Commercial gluten-free all-purpose flours have come a long way in recent years. They’ve gotten good at substituting a cup for a cup of all-purpose wheat flour. To clarify, when I say commercial, I mean the things you would be likely to find most places you shop. For example, I mean house-hold brands like Betty Crocker, King Arther, Arrowhead Mills, Bob’s Red Mill, Pillsbury, General Mills, Krusteez etc. They’ve all smartly gotten into the Gluten-Free arena.
That is except Kellogs’ which has to have Dr. John Harvey Kellogg rolling over in his grave as an MD & Nutritionist. And to think… He was an absolute pioneer in gut health! I mean shouldn’t corn flakes be gluten-free since they are made of corn?! Likewise, Rice Crispies should & could be GF because it is made from rice! But I digress…
However, despite all the major advancements in gluten-free flours, our family can’t benefit. Why is that? – You may wonder… The short answer is due to our food allergies, sensitivities & intolerances. Which… By the way, is so very common – We’ve all got them whether we know it or not. Also, whether we know which foods we are reactive to. But, most people are painfully aware of which foods “Don’t Agree with Them”. Digestive Enzymes can help this a great deal. However, they aren’t always enough to reverse or prevent them. Furthermore, the food intolerance phenom is why almost all weight-loss programs fail at some point! Diet is NEVER one size fits all.
Before I get into my recipe for this absolute kick-butt all-purpose gluten-free flour mix. That is to say, the one that muscle tests as virtuous or nourishing to my entire family. Let me fill you in on how this amazing recipe or GF flour blend came in to being…
The Quest For Virtuous Gluten-Free Eating
It all started when we switched to a Ketogenic diet. There were several things I absolutely loved about our year of eating a Keto diet. To clarify, this is extremely low carb with a high healthy fat way of eating. Since all grains are “illegal” on a ketogenic diet it is ALL Gluten-Free. First of all, Keto is DELICIOUS! Certainly, some of the tastiest recipes & cooking I have ever done. Secondly, I loved that I could rank how ketogenic it was based on how many carbs & fiber. Thirdly, I got really good at getting creative with working with strange “alternatives”.
As a result, we started looking at foods in a different way. Therefore, I began to “grade foods”. Ultimately, this led me to muscle testing in a totally new way! Looking back this seems so obvious to me now. I mean why wasn’t I using muscle testing in this way all along?! It really is the most awesome tool for discovering how we should eat! Why is it that we always seem to miss the most glaringly obvious things? Certainly, the old saying… “Can’t see the forest through the trees” comes to mind…
The Healthiest Gluten-Free Flours For Us
To help illustrate what the heck I’m talking about… Here is our family’s virtuous eating matrix for grains, flours, starches & substitutes.
To clarify, almost all commercial all-purpose gluten-free flour blends have poor quality rice flours & potato starch. In the grid above, these are the results of the highest quality (“Most Virtuous”) brands I could find with muscle testing. However, you know the bulk-grade commercial stuff would probably be total crap! Furthermore, many of these mixes have sorghum. Similarly, when un-sprouted, it too is negative for my entire family!
Darren, my celiac hubby is even more reactive to potato starch than to wheat (gluten)! He has been gluten-free for about 7 or 8 years now. However, his gut still hasn’t healed. First & most importantly, during this time his liver has weakened. Secondly, his gut has gotten heavier. Lastly, he has gained even more weight. I know this is frustrating for him if not a little heart-breaking – Even if his male machismo would totally deny it 😉
Gluten-Free Doesn’t Mean Good For You!
Anyway, we’ve tried almost all the gluten-free flours & baking mixes on the market at some time or another! I could name them all here. However, that might be a little pointless and a lot slanderous. Further, it could even steer you clear of one that may be virtuous for you or your family. For example, out of all the readily available, commercial gluten-free flour blends, Pillsbury’s muscle tested best for me. Most likely it is white rice & has pea protein. Also, it is important to note, this might have been the “lesser of evils”. To clarify, I was the only one that fully tests “in the clear” for this brand.
So around and around we would go… Turns out there was not a single GF flour or gluten-free “baking mix” Darren isn’t highly reactive to. In other words, what he is very weakened by. All this time… We just thought all we need to do is read labels. In other words, is it gluten-free or not?! We all seemed more concerned with the taste & texture of the finished product that WE MISSED THE ENTIRE POINT OF THE THING!!
As I’m sure you could imagine based on our testing grid, all the commercially produced “Gluten-Free” baked goods are horrible for us! Plus, regular brown rice flour is negative for Hannah & me. Above all, the whole point was to eliminate why his gut was DESTROYING ITSELF! Certainly, I am not going to do this by feeding him foods that are also negative for him. Furthermore, I can’t really call it a victory if I am healing Darren’s body but negatively impacting the rest of the family doing it! …URGH!
But Will My All-Purpose Gluten-Free Flour Blend Work?!?
It wasn’t enough to just discover which were our most virtuous gluten-free flours. Next, I had to do the research on which combination of flours that would produce the best results. In other words, those that, when combined, would be the most wheat-like. Further, that they taste like the real thing, act right, & rise right in my oven!
Most importantly, will my baked goods & cooking be delicious?!? Will they hold together or be crumbly to the point of inedibility. I mean if you can’t actually pick up a sandwich on GF bread without it falling to pieces what good is it? In other words, can you call it a “success” because it tastes good & has the right texture?! Above all will it be nutritious as well?
Tapioca / Cassava / Yucca Flour
Before you go thinking that my all-purpose gluten-free flour mix is just like all the others out there… This first ingredient is probably where any similarities will end! If you have any experience in gluten-free baking at all, Tapioca Flour / Starch is probably not a foreign ingredient to you. If you are from either South or Central Americas, yuca is probably a staple in your diet.
My absolute favorite use of this amazing flour is for Pao de queijo. This is a dinner roll that is served at every Brazillian restaurant I’ve ever been to. I’m not normally a gotta have bread at restaurants kinda gal. But I’m telling you… you better bring your stretchy pants – Because they ARE THAT GOOD! The first time I ever had Pao de queijo we assumed Darren couldn’t eat them. I mean they are dinner rolls right?! I knew immediately after tasting them these aren’t your typical wheat rolls. They are light but chewy which was such a strange texture for any wheat bread I’ve ever had. So I asked what they are made of. I was told they are made with yuca flour & 100% Gluten-Free – Yay for Darren!! But also for me, I don’t have to feel bad scarfing down another & another in front of him.
Tapioca starch or flour is probably in the vast majority of gluten-free baked goods. If you are wondering why that is – It is because of the chew or texture that tapioca has mimics wheat. Its stickiness is probably the closest to the gluten matrix. Nutritionally, this food is very low in Saturated Fat, Cholesterol and Sodium. Plus, it is also a good source of Manganese, and a very good source of Vitamin C. Also, it has a fair amount of Potassium, Magnesium, Copper & Folate.
Oats – Our Most Virtuous Gluten Free Flour
Since (GF) oats are the only grain that is virtuous for my whole family, I knew I wanted my blend to incorporate oat flour. When I discovered that, I developed the Delicious Oat Chocolate Breakfast Cookies. For our flour blend, this was awesome news! Why? Because Oat Flour is probably one of the closes substitutes for wheat. The only thing is that it brings a little more moisture & chew to the party… in your mouth! Again, excellent news for GF baking! Therefore, it helps prevent that GF crumbly falls apart thing.
Oats are pretty high in protein. However, they are low in calories. But most importantly, they are loaded with soluble fiber. Not only does this improve digestion it helps to reduce cholesterol. It literally soaks up excess mucous, water, fats & cholesterol! Also, its high fiber content feeds beneficial bacteria. Therefore, it combats that belly bloat & is slimming for the tummy. All these things combine make oats a weight loss and detoxing “superfood”. Since oats are high in complex carbs they take time to digest, break down & liberate their sugar. This provides an excellent sustainable energy source long-term. As a result, it balances & stabilizes blood sugar.
Millet – Another Virtuous Gluten-Free Cereal Grain!
In my awesome cup for cup all-purpose gluten-free flour alternative, I decided to roll with Millet. After asking google & confirming with muscle testing that I could substitute Millet for wheat. According to research, I concluded it is “almost interchangeable”. Further, it also came up when looking up an “alternative” for rice flour.
The taste or flavor profile was described as mildly nutty. The taste & slight grit to Millet is very similar to me to brown rice. My taste buds & mouth like brown rice but the rest of my body does NOT! The mildly nutty sounded pretty delicious and might give the bland… meh flavor of the oat a little something extra! Since Millet was high on the family’s virtuous matrix. Winner, Winner Chicken Dinner let’s go with that! In its whole grain form, it is also a close substitute for couscous. Which Darren has admitted he misses so I’m excited to give that a go soon too!
Millet is described as a hypoallergic or relatively low reactive cereal grass-seed grain. Could this be why it tests so high on our virtuous matrix? Millet too is high in protein & fiber. As well as high in B vitamins, very high in manganese, as well as calcium, magnesium, iron, and zinc. It too is an excellent source of fiber mostly insoluble which pairs well with the soluble fiber from the oats. Some health benefits of Millet are it protects against heart disease, gallstones, diabetes, and cancer.
Amaranth a Gluten-Free Seed (Psuedo-Cereal Grain)
Amaranth is one of the oldest food staples in the world. It was primarily grown & used by ancient Aztecs. Upon further review of Amaranth, unlike other “grains”, it has a complete amino acid profile. Unlike most other grains it contains Lysine.
Amaranth has three times the average amount of calcium as other “grains”. Plus, it is very high in iron and also has magnesium, phosphorus, and potassium. Further, it is the only
“grain” that has Vitamin C. Furthermore, it has one of the highest plant-based proteins known and believed to rival animal sources. This makes it an excellent choice for anyone who needs a boost in protein. Like Quinoa, Amaranth is not an actual grain but is a seed. It can be cooked like rice & kept whole. However, it can also be popped like popcorn. I can’t wait to try this too.
Made With This All-Purpose Gluten-Free Flour Mix
The Results Are In… Total GF Swap for Wheat Flour
So far I have made Southern Style Buttermilk Biscuits with this All-Purpose Gluten-Free Flour Mix Recipe. They are flakey, delicate, chewy with zero crumbly mess. Soon I’ll post that recipe. However, it wasn’t a recipe I knew its wheat version.
So, I decided that I needed to compare a recipe that we are all VERY familiar with. Therefore, we made standard Toll-house chocolate chip cookies with my flour. Those were the BEST chocolate chip cookies I’ve eaten in my entire life! I mean I’m not kidding y’all! They were crispy on the outside & chewy on the inside. I’m telling you I think those would beat Bobby Flay!