Ok let’s get something straight here. Contrary to popular belief, the words “Gluten-free”, “Vegan” and “Healthy” are not synonymous. Just because something is labeled as “Gluten-free” or “Vegan” does not mean that it is necessarily good for you.
In fact, often the pre-packaged gluten-free and vegan versions of our favorite baked goods are nutritionally deficient in comparison to their gluten and egg containing counterparts. However, that does not mean that it is unhealthy to be Vegan or to live Gluten-free. Not at all. It just means that, like everyone else, you need to be wary about what you are buying. Read labels and educate yourself on what you are reading.
Gluten-free companies are no different than those in any other business sector. They want to make money. So they make what they think their customers will buy. And in their attempts to recreate the soft, fluffy texture of traditional refined flour baked goods, gluten-free bakers turned to the refined versions of gluten-free flours as well.
Once you start reading labels on your favorite gluten-free products you will notice that many of the best tasting gluten-free breads also contain a high percentage of refined starches or white rice flour. And although these flours are safe for those with gluten sensitivities, they are almost entirely devoid of nutrients and important dietary fiber. And whether they are gluten-free or not, consuming a lot of high starch foods can lead to excess weight gain and type 2 diabetes. So when looking for gluten-free breads or even in your search for gluten-free recipes, look for those that have the least amount of refined starches and the highest percentage of whole grains and dietary fiber.
Remember that the higher that whole grains are listed on the ingredient list, the more of those ingredients are present in the product. Some addition of starches (tapioca and arrowroot are good ones) are often necessary to help bind the gluten-free flours together and give the breads a more traditional texture. The key is to make sure that these starches are used more as an additive than a main ingredient.
Some good flours to consider using more of are: coconut flour, almond flour (both of which are grain-free, very high in dietary fiber and are low on the glycemic index), whole grain sorghum flour, stoneground brown or wild rice flour, certified gluten-free whole oat flour, amaranth flour, buckwheat flour (not a wheat at all!) or quinoa flour (the grain with the highest protein content).
To make buying specialty flours more affordable and to ensure that they are minimally processed consider making them at home by grinding the whole grains, nuts or seeds in a grain mill or coffee grinder just prior to using them. Buying these grains in bulk from local suppliers is another great way to make buying gluten-free a little easier on the wallet (for my favorite online resources, click here).
This recipe is for an incredibly nutrient-dense gluten-free bread. It is not vegan, because I wanted it to be free of “gums” (xanthan gum, guar gum). But I’m sure you could modify it fairly easily to make it vegan. If you want to substitute different flours, just make sure that you try to match the density of the flour you are replacing and then you can keep the measurements the same.
Enjoy! And don’t forget to tell me about the creations that come from your own experimenting!
What you’ll need
4 room temp farm fresh eggs (cold eggs will harden the coconut oil)
1 tsp apple cider vinegar
122g Almond Flour
63g Tapioca Flour
79g Buckwheat or Quinoa Flour
52g Flax Meal
2.5g Sea Salt
2.5g Non-‐alum Baking Soda
5-10g Coconut Sugar
Optional ingredients: (add any or all of the following to make your own variations on the basic recipe)
2 tsp caraway seeds
1 tsp garlic
Two Mixing Bowls
Mixing spoon or Spatula
7.5″ x 3.5″ Loaf Pan OR Muffin tin (for dinner rolls)
How to do it
Step 1 – Preheat oven to 350F. Add dry ingredients and mix well to combine.
Step 2 – In a separate bowl, combine vinegar and eggs and whisk well.
Step 3 – Add egg mixture to dry ingredients and mix to combine. Don’t overmix.
Step 4 – Scoop batter into loaf pan or, for dinner rolls, scoop into a 6-‐cup muffin tin OR make batter into 2-‐in diameter disks on parchment paper. Bake loaf for 30-‐ 35min or until a knife inserted in the center comes out clean. For dinner rolls, bake for 20-‐25min.