There seems to be another food trend catching on these days – and that is the one of flourless baking. The thing is, that this is not so new! My native ancestors had diets of mainly meat, berries, corn, squash, and wild herbs. It is only a fairly recent introduction to flour products that have brought foods such as bannock to the forefront.
Plenty of people have opted to go flourless for primary and specific health reasons. Some do so because the gluten in flour may aggravate other medical conditions such as irritable bowel syndrome, rheumatoid arthritis or asthma.
Yet others are simply tuned deeply into the functioning of their own body, and they can say without a doubt that avoiding flour makes them feel better. In many instances, flourless food may fall under the umbrella of a “Paleo Diet”.
Celiac disease is one of the main reasons for going flourless, as it is one of the main attributing factors to autoimmune diseases. In the last half century alone, would you believe that one in 133 people have been diagnosed with this intensely difficult disease? This statistic alone has heralded good reason for many people to adopt a diet of foods without flour.
The outright elimination of flour from your diet can improve your health. Going with an all-natural diet like the Paleo Diet, can help free the body from chronic diseases such as the following:
- Obesity and Cardiovascular disease (heart disease, stroke, high blood pressure, congestive heart failure, atherosclerosis)
- Type 2 diabetes and Osteoporosis
- Cancer of many types
- Autoimmune diseases (multiple sclerosis, rheumatoid arthritis, Crohn’s disease, ulcerative colitis, etc.)
- Acne and Gout
- Myopia (nearsightedness), macular degeneration, glaucoma
- Varicose veins and Hemorrhoids
- Diverticulosis and Gastric Reflux
There are so many reasons to go flourless, that it could be worth it even just to try it out for awhile and see for yourself the difference in your health. It could be an allergy to wheat or gluten. You may want a more natural diet that reduces many diseases and health problems. Maybe you just want to reduce the amount of carbs you take in every day. Going flourless may be very beneficial and just what the doctor ordered!
Some Helpful Tips for Flourless Baking
Flourless baking can be a real trial-and-error process. Flour, when used in baking, adds body, structure, texture and flavor to baked goods. It often acts as a binder, attaching ingredients together. When you remove the flour, you have to provide a substitute in its place that will perform the same function so that your recipes won’t suffer.
Here are some tips to help achieve better baking results when going flourless:
- To increase the nutrition value, substitute up to 1/4 cup ground flaxseeds plus 1/4 cup water for 1/4 cup flour in a recipe (flax will absorb more moisture).
- To add more moisture to your recipe, add gelatin, extra egg or oil. Honey or rice malt syrup helps retain moisture.
- Substitute brown sugar for white for more moisture.
- To enhance the flavor of flourless foods, add chocolate chips, dried fruits or nuts and double the amount of spices called for.
- For better structure, add dry milk solids or cottage cheese to the recipe. Replace evaporated milk for regular milk.
- Add extra egg or egg whites if your recipe is too crumbly.
- Don’t overbeat since the kneading time is shorter with no gluten to develop.
- You can use ground oats in place of flour, but you need ingredients like banana or eggs to bind the ingredients together.
- Eggs can replace many functions of gluten such as binding enhancing texture setting the structure of the recipe. Two other starch-based products you can use to bind and thicken are guar gum and xanthan gum. They are interchangeable and used in small amounts.
The magic key to your adventures in flourless baking is to test things out, try new things, and experiment. You may have to try different ingredients or amounts to get the flavor and texture you want. (Take a peek at Fabulous & Flourless: 150 Wheatless and Dairy-Free Desserts and Against All Grain: Delectable Paleo Recipes) Try not to let any ‘failed’ attempts deter you, as with anything, once you gain a deeper understanding of it and how it all works you will be adept at it in no time!