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Saturday, May 28, 2016


Almond flour versus almond meal (ground almonds) produces slight differences.  We used to use oat flour by Arrowhead Mills®, but see below for certified gluten-free.  This was my first bake mix which I have pretty much abandoned in favor of Splendid Gluten-Free Bake Mix 2.  However, if you prefer the Bake Mix 1, it is interchangeable with Bake Mix 2 that uses gelatin instead of xanthan gum (as long as the recipe actually has gelatin in it...there will be differences with recipes that don't include gelatin, obviously, as xanthan gum and gelatin both thicken the batter a bit, plus the real reason for these ingredients is to prevent crumbly outcomes...they bind all the components of the bake mix together).  This is the updated version as seen in revised copies of our Low-Carbing Among Friends cookbooks.  Volumes 1, 3 and 4 have been revised and are organized by category, instead of by author.  They have lots of lovely photos.  Volume 5 also has photos and is organized by category.  Volume 2 and 5 are the next books that are being revised.  I am hoping to have a new cookbook one of these days in addition to Kindle books (my recipes only with perhaps a few from each of the team of Low-Carbing Among Friends).

Note:  I used to use almond meal (using sliced almonds and a coffee bean grinder), but these days I feel enormously blessed to be able to order 25 lbs of the best almond flour ever from Honeyville Grains online).

Almond flour versus almond meal (ground almonds) produces slight differences.  We use the nutritional analysis of oat flour by Arrowhead Mills®, however, use certified gluten-free Bob's Red Mill Oat flour if you are extremely sensitive to gluten or have Celiac disease.  Instead of xanthan gum or gelatin (in my Bake Mix 2), I believe one could use ground chia seeds (needs to be added to the wet ingredients).  I need to explore that idea a bit, but you're welcome to add a bit of that instead of the xanthan gum or the gelatin.  Most recipes should be fine with 1/4 to 1/2 tsp of ground chia seeds...depending on how much bake mix is used in the recipe. Here is more about chia seeds for some interesting reading. 

Surprising health benefits of oat flour.  Many people anti-grains these days and I personally believe it's not necessary to throw the baby out with the bath water, so to speak.  There are some grains that are beneficial, oat flour being one of them.  Obviously, some people are very sensitive to any carbohydrates, so proceed cautiously with the bake mix (however, if you look at my baking, recipes are all suitably low-carb).  Please do avoid white flour and other highly processed flours and definitely avoid sugar.  On that topic, there are some breakthrough ideas re pasta and rice and how they can be consumed more safely.  Check out this thread on 

Here is a lady who has celiac disease talking about how she can still enjoy oat flour.


It is imperative to use Bob’s Red Mill coconut flour for all my recipes requiring coconut flour!  Coconut flours differ in their ability to absorb moisture and that will affect the recipes.

12/3  cups almond meal, OR (400 mL; 182 g)
  almond flour – yield is greater with
  almond flour by up to 1/2 cup (125 mL) more,
  so then carbs would be 4.8 g – bonus!
3/4  cup certified GF oat flour (175 ml; 100 g)
  (Bob’s Red Mill®, not Legacy Valley®)
2 tbsp sifted coconut flour, (30 mL) 
  (Bob’s Red Mill®)
3/4  tsp xanthan gum (3 mL)

In large bowl, combine almond meal (ground almonds), OR almond flour, oat flour (can substitute gluten-free sorghum flour, which others have had success with in the bake mix – see other ideas with Bake Mix 2, page 242), coconut flour and xanthan gum.  In container with airtight lid, place bake mix and shake well to combine.  When measuring oat flour, make sure to tap the cup on the counter top and fill to the top to get the correct yield for the bake mix.  Keep bake mix at room temperature for one month or freeze for much longer storage.

Instructions for standard recipes:  Add 1/4 cup (60 mL) additional bake mix when substituting for 1 cup (250 mL) or more than 1 cup (250 mL) flour and use 2 tbsp (30 mL) more if substituting for less than 1 cup (250 mL).  Always begin by adding an extra egg in muffins, loaves, cakes and coffee cakes, except for cookies, and except if bake mix required is less than or equal to 1 cup (250 mL).  Withhold 1/4 cup (60 mL) of liquid or fat ingredients; add in as needed (usually need it all). If batter after processing at least a minute is still too thick, add more of the wet ingredients, and if accidentally the batter ends up too sloppy, then add a little more bake mix. If all the liquid has been used and the batter is still too stiff, add another egg and another if necessary. Baking experience is helpful. 

Helpful Hints:  Great in muffins, loaves (with eggs!), cookies, scones, squares, coffee cakes, many cakes, pie crusts and a few other specialized applications, but will not be suitable for all applications, nor for most yeast applications.  Xanthan gum has gluten-like properties, binding ingredients together to prevent crumbly outcomes.  To substitute this bake mix for some of my earlier bake mixes (not gluten-free), 2 tbsp (30 mL) to 1/4 cup (60 mL) more bake mix may be required depending on if one is replacing less than 1 cup (250 mL) or 1 cup (250 mL) or more (last 2, latter amount). It is convenient to double, triple or quadruple this bake mix.  Gluten-Free Bake Mix 1 and 2 seem to be interchangeable.   

I usually keep my bake mix in the container shown above.  We have a hot and humid climate and we don't use air conditioning other than in the one bedroom.  It normally is fine at room temperature in the airtight container for at least a month .  If I need to store leftovers for longer, I freeze it and typically use that for "breading" veggies and fish, etc., as usually I don't have a lot to freeze.  However, after thawing completely and shaking it in your container to mix well, it should be good to go for baking.  I have also used it straight out of the freezer - somehow with the other ingredients in the bake mix, it typically doesn't form clumps, which almond flour on its own has a tendency to do when frozen (just use your food processor (use the pulse button) to process briefly to get rid of clumps).

Alternatives for Oat Flour, Almond Flour and Coconut Flour:  If you are intolerant to certified gluten-free oat flour (could be the avenin), substitute some other gluten-free flour like sorghum flour, which others have had success with in the bake mix. Other ideas: quinoa flour (a seed not a grain works very well, however, it might have a strong taste – try Bob’s Red Mill® and toasting the flour first to create a mild taste and store in the freezer), Carbalose flour, Spelt flour (weak and a different gluten to wheat), Einkorn flour, an ancient, healthy wheat (last three are not gluten-free – available at or Amazon).  I like the health profile of oat flour (it makes up a small portion of the bake mix and helps our baking taste more normal), as it lowers cholesterol very effectively. It now turns out that oat flour is actually Paleo, as ancient stones were analyzed and oat flour remnants were discovered. Instead of almond flour, use sunflower seed flour (baking soda will turn baked goods greenish; use baking powder) or hazelnut flour. Instead of coconut flour, use golden flax seed meal or possibly oat fiber.  You could experiment with half oat flour and half oat fiber in the bake mix.

Yield:   21/2 cups (625 mL)
1/4 cup (60 mL) per serving
125.7 calories
4.5 g protein
8.9 g fat
5.7 g net carbs

Why the small amount of oat flour over time should help lower cholesterol:  READ ABOUT IT HERE

The virtues of my bake mix - READ ABOUT IT HERE

NOTE:  If you would like to use this bake mix, but for whatever reason your body does not tolerate xanthan gum well (my hubby!), then please visit SPLENDID GLUTEN-FREE BAKE MIX 2.  That is my preference these days.  The bake mixes are interchangeable.  You can use one or the other in the recipes.

Quote from a fan, a nurse by profession: "I am a 20g or less low carber. Live in ketosis. I use Jen's bake mix often and never have any problems, never go over on my carbs, never knocks me out of ketosis. And it has opened up a whole world of amazing dishes, from low carb breads/rolls, even to veggie dishes (ie yellow squash casserole). Look at her carb counts per serving, very low...

When people go low carb, they give up a lot, (of course they gain so much more) are right in that the bake mix gives baked goods a feel, taste, and texture that is closer to mainstream baked goods, and does it with VERY little carbs. Nut flours are nice, but a bit heavy, and excess nuts are also not a good idea. Coconut flour is really nice and light, but you gotta use a million eggs! Lol!!! So this very low carb bake mix can help win a lot of folks over to low carbing and a healthier way of life by giving them something that seems close to what they are used to. Ok. Climbing off my soap box now! Lol!

For those that don't have a particular intolerance to oat, it is a very small amount and would still allow a person to stay low carb. She uses the gluten free oat flour. I don't particularly eat the oat for the cholesterol benefits, because low carbing in general will provide all the help with cholesterol you will need. I think most people in the grain free world view wheat as the real culprit. I am completely wheat and gluten free by choice. (I have no food allergies or intolerances.) Yet after carefully reviewing Jen's recipes and carb counts using the bake mixes, I gave it a try. I love the bake mix! And as I said, I keep at 20g or below and stay in continual ketosis. Can't get much more low carb than that. So as long as a person doesn't have a specific intolerance to oats, I encourage all to try!"

NOTE:  Some people have tummy issues with xanthan gum.  My Splendid Gluten-Free Bake Mix 2 is the answer to that problem.  It uses unflavored, unsweetened gelatin.

My Alternate Bake Mixes (not gluten-free): When substituting the Splendid Gluten-Free bake mix for some of my other bake mixes, 2 tbsp (30 mL) to 1/cup (60 mL) more bake mix may be required depending on if one is replacing less than 1 cup (250 mL) or 1 cup (250 mL) or more (last 2, latter amount).  Follow the same rules above.  It is convenient to double or triple this bake mix.  See blog post on this recipe for more information or updates:

Oat flour and almond flour in the gluten-free bake mix are both proven heart-healthy ingredients. Oat flour reduces cholesterol.  Arrowhead Mills Oat flour is used in the nutritional analysis as well as ground almonds (made using sliced almonds and a Cusinart coffee grinder, 18-cup capacity, although these days they have one specifically for grinding nuts and seeds) versus almond flour as that is what was used in the bake mix.

(Honeyville Grains) is the very best blanched almond flour available at a good price. With regard to oats and insulin spikes – remember if it was pure oat flour, it would be a problem, but since the oat flour is a small amount diluted in a large amount of almond flour and a bit of coconut flour, the glycemic load (which is more important than glycemic index) is a lot lower and, therefore, the insulin response would be a lot lower, but everyone is different. The coconut flour, oat flour and xanthan gum provide fiber which is heart-healthy as well as helps stabilize blood sugar.  Compare the heart-healthy Splendid Gluten-Free Bake mix with bleached all-purpose flour which contains alloxan, a chemical used to induce diabetes in lab rats, let alone the gliadin,which is a protein in wheat that stimulates the appetite for more . 1/cup (60 mL) white flour = 24 g carbs and compare 1/cup (60 mL) Gluten-Free Bake Mix = 5.7 g carbs (Splendid Gluten-Free Bake Mix is 4 times less carby than white flour!).  This bake mix may be used in place of Jennifer’s other bake mixes in most recipes.  See instructions below recipe. What to do with leftover bake mix?  Visit (RHS) to find suggestions.


One sweet lady shared with me recently in comments under the Banana Bars with Cream Cheese Frosting - love comments like this! :)  I hope she doesn't mind me sharing.

"Good to know I can keep a smaller batch right on the counter.  I'm in Georgia/USA and it's hot and humid here.  I buy 25 lbs of blanched almond flour from Honeyville Grain. I break it down into large freezer bags and freeze most of it.  It saves me money to buy it in bulk.  We have an extra refrigerator in our garage so that helps.  I usually mix up 4x - 5x your GF bake mix.  Shake it up, dip my measuring cup into the mix and level it off with the back of a knife.  It's been no-fail.  I'm baking one or two of your recipes each week.  Your GF baked goods go into my kids lunchboxes each day so we really appreciate all that you do to bring us these wonderful recipes!"

"I cooked these bars this morning.  They browned beautifully and smell divine.  Easy to make as I always keep a large tupperware container full of your GF bake mix in my fridge. Just give it a good shake and I'm ready to bake.  Instead of cream cheese frosting, I covered them with your Chocolate Ganache recipe from Low Carbing Among Friends as my husband and kids are chocolate lovers.  We've been enjoying the new cookbook so much.  Thanks!"

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