A Healthier Alternative

Wheat is a grain that our ancestors started growing about 7 000 years ago. It`s sounds like a long time ago, but it is in fact relatively recent considering that there has been people living on this planet for even longer.
As civilization grew, crops of complex carbohydrates were cultivated in order to stabilize food supplies. With the industrial and agricultural revolution that has taken place over the last 200 years, major changes has happened to our food. For instance, the wheat crop has up to 50% higher gluten content now than centuries ago. This is so that baking becomes easier. (Gluten is like glue, it helps bread and such stick together). Gluten is also the second most common food additive in packaged food.

Wheat as it is today, has made many people sick and can often cause food allergies and/or celiac disease, bloating, constipation/diarrhea, anemia, infertility, ADD/ADHD, depression, skin rash, muscle pain etc. Many of these symptoms has been shown to improve, when on a gluten free diet.

But come on, we all love pastries, bagels... bread and cinnamon rolls. Oh dear! We want them fresh, soft and delicious with the perfect texture.
So the question is: is there such a thing as healthy alternative to baked goodies? Can wheat be replaced by some foreign type of flour and give a good alternative of a pastry? Will it taste any good?

I dare say yes.

The best graham crackers I`ve ever had were GF. The most incredible tasting oat meal raisin cookie was GF (Tia`s Bakery GF, sold at Wholefoods). If Redding had a Cupcake store that sold GF cupcakes, I would eat them all day long.
Now, just because it`s GF, does not mean it`s necessarily healthy. But it does mean that you are avoiding bleached flour and mass produced pastries with weird fillers.

So whether you and I are GF or not, here are a few of my healthy baking tips:

  • Choose nutritious flours like millet, oat, quinoa, buckwheat, sorghum and brown rice
  • Starchy flours are tapioca, corn, potato and white rice
  • Nut flours are good additions - almond, hazelnut, coconut, peanuts etc
  • (Read up on these flours and how they behave in baking here)
  • Use a recipe and stick to it - measurements in GF baking is crucial
  • Awesome sweeteners are agave nectar, honey, organic cane/brown sugar, bananas and fruit juice
  • Play with flavors like nutmeg, cinnamon, vanilla, lemon, almond extract
  • Arrowroot, baking powder, guar gum and xanthan gum help lighten the texture
  • Allergic to eggs? For some recipes egg replacer works well
  • Pie crusts, Cheese cake crust and such can be made out of your favorite nut mix. Like macadamia nuts or walnuts.
  • Have fun with it! GF baking is very different from regular baking - the dough acts differently, taste a little different... But toss aside expectations and perfection and you`ll find yourself in the midst of delightful treats and some that should just be thrown away.


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While I make every effort to publish correct, researched information, this is for entertainment and should not be viewed as medical advice or treated as such. Please consult a doctor if you have any medical questions or concerns.
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