May 22, 2015

Make your own flour blends

The corporate food industry has taken wheat, which is highly nutritious and rich in protein, B vitamins, and complex carbohydrates, and de-natured it into a high yield grain. It is largely indigestible, not only because it comes from grain that has been genetically engineered, but also because the resultant flour is stripped of its bran and germ.

The bran and germ are home to vitamins, minerals, protein, and fiber. Our bodies need these compounds to metabolize the grain effectively.

Due to an over-consumption of this hybridized wheat, which the body doesn't actually recognize as food, many of us have become gluten-sensitive.

Here are some tips to create your own gluten-free flour blends without the strange additives.

Gluten-Free Flour Mixes

Just use this rule of thumb: 70% whole grain or nut flour blend to 30% starches – no xantham gum needed!

Some whole grain flours are more dry and light. Others are more moist and dense. Make sure that you use a balance of these two in your 70% mixture.

Think about the outcome: if you want a rich, dense baked good, use more of the heavy flours. For a light, fluffy crust, use the lighter, drier flours. Consider that some flours taste better in savory or sweet batters, too.

For example, a cauliflower pizza crust will do well with cornmeal. A brownie batter will thrive on brown rice or oat flour.

Whole grain flours include:
Buckwheat (dry & dense; savory)
Sorghum (moist and dense; either sweet or savory)
Oat (moist and dense; sweet)
Brown Rice (moist and dense; sweet)
Millet (medium; either sweet or savory)
Quinoa (dry and light; savory)
Teff (dry and light; savory)
Corn (dry and light; mildly sweet)
Almond (dry and dense; mildly sweet)

Starches include:
White sweet rice flour
Tapioca flour
Coconut flour
Arrowroot powder

Maple Cinnamon Scones

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

In a bowl, mix well:
1 teaspoon cinnamon
Pinch salt
½ cup cooked oatmeal
1 ½ cups gluten-free flour blend of your creation
¼ cup applesauce
2 Tablespoons maple syrup
4 Tablespoons olive oil
2 Tablespoons nut or seed butter
1 teaspoon vanilla

Grease a cookie sheet with olive oil and drop dough in spoonfuls. Flatten each cookie with the back of the spoon. Slide cookie sheet into oven and bake for 20 minutes.

Get creative! For variety, add one of the following: 2 spoonfuls raspberry jam; 1 inch fresh chopped ginger root & ½ teaspoon clove powder; ¼ cup raisins (first soak for 5 minutes in hot water and drain).

Banana Bread

This recipe also makes great muffins!

Dry ingredients:
1½ cups gluten-free flour blend of your creation
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon each: cinnamon, nutmeg
Pinch salt

Wet ingredients:
2 tablespoons flaxseed meal
¼ cup olive oil
2 ripe, mashed bananas
¼ cup almond milk
¼ cup chopped walnuts (optional)

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
Grease 8 or 9 inch pan with olive or sunflower oil.

Combine the dry ingredients in a mixing bowl and stir together.
Make a well in the center, combine the wet ingredients and stir until thoroughly blended.
Incorporate wet and dry ingredients until they are well combined.

Pour batter into greased pan and bake for 50 minutes, or until a knife inserted into the center tests clean.

Chocolate Chip Cookies

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.Grease a cookie sheet with butter or coconut oil.

In a large bowl, mix:
2 cups gluten-free flour blend of your creation
Pinch salt
½ teaspoon cinnamon
½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter OR 1/2 cup coconut oil

Make a well in the center of this mixture and add:
2 tablespoons flaxseed meal
4 tablespoons hot water
Whisk together.

Then, add:
¼ cup applesauce
½ cup maple syrup
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Incorporate these wet ingredients, then stir in the flour / butter mixture.
Add ½ cup chocolate chips and stir until barely incorporated.

Drop in spoonfuls onto greased cookie sheet and bake for 15 minutes. Delicious!

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