Welcome to my blog, through which I hope to be able to share my experiences of gluten free cooking, baking, experimenting and eating.
When my daughter was diagnosed (age 6) with Coeliac Disease, our world of eating changed overnight. From breads, pastry and pasta to cakes, biscuits and puddings.......... suddenly most of what we knew was 'off the menu'. I think I must have tested every available gluten free product on the market, seeking out replacements to try and keep things as normal as possible. I was disappointed to find that what was available was often dry, crumbly and flavourless.
Not one to shy away from a challenge, I decided to turn my kitchen into a laboratory, turn all I knew about cooking on its head and start creating!

Gluten Free Flours and Flour Blends


The world of gluten free flour can at times seem like a complex one. Before going gluten free, baking was pretty straight forward..... there was plain flour, self-raising flour and bread flour.... either brown or white. Okay, that may be a little simplistic, but wheat flour was a given in my kitchen and pretty much every recipe I came across relied on its qualities, not least the gluten that it contained. Once gluten is to be avoided, baking can suddenly become an alien world...... It seems there are dozens of flours out there, with more options being added all the time..... but none of them provide for the same qualities or elasticity that wheat flour has and they rarely work effectively alone. To achieve great results, flour blending (to a greater or lesser degree) becomes a fact of life for the gluten free baker.

Those dozens of flour options can seem baffling and when, at Gluten Free Alchemist HQ, we were first diagnosed to be a Coeliac household, I spent hours researching individual flours and how to combine them. Each flour has its individual and very unique qualities. In careful combination, they can be magic and will leave you wondering why you never discovered them or gluten free bakes before.

My gluten-free larder is a veritable treasure trove for the ingredients of gluten free alchemy. Tub after tub of powdered grains, nuts and seeds lined up..... each with different characteristics, flavours and textures,..... many nutritionally superior to traditional wheat flour. How you use and combine them will dictate the lightness, denseness, texture, flavour, crispness, moistness and richness of the finished bake. Working with them will require some knowledge of their basic qualities and a lot of experimentation, but never let this put you off..... Gluten free baking is an adventure which will open door after door of culinary pleasure.

There are, of course, a number of gluten free flour blends commercially available on the market. I have tried many and have not (for the most part) been happy with either the results or the quality. Most commercial blends (although they are improving year on year) are weighted heavily towards a high ratio of rice flour, which is very cheap, but lacks versatility and is texturally gritty and nutritionally limited. There is also a growing body of evidence and information pointing to its containing arsenic from water and soil contamination, which being a poison, is not a great thing to be eating. At low levels, the damage may be minimal, but for Coeliacs and gluten avoiders, it is all to easy to find your diet has switched from damaging wheat to toxic rice (in any number of forms) and if you do not find ways to lessen the intake, you may be causing harm. If you buy ready-made commercial bakes, flours and cake/bread/biscuit mixes, take time to read the packaging..... you may be shocked at how much rice you are consuming. You can find information on arsenic in rice hereherehere and here.

Because of my dissatisfaction with the texture and results of most commercially available flour blends, I have always mixed my own to meet the needs of the recipe being made. Whilst some recipes have demanded uniquely tailored flour blends, I have also developed a couple of standard 'all purpose' mixes which I use across most recipes.... sometimes being used as stand-alone flour for the bake and sometimes adding specific other flours to achieve the desired texture and quality needed.

The recipes for my base flour mixes (my original blend with some rice flour and an alternative rice-free blend with wholegrain flours) are below. It is easiest to mix in larger quantity and keep an airtight container in the cupboard, ready-mixed so that it is available whenever you need them (much like having a couple of bags of flour). Mixing your own blends is not difficult and most of the flours can be sourced locally in health food and whole food shops, or failing that, on-line. Currently (as at August 2017), diagnosed Coeliacs in many areas of the UK are still able to obtain gluten free flours on prescription, so you may be able to source much of what you need safely and at a lesser cost.

If blending is something that is not for you, then it is fine to find a commercial blend that you feel happy with. Many of the recipes on Gluten Free Alchemist should work with a standard commercial blend, but as they have been specifically developed using the flours as stated in the ingredients lists, I am unfortunately unable to verify the results with other flour blends.

If you are looking for a rice-free commercial blend, there are a couple now available. The Free From Fairy produces a lovely Wholegrain Gluten Free, Rice Free Flour Blend (either plain or self-raising), which can be found via her website. Bobs Red Mill also produce two rice-free flour blends - an All-Purpose Baking Flour and a Paleo Baking Flour (which is almond-based). I have not tried the Bobs Red Mill flours, but can vouch for the Free From Fairy Blend being very good.

Choosing to explore home flour mixing however, is not as scary as it sounds, providing you arm yourself with some basic knowledge about the qualities of the gluten free flours and you are willing to risk a few baking disasters along the way.

As with any other gluten free products, be sure to source base flours which are certified gluten free if you are Coeliac or needing to avoid gluten for health reasons.

Below I have updated and refreshed information that I pulled together for one of my early blog posts back in 2013, which should give you a helpful starting point to understanding the range of available gluten free flours and their qualities.

Gluten Free Flours 


Brown & White Rice Flour - Rice flour is often seen as a staple base flour in commercially baked gluten free products, not least because it is very cheap. Made from finely milled rice, it is fairly versatile, easy to obtain and easy to digest (although because the body breaks the starch down quickly, this can cause spikes in blood sugar if eaten in large quantity). Rice flour is best mixed with other flours, both to balance nutrition and baking qualities, as it can give a dry and slightly gritty texture and taste very bland.


Potato Starch (Flour) - Another essential in the larder, potato starch flour is made from washed, dried potato starch and can be easily found in many supermarkets. It is a white, fine powder with a slightly clumpy appearance, which readily absorbs liquid and has a neutral flavour and a good binding ability. Because of these qualities, it can be an important addition to many flour mixes used for gluten free baking, although is nutritionally devoid and is thus best used sparingly and in combination with other flours. 


Tapioca Starch (Flour) - A fine, white flour made from the dried starch extracted from Cassava (manioc) root. Tapioca Starch (flour) is lighter than potato flour, but has excellent absorption and binding qualities, making it particularly great when baking cakes and biscuits. It will also add a little 'stretch' to bakes such as breads, although used in too high a ratio, will give a chewy result. It has a slightly sweet flavour, combines easily with other flours and on its own, works well as a thickener for gravies and sauces or as a flour coating. Extremely versatile, it can be easily sourced in many large supermarkets.
Tapioca Starch (flour) has a high glycemic index, so is best blended with other wholegrain and nut flours to balance starch and nutrition. 


Corn Flour - Also known as Corn Starch, is made from the finely powdered starch of the maize grain. Found in the baking aisle of supermarkets, this very light and versatile flour is an essential ingredient in most cakes, biscuits and pastry. Because it does not absorb liquid to the same extent as potato and tapioca starches, its qualities help to provide a crisper bake when necessary. Because it has a tendency to be dry and powdery, it needs to be balanced alongside other, more moisture-retaining flours (eg. potato flour or ground almonds). 
As Corn Flour (Starch) is virtually tasteless with superb thickening qualities, it is perfect for use in sauces. It is perhaps best known as the base flour of custard.


Ground Almonds - Well worth the extra cost, ground almonds have a higher oil content so help make cakes rich, moist and decadent. Cakes made with almonds seem to improve with age. I can't get enough of their sweet, nutty bite which seems to make the difference between a good bake and a great bake..... They add structure as well as moisture to cakes and bread, yet will also help ensure crispness in pastry and biscuits. 
Almonds are high in protein, low in carbohydrate and contain fantastic levels of healthy mono-unsaturated fat and vitamin E. There appears to be a growing body of research that suggests they may also have fantastic cholesterol-reducing and other health-improving properties. They have become an essential in the Gluten Free Alchemist larder.


Almond Flour - Made from finely ground, blanched almonds, almond flour has all the nutritional value and qualities of its ground sister above. Because it is more dense in volume, it needs to be weighed with care, as it cannot be substituted on a volume for volume basis with ground almonds. 


Chestnut Flour - Finely ground sweet chestnuts make a darker flour with a deep, rich, nutty flavour. High in carbohydrates (with a medium glycemic index), but with a surprisingly low fat content, chestnut flour brings an earthy quality and makes a delicious addition to breads, cakes, pastries, and other baked goods. In addition to increasing levels of vitamin B, iron, folate and fibre in a flour blend, chestnut flour will also support moisture balance and lightness in a bake.


Oat Flour - Made from ground oats (make at home by blending gluten free oats into a fine powder), this is another of my favourite flours and has a firm place in my baking....... Although not tolerated by all coeliac sufferers (due to containing a protein called Avenin which has a similar structure to gluten), this wonderfully versatile cereal grain is actually gluten free. Source from a supplier certified gluten free however, to avoid cross contamination which may result from the growing and production process. 
Oats and oat flour are a fantastic source of protein, fibre, vitamin E and calcium and will add a wonderful creamy, but slightly chewy texture as well as an oaty flavour to the whole range of baked goods. Oat flour is best combined with plenty of added moisture to avoid a dry, crumbly result.  It is a perfect addition in breads as it will produce a slightly 'glutinous' texture to the dough when mixed thoroughly. Also superb in breakfast bakes, its slow-release energy properties will help sustain you through the morning. There is some evidence that eating oats can also support the lowering of cholesterol levels.


Sorghum Flour - Produced from sorghum cereal grain, milled to a soft, fine flour. Sorghum flour is a wholegrain flour with wonderful nutritious qualities. It is high-protein and high fibre as well as being a great source of iron, some B vitamins and phosphorous. With a slightly sweet flavour, Sorghum flour has a light texture with good binding qualities. Used in high ratio, it may add a slightly grainy texture, so is best combined with other flours/nut flours in baking. As it is quite dry, it requires added moisture, although this dryness is perfect for making drier bakes such as crackers, biscuits and short-pastry. Increasingly available in the UK, but be sure to check for gluten free certification. 


Masa Harina (white & blue) - This is a coarser maize flour traditionally used in Latin American cuisine. Masa Harina comes in white and (rarer) blue form. Makes authentic corn tortillas and tamales, which are difficult to find in the UK. I make my own tortillas, using a 70-30 (white to blue) flour ratio, because somehow, they just taste richer and yummier! Also works well in alternative flat breads including gluten free chapatti recipes alongside Gram and other flours. Masa Harina is reasonably nutritious and a good source of fibre. Buy on line for the best variety and value.


Gram Flour (also known as Garbanzo Bean Flour or Besan) - Produced from ground chickpeas, gram flour is an essential ingredient in Indian and other cuisines from the Indian subcontinent. It has a good protein content and is also high in carbohydrate and fibre. Gram flour provides good quantities of calcium, magnesium, folate, vitamin B6 and potassium to the diet. Gives a good texture and wholesome flavour to gluten-free flat breads, batters and coatings for lightly fried foods.


Coconut Flour - Made from dried, ground coconut meat, coconut flour is low in calories, but high in protein and fibre. Being low in sugar and digestible carbohydrates, it has a low glycemic index score. From a baking perspective, it is extremely dry and absorbent and is probably the flour I have found most difficult to work with as a result. It requires very high ratios of liquid added when baking (and benefits from extra egg to bind), without which the results are very dense and crumbly. Can add a distinctly coconut flavour, but combined with other flours at a ratio of about 20% or less of the overall mix, will blend well and add good nutritional content.


Buckwheat Flour - Despite its name, buckwheat flour has no relationship with wheat. It is produced by grinding the kernels of the buckwheat plant into a fine powder. It has a high nutritional and fibre content and is low on the glycemic index, as well as being packed full of antioxidants. Although it is naturally gluten free, ensure your source is certified against risk of cross-contamination from adjacent growing with gluten containing crops or milling equipment. 
Buckwheat has a strong nutty, but slightly bitter, musty flavour which can become a little dominant when used in bakes. For this reason, you may prefer to mix with flours which are more bland. Nonetheless, it is a versatile flour which and adds colour, earthiness and a wholesomeness to breads and cakes and is often found in gluten free pancake recipes, batters and some pastas. 


Amaranth - Flour is made from grinding the seeds of the amaranth plant, however the seeds themselves can also be used whole or flaked in a variety of ways. It may be found in breakfast cereal; used as a meal accompaniment in a similar way to rice or couscous (note couscous contains gluten); sprinkled on salads when sprouting, used to make 'pop corn' or in flour form contributing to baked recipes. 
Amaranth is extremely nutritious, being high in protein (including the amino acid lysine), fibre and is also a good source of essential vitamins and minerals, including calcium, iron and vitamin E. Best used in savoury dishes or blended with other, milder flours as it has a strong, sightly peppery flavour which can overpower.


Soya Flour - Full of protein, soya flour is produced from ground, roasted yellow soya beans. It retains moisture well and has good thickening properties, so is a good addition to bread mixes, pastry and sauces. It has a strong flavour however which is not to everyone's taste. 


Polenta - A native Italian ingredient, with a slightly sweet taste, polenta is made from ground cornmeal. Traditionally eaten as an accompaniment to fish and meat in a similar way to mashed potato. In its finely ground form (and particularly when combined with other flours and ground nuts), it adds a slightly dense, nutty bite to baked foods. Try to source the fine-milled polenta rather than the coarser version for baking, or the texture may be very gritty (unless your recipe specifically calls for a coarse-mill). 


Quinoa Flour (pronounced Keen-wah) - Milled from the quinoa grain, this flour is a rare complete vegan protein. It is packed with lysine and other amino acids as well as containing high amounts of vitamins B and E, calcium, iron and phosphorus. Being low on the glycemic index, it helps to keep blood sugar levels in balance.
Quinoa flour has a mild, nutty flavour, but combines well with other flours in all baked goods, but especially enhances breads, biscuits and savoury pastries. The high protein content supports structure and texture.
Quinoa Seeds (unmilled) can be cooked up as a delicious substitute for couscous (which contains gluten) or rice and makes a nutritious alternative to breakfast porridge. Cooked quinoa can be enjoyed either hot or cold and can be stored in the fridge to eat over several days.   



Ground Chia Seed - Chia seeds come from a plant in the mint family which originates from central and southern America. Rich in Omega 3, fatty acids, protein, sodium, fibre and a host of other vitamins and minerals, Chia seeds have been identified as a 'superfood' for their nutritional qualities. They can also absorb up to twelve times their weight in liquid when soaked.
Nutty in flavour, Chia can be sprinkled into cereals, on yoghurts, salads, or added to energy bars. Finely ground, it makes a fantastic binding agent (a good alternative to xanthan or guar gum), which works particularly well in breads and pastries. It can also be used as an egg replacer.


Ground Hazelnuts - Also known as the Cobnut or Filbert, Hazelnuts can be eaten shelled and raw, or can be ground (either raw or roasted) into a coarse or finer flour or paste.
Hazelnuts are rich in protein and unsaturated fat and are also high in vitamin B6 and thiamine.
They have a sweet, creamy nutty flavour and are perfect for use in biscuits, chocolate-hazelnut spread, nut butter, cakes, pralines, crumbles and pastries. As with the addition of other nut meals and flours, they will not only add nutrients, but will provide structure and moisture to a bake.


Millet Flakes - Another seeded grass, Millet is not just bird seed! It is used in many parts of the world for making beer, porridge, in stews and bakes. It is rich in B vitamins, calcium, magnesium, iron and some other minerals.
Depending on the cooking process, the texture of millet will vary. It can be creamy like mashed potato, fluffy like rice, porridgy like oats or add a nutty texture to bakes, crumbs and coatings. Millet has an earthy, slightly sweet flavour, but for extra nuttiness, the grains can be roasted before grinding (which is easy to do at home with a high powered blender/grinder). When added to flour blends for baking, millet will add a crisp, dryness to the end result.


Flaxseed - Flax (also known as Linseed) has a high Omega 3 content (although not as high as Chia) and is grown either brown or yellow/golden. In its ground form, it is a great addition to flour mixes for breads, pastries and other baked goods. Seeds can also be sprinkled whole into the mix or onto loaves, muffins, cereals, breakfast bars etc, to add a nutty bite.
Flaxseed has a low carb-high fibre content, is packed full of antioxidants and supports the lowering/balancing of cholesterol levels in the body.
Once opened, Flaxseed can go 'rancid' if not used quickly, although its shelf life can be extended by refrigeration.


Glutinous Rice Flour - Glutinous Rice Flour (a short-grain variety) is also called sticky rice or sweet rice and is mainly grown in East and Southeast Asia. In Japan it is called 'Mochiko'. Despite its name, it does not taste sweet, nor does it contain any gluten, but when cooked it becomes particularly sticky or gluey, giving excellent binding and structural qualities. It is low in fat and rich in carbohydrate and is widely available in Asian and Thai supermarkets.
When the rice is ground into flour, it is white and very fine in appearance. Because it has a much higher starch content than other types of rice, it is a good addition to the gluten free larder for use as a thickening or binding agent in soups and sauces. It also works extremely well in flour mixes formulated for pasta, breads, pastries and cakes as it not only aids the binding process but also holds in moisture, without adding any 'graininess' to the bake.

Teff Flour - Is another fantastically nutritious wholegrain gluten free ingredient, which is milled into both white and brown flours. It is massively rich in calcium, iron and potassium as well as being a superb source of protein and fibre. Native to Ethiopia, Teff is a staple in their diet, being used to make a spongy sourdough flatbread called Injera.
Quite strong in flavour (the brown flour being richer, with a slightly malty, earthy, nutty flavour; the white flour being slightly sweeter and milder), it works extremely well as part of a flour-blend for bread bakes, vegetable cakes and muffins, wholegrain cakes, fruit, chocolate and other 'darker' cakes and biscuits. Blended with other, milder gluten free flours at a lower ratio, it adds both flavour and texture as well as nutrition to the gluten free kitchen.

Fava Bean Flour - Is the flour made from ground Fava (also know as Broad) Beans. With a distinctive earthy flavour, which is best matched with savoury dishes, it has a high protein content and is also a good source of iron and fibre. It is frequently used in combination with garbanzo/gram flour for gluten free baking.

Arrowroot - A white, starchy, flavourless flour, extracted from the roots of the arrowroot plant, best known for its amazing thickening properties. When heated in liquid, converts to a completely clear gel which doesn't break down when mixed with acidic ingredients, which makes it perfect for thickening fruit coulis. A good substitute for cornstarch.

Xanthan Gum - A natural gum produced by fermenting sugar and 'friendly bacteria'. The use of xanthan gum (or alternatively guar gum) is essential to most gluten free baking as it provides the elasticity which would otherwise be achieved from the now removed gluten. Used carefully, it gives dough and mixtures a sticky consistency and helps to bind, thicken and give 'stretch' to gluten free flours. A natural binder, it is often essential if you are to avoid dry, crumbly results.  

Guar Gum - Guar Gum (made from guar beans) is more difficult to obtain, although it does the same job as xanthan gum.

Psyllium Husk - Psyllium is the fibrous husk that comes from the seeds of the Plantago Ovata plant (native to India and Pakistan). A great source of soluble fibre, they are also great moisture absorbers and thus, when added to gluten free bakes, will add moistness and support binding and structure. An alternative to Xanthan to Guar gums, Psyllium Husk helps to mimic gluten and works particularly well when added to recipes for yeasted breads, dough-bakes and pasta.


Flour Blending


There are some basic principles that may help you in getting your head around blending gluten free flours at home. 

When I originally started gluten free baking, I played with a standard set of (largely) white flours that were easily available and seemed to be common amongst gluten free flour-blends posted across the internet. The resulting Gluten Free Alchemist Flour Blend A below, which is a 'white' flour blend, has served me well and I still use it in many of my bakes, particularly for cakes and biscuits. It produces a great crumb and a mild flavour and it will always be a part of my larder.

As my baking has become more sophisticated and I have become more nutritionally aware however, I have sought to develop flour blends which are more nutritionally balanced, particularly for making staples such as bread, but which are also broad enough to use in cakes, cookies and across the whole spectrum of our daily flour-containing diet. This process has taught me much, but should never be limiting and I will frequently 'play' with new blends as I think might suit whatever I am making. 

If you are a frequent baker, I would urge you to try a whole variety of flours and blends in your own kitchen. Not only is it fun, but you will inevitably find some amazing 'new' ingredients that you will love and that will enhance what you eat. 

For a wholegrain-white starch balanced blend, I start with a broad 40%:60% ratio (40% wholegrain flours : 60% white starches and flours as listed below). This seems to be a safe starting point for a general blend, but beyond that, you are free to experiment to achieve the flavour and texture that you are most happy with. Once you have a blend that you love and that works for you, write it down and mix it up in a large airtight container (shake vigorously to blend) and keep it topped up for whenever you need it.

If you want to go truly wholegrain (which will result in a darker, usually more strongly flavoured 'brown' blend), shift your ratios upside-down to 60% wholegrain flours : 40% white starches/flours or even further to 70% wholegrain : 30% white starches/flours.

Gluten Free Whole-Grain Flours :
Brown Rice
Buckwheat
Quinoa
Oat
Sorghum
Millet
Masa Harina
Sweet Potato
Teff (brown and white)
Amaranth
Flax

Nut Flours (count as wholegrain)
Almond - ground/almond meal
Almond Flour
Chestnut
Coconut
Hazelnut

Bean Flours (count as wholegrain)
Soybean
Gram/Garbanzo/Besan
Fava Bean

White Flours/Starches
White Rice
Potato Starch (flour)
Potato Flour
Tapioca
Cornflour (Starch)
Glutinous/Sweet Rice (Mochiko)
Arrowroot
Polenta


If this sounds too much to bother with, I have happily shared my main flour blends below, in the hope that others may benefit from the many hours I have spent combining and testing at home. Mix them up in larger quantity and store in an airtight container, ready-blended and ready to use!

How to make gluten free oat flour

Gluten free oat flour can work out pretty expensive if you buy it ready-milled. I make my own which only takes a few minutes. Make sure you source certified gluten free oats to avoid any possibility of cross-contamination from adjacent or same field growing. These are now readily available in most supermarkets, many of which produce their own brands (found on the 'free from' shelf) at a reasonable price. 


Use a food processor to grind gluten free pure oats until you have a fine powder. This will take about 10-20 seconds on full power (depending on the power and capacity of your blender/grinder)

You can grind on a weight for weight ratio for each recipe (same weight of oats as needed for required oat flour quantity). 

Or....... grind a kilo or so at a time and store in an airtight container so that you always have it there when you need it.
 

Basic Gluten Free Alchemist Flour Blends

Gluten Free Alchemist Flour Blend A 

This is my own GFA general baking blend which I formulated over many months after first becoming gluten free, based on my growing understanding the qualities of various gluten free flours, combined with lots of tweaking and testing. This blend is easy to produce at home as all the individual flours it contains are readily available to the UK. 
This blend has (for me) produced cakes, biscuits and other bakes which are light, bind well and have a texture and taste which rivals any gluten-based flour mix. Where a recipe calls for an additional element to achieve the final hoped-for result, I may add something extra to the mix (some ground almonds, oats or any one of the flours listed above). This is done on a recipe by recipe basis.  

Ingredients (makes 650g) - store in an airtight container

200g white rice flour
125g brown rice flour
95g potato starch (flour)
110g corn flour (starch)
120g tapioca flour
5g xanthan gum       
Weigh all the ingredients into an airtight container. Seal the lid closed and shake well to mix.

Note : Potato Starch may be labelled 'Potato Starch (flour)'

Gluten Free Alchemist Rice Free Flour Blend with Wholegrain Flours

Ingredients (makes 500g) - store in an airtight container

100g sorghum flour
50g white teff flour
50g buckwheat flour
160g tapioca flour
60g potato starch (flour)
80g corn flour (starch)
1 teaspoon xanthan gum

Weigh all the ingredients into an airtight container. Seal the lid closed and shake well to mix.

Note : Potato Starch may be labelled 'Potato Starch (flour)'. 

Linked to Brilliant Blog Posts.
Gluten Free Alchemist © 2013-17 unless otherwise indicated

8 comments:

  1. A great resource thank you. I try to keep by me a jar of GF flour mix 1, the mix ready to make cheese scones and the bread machine bread mix, I am hoping that the habit of preparing one batch to cook and freeze immediately and another to keep for next time will become ingrained over a period of time.

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    1. Thank you Alison. I am so glad you are still enjoying the recipes. I love knowing that other people have benefitted from my efforts. It makes it all worthwhile! x

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  2. A fab article. I wrote one a while ago but never thought of adding it as a page rather than a post. This is great because it's easy to find! Thanks so much for mentioning my blend! :)

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    1. Thanks Vicki. I have been meaning to write it for months as a Page. But this time, I have cancelled out the text in the earlier post from 2013.... just in case I got wiped off Google again!

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  3. I am relatively new to gluten-free eating, going on about 2 years now. It is a choice for me that helps my IBS. I am finding that in experimenting with baking, gluten-free flour leaves me with a very heavy feeling in my gut. Even causing constipation issues (sorry for the info but necessary for question) which is mainly why I eat gluten-free to begin with. It's not just the pre-made flours that cause gastrointestinal issues, it is also when I have a recipe that calls for xanthan gum. The xanthan gum gave me an upset stomach so I tried guar gum. It is not as bad but still causes gas. So I started looking up how to make my own flour, but all the recipes have either guar or xanthan. I really am trying to eat well, but some foods cause the same issues I am trying to avoid. Any suggestions or help would be greatly appreciated.

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    1. Hi Jana. Apologies for the delay in getting back to you. I have been away and am just catching up now.....
      Xanthan Gum does not suit everyone and there are many people who report similar symptoms when they use it regularly in their baking.
      In terms of substitutes, I have used ground psyllium husk (you can get it from health food shops and then just grind it in the blender) a number of times and it works well..... especially good in breads. It is natural and friends who have had difficulties with xanthan have transferred to using psyllium with better health results.
      Try substituting the xanthan with the same amount of the psyllium and see how it goes.... or I have found this link, which may be helpful to you : https://craftycookery.wordpress.com/substitution-charts/
      I hope that gives you a starting point. Good luck and let me know how it goes x

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  4. Thank you, will try that. Much appreciated.

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Thanks for stopping by. I would love to hear from you so please feel free to leave a message about any aspect of this post. It's always great to get feedback!