June 29, 2017

Healthy Baking the Gluten Free Way by Gretchen Scalpi R.D.

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 you can purchase gluten free baking mixes like Bob’s Red Mill Gluten Free Biscuit & Baking Mix, Arrowhead Mills Gluten Free All Purpose Baking Mix, Bisquick Gluten Free Pancake and Baking Mix, King Arthur baking mix, Pamela’s Baking & Pancake Mix and HEB Gluten Free All Purpose Baking Mix.

The baking 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 fiber and have too much fat.  I’m going to help you create healthier baked goods with the following tips.

1.  Reduce the amount of baking mix in the recipe and add a whole grain flours like Amaranth, Brown Rice, Buckwheat, Millet, Oat, Quinoa, Roasted Soy, Sorghum, Sweet Brown Rice or Teff.

2.  The recommended daily fiber 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 fiber in your diet is by adding fiber to your baking mixes.  Add ground flaxseed, Chia seeds, nuts or sunflower seeds.

3.  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.

4.  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.

5.  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 Tbsp Flaxseed Meal
3 Tbsp 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 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!

Gretchen Scalpi is a Registered Dietitian, Certified Diabetes Educator and Certified Wellcoach®. She is the author of “The EVERYTHING Guide to Managing and Reversing Pre-Diabetes 2nd Ed.”, “The EVERYTHING Diabetes Cookbook 2nd Ed.”, “Pre-Diabetes: Your Second Chance At Health”, “The Quick Start Guide to Healthy Eating”, “The Quick Start Guide To Pre-Diabetes” and “Quick Start Recipes For Healthy Meals”.  To learn more about living and cooking gluten free register for her free webinar “Five Things You Should Know Before You Go Gluten Free!” here!

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