Friday, August 9, 2013

Gluten free/ dairy free tips and tricks

The other day when picking up an Azure order, I was talking with a couple of the other ladies about food, specifically some of their successes with alternatives for gluten and dairy.  I was so excited about them that I thought I'd share that information with you along with some other tips and tricks I've learned.  

1.  To make a dairy free whipped cream, use the clump of coconut solid from a can of full fat coconut milk mixed with powdered sugar. 

2.  Azure standard sells Natural Value brand full fat, organic coconut milk in BPA free cans.
     {Thai Kitchen brand tastes great, but does not come in BPA free cans}

3.  If you take raw, unsweetened shredded coconut and put it in a heavy duty mixer {like a Vitamix} and mix until it is completely smooth and pourable - you have coconut butter. 
You can use it as a spread, but it also makes a great base for frosting because of its solid texture at room temperature. 

4.  To make almond butter combine almonds, filberts {hazelnuts} and honey.  Blend either in a Vitamix or food processor until smooth. { I think her proportion was either 4 parts almonds: 1 part filberts or 6:1 and honey to taste.}

5.  Costco currently carries Nutiva organic, extra virgin, cold pressed coconut oil in a 78 oz. jar for only $21.99

6.  Costco also currently sells an 80 oz. bag of Bob's Red Mill all purpose baking mix for 7.99.

7.  Target sells Spectrum shortening in the 24 oz. tub for 6.99

I have found this magazine to be very helpful.  It's a spendy subscription - so check your local library.

Here is a page from Living Without with very helpful information.   I think you can read the left column for dairy free substitutions.

and more information about making gluten free substitutions. 
{We personally have had the best success with a combination of coconut, almond, and oat flours for good flavor and texture.}

Here's some useful information about nut substitutions

and egg substitutions too.

Did you know that there is such a thing as coconut sugar? 
According to Living Well, it's a tan colored granulated sweetener derived from the coconut palm.  It is slightly less sweet than cane sugar with a lovely, light-caramel taste that works perfectly with baked goods.   It combines well with liquid stevia too.
{Azure carries a 16 oz. bag by Nutiva for 4.95}  I wonder if Trader Joe's sells it?
I had read that due to its processing, agave syrup is seen in the body just like fructose, and therefore is not a healthy sweetener.  However, Stevia is taken directly from the stevia plant and ground up.  Even in its liquid form, it is completely natural and a very good sweetener.  {If when you use it you get a bitter after taste, it is because you have used too much. }
I asked my naturopath about it and she confirmed the information.

So there you have it.  I hope it helps you along your gluten free/ dairy free journey.

Happy Baking. :-)

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