GFCF Day 3

I’m happy to report that so far everything is going just fine. No terrible breakdowns or tantrums from the guys, although they were kind of goofy for a couple of days. We’ve found things they can eat and they have been cooperative about trying new things. Not lots of new things all at once, but one or two new things a day.

Some things are definitely in my favor. For one, they are used to me experimenting in the kitchen, so all the new stuff is not so weird. It’s just Mom on one of her kicks. Also, we’ve got the whole family cooperating with us, no one saying bad stuff about it, and that is tremendous help. I believe I’m seeing changes in behavior, but it may be my imagination. Not exactly certain one way or the other yet.

We’ve tried Vegan Gourmet Cheddar Cheese and it is superb. The texture is not the exact same as dairy cheese, but it’s still pleasant. And the flavor is as good as expensive aged cheddar. I will definitely be using this more often. Most folks say it tastes good melted and I would have to concur on this point.

I made my first GF flour mixture today. I’ve read about a dozen different ones from different cookbook authors, and they all have some similarities and some differences. A commenter was kind enough to share an article titled Solving the GF Flour Mix Mystery. It’s a good article and I recommend reading it.

Anyway, after looking at the combinations I thought I might try my own. I used flours that are less expensive than those suggested in some GF Flour Mixes. The recipe is easy enough–


  • 24 ounces or 4-1/2 cups white rice flour
  • 1 cup soybean flour
  • 1 cup cornstarch
  • 1/2 cup instant mashed potato flakes

Combine all together. Store on the pantry shelf in a clearly labeled, resealable container.

So after making the flour mix I tried a muffin recipe. They turned out very nice. The kids liked them, Fred loved them. The texture is very similar to conventional muffins.


  • 2/3 cup soymilk
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons vinegar
  • 1 egg
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 cup GF Flour Mix
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder

In a medium-sized bowl beat together the soymilk, vinegar, egg and oil. Mix well. Add the flour mix, salt, sugar and baking powder. Beat again until everything is well moistened but a few small lumps remain.

Turn the batter into well oiled muffin cups. I used extra-large muffin cups and filled them about half full. Bake in a preheated 375 degree oven for 20 minutes. These muffins do not rise as high as wheat-muffins. Mine turned out short and wide, perfect for cutting in half and using instead of a biscuit for ham or bacon. They were also good spread with margarine and topped with jam. I got 6 muffins. I will make these again for a quick dinner bread or for breakfast sandwiches.

AT the moment I have a batch of bread made from this Flour Mix rising in the oven. I’ll share how it turns out later.

Another quick note, I have realized that a GFCF diet is based upon rice and soy, whereas a standard American diet is based upon wheat and dairy. It could be lots of people already figured this out, but it was a “Eureka Moment” for me. 🙂



Filed under GFCF, GFCF Recipes, Low Cost Foods

15 responses to “GFCF Day 3

  1. Gilana

    Hi, Maggie,
    In kosher cooking, no milk products can be mixed with poultry or red meat, so if you look up kosher recipes you’ll find many that naturally shun casein. As far as gluten free, there are many Passover recipes that will contain no gluten. A lot contain matzot, which is wheat and therefore gluten, but many call for potato starch, and of course many recipes will naturally shun any wheat products for the holiday.
    Just something I thought of you might want to check out.
    Glad to hear how well everything is going!

  2. Great job Maggie! Those muffins sound great! I’m glad your family ate them and loved them!

    Sounds like you are really doing well with gluten free living!

    I’m excited to see how your bread turns out! Was it a yeast bread or a quick bread?

  3. Maggie, to help your gluten free quick baked goods to rise better you can whip your egg whites separately, and fold them in last. It also helps to sift your dry ingredients together thoroughly before adding wet ingredients to make sure that the baking power or leavener has been thoroughly dispersed in the mix. Also with muffins, you can let them sit for about 15 minutes before baking, and that seem to help them rise a little bit higher!

    Gluten Free whole grains also seem to rise higher than GF goods baked only with white rice and starches! So you might want to try adding sorghum flour or millet flour in addition to your white rice flour for a better rise!

    Also xanthan gum will help GF batters to rise. you do not need very much at all for things like muffins, but it really gives GF batters a boost in rising! For example, in your muffin recipe I would only recommend using about 1/4 teaspoon xanthan gum, but it will help!

  4. Wow Carrie. I honor your wisdom :).

    I had no idea that whole grains give a better rise, or that Xanthan helped quick breads too. I added 1-tablespoon of Xanthan to my yeast bread, and it turned out pretty good. the crust is lumpy instead of smooth, but it’s not that big a deal. The boys liked the homemade bread, and the potato flakes definitely gave it a heavenly texture. The flavor is good too.

    I knew that with conventional biscuits they would rise higher and be fluffier if allowed to sit for 15 to 30 minutes before baking. I had no idea it worked with gluten-free though. The texture of conventional biscuits is much improved by this trick, so I expect it has similar results with GF.

    You are a literal font of information Carrie 🙂 I can’t thank you enough. 🙂

  5. Oh good Maggie! I’m so glad to help! I was afraid I was being a bit of a “know it all” but I REALLY know what you are going through with baked GF goods not rising! It took me ages to figure out tricks and tips to get my baked good to rise like -or at least similarly too the way wheat-based baked goods rise!

  6. Maggie,
    As a general rule of thumb, I use 2 parts gf whole grains, and 1 part gf starch in my baking. You DO need the starch to lighten up the baking, or you will end up with a brick of bread (trust me on this one! haha!)

    But I normally use a mix similar to this:
    1/2 cup sorghum flour
    1/2 cup millet -or- brown rice flour
    1/2 cup tapioca flour

    In a recipe with these ingredients for quick breads i’ll add between 1/4 and 1/2 tsp. of xanthan gum. And if it is a quick bread I’ll add between 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder or 2 teaspoons baking powder. Although you have to be careful because it’s very easy to use TOO much baking powder and you will taste it!

    Many GF bloggers and bakers recommend using at least 2 starches in their baking (usually 2 parts starchs, and 1 part grains), but since I’m really trying to fight off diabetes, I go for the whole grains, and I’ve never had too many problems with the ratios working this way!

  7. In the past I’ve used 1 to 1-1/4 teaspoons baking powder per cup of flour or grain. I’ve read that using more is necessary with GF baking, but have been loathe to use more than 1-1/2-teaspoons per cup of grain/flour, because I HATE the flavor of too much baking powder. One of the things I’ve done in the past, when I’ve had to increase the rise in baked goods, is use the larger amount of baking powder and add a little bit of vinegar to cancel out some of the taste. If I were baking with dairy I would use yogurt or buttermilk, but since I’m using soymilk, adding the vinegar is easier, cheaper and just as effective.

    I prefer to use whole grains too, because of my PCOS, but the boys are still so new to this that I thought I might as well make these 2-weeks as easy for them as possible, which means white rice flour.

    I found Sorghum flour on sale at Kroger last weekend, so I’ll give it a try in my next Flour-Mix. Brown rice flour seems like a good base-flour to me because of it’s low price (when ground at home) and it’s a wholegrain. Besides, the boys have always liked brown rice, which makes it an easier sell.

    Quick Question–Is it possible to use too much Xanthan? And if so, what are the results?

    Also, have you ever used Guar instead of Xanthan? And if so, did it have different results? Guar is much cheaper where I am, about half the price of Xanthan, so I find it tempting. I’ve read differing opinions on Guar, and would be interested in yours.

  8. Hi Maggie!
    I have not tried guar gum and I’m not sure how it works in relation to xanthan gum. I’m assuming it works in the same manner, to create texture and sturcture for baked goods. Once you have made a bread or muffin mix with xanthan gum versus NOT making a bread or muffin mix with xanthan gum, you will know the difference! I don’t know how that gum works, but does something molecularly to build the structure of the batter!

    You can use TOO much xanthan gum. I did that when I was trying to make french bread a few weeks ago. It made the bread rise like CRAZY, but then as soon as I took it out of the oven it completely deflated! And it was super super chewy! It tasted good, but it was hilarious how much it made the bread rise and then completely deflate!!

    I also am leary of using TOO much xanthan gum. I think my body reacts when I use too much it (upset stomach, etc…) I think since it’s not something we normally eat a lot of on a regular basis, you can have reaction. So I stick to using 1/4 – 1/2 tsp. in goods with baking powder and about 2 teaspoons – 3 teaspoons in yeast breads.

    I know what you mean about using baking powder for gluten free baked stuff. i read that too somewhere when I first started and I would DOUBLE the amount of baking powder in my recipes… YIKES… big mistake! Boy did I have readers giving me mean comments on some of my recipes back in those days!

    So I really cut back on the amount of baking soda I use. I think I mentioned before, but I use about 1 1/2 tsp. – 2 tsp. for an average recipe of say 12 cupcakes or muffins.

    Here in this recipe:

    I used 2 teaspoons and these are some of my best muffins!

    If you use guar gum (which I actually haven’t found around here) I’d love to know how it works for you!

    I also use chia seed meal in many of my recipes. It’s a great way to add omega 3 fatty acids and healthy fiber to recipes. You don’t need much and it’s wonderful! i think it’s in those muffins I just mentioned as well! i also use flax seed meal a lot too! Both of these seeds are gelatinous in nature and can be substituted for an egg if needed. I usually just add them supplementally to a recipe.

    I hope this helps!!

    Carrie @

  9. I don’t know what happened, but I wrote this enormous comment and somehow deleted it! Don’t you just love it when that happens! haha!

    In most of my recipes for quick breads I use between 1 1/2 teaspoons – 2 teaspoons of baking powder. I too heard that you needed to use more leavener for gluten free baked goods than you used too for wheat goods. I’m not necessarily sure this is true. When I first started baking gluten free I nearly doubled the amount of baking powder that I used before, I’ve learned since (with very bad tasting, bitter baked goods) this is not necessary. one thing I have learned is that since you are not baking with wheat flour which has gluten to help the structure of risen goods, you probably won’t have gluten free baked goods that rise as high as you are used too. Embrace that and accept it!

    You will however learn different techniques to help your gluten free baked goods rise! Such as whipping your egg whites (which also helps to lighten up the dough), adding xanthan gum, etc…

    You can indeed use TOO much xanthan gum. If you use too much, it will cause your baked goods to rise almost to the extreme while baking, but then completely fall once you’ve taken them out of the oven! (without gluten to hold up the structure, it will fall!) Which is never fun! I’ve had this happen many a time while trying to make yeast bread!

    I’ve never used guar gum, as I haven’t seen it readily available here. I would love to know how it works for you if you try it!

  10. Hi Miss Maggie,

    Thanks for adding us under GF blogs, but at this point we are only “wannabes”–haven’t even managed to make it to the point you are at, and that’s why I am so encouraged to hear all your success–we need the motivation to continue! Best wishes.

  11. My pleasure Mama Squirrel. I feel a lot like a wannabe too, lol. If you dont’ mind me asking, why are you interested in GF, any specific reason? And BTW, if you prefer to be put back under the main Blog Heading, just let me know. Your wish is my command. 🙂

    Blessings for the Tree House and all the little squirrelings.

  12. Bless you Carrie, for answering my questions, and sharing your experience. I will try using guar gum soon, since I already have some in the house. If it doesn’t work as well, then I’ll switch back to xanthan. I’ve always hated beating egg whites, but I guess it’s time to bite the bullet and just do what must be done.

    We’re willing to accept breads adn baked goods that are not as fluffy as wheat-full alternatives. I’ve baked with whole wheat for years, and it doesn’t rise like processed wheat. Gluten free baked goods are just a natural progression, for the most part. I am having fun learning all the properties of GF flours and meals. It’s like a whole new chapter of cooking has opened up for me and I find myself more excited about baking than I’ve been in years.

  13. We have a couple of reasons: mainly that one of our children who has had various issues (skin issues and other things) finally agreed to have an allergy test (at a naturopath); she reacted strongly to almonds, wheat/gluten, and eggs, and mildly to dairy. My husband, who’s had lifelong environmental allergies and food sensitivities, says that he “tried” a gluten-free diet way back before I even knew him, again on the advice of some natural-health person he was seeing, and he thinks he might also benefit simply by eating less wheat. Trouble is that the Squirreling in question isn’t particularly interested in co-operating, and I feel on the fence about it anyway since we are basing all of this only on that one test (and it’s not likely we’d get her to co-operate by getting further testing). What I would really like to do is what you’re doing–just get enough commitment to go absolutely GF for just a couple of weeks and see what happens; but it’s not going to happen unless I can get my dear husband to come along too (with no outside hamburgers, submarine sandwiches, etc. etc.).

    And for us I think the reluctance really does come down to the bread issue–bread in all its forms really is a staple around here. We’ve had difficulty getting adequate supplies, the store stuff we tried wasn’t very good, the two mixes we tried didn’t bake properly, and so on. Muffins, cookies etc.–great, no problem. If we could overcome the bread issue, it might be easier.

    So that’s how we’re going on–still trying. (That’s why I was interested in how your version of bread turned out.) What’s really happened lately is that we’re paying a lot more attention to labels, and additives in particular (like tartrazine). That much, my husband definitely is on board with. Because of the recent attention on world food problems, we’ve also been more aware of just how fragile even the North American food supply can become–so I am focusing on being thankful for whatever turn our diet takes, knowing that God cares for us and can supply what’s needed.

    There–enough detail?

  14. Hee! Yes–enough detail.

    I told everyone about the plan a week ahead of time, explaining what would happen, and why we were doing it. With Asperger’s Syndrome especially, there is much benefit from explaining it all waaaay ahead of time. If I had planned it for a month later, that would have been better I think. At least having a week gave them time to get used to the idea. They were a little worried about what they would eat. Giving them the short list of menus helped enormously. Without the list of menus I wouldnt’ have had any cooperation, just panic and fear.

    I told them that things would taste different, not bad, just different. For instance vegan cheese, we tried some that no one liked (tofutti brand) and then we tried some that everyone like much better. In retrospect it was good that they all tried the icky fake cheese first, so they would really appreciate the yummy fake cheese.

    I have been trying to keep most foods as familiar as possible and that has helped too.

    If you come up with any methodologies of your own, I’d love to read them. There are probably lots of other moms in the same boat who are reading this and thinking about trying the same thing.

    MomaSquirrel wrote—-
    “I am focusing on being thankful for whatever turn our diet takes, knowing that God cares for us and can supply what’s needed.”

    Amen sister Squirrel. You said a mouthful.

  15. LaVonne

    Try glutenfreegirl.She has a lot of recipes and other gf links.Also try land o lakes website they have a gf area with a flour mix that everyone may like .It doesn’t have soy flour which I think gives it that weird taste your mom and husband don’t care for.Hope this helps.

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