Top 10 ‘free from’ baking ingredients

January 11, 2012 11:09 am Published by Leave your thoughts

A list of top 10 ‘free from’ baking ingredients is actually a bit difficult to produce, as there are so many really fine alternatives to conventional baking ingredients! But here is a list of some of our favourites, including the more unusual, with notes about their function.

  • Agave nectar (syrup) a sweetener derived from the agave plant, light amber in colour like honey, but much lower on the glycaemic index. Many people who are sensitive to sugar prefer agave. In baking, substitute two-thirds the amount of agave per cup of sugar. You thus end up adding fewer calories to your baking – or perhaps you just end up eating a bit more cake!
  • Arrowroot – can be used as a thickening substitute for cornstarch, creating a desirable chewy texture.
  • Coconut milk – this can be used as a replacement for rice or soy milk, giving a creamy texture, with just a hint of coconut flavour. Also handy in curries.
  • Coconut oil – this is a widely used fat in ‘free from’ cooking. For the best results in baking, use refined, unscented oil. Coconut oil is also a great ingredient to have in the store-cupboard if you like cooking curries and other Asian food.
  • Potato starch – a thickener for gluten-free baking that adds moisture (can be interchanged with cornstarch for similar results).
  • Brown Rice flour – you can use white or brown rice flour in baking, with both producing similar results (although brown rice flour retains more of its nutrients).
  • Rice milk – a great alternative to cows milk in any recipe.
  • Vanilla extract – the taste of heaven! Neilsen Massey Extract is probably the best you can get and available in 60mls and 1 litre bottles.
  • Rapadura sugar – although made from sugar cane, this sugar isn’t processed to the same extent, or in the same way, as bleached white sugar, and thus retains a lot of the nutrients found in raw cane sugar.
  • Xanthan gum – a binding and thickening agent used to hold gluten-free baked products together.

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This post was written by Sue

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