About a year and a half ago, I needed to make a snack for one of my kids’ functions and it needed to be gluten free, dairy free and nut free. The nut free part threw me because my base for paleo baking is almond flour. I have found through lots and lots and lots of recipe testing that a mix of almond flour and arrowroot yields the best results both in taste and texture.
Whenever possible, I use my paleo recipes for treats, but it is becoming more and more common that I need to provide something that is nut free as well.
We have nut allergies in this house too, though thankfully, almonds are not a problem, so I totally get it. These kids with allergies want to eat a special treat too and not feel singled out.
My problem was that I hadn’t found any gluten free substitutes that I thought were really good.
I knew that if I was going to do better than what is commercially available, the starting point needed to be a gluten free flour blend that would work in lots of applications and didn’t include any gums or other additives that are disruptive to the gut. It was also important to me that I keep the sugar as low as possible. If you’ve looked at gluten free baking mixes, you’ve certainly noticed that almost always, the first ingredient is sugar. And they always contain gums and other additives.
I know you don’t need me to tell you what’s wrong with all that sugar, but some of you may be wondering what’s wrong with xanthan gum, guar gum, carrageenan, cellulose gum and lecithin, just to name a few. At least one of these additives is found in every mainstream gluten free product I’ve ever seen.
This is what’s wrong with them:
- They promote intestinal permeability (aka leaky gut), which can lead to autoimmune disease or worsening symptoms of existing autoimmune disease.
- They can cause overgrowth of less than desirable gut bacteria such as e.coli.
- They promote inflammation.
I am not a doctor, but I do have an autoimmune disease of the gut which I have every intention of keeping in remission if at all possible, so anything that is known to cause inflammation and/or leaky gut does not have a place in my diet.
When we travel, I know that it will be hard to eat paleo and I will most likely have to settle for gluten free. If I choose to eat any gluten free treats, which I usually do on vacation, I am eating these additives. So I don’t want to eat them at home. Period. Which means I cook from scratch.
Thankfully, the hardest part about making your own gluten free flour is gathering the ingredients. And of course, formulating the recipe, but I’ve done that part for you.
There is a relatively new kid on the block, Thrive Market, who makes this sourcing process painless and they happen to have the best prices by far. If you haven’t tried Thrive, consider giving them a try. *If you click on this link, it will take you to the sign up page for a free 30 day trial. Using this referral link from me almost always offers some sort of special deal. As of the writing of this post, it’s 15% off your order.
One word of warning: In my opinion, gluten free baking is no where near as delicious as paleo baking. You are using rice and potato flours instead of almond flour. Obviously, there will be a difference in flavor and texture. But if you follow some good gluten free recipes, which I will provide for you, then you will still end up with a delicious product that will save you tons of money and gut dysbiosis. And really, who wants gut dysbiosis?
I encourage you to make this flour blend, but scour the internet for other gluten free recipes. As I said above, paleo is really best, but sometimes it just won’t work for your particular circumstances. I have found that most gluten free baked good recipes will work just fine with this flour blend, even though it doesn’t contain gums and carrageenan. Of course, I can’t guarantee that they will all work flawlessly, but I bet you’ll have pretty good success. In the mean time, I’m continuing to develop more gluten free recipes for you using this blend.
Be on the lookout for recipes for all the goodies pictured in this post – and a whole lot more!
* If you like Thrive and sign up for a membership, I will receive a small commission which helps support the blog at no additional cost to you.