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Subtitutes For gluten-free Baking
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Hi all,

I am new to gluten-free baking. I would like to substitute low fat/cal for ingredients but it seems gluten-free baking is a delicate procedure. Has anyone successfully substituted Applesauce for oil? I am using Annalise Robert baking recipes with success but all her recipes are high in fat and calories and my celiac disease is in the 98th percentile. Therefore, treats here need to be kept to a minimum and more healthy than slabs of shortening with cups of oil.

ANY suggestions.

Maureen

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It really depends on the type of food. Can you give an example of a type of food you'd like to make lower in fat/calories?

I only use Stevia for a sweetener, and I think it works out quite well. Though a recipe which traditionally calls for lots of sugar or other bulky sweetener must be altered to account for the fact that Stevia adds no considerable bulk, as it only takes a tiny amount. I find that just 1/2 tsp can replace up to a cup of sugar. It depends on the recipe, and your preference.

Fats can also be replaced in some types of recipes. Again, it depends on the food, and your preferences.

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It really depends on the type of food. Can you give an example of a type of food you'd like to make lower in fat/calories?

I only use Stevia for a sweetener, and I think it works out quite well. Though a recipe which traditionally calls for lots of sugar or other bulky sweetener must be altered to account for the fact that Stevia adds no considerable bulk, as it only takes a tiny amount. I find that just 1/2 tsp can replace up to a cup of sugar. It depends on the recipe, and your preference.

Fats can also be replaced in some types of recipes. Again, it depends on the food, and your preferences.

I am more looking to replace :

oil in blueberry muffins

Shortening in Choc. chip cookies

I cut half the oil in pancakes with yogurt and it worked out ok. I will not use sugar substitute so I am ok there.

I often substituted Applesauce/yogurt for oil or whites for eggs in the past. Of course the texture changed but acceptably so. Also, I always cut out 1/8 of the sugar cause every recipe is overly sweetened.

I am not looking to cut out the fat that would be impossible. i just want to cut down somewhat.

Like 1/2 oil and half applesauce etc.. that kind of stuff..

I did ask the author of my book and got a vehement NO substitutes, if you want low fat, buy a low fat book.

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gluten-free is testy. Suggest: make the real thing and just enjoy small amounts of it. :) Because our food is so expensive, I find myself much more mindful of not just zoning out and noshing. I make regular cookies and cakes, and freeze any extras so I can reheat them later. Would that possibly help?

The reason I suggest: 1. real ingredients satisfy your cravings better and 2. because you are new to gluten-free baking, you are taking on a lot by trying to learn how to cook this way AND try to change the chemistry of the recipes.

Just a thought. I have done some substitutions that I simply liked when I cooked non-gluten-free, but they did not turn out near as well. So I've given up on them and enjoy the things I can make with all their indulgences. :)

Best of luck!

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I have never, and I mean never, had good results when adding fat to gluten-free muffins or cookies, or even cakes. I've never tried adding any fat to pancakes, and I get decent results there too. So I do think you just need different recipes.

Have you ever tried buckwheat flour for pancakes? It doesn't even need dairy, egg, or any binders. I just add water and baking powder, and I think they turn out pretty well. What you decide to top them with is another matter.

Of course, there is personal preference, so I cannot pretend to know how you'd like other recipes.

Just for those who aren't aware, Stevia is entirely natural, extracted from an herb native to Paraguay. It has zero carbs, zero fats, zero calories, and is zero on the glycemic index. But not all brands are the same, so do read labels carefully. I prefer the pure extract powder, which has no fillers or any other ingredients whatsoever. I'd never suggest any artificial sweetener, as they are all unsafe IMHO.

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Rice guy,

I agree it's a matter of taste. The recipes from the cookbook I have use oil and shortening and we think they do taste very good. My daughter (the celiac disease) doesn't like buckwheat so that's a no also.

I will keep trying different things! I am trying your bread (new heights post) recipe with a few changes based on what I have in the cabinet, I'll let you know how that goes. Thanks.

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There are a few different types of buckwheat flour available. The light ones don't have a strong taste, and I find that they don't really impart a distinctive flavor. They are generally the color of white rice flour or sorghum, so if your daughter is thinking of the darker type, she might be pleasantly surprised by how nice buckwheat pancakes are with the light flour. I recently discovered a type called French Acadian buckwheat flour. It is notably different from others I've had, and the pancakes I've made with it turn out well, IMO. A peculiar property of this flour is that it turns slightly yellowish when it gets wet.

I've also found that yellow pea flour and fava bean flour make good pancakes too, though both of those do have a stronger flavor. Ivory teff can also be used for pancakes. The flavor is generally described as being more nutty than things like sorghum or rice. It is one of my favorite flours to work with. Of course, nothing prevents these flours from being combined as well.

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I've got to disagree with Rice Guy on this one! I hate the taste of Bean flours and Sorghum just does not set well. Sorry, but I'm not a cow. Y'all do know that Sorghum is what they feed cattle.

Well, I didn't suggest that everyone should like bean flours. However, it seems many on this board have formed their opinion of bean flours after tasting Bob's Red Mill products. As I've stated a few times here and there, Bob's bean flours (and other types they sell) are stone ground, and I've found that they are very unsatisfactory. The stone grinding produces too much heat, breaking down some of the components in the beans. This leads to rancid flour, right out of the mill. I do not buy Bob's bean flours. They do taste bad, because essentially, they are.

But everyone is entitled to dislike any given food. It doesn't mean that the food is not good however.

As for sorghum, it's not just for animal feed, any more than millet is just for birds. Many farms use a number of grains in their cattle feed, and a considerable portion of it is wheat too!

Anyway, I never suggested sorghum for pancakes. I only referenced it for a color comparison. If it doesn't set well with you, then don't eat it. But it has been used for human food for thousands of years. A very important crop in Africa, just to name one continent.

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Yes, sorghum is a food crop in Sub-Saharan Africa and in India. However, that said, some people just can't tolerate it, especially if you are not descended from those peoples. Example in the US, the Native American population has a great number of health issues related to adapting a "Western" diet. In the Southwest, these populations relied on corn and mesquite seeds for flour. Hispanics have issues with obesity, diabetes, etc. This pretty much boils down to genetic programing. Sorghum bloats some people up and makes them not feel well. The product that "got" me wasn't a mix or my own baking because I don't buy mixes with sorghum in it, it was a box of cereal that used sorghum as a base. I used it for bird feed and even the birds and squirrels wouldn't eat it. It sat there for days! I knew someone that tried the sorghum beer, who was a non-celiac. The poor guy wound up bloating and getting all gassed up. Never again! This probably explains why people on this site are probably still having some stomach issues. People should eat a balanced diet with fruits, vegetables, meat, some grains, dairy, and a small amount of fat. If you need something to help, take a multi-vitamin and a probiotic. Healthy gut, healthy you.

FYI, cattle can not eat a great amount of wheat because it will bloat them and give them health issues.

The bean flours, I mentioned earlier, I used in a recipe for chocolate cupcakes. I don't eat chocolate, so I used Carob. You would think that something like Carob would overpower the taste of bean flours.

I am delighted for you that you can eat Sorghum. But, I will stick to my Rice flours and a multi-vitamin.

Well, I'm no farmer, but some searching turns up some facts about what types of things cows/cattle are given to eat. Some types of wheat aren't fed to cattle as much as others, from what I can tell. The price of grains also seems to impact what farmers choose. http://hayandforage.com/mag/farming_wheat_hay_solid/

A so-called modern western diet is largely wheat-based, not sorghum based, as far as grains go. And dairy seems to cause a lot more issues for people on this board than sorghum does. Dairy is also not necessary in human nutrition. Neither are grains, as a matter of fact.

As for the bean flours in cupcakes, sure, that'd work, depending on the type and ratio with other ingredients. I also use carob instead of chocolate, and I find the taste of the bean flours is not a problem in cakes, brownies, etc as long as the flours are of good quality. Again, bean flours do not taste bad if they aren't spoiled, but they do have a more prominent flavor than most grain flours. I also find that adding some ground ginger helps a lot with the "beanie" taste. Note that I'm referring to the flavor of good quality flour, not a spoiled flour. As I mentioned earlier, a lot of people seem to get poor quality bean flour, and form their opinion of bean flours based on that bad experience.

Anyway, the point I was making is that I've found buckwheat and bean flours to make the best pancakes, especially in terms of texture/consistency. They just turn out fluffier, and I don't add any dairy, egg, or oil to pancakes whatsoever. Also, adding fat to cakes has never worked for me. It seems to interfere with the binders, resulting in a dense texture. I suspect this is why eggs are so often added. Not just because they are in traditional baking, but because they will help hold things together better, which will be needed if there's the traditional amount of fat being added. In all my baking, I do not use any eggs, dairy, or sugar, and rarely use any fat. I find I can get very tasty results without those things. One major reason this can work for gluten-free baking is that without the gluten which makes things stick together a lot, you can get a lighter texture without having to compensate for all that gluten.

Where I do add fat is to toppings and such. Cake frostings, cream fillings, etc. That's where fat can work for you without messing things up. It also lets you control the amounts more easily.

I've served my baking to gluten-loving, fat-eating, sugar-craving folks, and I get very positive compliments. That's enough to tell me that these goodies can be made more healthily without taking away all the satisfaction. So yes, you can reduce fat and calories without sacrificing the enjoyment of eating those treats.

BTW, I never suggested sorghum for anything relating to the original questions being asked in this thread.

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