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Why you shouldn't use an All-Purpose Gluten Free Flour Mix and what to use instead. December 03 2014

We do a lot of gluten free baking in our home. And, over the past few years, we have learned a number of things we will be sharing over the next few months. But, when you first start baking gluten-free, most people go out and purchase an all-purpose gluten free flour mix to use. While it sounds like a good idea, usually the mix doesn't bake correctly and has a horrible after taste.

When we first started on our gluten-free baking experience, we did the same thing. We just assumed that gluten-free baking had a nasty after taste. But, it just isn't so.We have now graduated to mixing our own flour mixes for different baking. We enjoy baking more than we did when we just used wheat flour. The variety of flours and tastes now available to us is exciting and fun.

Our favorite go-to flour combination is 2 parts sprouted brown rice flour, 1 part sorghum flour, and 1 part teff flour. You will see this combination pop up a lot as we start sharing our favorite gluten free recipes.

Once you start experimenting and trying different flour combinations, you will find what tastes you like the most and what works well for the food you like to eat.

To start, I am just going to explain a few of the basic gluten-free flour options that you should be aware of:

Almond Flour - an easier flour to find at a regular grocery store since it is used in baking quite often. Almond flour has a light texture. Because of it's high fat content, it needs to be refrigerated and used within two months.

Corn Flour - like corn meal, just a finer consistency. It leads to much of a distict, yet light and nutty flavor in foods. 

Flaxseed Meal - Flaxseeds are a great way to add some healthy fiber and omega-3 fatty acids in food. Another great benefit of flaxseed meal, is that it acts as another binder, which is usually the problem in gluten free baking. Flaxseed meal goes rancid very quickly, so we recommend buying your own flaxseeds and grinding them your self in a coffee grinder.

Garbanzo (Chickpea) Bean Flour - this flour gives thinly baked goods a nice crunch. It also adds a slight bean flavor to foods. But, don't let that scare you. Our favorite pizza dough recipe is made from a mix with garbanzo bean flour. Alone, this flour is too crumbly to create a crust. Store garbanzo bean flour in a dark, dry place.

Sprouted Rice Flour - different than just regular rice flour, sprouted rice flour is the best flour we have found for baking. It is lighter than traditional rice flour, and has a sweet light flavor. Out of all the flours, this is the only one that we can use just by itself when baking.

Rice Flour - is the flour used most often when replacing wheat. It can lead to a sandy texture in food if not mixed with other flours. It is a lot cheaper than sprouted rice flour, so it is worth trying, be we would recommended using the sprouted rice flour in baking.

Sorghum (Milo) Flour- another one of our favorite flours. Some say that it tastes the closets to wheat. It is a great one to offset the graininess of rice flour. It is also a great way to add more protein into your diet.

Tapioca Flour - We don't like to use this one a lot. It is a starchy flour, and therefore, not very healthy. But, tapioca flour does add more of a chewy texture to baked treats, and so it is good to add in small amounts.

Teff Flour - another of our favorite flours. We love the strong taste of this flour. It is also highly nutritious, such as quinoa or amaranth. It shouldn't be used in yeast breads because of a symbiotic yeast it contains. Store it in a dark, dry, cool place.

 


Make Your Own Natural All-Purpose Household Cleaner December 01 2014


 
When deciding to be "more healthy" many people first try to eat better and exercise. What they don't realize is that a key ingredient to feeling better is to eliminate harmful chemicals that are surrounding them everyday. Just as germs are harmful to our bodies, harsh cleaning chemicals can be just as bad. Mother Nature has given us a great arrangement of tools that we can use to help us live a better life. While we do need to stay clean, we can achieve this by using some more natural alternatives - such as citrus and vinegar.

Try out this Natural All-Purpose Cleaner without the worry of harmful chemicals!

Natural All-Purpose Citrus Cleaner

Ingredients:
1 orange or 4 lemons
distilled white vinegar
glass jar with lid

Directions:
Peel your citrus fruit. Place the citrus peel in the glass jar. Cover the peelings with the vinegar. Let the vinegar and citrus sit for 10 days. Make sure to stir the vinegar every couple of days. After 10 days mix your vinegar with 2 parts water. Discard the citrus peelings. Place the vinegar mixture in a spray bottle for use.