
In the instance of the cantaloupe strawberry popsicles, I used cantaloupe for sweetness and creamy factor and strawberries for a bang of flavor. From experimenting with fruits I don’t often eat I learned that cantaloupe has a great texture, and from there I decided it would work in smoothies and popsicles. And let me tell you people underate cantaloupe. Had I not had all these food sensitivities and celiac I never would have learned to bake, cook, live and eat this way. I’m so glad! Because cantaloupe in my smoothies and popsicles is an epic ingredient powerful and mighty.
I would have to say though, going to the Institute for Integrative Nutrition is what started it all for me. It’s how I transformed into the healthy being you see before you. Once I enrolled in that training program my eyes were opened up to wellness in ways it never was before. Wellness wasn’t even on my radar the way it is now until I went to IIN. I would also say when it comes to baking I use only what I can actually eat.
So the crunch in the Sunbutter Crunch Slice uses quinoa instead of rice because rice bothers me. And quinoa has that same crunch factor. So in that instance, I used common sense and creativity. The thought that would go through my mind prior to baking would be this “What crunches the way rice does in chocolate, think crunch bar”. So I’ll think about it and jot down all the crunchy things I can use in a dessert, and from there I decide what will be used.
Do you have any words of advice for someone who is at the start of their journey with making changes to their diet for their health?
Tip 1: I think the hardest part is accepting that this is the new normal, and when accepting that without support ends up being harder. I suggest facebook support groups, Instagram communities and like-minded people to support you along the way is super helpful and makes you feel less alone.
Tip 2: Take it slow and don’t freak out. Making even one change is a game-changer.
Tip 3: Rome wasn’t built in a day, and neither will your healing journey.
Tip 4: Healing takes time – remember that
Tip 5: Find doctors you love. If their bedside manner is poor and you don’t like them, find another doctor that respects you. There are many doctors, nutritionists, and health coaches in this world. Find one you align with.
Tip 6: Celebrate all small changes! Because they are huge!
Tip 7: Get your testing done by an Integrative functional medical doctor so you can get to the root cause of your issues
Tip 8: Make your diet fun, not a drag
Tip 9: Start meditating, even if it’s two minutes a day, trust me you’re going to need this.
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Amanda is a pizza loving registered dietitian nutritionist specializing in mindfulness and gut health. She quickly realized that gut health goes beyond the gut; it is also about honoring our gut feelings. She is the creator of The Mindful Gut™ which uses science and strategy to help people improve their gut health.