The following post is from Amy of Simply Sugar & Gluten-Free:
When you get into the nitty-gritty of gluten-free baking, there are a lot of choices. So many choices, in fact, that it can be completely overwhelming. After a while you realize that if you can grind it, you can bake with it. Today you can buy bean flours, pea flours, grain-based flours, nut flours, and yes, even popcorn flour.
My go-to gluten-free flour blend is a mix garbanzo-fava bean flour, sorghum flour, potato starch, and tapioca flour. It has protein from the beans, creates great structure in my baked goods, and uses just enough of the white starchy stuff to give my baked goods a crumb similar to wheat-based products.
Once in a while I bake with nut flours. They’re full of good-for-you fats, have about the same protein as bean flour, and are a little heavier in the calorie category than other flours. According to Honeyville Farms, 1/4 cup of their almond flour has 160 calories, 14 grams of fat, 6 grams of carbohydrates, and 6 grams of protein. For me, almond flour is a great option when making a decadent dessert. I wouldn’t want to eat a sandwich smashed between a couple slices of almond bread, though.
I have, though, been trying to get more nutrient-dense, calorie rich healthy foods into my 13 month-old son, Nate. He’s goes all-day, non-stop. He even moves his feet while he’s sitting in his highchair eating. And, like his momma, he loves green smoothies, oranges, brussel sprouts, beans, asparagus, salad, berries, and even pepitas.
I’ve been playing around with different almond flour recipes trying to find something that Nate will eat. No luck yet. He’s one of the only kids I know who would happily take blackberries instead of a cookie. For someone like him, a sandwich on bread made with almond flour would be fabulous.
In the end, the flours you choose to need to work with your body and your taste buds. The good part is that there are lots of options. In the process of finding the right flour for you, you might toss a couple of bags of gluten-free flour in the trash can or pass them along to a friend. But, it’s a journey that’s well worth the effort.
This simple gluten-free cake is impossible to mess up. I’ve seen some fabulous citrus sales in our area lately, and I’m sure you still have a couple of oranges rolling around in your hydrator pan. This is the perfect way to use them. If you don’t have any almond flour, you can grind your own from whole almonds in your food processor. Just be careful not to over-process the almonds or you’ll end up with almond butter instead of flour.
And, though Nate isn’t a fan yet, I’m confident that you’ll love this dense, moist cake.
If you’re an almond flour fan or looking for another way to use it, check out this Easy Almond Meal Chicken Nuggets recipe.
- 2 medium oranges
- ¾ cup coconut palm sugar
- 6 large organic eggs
- 1½ teaspoons baking powder
- 1½ cups blanched almond flour
- Place the oranges with the peel in a medium saucepan and cover with water. Bring to boil, reduce the heat and simmer for 2 hours. Add more water if necessary.
- Remove the oranges from the water and let cool. Oranges can be refrigerated overnight or up to two days if desired.
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Prepare a 10-inch springform pan by lining with parchment paper and lightly oiling the paper.
- Cut the oranges open and remove any seeds. Put the oranges, including the peel, in a food processor fitted with a steel blade. Process until smooth. Measure out 1¼ cups of pureed orange. Set aside.
- Put the coconut palm sugar in a blender and process until it reaches the consistency of powdered sugar.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, beat the eggs until combined.
- Add the powdered palm sugar and beat on medium-high until the eggs are thick and airy. When you lift the beater, the mixture should set on the surface for a second until it disappears.
- Mix in the blanched almond flour, then mix in the orange puree.
- Transfer batter to the prepared pan. Bake for 50 minutes to 1 hour, until a knife inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean. The cake will also pull slightly from the edges of the pan.
- Let cool for 20 minutes on a wire rack, then run a thin, offset spatula between the cake and the edges of the pan. Remove the outer rim and let cool completely.
- Store covered at room temperature or in the refrigerator.
What are your favorite flours to use when baking gluten-free?
|A stay-at-home mom, wife, and passionate cook, Amy strives to make each meal healthy and delicious. When she’s not doing laundry, dishes, or caring for her son, she plays around with food in the kitchen developing new recipes, which she shares at Simply Sugar & Gluten-Free. Amy also publishes The Balanced Platter and authored the book Simply Sugar & Gluten-Free: 180 Easy & Delicious Recipes You Can Make in 20 Minutes or Less.|