Gluten-Free Cooking Tips

By Suzanne Anthony

1. In baking, the magic ingredient is LOVE. The secret ingredient is CONFIDENCE. You can be a better GF baker.

2. Practice, practice practice. Build a base of knowledge and grow from there. You can easily gain knowledge by reading, watching and listening. In time you will develop instincts. Listen to them too.

3. Read the recipe over thoroughly. I suggest following it exactly as written (and in order) the first time you make it. Be prepared to make that thing at least 3 times. (Not necessarily in the same day).

4. As you go along experimenting, date the recipes you have worked on converting and write notes to yourself. You may want to go back to it again and this will make things more clear in your mind.

5. It is said that gluten-free baked goods are typically best eaten the day they are made. I have found most can be left loosely covered at room temperature for a few days. Refrigeration can often cause the item to become hard and shrink. Some items will do better refrigerated. Experiment to decide what works best for each item. Often times, the recipe will tell you what to do.

6. Some things that could go wrong and some possible fixes 
Kind of hard & getting harder – bake for less time, or could be too much xanthan gum. Also take your oven’s temperature. 
Tasted kind of blah – use a variety – a medley of flours – to round out the flavor. GF baking usually requires more spices, salt, and vanilla extract than traditional baking because they are very bland tasting as compared to wheat flour to begin with. Start at double the amount and go from there. Since GF flours are so bland, you will know when enough extra spicing is enough.
It got too brown – Check your oven’s temperature. Or ease off on the baking soda. Did the recipe say 1T or 1t? There’s a big difference.
The texture is weird and all wrong. No it’s not, now stop imagining things. Let’s get used to something new.

7. Common-sense rules the world of GF baking too. An all-purpose mix made with bean flours may taste alright for some things but if you are making cupcakes, you may want to rethink your plan. Stir slowly. They say you cannot over mix GF batters. I disagree. Also do not attempt to bake when the school bus is coming. You should be relaxed and able to focus.  Follow the recipe in the exact order as written. On a second attempt, it is best to change just one thing at a time that you didn’t like about the baked good. You can learn a lot this way. 

8. You will need to use xanthan gum to hold your baked good together. It stands in for the now missing gluten. There is a chart on the back of Bob’s Red Mill brand. Follow the chart. As you proceed, try to use as little as possible.

9. Create your own GF bake mix by using 2 parts flour to 1 part starch. For starch you can use Arrowroot, Tapioca, Potato.

10. When measuring out flours or your baking mix remember “SSS” Sift, Scoop, Sweep. Brown Rice, Millet and Sorghum flours are good ones to start out with.

11. Baking Powder will make things puff or RISE. Baking Soda will make things SPREAD.  If there is an acid such as orange juice, vinegar, molasses, or chocolate in the batter then baking soda can also make things rise.  Baking soda is four times stronger than baking powder. Wow!

12. Always use quality ingredients. Are your flours within date? Is your baking powder and baking soda still good? Things can go bad. Seal tightly and store GF flours in the refrigerator or freezer to keep them fresh.

13. Sometimes it’s the fault of the recipe. There are no recipe police out there. I have come across many that are truly not right.

14. Above all do not get discouraged. Baking is fun and is a great way to show love. And it helps keep our brains young by using all those basic math skills.

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Carrots Gone Tropical

By Shannon Morehouse, MA, CHHC
Natur-Tyme Marketing Coordinator

carrptsgonetropical_2I started gardening just two years ago and fell in love with fresh-picked organic carrots. Because my harvest of carrots this fall was so humungous (hundreds of carrots), I had to become inventive! I developed this recipe, which has been given two thumbs up by my three-year old. It would make a lovely holiday meal side dish! I hope you enjoy it as much as I do!


  • 8 medium carrots, sliced
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 can (8 ounces) crushed pineapple, undrained
  • 1/2 cup chopped, peeled Fuji, Braeburn, or Cortland apple
  • 1/2 cup dried cranberries
  • 1/3 cup honey
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon coconut oil, melted
  • 1 tablespoon gluten-free flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup chopped walnuts, toasted


  1. Place carrots and water in a large saucepan. Bring to a boil;
    reduce heat. Cover and simmer 5 minutes.
  2. Add pineapple, apple, cranberries, honey, lemon juice, and salt.
  3. Cook 3-4 minutes or until carrots are crisp-tender, stirring occasionally.
  4. Combine coconut oil, flour, and cinnamon; stir into pan.
  5. Bring to a boil; cook and stir 2 minutes or until sauce is thickened.
  6. Sprinkle with walnuts before serving.


Be-witching Maca Chocolate Fondue with Apple Bats

0785 Vega Halloween Recipe Book.inddSubmitted by Vega

1 un-poisoned, washed, unpeeled apple
Lemon juice
Souls of 10 Maca Chocolate bars, dispatched into tiny bits
1 pumpkin, gruesomely gutted (for serving)

1 Take 1 washed, unpeeled apple and cut it into thin, flat slices leaving the core intact. (Slices should be about a 1⁄4“ thick).

2 Take one of the hexed slices and cut it in half (removing the
core bits) and start shaping your apples into bats (or ghosts, or tombstones, or spiders, as strikes your fancy) with a knife. If you have a small sharp metal cookie cutter in your shape of choice, better yet.

3 Pour a small amount of lemon juice onto the hexed apple shapes to keep them from turning brown.

4 Melt 10 Maca Chocolate bars in either a double boiler or in the microwave.

5 Hollow out pumpkin and place fondue bowl base and fondue bowl inside the pumpkin bowl. Carefully spoon the chocolate into the fondue bowl and enjoy quickly before the
chocolate thickens or the zombies get you.

Hauntingly Delicious Spellcakes

0785 Vega Halloween Recipe Book.indd

Submitted by Vega



1 c of enchanted almond milk
1 tsp evil apple cider vinegar
3/4 c granulated sugar
1/3 c of light olive or melted coconut oil
2 tsp vampire vanilla extract
1/2 c gluten-free flour (such as Bob’s Red Mill All Purpose Baking Flour)
1 scoop or single-serving pack of Vega Sport Performance Protein (37g)
1/3 c cackling cocoa powder
3/4 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp magic baking powder 1/4 tsp salt

1 Preheat oven to 350°F. Line a muffin pan with paper liners.

2 Whisk together the almond milk and vinegar in a large bowl, and set aside for a few minutes to cackle and curdle.

3 Add the sugar, oil, and vanilla extract to the almond milk mixture
and beat until foamy. In a separate bowl, sift together the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. Add in two batches to wet ingredients and bludgeon them until no large lumps remain (a few tiny lumps are okay). Pour into liners, filling 3/4 of the way.

4 Bake for 20 minutes, until a pitch fork inserted into the center comes out clean. Transfer to a cooling rack and let cool completely.

5 Top with any vegan butter cream icing and die a hundred times from wicked deliciousness!

Vegetarian Thanksgiving Idea: Crust-less Zucchini Quiche

By Laurel Sterling, MA, RD, CDN


My sister and mother usually make a crust-less quiche for me for Thanksgiving because I don’t eat turkey. I love several varieties of quiche. I don’t think there is any vegetable quiche I don’t like! You can use spinach instead of zucchini. Some recipes add garlic along with other seasonings like oregano or nutmeg. It is so simple to make and so delicious as a holiday dish!


3 cups zucchini, grated

1/2 cup gluten-free bread crumbs (Rudi’s)

3/4 cup mozzarella cheese, part skim, grated

2 eggs

4 egg whites

1 tsp minced onions

Salt and pepper


Mix all but the cheese. Put into greased pie pan and bake 30 minutes at 350 degrees F. Top with cheese and bake 30 minutes more.

Makes 6 servings

Gluten-Free, Vegan Apple Crisp Recipe

By Laurel Sterling, MA, RD176822647

I am a big fan of just about any type of cooked apple dessert. This is a great recipe to add to a weeknight meal because of the ease of prep time involved. You also do not need to have much experience in the kitchen to make this. So go ahead and enjoy! My favorite variety of apple to use here is Granny Smith though the Ginger Gold variety works great too!

3 to 4 baking apples, peeled, cored, and sliced thin (⅛-inch thick)
2 to 4 tablespoons honey, maple syrup, or agave nectar
1 tablespoon arrowroot powder
1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
2 teaspoons cinnamon

1 ½ cups rolled gluten-free oats
½ cup sweet rice flour
½ to ¾ cup coconut sugar*
1 teaspoon cinnamon
¼ teaspoon sea salt
½ cup melted virgin coconut oil (or butter)*
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Place all ingredients for the filling into a 7 x 11-inch baking pan. Gently stir together with a large spoon. A good gauge for sufficient fruit is to fill your pan almost to the top with sliced fruit. It will cook down quite a bit. See the photo below.

In a small mixing bowl stir together the oats, rice flour, sugar, cinnamon, and sea salt. Add oil and vanilla and stir together with a fork. Using your hands, crumble the topping evenly over the filling.

Bake for about 40 minutes or until the juices are bubbling up and the topping is lightly browned.

*Notes: Use organic brown sugar, Sucanat, or maple sugar in the topping instead of coconut sugar if desired. Sometimes I add 1 to 2 tablespoonsmore oil to the topping if the mixture seems to need it.

Lemon Juice can be omitted if you are sensitive to citrus.

Italian Plum Variation: Use 4 to 5 cups pitted, halved plums in place of the apples or a combination of the two. Toss with 3 to 4 tablespoons arrowroot; increase liquid sweetener to 4 tablespoons; omit lemon juice.


Quick Reference Guide for Gluten-Free Diets

By: Carol B. Blair, BB, CNC, DiHom

Gluten_FreeAvoidance of gluten, which is found in many grains, (especially wheat, rye, barley, spelt, kamut, and triticale) is essential if one is gluten-intolerant.

Rice, corn, soy, potato, tapioca, and arrowroot are considered acceptable alternatives. Although corn is a high-allergy grain, it is not thought to cause damage to the villi in celiac individuals.

Buckwheat (kasha), amaranth, and quinoa are seeds and are also generally regarded as satisfactory gluten-free foods for baking.

Legumes (beans, lentils, and peas) are also gluten-free and are used as flours.

Tapioca, soy, sorghum, ragi, millet, teff, and wild rice are other items that may be eaten or milled into flour for the gluten-free diet. Gluten-free oats now available.

The average diet contains 10-40 grams of gluten per day.  An average slice of whole wheat bread contains about 4.8 grams (10% gluten by weight), a serving of pasta is about 6.4 grams (11% by weight). 0.1 grams of gluten can cause damage to a person with celiac disease!  This is 1/48th of a slice of bread! One study of 10 children for 28 days revealed,
through biopsies, an increase in intra-epithelial lymphocyte count, one of the earliest signs of
damage. Four patients showed increased IgA anti-gliadin antibodies. Intestinal permeability,
however, remained the same in this study (Catassi et al).

Be aware that some drugs such as statins contain gluten! Celiac intolerance is often accompanied by a dairy allergy! A gluten-free diet is often considered helpful for individuals with autism spectrum disorders.

Ideas to Incorporate in a Gluten-Free Diet:

  • Fearn’s brown rice baking mix – apple/cinnamon pancakes
  • Nut-thin crackers*
  • Rice pasta
  • Quinoa and corn pasta
  • Le garden gluten-free bread
  • Rice, corn, soy, tapioca, arrowroot, quinoa, buckwheat, amaranth, GF oats
  • Potatoes (especially red skin)
  • Sweet potatoes
  • Winter squash
  • All vegetables and all fruits
  • Protein foods: chicken, turkey, fish, meat, eggs, nuts and seeds, beans, lentils, and peas

* Please note that this product is not casein-free; therefore, it is not recommended for individuals with autism.


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