GFCF baking & cooking tips

Barrie Silberberg


In 2010 there are more ready-made mixes and ready-made products than there ever were before. Many stores seem to be carrying decent amounts of GFCF foods to buy right off the shelf. Even GFCF storefront bakeries are popping up all over the place, helping those who are culinary challenged a way to provide special treats for their family.

For those who are unable to obtain ready-made products, here are some tips to help make your life easier.

Tip 1- Check with your library and borrow a few GF or GFCF cookbooks.Take them home and try out the recipes. Decide which books you cannot live without and then purchase those. Some cookbooks are complete, with a variety of recipes; others are specific, like only breads or desserts.You may need to purchase several of these.

Tip 2- For best results make your own flour mixes. NOTHING tastes good with just one type of flour. The chefs and cooks who write these cookbooks spend countless hours combining this and that for each their recipes. Keep pre-made mixes in the freezer, and label the container. When you prepare a dish or baked good, all you need do is grab the appropriate container and scoop out your pre-maid mix. Read through cookbooks for mixes you think you will use often and purchase the special flours. Helpful lists and mix formulas for GF flours are in my book, “The Autism & ADHD Diet”, printed with permission from Henry Holt and Company, LLC, from Bette Hagman’s cookbook.

Many people want to know what ingredients can be substituted for GFCF foods. Because most cookbooks are just for GF baking, rather than GFCF, it’s important to know how to substitute CF ingredients.

Tip 3 - Butter is often used in recipes and Earth Balance makes a variety of margarines. All but the red tub contain soy. You can also substitute shortening. Spectrum and 365 offer organic, GFCFSF types. Use the same amount as the recipe calls.Some people prefer to use oils while others use Ghee in their recipes. You’ll need to experiment to see what works best. Sometimes oil mixed with applesauce will not only bulk it up but it also lowers the fat content of your recipe.

Tip 4- If the recipe calls for milk, use one of the alternatives; hemp, rice, almond, other nuts, coconut, Dari Free, or soy. Some foods like pudding will not solidify as well as they do with cow’s milk; you will have to experiment with various forms to see what works best for you.

Tip 5- There is a wonderful GFCFSF alternative “cheese” product on the market called Daiya and comes in cheddar and an Italian blend.Purchase it at health food stores, Whole Foods Market, and even some typical grocery stores. Check their web site for locations near you, www.daiya. com. Their products melt and stretch and make a great cheese sauce or addition to any recipe that requires typical cheese.

Cooking and baking with GFCF ingredients can be a new experience for some, but don’t let it overwhelm you, even if you’re not used to cooking or baking from scratch. One of the best parts, besides enjoying your efforts, is that you’ll save a lot of money! Happy cooking, baking and eating!

Courtesy of Parenting Special Needs Magazine


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