Amy is baking “without” this week: come taste the delicious results! — Denise
When my family went gluten-free last year, I started to notice that many gluten-free products weren’t nut- or soy- or dairy-free. Normally, that wouldn’t be a problem, but I also began to realize how many children have nut allergies or soy-sensitivity and how many adults are eating less dairy. My son couldn’t sit at the allergy table because he was usually bringing nut-based foods to school.
Living gluten-free isn’t optional for those with celiac or gluten-sensitivity. Sometimes it is hard to go out to eat, because you feel excluded from the fun — the pizza, the pasta, the fresh bread. And once you enter the -free communities, the last thing you want is to exclude anyone else. Baking dishes that are gluten-, nut- and dairy-free are great ways to help everyone feel more included.
Anyone who has baked gluten-free foods knows that finding a good all-purpose flour mix is crucial to easy and tasty baked goods. This week, I tried two different flour mixes that are gluten-, nut- and dairy-free and readily available: Bob’s Red Mill Gluten Free All-Purpose Baking Flour and King Arthur’s Gluten Free Multi-Purpose Flour. Each of these mixes are good but they have different tastes and textures.
Bob’s Red Mill uses bean flour as a key component. The upside? The beans add great fiber, which gluten-free products are often missing. The downside is that the beans taste like, well, beans. This is a mix better used in hearty recipes with strong flavors, like the Chocolate Sunshine Bars above (a nut-free redo of Denise’s Chocolate Almond Oatmeal Bars).
King Arthur’s flour uses rice flour as its key component. Rice flour is much lighter and softer than wheat, so King Arthur’s adds tapioca flour, too. They also recommend adding xanthan gum to recipes. The rice flour helps make these Gluten-Free Popovers light and airy; the extra egg gives them a delicious custard flavor that can’t be beat.
Both of these recipes are great for sharing with those who eat gluten-free, nut-free or dairy-free — ideal for summer gatherings of all sizes.