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Friday, May 27, 2011

Quinoa Flour in My Splendid Gluten-Free Bake Mix

Hmm, thought I would try it out as an alternative to the oat flour in the Splendid Gluten-Free Bake Mix as some folks had mentioned it could be an alternative.    The muffin texture and height was fine, but frankly the Quinoa flour leaves a "taste" that I don't particularly like the first day or after the muffins are freshly baked (I made my Mmmm Cinnamon Chocolate Chip Muffins).  I tasted the batter and immediately knew there was a problem.  I added a little extra cinnamon and sweetener to try and mask the aftertaste.  It was definitely a little better.  So, quinoa flour has a strong taste and is quite expensive, however, I have to say today the muffins are lovely.  The aftertaste is minimal (maybe one gets used to it?), the texture is drier than with oat flour and hence the muffins rose higher and kept a better height even upon cooling.  So, in conclusion I think quinoa flour is an option, not one I will personally choose, however, it is a viable option for those who have a fear of oat flour.  Quinoa is lower on the glycemic index and has a higher protein quotient.  Many low-carbers, especially those in maintenance have embraced quinoa products.  I mixed quinoa with cauli-rice and loved it.  I actually cooked the quinoa (not flour - like little granules rather) just as I do rice with my oven method.  Four cups water in big pot, bring to boil, add seasonings (such as chicken bouillon and turmeric) and 2 cups quinoa.  Bring to boil again.  Place lid on pot and put it in 350 deg. F. oven and bake quinoa about 25 to 30 minutes.  Done!  Sooo simple.  I always make rice like that for my boys.  Sure it gets harder in the refrigerator.  Then I stir-fry it with a bit of oil, soy sauce and add a little water and it is tender again.  Okay, I have a habit of getting off track...sorry about that, but hope this info is useful to someone out there.  :)  Here is all kinds of info about quinoa.

In the past people with Celiac disease were told to steer clear of all oat products.  Oat flour has no gluten.  However, regular garden-variety oat flour is processed in processing plants where wheat products are processed and cross-contamination can possibly occur.  I think this is why people were warned to stay away from oat flour. Then the experts relented and specified a certain amount that could be consumed per day by someone with Celiac disease (mainly because of the chance of contamination with wheat products in a regular grain processing plant).  Nowadays, however, they have specific, separate fields dedicated for growing oats and also grown specifically for completely gluten-free processing plants.  Therefore, certified gluten-free oat flour is going to be gluten-free - period!  If you do have some reaction to my baked goodies, unfortunately it is mostly going to be due to the xanthan gum and also getting used to oat flour and the little bit of fiber in the coconut flour.  Horses eat oats.  Hmm, what do they do when they eat oats....I'll leave it up to your imagination.  The good news is when you eat my gluten-free buns (will post soon - lovely recipe - just perfecting it for you!), you're not going to eat the whole batch in one sitting.  Believe me, they are so good, that I could almost do that, but I don't want to have a distended tummy by the end of the day.  The other good news is that one's system gets used to the xanthan gum and oat flour.  By the way xanthan gum helps with weight loss and keeps one regular, as does the coconut flour (keep one regular).  Still, the bake mix is relatively low in fiber.  I needed to create a bake mix that was not too high in fiber as I don't want to set off IBS for weeks and also I don't want to do that to other people with similar digestive issues.  So, my advice is if you are new to the Splendid gluten-free bake mix, then take it slowly.  Don't eat too much of the baked goodies in one day.  Have a little each day and acclimatize to the different products therein.  It gets better.  Still, I have found that when I quit baking for a while and then go back to baking, I'm back to square one and have to start slowly all over again.

The Nutritional Analysis for Splendid Gluten-Free Bake Mix with Quinoa Flour instead of Oat Flour:

1/4 cup = 138.2 calories; 4.8 g protein; 9.1 g fat; 7.3 g carbs   (quinoa flour)
1/4 cup = 125.7 calories; 4.5 g protein; 8.9 g fat; 5.7 g carbs   (oat flour)

So, quinoa flour produces a bake mix that is moderate in carbs, but not as low as with oat flour.  However, compare that with any other gluten-free bake mix out there and there is a huge difference.  Gluten-free bake mixes are typically as high in carbs as white wheat flour or higher!  To create a low-carb bake mix is a challenge, however, to create a low-carb and gluten-free bake mix was a big challenge - and then add in all the other little things I wanted to take into consideration like not too much xanthan gum or coconut flour or fiber period and no flax... not easy!!  However, so far I'm happy enough with the Splendid Gluten-Free Bake Mix.  It produces very nice baking - just the fact that the baking sinks a little is annoying, but other than that - very nice!

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