Gluten-Free Dessert Ideas

By: Gretchen Scalpi

Sticking to a gluten-free diet is a challenge under the best of circumstances but when it comes to creating desserts things get even more difficult. So many delicious desserts like pies, cookies, cakes and pastries are made with flour containing gluten.
simple elegant cake
Creating delicious gluten-free desserts becomes easier when you keep the right ingredients on hand. Some common items to keep in your pantry include:

Almond meal flour
Arrowroot powder
Baking powder
Bittersweet chocolate
Canola oil
Cashew butter
Cocoa powder
Coconut flakes
Coconut milk
Cornstarch
Dried fruit
Espresso powder
Evaporated milk
Gluten-free flour mixes
Gluten-free spices
Granulated, powered and brown sugar
Lemon extract
Maple syrup
Nuts
Peanut butter
Rice
Seeds
Shortening
Sorghum flour
Tapico starch/flour
Vanilla extract

Be sure to check the ingredients on these products before you purchase them. You will want to avoid wheat, barley, brown rice syrup, caramel coloring, rye, brewer’s yeast, wheat starch, hydrolyzed wheat protein, malt, malt extract, malt syrup, dextrins and malt flavoring.

Remember that baking gluten-free is different than regular baking. If you don’t use a baking mix you will need to combine gluten-free flours to get the right results. You can use psyllium husks, ground chia seeds or flaxseed rather than xanthan gum if it gives you stomach distress. Baking at a lower temperature is recommended for some recipes to keep your dessert from getting too brown. If you screw up a recipe consider turning it into crumbs for toppings or to be added to other recipes.

Many gluten-free flours don’t contain preservatives so you may find that desserts made with them dry out quickly or become rancid. Store these items in a zip-top bag (with air removed), freezer wrap or in an air tight container in the refrigerator or freezer separated from other food. Mark all containers used for gluten-free food to keep them separate from other containers. Bring the stored food to room temperature before consuming.

Our favorite gluten-free dessert recipe courtesy of http://bakedbree.com.

Gluten Free Blueberry Crisp

Ingredients:

4 cups blueberries (any fruit will work)

Crisp:

1 cup gluten free old-fashioned, gluten free oats (we used Bob’s Red Mill GF oats)
1/2 cup chopped raw pecans
1/2 cup almond meal
1/4 cup olive oil
1/4 cup pure maple syrup
1/2 teaspoon salt

1. Wash and pick over the blueberries. Add to an 8×8 pan. Add oats, pecans, almond meal, olive oil, maple syrup, and salt to a small bowl. Mix to combine.
2. Spread the mixture over the blueberries.
3. Bake in a preheated 350 degree oven for 35 to 40 minutes, longer if the berries are frozen.

© 2015, Gretchen Scalpi. All rights reserved. You are free to reprint/republish this article as long as the article and byline are kept intact and all links are made live.

Gretchen Scalpi is a Registered Dietitian, Certified Diabetes Educator and Certified Wellcoach®. To learn more about living and cooking gluten free register for her free webinar “Five Things You Should Know Before You Go Gluten Free!” at http://www.gflifestylelearning.com/?p=366.

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Healthy Cake using Mixed Fruits, Vegetables and Nuts

cookie monster birthday cake 615

By: Nathan Willow

Among the many edible root crops, the most versatile by far is the carrot. Unbeknownst to many, it comes in a variety of colors such as purple, red, white and yellow. The most common, of course, is the orange variety. A lot of cake recipes include the carrot because it is incredibly easy and fun not just to cook and bake, but also to savor and digest. Not to mention the nutritional value of carrots, this carrot cake recipe is exceptional. The truly amazing thing, though, is that the beta carotene in carrot is further increased when cooked or baked rather than when eaten raw! Carrots are usually used in bread, juices, puddings, soup, jams; it is also a staple ingredient to stir fried vegetables, most stews and a wide array of food, including the following healthy carrot cake recipe. Treat yourself to this veritable treasure trove of health.

Ingredients:

– Whole wheat flour – 3/4 cup
– Cake flour – 3/4 cup
– Packed brown sugar – 1/2 cup
– Cinnamon powder – 1 tablespoon
– Baking powder – 1 teaspoon
– Baking soda – 1 teaspoon
– Salt – 1/2 teaspoon
– Molasses – 1 1/2 tablespoons (optional)
– Canola oil – 1/4 cup
– Eggs – 2
– Medium-sized orange, juiced – 1 piece
– Orange zest – 1 tablespoon
– Lemon zest – 1 teaspoon
– Raisins – 1/2 cup
– Dried figs, chopped – 5 pieces
– Sesame seeds – 2 tablespoons
– Grated carrots – 2 cups
– Chopped cashew nuts – 1/4 cup

Directions:

– Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F or 175 degrees C.
– Grease spray a 9-inch Bundt pan.
– In a large mixing bowl, sift together the whole wheat flour, cake flour, brown sugar, cinnamon, baking powder, baking soda and salt.
– Dig a hole in the center of the dry ingredients and pour in the molasses (if you will), canola oil, eggs and orange juice.
– Mix until the dry ingredients are thoroughly blended then stir in the orange zest, lemon zest, raisins, dried figs, sesame seeds, carrots and cashew nuts until all are incorporated.
– Pour into the greased baking pan.
– Bake for approximately 1 hour or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean. Another indication that the cake is done if the cake springs back once it is lightly touched.
– Remove from the oven and allow to cool for a few minutes.
– Remove from the baking pan using a spatula to ease around the edges of the cake.
– Gently transfer to a wire rack to cool completely before slicing.

 

Anukriti Parsai uses traditional recipes handed down from generation to generation.
Anukriti’s Healthy carrot cake recipe is deliciously indulgent and is definitely not for weight watchers!
Anukriti is a contributing member of the Cake Recipe Secrets team.

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Shopping Gluten-Free

By: Gretchen Scalpi

According to Gluten-Free Foods in the U.S., 5th Edition by Packaged Facts “Over the five-year period ended in 2014, sales of gluten-free products in traditionally grain-based categories posted a compound annual growth rate of 34%.”

There are more gluten-free products in the grocery store than ever but many of those are packaged foods that may not include healthy ingredients. Other options are gluten-free grains, fruits and vegetables. It’s all so confusing so how do you choose? Follow the tips below and you’ll be well on your way to purchasing and eating a healthier gluten-free diet.

*Start by going through your kitchen and your refrigerator. Read labels and keep what you can and get rid of the rest.

*Carry a list of safe foods and foods to avoid every time you shop. Plan ahead and create a list of food you do want to purchase.

super hero birthday 5*Load up on fresh fruit and vegetables. Buy in season selections to save money and use them in recipes or eat them whole.

*Stay away from processed food and be prepared to do more cooking at home.

*Check the labels on everything before you purchase with the exception of fresh produce.

*Purchase gluten-free grains including quinoa, rice and rice flour, corn, buckwheat, millet and teff.

*Meat and seafood products without marinades are gluten-free such as beef, chicken, turkey, fish and shellfish.

*Dairy products including yogurt, cottage cheese, cream, milk and butter are a safe choice.

*Miscellaneous foods to round out your diet include honey, oils, hummus, seeds and seed butters and nuts and nut butters.

*Purchase drinks like bottled water, hot cocoa, coffee, tea, fruit juices and carbonated drinks after checking the labels to make sure they are gluten-free.

*Canned and plain frozen vegetables and fruit are a good choice. Check the labels on any items with sauces.

*Purchase separate containers of peanut butter, jams and jellies for yourself to avoid cross contamination.

*If you have a smart phone try looking for a phone app that can scan bar codes of packaged foods. This makes it easier to determine if the item you want to purchase is gluten free.

*Try shopping at ethnic markets and health food stores to give yourself some more options and to vary your diet.

*Purchase bulk items such as gluten-free flour, baking mixes and other staples online in order to save money.

To learn the intricacies of the gluten free diet, it’s a good idea to make an appointment with a Registered Dietitian who has experience working with this challenging diet.

© 2015 Gretchen Scalpi. All rights reserved. You are free to reprint/republish this article as long as the article and byline are kept intact and all links are made live.
Gretchen Scalpi is a Registered Dietitian, author and Certified Wellcoach® who has celiac disease and know the challenges of eating right with this condition. If you are new to the gluten-free lifestyle for medical or health reasons, you’ll want to attend Gretchen’s new free webinar “Five Things You Should Know Before Going Gluten-free” at http://www.gflifestylelearning.com/?p=401.

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Why do most gluten free pastries taste so bad?

Imagine tasting the best cookie you ever had and then realizing its gluten free. Wow, I had no idea that gluten free pastries could taste so much better after I made one change to the recipe. The Big secret is replacing tapioca flour with arrowroot flour. Tapioca flour leaves a bad after taste in your mouth, which in turn makes any pastry taste awful. The true benefit to using arrowroot flour is that I will take away the bad after taste and complete the products structure needed in the flour. Give it a try I promise you will not be disappointed. Just for reading this article I will include my personally created all purpose gluten free flour recipe for you to use. The Best Ever Gluten Free All Purpose Flour Recipe
minnie pink bow cupcakes
Many gluten free pastries recipes depend on the wheat flour to complete the recipe. At last I after 2 years of testing I have come up with the perfect flour recipe. Here is the recipe. Wait first lets go over a few things. A blend of Brown rice flour or white rice flour depending on what you are making which adds the best flavor combine with potato starch, arrowroot flour and xanthan gum or guar gum.

Gluten Free Flour Recipe

2 cups brown rice flour 2/3 cup potato starch 1/3 cup arrow root flour 1t xanthan gum or guar gum

That is it use this recipe in any recipe that calls for wheat flour and remember you can substitute cup for cup with this. The only thing I would not use this for is bread recipes. Gluten free bread recipes are more complex than regular bread recipes. Please visit my webpage for more information about gluten free bread. The benefit of using this recipe is it can be used in almost any pastry recipe. Plus arrowroot flour is easy to find and inexpensive to get. You may find it at almost any grocery store or online. This one minor change will make a major difference in your gluten free pastries. For More insider tips and tricks please visit my website at http://gluten-free-pastries.blogspot.com.

By: Richard Grubb

Richard Grubb and his years as a professional pastry chef specializing in gluten free pastries has developed a site just for you. Please subscribe to his feeds or follow his site at http://gluten-free-pastries.blogspot.com for more information, tips, and tricks.

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