Recently, I got a reader comment that surprised me.
Katherine from the Kat’s Health Corner blog was remarking on my Pumpkin Currant Muffins and wrote, “I love how you combined the chickpea and quinoa flours — how creative!” What surprised me was the praise. (But thank you, Katherine, thank you!)
The truth is I’m driven, not so much by the desire to be creative, but by the search for low-calorie GF flour/starch blends for baking.
This post replaces last year’s “Point Values of Gluten-Free Flours.” Why and what’s new?
- More flours: I’m finding new GF flours in my own small corner of the world, and you’re probably seeing them too. The main change here is the growing variety of bean flours, which is welcome to dieters because they are lower in calories and higher in proteins than other flours.
- No descriptors: I’ve dropped the brief descriptions of the flours. I was never entirely comfortable with them because I hadn’t used all the flours and was relying on other people’s information and taste buds. Moreover, as more people require GF diets, the amount of information on the Internet increases exponentially. Just google an ingredient, and you’ll find out a lot more information than I could provide in the space I had.
- Three lists instead of one list: Gluten-free bakers have to create blends of ingredients to replace wheat flour because no one flour, even with xanthan or guar gum, can work in all recipes. Essentially, we pick and choose among three types of ingredients: flours, starches, and ground meals. Having three lists reflects this reality.
- Elimination of the Points Program values: Last year, this time, Weight Watchers was just switching programs so I had both. Now I have just the point values from the PointsPlus Program.
New to GF baking? I’m sure the whole GF “scene” is just plain daunting. That’s certainly where I was a year ago.
However, once you learn the ropes, you will find yourself mixing and matching ingredients based on the type of baking you’re doing, the tastes and textures you’re looking for, the nutrients you want and, if you’re dieting, the point value of the flour. (For non-Weight Watchers: one point is roughly 50 calories.)
Some suggestions for getting started:
I wrote a version of this article for GlutenFreeWorks.com and decided to post it here as well. By “quick bread,” I mean a bread made without yeast that can be shaped into a loaf, muffins, or squares.
This information in the form of a Q&A is the result of a 10-month learning curve that started about three months after I discovered I was gluten-sensitive. By then, I’d become so screamingly bored with rice cakes, I decided I had to change my life. I bought a batch of alternative flours, starches, and gums. and began my journey into non-gluten baking.
Q: Why would I bake gluten-free when I can now buy a variety of gluten-free products at a grocery store?
A: You may enjoy baking and want to continue. Or you may want to save money and not buy packaged foods. Perhaps, you’re not happy with the quality or taste of what’s available. Continue reading