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All about: Gluten-free cooking

All about: Gluten-free cooking

Friday, 15th May 2015

We love gluten-free flours because they bring a whole new array of tastes, textures and nutrients to old recipes.
Gram flour - Also known as besan or chickpea flour, gram flour is made from chickpeas. This nutty-tasting flour is a nutrient powerhouse boasting impressive levels of proteinmanganesemagnesiumfolatecopper and fibre.
  • Gram flour may be good for female fertility, first trimester pregnancy, blood sugar imbalances, fatigue, cardiovascular concerns, chronic stress and constipation.
  • We like using gram flour in socca wraps and crepes. Throw in some spinach, hummus and crunchy carrots for a perfectly light and tasty vegan lunch. Making a socca base is as easy as combining one part flour to two parts water.
Teff flour – Teff is a tiny grain originating from Ethiopia. It has a light, slightly sweet and malty flavour and contains a good level of resistant starch, a type of fibre that passes through the gut undigested, keeping us fuller for longer and stabilising blood sugar levels. Resistant starch is also a prebiotic, so it provides fuel for beneficial bacteria in the gut, helping to establish a healthy gut flora, needed for a healthy gut and immune system.
  • Teff flour may be good for digestive support, weight management, fatigue, blood sugar imbalances and immune support.
  • We like using teff flour in pancakes as it gives them a lovely texture and taste – try topping with some chia berry jam.
Oat flour – Oats have many health benefits but they are most famed for their cholesterol-lowering beta-glucans. Oat beta-glucans are a type of soluble fibre and there is significant scientific research supporting their daily consumption for reducing total cholesterol and the ‘bad’ LDL cholesterol. Oats are also an excellent source of manganese, needed for strong bones and collagen production, for beautiful skin.
  • Oat flour may be beneficial for lowering cholesterol, fatigue, bone health and beautiful skin.
  • We like using oat flour when baking muffins, cookies and cakes. It also works well in gluten-free flat breads and pancakes.
Buckwheat flour – Buckwheat is a little surprising in that it is not a grain but a fruit seed and is completely unrelated to wheat. However, we treat it like a grain and it makes a good store-cupboard staple. Along with its high fibre content, buckwheat is a good source of magnesium, which our body needs for normal muscle function, to convert food into energy and to manage stress.
  • Buckwheat flour may be beneficial for managing stress, fatigue and PMS.
  • We like combining buckwheat flour with other flours and using it in baking. Buckwheat galettes are also delicious – savoury crepes from Brittany in France made from just four ingredients – buckwheat flour, egg, water and a little sea salt. Top with mushrooms, cheese or egg, or all three!
Brown rice flour – brown rice flour is easy to digest and highly nutritious, containing protein, iron, magnesium and fibre amongst others. For a grain it contains a good level of selenium, which the body needs to quench free radical damage, support detoxification, recycle vitamin C so the body can use it again, and maintain normal thyroid function.
  • Brown rice flour may be beneficial for blood sugar management, thyroid support, healthy skin, immune support and fatigue.
  • We like using brown rice flour in pastry crusts for both savoury and sweet pies, because its fine texture makes a perfect non-grainy crust. Dorothy likes using it in her lemon tarte and her gluten-free chicken pot pie crust.
One last word on gluten-free cooking and baking – since gluten binds, you may find you need to add a binding agent to your recipe, such as xantham gum, flaxseed or egg white.
Here is one of our favourites and a delicious gluten-free French Lemon Tarte recipe that you have to try. Enjoy!

Dorothy & Stephanie
Fig & Bloom
Bespoke Nutrition in the Kitchen

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