Friday, September 2, 2011

The Almond Flower Ingredients


I have received many questions about the ingredients that I bake with.  While it may seem daunting to have such limited choice, I actually find it helpful.  It definitely simplifies things, which I appreciate.  And what's wonderful and amazing is that even with the gluten free, sugar free, grain free ingredients, I'm able to make a variety of baked goods that still taste good.

The following is a list of all gluten free ingredients that are sugar free and grain free as well.  I have also noted the brands I prefer to use.  You can now read it as a page at the top of the site.  

The Almond Flower Ingredients

Sweeteners:
  • Honey- I'm sure you've heard this, but it's true! Eating local honey can help treat allergies.  It's also anti-bacterial and anti-microbial.  Read here to find out all of the other benefits of honey.  Because I bake so often and solely use honey to sweeten everything, I buy 5 lb. bottles of clover honey, which produces a lighter flavor.
  • Palm Sugar- Made from the dehydrated sap of the coconut palm blossom, palm sugar resembles brown sugar.  It comes granulated and because it is not refined, is full of nutrients.  There is a downside though, which I've just recently been reading about. 
  • Date Sugar-  Also nice because it is granulated and nutrient dense, date sugar is made from dehydrated and ground dates.  It is not very sweet and has a rich, earthy flavor.  Very low on the glycemic index!  The SCD diet says this about dates and date sugar though, so eat with caution. 
Flours:
  • Blanched Almond Flour- ground and sifted blanched sweet almonds.  This flour is a creamy color because the skin has been removed.  The Crazy Kitchen has a great post on how to make your own, as well as the benefits of almond flour.  I prefer Honeyville brand which I buy in bulk. 
  • Almond Meal- ground and sifted whole sweet almonds.  This flour gets its brown color from the almond skin. Read here how to make your own almond meal.  I buy mine at Trader Joe's. 
  • Coconut Flour - made from the coconut meat after most of the oil is removed, coconut flour is very high in fiber and has a mild sweet flavor.  Bob's Red Mill also makes a good version. 
Fats:
  • Butter- my top choice for local butter is from Trickling Springs Creamery where the cows are grass fed and organic.  Grass is what cows are meant to eat, not corn or other grains.  And when they do, their milk is yellow because of the nutrients in the grass.  When I can't bring myself to spend the $6/pound, then I buy Trader Joe's brand. 
  • Grapeseed Oil- a great dairy alternative that offers the same flavor profile and texture as butter.
  • Coconut Oil- another great dairy alternative, but offers a distinct flavor and slightly different texture.  
Dairy:
In low-lactose form, most of the milk sugars in dairy products are processed before consumption.  The following are acceptable forms of dairy on the scd and gaps diets.  
  • Farmer's Dry Curd Cottage Cheese
  • Homemade yogurt and yogurt cheese (dripped yogurt)
  • cheddar,Swiss, and Parmesan (and other hard cheeses aged over 1 year).
  •  
Other ingredients:
  • Eggs- organic and free range, preferably from the farmer's market.
  • Baking soda- all brands should be gluten free (I don't use baking powder because it contains corn starch). 
  • Salt- Celtic Sea Salt is a great choice because it is made in the traditional way which retains the sea nutrients. 
  • Extracts- Vanilla, Almond, and Peppermint.  I  use Flavorganics, available on Amazon or health food stores.  They are all natural and label the GF varieties.  Be careful with flavored extracts, they can have sugar or malted barley extract added for flavor.

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