For those of us who find we function better without the inclusion of gluten in our diet, we have to be a little more intentional about stocking our pantry. I want to share with you the ingredients I’ve found have the most pleasant flavors and textures for whole food gluten-free cooking. With these “staples” on hand you will find you have everything you need to make pretty much all of the recipes you find posted on my blog. Be sure to buy in quantity, so you don’t find yourself constantly restocking!
FLOURS/GRAINS FOR WHOLE FOODS GLUTEN-FREE BAKING
Brown rice flour
Buckwheat flour- by this I mean raw, light-colored buckwheat flour. You can grind it from raw hull-less buckwheat groats or purchase it as “light buckwheat flour” from Bouchard Family Farm. This is the only flour I regularly use that isn’t available from Bob’s Red Mill. What is normally referred to as “buckwheat flour” is a light gray colored buckwheat flour traditionally used for buckwheat pancakes. If you are concerned that buckwheat contains wheat or gluten, be sure to read my page on buckwheat.
*Cornmeal/flour- yellow and/or blue. Try to find stoneground, wholegrain cornmeal (not degermed).
*Certified gluten-free oats- grind into flour in a blender
ENHANCERS FOR GLUTEN-FREE BAKING
Raw apple cider vinegar
Flax seed (ground and mixed with water as a binding agent, much like eggs)
Nut meal (almond, hazelnut, pecan)- only used occasionally, in small portions, to provide richness to a recipe
Leavening- baking powder, baking soda
Fat/oils- olive oil, coconut oil/butter, organic butter
Sweeteners- honey, agave syrup, maple syrup
GENERAL PANTRY ITEMS- for gluten-free cooking
Whole grains- for use in side dishes, hot cereal, puddings, salads, etc.
brown rice, buckwheat kasha, cornmeal (grits, polenta), millet, quinoa
Beans/legumes- in whole or flour form- for making bean/lentil cakes (as a bread/pita substitute)
lentils, chana dal, gram flour, etc.
*because corn and even gluten-free oats can be problematic for some people, I will do my best to share a variety of recipes with and without these ingredients.
INGREDIENTS I DISMISSED
as ones I wouldn’t want to regularly include in gluten-free baking
Amaranth- hard to come by, hard to grind, gooey texture, not great flavor
Millet- less common to find in flour form, dry, slightly bitter/has a “bite”. This grain is related to sorghum, so if you have millet flour on hand you might want to try how it works used in place of sorghum in a recipe or two. I haven’t had great success with it myself, yet there is a bakery that works wonders with it and makes the most spectacular millet breads (takes like heaven to those who haven’t had traditional bread in a while!). The company is DeLand Bakery and their website is www.delandbakery.com
Quinoa- too moist and the flavor is not complementary to baked goods (in my opinion)
Bean/legume flours- personally, I find the “beany” flavor comes through too strongly when included in a baked good
All other gums, starches and refined flours commonly used in gluten-free baking- because they are not in their whole, natural form