When I was in culinary school my chef instructors used to tell me that my hopes of making good tasting healthy food were irrational, ridiculous and obscure. Of course they said it in the kindest, nicest way!
Reality was: fat is flavor and there is no real subsitute for sugar or salt. And, it’s true. There is nothing artificial that can ever replace any of these so why even try? What I did learn though was how to create textures and flavors so big and bold that I needed no “substitution”…until I discovered a need for gluten-free!
I mean really, how in the world would I create just the right consistency, the proper inconsistent crumb, the delicate balance of texture, body and melt-in-your-mouth goodness without gluten?!?!
Actually it boiled down to just not having done the research to find a proper solution for this challenge. In my hunt over the last few days of GF vegan recipes ideas I stumbled upon a killer blog which is extremely popular and beautifully written! I heard about the Gluten-Free Girl a while back but was so focused on the idea that carbs are the devil I never took the time to read.
Gluten-Free Girl and The Chef is a name fitting for a superhero team, and when it comes to baking without gluten this loving couple certainly are hero’s!
In my search for a gluten-free flour mix that would use ingredients I had on hand I found many people using gums and various other ingredients that I haven’t heard mention of since culinary school. Items the average person would spend large sums on, would use only once then pack away in the depths of the pantry only to be discovered when they get ready to move. Not the case with this super hero match-up.\!
In this article not only do these hero’s show us how to create our own whole-grain flour mixture that is versatile and gluten-free, they provide a simple, delectable muffin recipe to use it that is practically fool-proof!
For my experiments in the flour mix I used a combo of quinoa flour, almond meal, and corn starch. In place of the eggs in the muffin recipe I used 1 Tbsp of ground chia seeds and 3 Tbsp of hot water. I also chose to substitute maple syrup for the brown sugar which worked out quite well. Their recipe calls for 1tsp of chia but due to the extra moisture content from the maple I figured the extra body was needed.
TAH DAH!!! Gluten-free, soy-free, VEGAN and OH so easy…Thanks to our superhero’s Gluten-Free Girl and The Chef for saving the day 😀