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Monday, December 13, 2010

More Low-Carb Gluten-Free Bake Mix Options

Latest update Jan 25/2011: Many thanks to my friend, Donna Hodach-Price, for her painstaking testing of several gluten-free bake mixes, including a couple of her own.   Option #4 was the winner hands down for several reasons: simple, readily-available ingredients, taste, texture, rise and most importantly carb count.  Option #1 is a fabulous bake mix but a bit higher in carbs and more for folks in maintenance.  It is practically a cup-for-cup replacement for white flour.  It produced the best rise and a good texture.  Therefore, lots to work with and much to look forward to in the future with low-carb and gluten-free baking!

Donna said, "I know the focus here has been to create a LC-GF mix, but for those who cannot tolerate oat flour, it would seem to me that any GF flour could be substituted for the oat with similar results. The good news in that instance, is that by combining the (usually) high-carb, GF flour with the almond flour, flax meal, and xanthan, this will significantly reduce the number of carbs while producing a healthier 'flour' for baking. And that is the BEST news for GF bakers."
And I say, if this is the case and you would like to know the nutritional analysis with your chosen GF flour, please contact me and I'll figure it out for you with the greatest of pleasure.  I'm sure there are some nice options such as rice flour, brown rice flour and buckwheat flour (lower carb than the former examples, I think) to name a few.

Conclusion:


The best gluten-free low-carb bake mix to date, besides my original with coconut flour in it is option #4 with the flax meal reduced to 1/4 cup.  Keep in mind that wet/liquid ingredients may have to be decreased by 1/4 to 1/2 cup.  If desired, when replacing flour cup-for-cup in regular recipes with this gluten-free low-carb bake mix, add 1/4 cup extra.  I usually do that.  However, when substituting the Gluten-free bake mix for my Splendid low-carb bake mix or other low-carb bake mixes, use 2 tbsp less. (updated 2/14/2011) 

For convenience, double the batch and keep at room temperature in a sealed container for no longer than 3 weeks to one month, otherwise refrigerate or freeze.

Gluten-free Bake Mix (this is option #4, but will be changing the name to option #1 soon)

1 1/2 cups ground almonds OR almond flour*
1 cup certified gluten-free oat flour
1/4 cup golden flax meal
1 tsp Xanthan gum

Yield:  2 1/2 cups, 1/4 cup per serving
131.7 calories; 5.1 g protein; 8.7 g fat; 5.9 g carbs  (well-balanced between protein and carbs)

That is 23.6 g carbs per 1 cup.

*with almond flour:  2 3/4 cup yield, 1/4 cup per serving:
119.7 calories; 4.7 g protein; 7.9 g fat; 5.4 g carbs

That is 21.6 g carbs per 1 cup.  (Remember white flour is about 90 g carbs)

Some additional notes:  Since this is a higher carb bake mix than my Splendid Low-Carb Bake mix (3.3 g carbs per 1/3 cup), it is advisable to use erythritol and a carb-free sweetener such as liquid Splenda (sucralose) or Stevia powder or drops.  The synergy of two sweeteners helps to reduce the cooling effect of the erythritol.  Erythritol has no effect on blood sugar and is benign for most people re intestinal issues.  I'm very sensitive and I handle Erythritol very well - no problems at all. 


Gluten-free Bake Mix (this is option #1, but will be changing name to option #2)

1 1/2 cups oat flour
1 cup ground almonds OR almond flour*
1/3 cup golden flax meal
1 tsp Xanathan gum


Yield:  2 3/4 cups, 1/4 cup per serving
114.8 calories; 4.6 g protein; 6.3 g fat; 7.3 g carbs

29.2 g carbs per 1 cup


*or with almond flour, yield = 3 cups, 1/4 cup per serving:
105.2 calories; 4.2 g protein; 5.8 g fat; 6.7 g carbs

26.8 g carbs per 1 cup 

Thus ends the conclusion over here.  The following material is the ground work before the conclusions were reached.  Thank you for your patience.



Latest update Jan 09/2011:  My friend, Donna, and I are working on an optimal gluten-free bake mix that is also low-carb.  Option # 1 and 3 have been eliminated on grounds of being higher carb, however, of the two, Option #1 is a very good bake mix for those who are not quite as carb-sensitive.

My friend likes the idea of adding the whey protein, as in option #2, as she feels it is more balanced between carbs and protein and helps her blood sugars to stay more stable.   Right now we are working on a combination of #2 and #4.  Stay tuned.  :)


Something important to remember:  The amount of liquid or wet ingredients in your regular recipe might have to be reduced by as much as a half.


Granted, I have not tested all these bake mix options (actually only the one, option #3, but it should be fine), but if you are brave, you can try one or more in my favorite chocolate chip cookie test recipe.  I am fiber-sensitive and had to veer away from the bake mix with coconut flour in it.  My digestive system can handle the golden flax meal better than the coconut flour.  The Xanthan gum is essential to prevent crumbly baked goods and it also imparts a little of the properties of gluten to the bake mix.   I would be thrilled if some of you could test one or two of these bake mixes for me and give me some feedback as to how it turned out and what you liked or didn't like about it.  Thanks!  Remember we're blazing a trail here.  I don't see too many low-carb and gluten-free bake mix options out there?  I think even folks who can have gluten might be interested in cutting down on their gluten intake for whatever reason.  Until now those folks have not been doing it because nothing was available that was also low-carb.

Okay, no obligations, just have fun with these.  Oh sad news!  I assumed the amount of bake mix would be 3 cups (nope - 2 1/2 cups - a little more if almond flour is used vs ground almonds or almond meal), but turns out the flax meal affords almost no volume to the bake mix, which means the carbs are higher than I initially calculated  (to clarify - all the calculations below are corrected now).  Still, not too awful.  The good news?  Option #2  is the correct calculation (makes 3 cups) and is nice and low-carb considering it's gluten-free.

The other good news?  Since the flax meal offers no volume practically to the bake mix, you can reduce it by however much you would like.  I would not suggest increasing it as one would really detect it in baked goods then.  In conclusion, these are low-carb gluten-free bake mix options of 32 grams carbs per cup (option #1), 28 grams carbs per cup (option #3), 23.6 grams carbs per cup (option #4) and 21.2 g carbs per cup (option #2, similar carbs to using only defatted soy flour).  Considering white wheat flour is 92 grams carbohydrate per cup, these are good alternatives for our baking.  I think my vote goes to option #1 and option #2, but I haven't tried option #3.


Important Update (please read):  My husband could not tolerate 1/2 cup golden flax meal in the bake mixes or in the cookies.  He was at one point socially um, a bit you know what - uncomfortable?!  We're very fiber-sensitive in this family.  Anyway, the good news is that in all the bake mixes the golden flax meal can be reduced to 2 tbsp or 1/4 cup, depending on what works for you, without affecting the carb count, just reducing the calories a bit.  Flax is pretty calorific actually.  Surprising!  Anyway wanted to add this for other fiber-sensitive peeps - to warn them!  I can handle the flax a bit better than the coconut flour, but when I drop the amount in the bake mix to 2 tbsp, it doesn't affect any of us adversely - and we're very sensitive to too much fiber.

Sweetener Options:  Please remember you are free to use whatever you prefer.  Splenda Granular offers very little volume, if any, to my recipes.  I sometimes combine Splenda and erythritol these days for the synergy they provide.  I did try a Stevia-erythritol blend, but my whole family suffered digestive distress.  I know this is not across the board, but people are so different.  Sweeteners that we choose are a very personal thing and we choose them based on safety reasons, tummy issues, taste and you name it.
 Flour is being beaten into a cake mixture by e...Image via Wikipedia


Low-Carb Gluten-Free Bake Mix (with flax meal) - option #1 (tested) 
Fabulous results and tastes really great! 


1 1/2 cups certified gluten-free oat flour
1 cup almond flour
1/4 to 1/2 cup golden flax meal
1 tsp Xanthan gum

Yield:  2 1/2 cups, 1/4 cup per serving
126.3 calories; 5.1 g protein; 6.9 g fat; 8.0 g carbs


Lower-Fiber Low-Carb Gluten-Free Bake Mix (with flax meal and whey protein) - option #2 (tested)
Great results - tastes good!  The flax meal is to mitigate any dryness in the baking caused by the whey protein, so don't leave it out.  It does the trick!

1 3/4 cups almond flour
1 cup certified gluten-free oat flour
1/2 cup vanilla or plain whey protein
2 tbsp flax meal
1 tsp Xanthan gum

Yield:  3 cups, 1/4 cup per serving
128.7 calories; 7.1 g protein; 8.0 g fat; 5.3 g carbs

Low-Carb Gluten-Free Bake Mix (with flax meal) - option #3 (not tested, but I'm almost positive it will be fine) (This one has the same number of carbs as the coconut flour option - the original gluten-free bake mix)
1 1/4 cups certified gluten-free oat flour
1 1/4 cups almond flour
1/2 cup golden flax meal (reduce to 1/4 cup)
1 tsp Xanthan gum

Yield:  2 1/2 cups, 1/4 cup per serving
139.1 calories; 5.6 g protein; 8.6 g fat; 7.0 g carbs


Low-Carb Gluten-Free Bake Mix (with flax meal) - option #4 (tested)
I halved the chocolate chip cookie recipe and used what I thought was a smaller large egg.  Turned out it was a twin yolk egg!  Ever seen that?  Sometimes I get several of them in a row.  I figure I could have won the lottery on such days!  Anyway, this batter was more moist than it should have been - maybe it was too much egg since the original called for one large egg and I still basically used a large egg and should have used half an egg (I was being lazy!).  The cookie batter spread (made a wider, rounder, less chunky looking cookie than previous experiments) whereas with option #1 they did not.  They still taste fantastic and once cooled, can be picked up easily.  You can reduce the flax in the bake mix without affecting the carbs, but bringing the calories down by about 12 calories per 1/4 cup bake mix if a 1/4 cup flax is removed.  Personally, that's what I would recommend in this recipe because I detected the flax left a tiny granule or two sticking to the roof of my mouth.  Reducing the flax should fix the problem

1 1/2 cups almond flour
1 cup certified gluten-free oat flour
1/2 cup golden flax meal (reduce to 1/4 cup as mentioned in the blurb immediately above)
1 tsp Xanthan gum

Yield:  2 1/2 cups, 1/4 cup per serving
143.7 calories; 5.7 g protein; 7.5 g fat; 5.9 g carbs
with only 1/4 cup golden flax meal:
131.7 calories; 5.1 g protein; 8.7 g fat; 5.9 g carbs  (well balanced between protein and carbs)


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25 comments:

Anneliese said...

WOW! Im so happy to see this! Gluten free WOOT WOOT! Just in time for the holidays too!

I missed your posts lately due to stashing the RSS feed into a special yahoo place. In other words I couldn't find the feed!
Oh well....

Jennifer said...

Yay, Anneliese - wondered where you went! (((HUGS)))

RVcook said...

Oh Jennifer...these sound like an answer to my GF baking. Now that GF oats are back in the picture, I think I can make this work. Thank you SO much!

Jennifer said...

Hi Donna! How great to hear from you! (((HUGS))) I'm so happy to hear you say that. I know how much you love baking.

Search Engine Marketing said...

This recipe looks so easy for made. I have to try it in my home.

RVcook said...

Oh yes...I DO love baking!

What I'm thinking of doing is trying each formula side-by-side in the same recipe to see if there are any discernible differences in the finished product. I'll probably use a cookie and a muffin recipe. If those can be mastered, then the rest is easy.

I will definitely keep you posted as to the results. :-)

Jennifer said...

Hi Donna,

That would be incredible! I'd like your feedback. I think if you could reduce the flax meal to 1/4 cup in the bake mixes, except for the one that has 2 tbsp, I'd be grateful. I'm never using 1/2 cup again as poor Ian was in trouble with that much flax fiber. I think a cookie and muffin recipe would be great to test these recipes. Hope you find tge one that you like best. I'm curious! :)

RVcook said...

LOL...poor Ian! We actually LOVE flax in our home, but will take your challenge and reduce it. No worries. I hope to get in some kitchen time this weekend. Wish me luck...

Jennifer said...

Thanks, Donna. He was so upset with me! LOL I hope you have fun! I have some product from someone (also bake mixes - well, flour blends) that I have to be testing shortly to give feedback, so I'll be thinking of you in your test kitchen.

RVcook said...

Well...I just finished my first round of side-by-side testing of your new GF Bake Mixes. I selected a muffin recipe that I used to bake with your Nut Free Ultimate Bake mix before going gluten-free. Muffins were my go-to breakfast of choice with my morning coffee in previous years and I was missing them! Based on the results, your Option #1 GF Bake Mix is the hands-down winner of this smackdown :-)

The muffins rose beautifully (and held!). They browned nicely and produced a finished product with very good texture and moistness. I was amazed and really, REALLY pleased!

Unfortunately, I ran out of almond flour so once I get in my new supply, I'll resume testing and post my findings here. Great job Jennifer! Thanks for getting this LC-GF ball rolling.

I'm going to send you a PM at LCF which will give you my full results.

Jennifer said...

Thanks, Donna. It is the most robust of the bake mixes for sure, also the most carby unfortunately. One has to add the wet ingredients cautiously, especially with the less robust bake mixes. Donna can you email me rather when you are ready (no rush) at Jennifer.Eloff@gmail.com That would be better than LCF's. Thanks ever so much. I am so thrilled that you are doing this for me. Super! When all is said and done, let me know which cookbook or two of mine I can send you as a gift.

RVcook said...

OK...email is on the way.

You are absolutely correct about it being a robust mix. Regardless, I am so happy to have a lower carb option for baking...I'm just tickled pink!!!

You are so kind to offer one of your books, but I already have them ALL! LOL!!! I am just happy knowing that you have taken an interest in LC-GF baking. As far as I know NO-ONE is undertaking this challenge. You are very 'brave' to jump into this. Thank you...

Jennifer said...

LOL Thanks, Donna. If I do write any more cookbooks, they'll be yours for free!

Actually there are several people doing low-carb and gluten-free. I was shocked the other day when I went through my blog roll and realized that most of the people on there are low-carb and gluten-free. Check them out!

Anneliese said...

That tells you something when you see more folks who are LC and GF. More and more people are learning about gluten intolerance. Im just thrilled that Im able to modify many of your recipes to GF.

Anneliese said...

Jennifer, did you find it was the maltodextrin in the stevia powder that may have caused the intestinal discomfort?

Jennifer said...

Yes, you can modify many of my recipes with the GF Bake mixes now.

Splenda Granular contains maltodextrin, so it would not be that. I have never had a problem with Splenda Granular. I didn't know they put it in the Stevia blend. I thought it was just a Stevia/Erythritol blend.

RVcook said...

Well I sure had FUN!!! Who would expect such differences from one mix to another? Each mix has its own characteristics and I found that there is some leeway for adjusting ingredients, but I am REALLY excited to have so many options now. Yaaaaaaaaaaaaaaayyyyy!!!!!

I know the focus here has been to create a LC-GF mix, but for those who cannot tolerate oat flour, it would seem to me that any GF flour could be substituted for the oat with similar results. The good news in that instance, is that by combining the (usually) high-carb, GF flour with the almond flour, flax meal, and xanthan, this will significantly reduce the number of carbs while producing a healthier 'flour' for baking. And that is the BEST news for GF bakers.

Thanks again Jennifer. :-D

Jennifer said...

Thanks again, Donna, for your invaluable help. :) (((HUGS))) I didn't have the energy at the time to do as much testing as you did. You just took over and ran with it! Thank you! You have inspired and reinvigorated me. That in itself was a big help to me. You have so much talent in the kitchen.

I'll post your bake mix shortly. I almost can't believe the yield you got. I think maybe ground almonds vs almond flour makes the difference. Ground almonds produces a lower yield. I think I will go with your yield, but I must first verify by how much we differ - so that the nutritional analysis is as accurate as possible. I'm glad you gave me weights, because I can make up the difference with ground almonds - to get the same final weight. That will help. My problem is I can't source almond flour here, so have to grind my own and it is much coarser (read: not as nice!). I think I'm going to ask you to check the yield for Option #4, because I suspect we will differ there as well, and that the carbs are actually a bit lower as a result.

Folks, this new bake mix that I have yet to reveal has great potential. I have yet to try it, but it is low-carb and Donna says it performs wonderfully.

Jennifer said...

Good point, Donna, about being able to switch out the oat flour for another gluten-free oat flour. The bake mix will still be lower carb, just not as low-carb. If anyone wants to do this and needs to know the nutritional analysis of their particular bake mix, let me know, and I'll work it out for you with my nutritional program.

gfnoor said...

Hi Jennifer,
and Donna,
Thank you so much for the GF Low Carb mix!
I do have a small request though,
would it be possible to post the weights for the oat, almond flour/meal and flax please.
thank you so much for this,
hugs,
Noor.

Jennifer said...

Noor, I used standard measuring cups for baking. I scoop the ingredients in and don't pack them down. I usually level it off with a knife. These bake mixes and their effectiveness are not sensitive to slight differences in the weights by a few grams here or there. Even if one uses almond flour vs ground almonds, the baking comes out much the same. It's very forgiving that way.

I've never weighed my ingredients. When I next make the bake mix, I'll try to remember to do that for you.

gfnoor said...

Thank you so much, for clarifying that Jennifer. I was a bit concerned, because I make my almond flour at home, and it's as fine as the store bought, but I didn't want to make a mistake. I am so excited to try this. If I was to use the mix as a substitute for GF flour in a recipe, would I still follow the "increase the flour by 1/4 cup, and reduce the liquid by 1/4 to 1/2 cup" guideline?
Once again,
Thank you so much for this,
hugs Noor,

PS. Sorry for the continuous questions.

Jennifer said...

Don't worry. Ask away. Yes, just simply make the bake mix with your flour and follow the directions. Things will turn out much the same whether your flour is fine or coarse. Don't worry about it. So, yes, follow the same directions. If you are using this bake mix to replace regular flour: Say, you need 2 cups of flour in a muffin or loaf recipe - use 2 1/4 cups. Withhold 1/2 cup of the wet ingredients and add as necessary. If your batter is too wet/sloppy, you can add a little more bake mix and it will still be fine and visa versa. Hugs back at ya! :)

Anna Thompson said...

Jennifer,
I can't thank you enough for your wonderful blog. My husband and I have lost a combined total of 165 pounds.(90 for me, and 75 for him) This is due to eating low carb and thanks in large part to your site. Your recipes have been an integral part of our weight loss journey. You've made it so much easier and tastier than it would've been otherwise!
I've had many people asking me exactly what I've done to lose so much weight. I started a blog of my own to share my ideas with my friends. It is still in its infancy at this point. I made a post explaining which one of your bake mixes I use. Of course I gave you full credit and included a link to your site, but I want to make sure that you are okay with the way I made the post. I also have a few original recipes that I've made using your bake mix. For instance, my hush puppies use your bake mix. If you have a chance to take a look, I would appreciate it. http://lowcarbfamily.com/archives/280
If you have any issue with this post, please let me know and I'll change it immediately. I've appreciated you so much! The last thing I want to do is fail to give you proper credit.
Thanks again for all of your work.
Anna T.

Jennifer said...

WOW! That is one of the nicest comments I've had in a long while. THANK you so much for your kind words and I'm thrilled to bits to hear that my recipes helped you on your WOL and helped you lose so much weight - and your hubby too! That's an awesome achievement by the way. A quick look at your blog - post looks fine and credit given looks great. :) I'll spend some time there tomorrow. I'm so exhausted tonight - just finished working on the second edition of volume 1 of Low-Carbing Among Friends. Always stressful under a deadline.

I am so surprised that you found an earlier bake mix of mine and love it so much. Good for you! ((HUGS))