Going Gluten-FreeJanuary 2, 2013

Springboard to Better Health

A reader recently wrote us: “I love this recipe. I replaced the rice flour with teff flour, substituted the xanthan gum with guar gum, reduced the fat with applesauce and threw in some raisins. It has become a family favorite. Thank you, Living Without!”

We say, “Thank you, Reader.” The Living Without team gets super-charged when readers use our recipes and articles as springboards to customized dishes (based on their own food sensitivities) and to improved health. We love it that we help build confidence in the kitchen and encourage the use of substitute ingredients. Every time we hear that a reader has tweaked one of our recipes to make it uniquely theirs, we feel like applauding.

Sure, it’s easy to become despondent faced with foods you love but must avoid. So finding a way to adapt a recipe or adjust a diet to suit yourself or a family member can give you a boost–both mentally and on a culinary level. And if you choose wholesome replacements, you increase much more than the flavor. You also increase the nutritional count of your foods, making every bite that much better for you.

This year, consider making a New Year’s resolution that will be fun to keep. Take a stab at preparing a new dish or baked good for yourself or your family using a nutrient-dense replacement ingredient that you haven’t tried before (or used that much). Try sorghum flour for some of that white rice flour in a baked good recipe. Try using coconut sap sugar instead of white table sugar. Try sprinkling some chia seeds (salba seeds) in your smoothie. 

The entire Living Without staff joins me in wishing you a happy, healthy and nutrient-dense New Year.

What healthy ingredient replacements do you love? Which would you like to try?

Comments (2)

I believe it is important to remember that we all need to eat fats - at least the good ones. I use olive oil allot; this is an individual choice with many good possibilities such as fish, raw nuts, seeds, avocados, green leafy vegetables, flax and cold pressed oils. Fats are very important for brain and joint health among many other benefits. I bought myself a breadmaking machine and plan to use nut flours, flax, and seeds to augment my nutrition, add fiber, and improve the taste of the bread.

Posted by: Unknown | January 3, 2013 8:37 PM    Report this comment

As a general rule, I don't like rice flour so I've been trying out all the new blends. Rice flour's okay as long as it's not the first ingredient in the blend. Although, lately, I've been experimenting with Mama's Almond Flour Blend that does have rice flour as a base. I used it in a buttermilk biscuit recipe that called for regular almond flour. There was none of the granually texture that I associate with rice flour. The biscuits came out crispy on the outside, flakey on the inside and so tastey. I'm not sure what the biscuits would have been like with just straight almond meal flour. Perhaps I'll try that next. I encourage everyone to just have fun with it, play around and see what fits you best.

BTW-- I don't call anything gluten-free around my family...they equate gf with dry, cardboard flavored health food bars. If they don't ask, I don't tell and if they ask, I say it has flour in it...just not what kind of flour. But, since I've stopped using blends (with the exception of the Almond Flour Blend, I mentioned) that are predominently rice flour, they don't ask. I made lots of gf stuff over the Holidays and no one ever noticed. But I did get lots of compliments on my cooking!

Posted by: Cathy V | January 3, 2013 2:26 PM    Report this comment

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