Thursday, April 5, 2012
Easy Equivalents for Dairy, Sugar and Gluten-Free Cooking: A to Z Blogging Challenge
Today I thought I would address a growing concern in our population: "What can I substitute for the foods I am allergic to in a recipe?"
My daughter and I have issues with the above foods, so we have searched for acceptable substitutions. Here are a few of our favorites:
Agave syrup, brown rice syrup, honey, stevia powder, 100% pure maple syrup, date sugar, and xylitol.
Hint: If you substitute a syrup for sugar, cut the other liquids in the recipe by about 25%
Flours such as soy, brown rice, quinoa, buckwheat, millet, almond, garbanzo, tapioca and potato starch can be used in place of wheat. Cornstarch, agar agar, xanthan gum and guar gum can be used to thicken gravy, as well as the flours mentioned.
Hint: For baking, a combinations of flours are suggested. Some flours contribute to the lightness, others help the ingredients to stick together. The two cookbooks below can suggest combinations. One exception is the use of almond flour...it can stand alone in a recipe.
Leaveners: Besides eggs, baking powder and yeast; baking soda and vinegar/lemon juice used together will act as a leavener, as will adding carbonated water for a liquid.
We love to cook with extra virgin organic coconut oil (Nutiva), instead of butter, which can be melted when oil is required in a recipe, or use in a solid form in place of lard or Crisco. Extra virgin organic olive oil is our second favorite, especially for sautéing.
In place of cow's milk, we make our own almond milk, which is very simple and yummy. Soak 2 cups of raw almonds in purified water overnight. In the morning, rinse the nuts, and add them to a blender with 4 cups of pure cold water/ice, a half teaspoon of salt, a teaspoon of vanilla extract, and honey, agave, or maple syrup for sweeter if desired. Blend for at least one minute on high, until almonds are ground well, pour into sieve or milk bag, and squeeze milk from solids. Store in glass bottle for up to 3 days. Enjoy!
Here is a Helpful Substitution Chart
Some caffeine-free substitutions:
Carob powder for cocoa powder
Pero (grain beverage) for coffee
Some helpful websites for those with allergies and intolerances:
Two books on the topic:
Gluten-Free Baking Classics
Gluten-Free Quick & Easy
What substitutions or resources have you found helpful for those with special dietary needs?