Monday, January 30, 2012

Gluten Free~Substitutions

I started way back in November, I believe, posting about my favorite substitutions for different types of allergies, I realized as I was tiding up a few things I never posted anything on gluten. Opps.  So I thought today might as well be the day.

Remember, I am not a nutritionist, or a food specialist, I am not a doctor.  I am simply a mom who cooks for her family.  This is my bit of knowledge I have that I am sharing with you.


When you cook gluten free, you must use a combination of flours.  Because gluten free flours don't contain "gluten" we have to fool what we are cooking into have that lovely, stretchy, gluteny feel.  That takes a combination of different types of flours.  Also, adding xantham gum or guar gum is a must.

I categorize the gluten free flours this way:

Protein (heavy flours)
Filler (medium flours)
Starch (light flours)

This is a short list of all the many wonderful flours!

Lightweight Medium weight Heavyweight
starch filler protein

arrowroot amaranth almond
cornstarch coconut brown rice (regular)
potato starch garbanzo buckwheat
sweet rice millet cornmeal (stone ground)
tapioca quinoa walnut
white sorghum pecan

superfine brown rice chestnut

teff other nut flours

Just a few notes on flours:
~Tapocia and arrowroot flour are also called tapioca and arrowroot starch.  They also are interchangable in recipes.
~Potato flour is NOT the same as potato starch.  DO NOT substitute one for the other!!!!!
To make a gluten free item, you need one of each type of these flours in your recipe, or maybe more.

Here is a great link that explains each flour.   I am not going to reinvent the wheel and type out each kind of flour.  There are so many sites with great info!

Gluten free baking is about ratios of flours.

Famous blends are ones created by Bette Hagman.  I have written about her in other posts.  She is the author of several cookbooks, including The Gluten Free Gourmet Her blends are sold by Authentic Foods.  I like her blends, however, since we are corn free I sub tapioca or arrowroot for the cornstarch she calls for.  There are so many blends and recipes out there, however, Bette's work great for me.

My favorite to use are as follows:

 Gluten-Free (GF) Mix - from Bette Hagman's Gluten Free Gourmet
3 c. rice flour  (I like superfine brown rice)
1 c. potato starch (NOT potato flour)
1/2 c. tapioca starch

Mix well.  This is a good all purpose substitution

 Featherlight Mix - from Bette Hagman's Gluten Free Gourmet Bakes Bread
1 c. Rice flour (I usually use a white rice~  this is good for light breads)
1 c. arrowroot (her recipe calls for cornstarch)
1 c. tapioca starch
1 Tbs. potato flour (NOT potato starch)

Bette Hagman Four Flour Bean Mix:
2/3 cup garfava (or garbanzo) bean flour
1/3 cup sorghum flour
1 cup arrowroot (her recipe calls for cornstarch)
1 cup tapioca starch
This makes 3 cups. It exchanges for wheat flour in recipes. It is higher protein than the rice blends, and so higher in nutrition. Some people do not like the bean taste though. Used for heavy bread such as banana or pumpkin.

Note:  Since I use large amounts of these flours, I make huge batches at a time.  I buy gallon (or larger) ziplocs and store the mixed flour blends in them.  I usually triple the recipes.

One other brand I am just loving is Cooqi Brand mixes.  She premixes the blends and sells them.  Her site has fabulous recipes.  You may recall I used her mix for my pie shell at Thanksgiving time.

What are your favorite blends?  What is a trick or tip that you could share?


  1. Thanks for the mixes! I tend to keep mine in individual bags, and mix together whatever I need.

    I still haven't figured out a good cookie recipe. :(

  2. I have a sugar cookie recipe posted on here. And will be posing a chocolate chip one soon. I find it is easier (for me) to have them premixed. :)

  3. LOL, posing=posting!!!

  4. Can't wait to see it! I found a thin mint one that came out pretty good.