If you’ve chosen to eliminate grains from your diet, you may think your baking days are over. No more homemade muffins, jam-smothered biscuits or loaves of warm bread straight from the oven. Store-bought substitutes can be iffy (can you say hockey puck?) and super expensive.
We talked to Jackie Caldwell, a certified Holistic Health Coach and graduate of the Institute of Integrative Nutrition, who has spent hours in the kitchen perfecting her grain-free recipes. Jackie shares a few of her grain-free baking tips and a recipe for an easy-to-make (only one bowl required — yay!) grain-free bread.
Which Flour to Use
Blanched almond flour is the gold standard when it comes to grain free baking. (Blanched almonds are those that have had the skins removed.) The sweet, buttery flavor of the almond is a natural fit for an assortment of baked goods, it’s easy to use, and readily available.
The trick is to find a brand of blanched almond flour that is has been ground very fine. The size of the particles contributes to the texture of the product (remember those hockey pucks?) — flour that has been finely milled will produce a light and fluffy baked good. (Almond meal is made from the whole nut — skin included — and is much coarser then almond flour.)
Jackie has her favorite brands (which you can check out on her blog) and recommends buying in bulk to save on cost. Almond flour can be stored in the freezer for up to one year.
Is Grain-Free for Me?
Even if you’re not limiting grains in your diet, there are benefits to choosing almond flour for baking. Almond flour is not only rich in vitamins and omega-3 fatty acids, but also contains twice the protein and four times the amount of fiber found in regular flour. The extra protein and fiber help you feel satisfied, meaning you’ll wind up eating less of the sweet treats in the long run when you bake with almond flour.
If you are interested in a grain-free lifestyle, you can check out more of Jackie’s recipes on her website, Grain Free Wellness.
Serves: 12 slices
- 1 cup creamy cashew butter, room temperature
- 5 large eggs
- 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
- 2 teaspoons butter or ghee
- ¾ teaspoon baking soda
- ¼ teaspoon fine sea salt
- Preheat oven to 350.
- Prepare an 8½ x 4½ x 2½ loaf pan with coconut oil or butter and line with parchment paper.
- Place cashew butter in the bowl of a food processor, add eggs and mix well.
- Add vinegar, butter or ghee and pulse to incorporate.
- Add baking soda and sea salt and pulse.
- Transfer batter to prepared pan.
- Bake for 40 to 45 minutes until tester comes out clean.
- Cool bread in pan for 15 minutes and then transfer to a cooling rack for one hour.
- Wrap bread tightly in plastic wrap and store in the refrigerator for two weeks or freeze.
Have you tried going grain-free? If so, what did you find most challenging? —Karen