Following a gluten-free diet or catering for somebody with a gluten intolerance is not always easy. There are so many delicious foods out there and they are always so tempting. However, these foods often contain gluten. So you might enjoy eating the meal but you’ll end up paying for it later. This news might sound rather bleak but, on the plus side, there are also a lot of recipes that allow for simple substitution. The key is to follow these three rules:
Substitute with gluten-free flour
Flour and wheat products are known for containing considerable amounts of gluten. You might think that you can never eat bread or your favourite baked goods again but this is not necessarily the case.
Just like substituting cow’s milk with non-dairy alternatives, you can also substitute regular flour with gluten-free flour. Corn flour and rice flour don’t normally contain gluten but it’s always important to read the label to make sure. The label should state that the product is gluten free. If not, it might be your safest choice.
Cooking by weight
Recipes often use standard cup measurements but this is not always the most accurate measuring system. The weight of gluten-free flour can differ from that of regular flour. For example, 1cup of regular flour weighs approximately 120grams while 1 cup of gluten-free flour weighs about 140grams. This is quite a significant difference and, if you want the recipe to come out just right, you need to make the necessary adjustments. Although it might sound like a lot of work in the beginning, it’s certainly worthwhile.
Test changes one by one
If your recipe contains several ingredients with gluten, you might be better off substituting one at a time. In other words, substitute one main ingredient and leave the rest as they are. Test the result and gauge your success. Once you’re happy, substitute the first ingredient along with another one and continue testing as you go. Make notes of all of your changes so that you can replicate the results.
Watch out for hidden gluten
Before you cook anything, you need to check each and every ingredient to make sure that none of them contain gluten. While wheat products are obvious foods that you will need to eliminate or substitute, things like cheese, bullion cubes, gravy, hot dogs, and even certain pickles can contain gluten!
Remember, if you are sending a gift to somebody on a gluten-free diet, it’s important that you look for such items as a gluten-free hamper. Items that are specifically marked as being gluten-free are always your safest bet.