Just because we are opting for gluten, dairy and soy free diets, doesn’t mean we need to cut away all our favourite dishes. There are a multitude of combinations and possibilities as far as substituting wheat, dairy and soy in our diets.
Let’s look at our flours. The following ingredients can be used in many combinations to achieve various breads, doughs and pastries:
Brown rice flour
Cornmeal and flour
Navy bean flower
Potato starch flour
Sweet rice flour
Oat and millet flours, are naturally gluten free, however they are often grown along side or processed with wheat and gluten products. This means they can’t be classified strictly as gluten free, and should be avoided, especially by children on the autism spectrum.
By grinding your own beans, you can save a fortune on bean flour. Try a combination of garbanzo, great northern, navy, red kindey, cannellini or anasazi beans.
Here’s a few suggested blends suitable for using in cakes, biscuits & muffins:
General purpose flour blend #1.
1 cup bean flower
1 cup cornstarch or arrowroot
1 cup tapioca starch
General purpose flour blend #2.
2 cups rice flour
2/3cup potato starch
1/3 cup tapioca starch
General purpose flour blend #3.
1 cup rice flour
1 cup cornstarch
1 cup tapioca strach
1 TB potato flour
Just as for substituting gluten, there are many options available in the shops now as far as milk substitutes, the most common ones are: almond milk, coconut milk & rice milk. Making your own milk substitutes at home doesn’t need to be difficult, and again, you can choose which ingredients you add so you can flavour to suit your own tastebuds.
Make your own almond milk:
3/4 cup blanched almonds
1 tsp honey
1/4cup sesame seeds
5 cups water
1/4 tsp salt
1 tsp vanilla
First, blend the almonds until they’re nice & fine. Place all ingredients in the blender with a small amount of the water. Blend well then add the remaining water. Strain & chill before serving.
Make your own rice milk:
4 cups warm-hot water
1 cup cooked rice
1 tsp vanilla
Honey to taste
Put all ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth. Strain.
Make your own cashew-rice milk or cream:
2/3 cup cooked rice, still warm
1/2 cup raw cashews
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp vanilla*
3 cups water (for milk)
*if you’re making cream for a dessert
Combine all ingredients in the blender (but only a little of the water if you’re making cream), blend until smooth. Gradually add a little water at a time until it reaches the consistency you’re after. If you’re making milk, add all of the water. Chill before serving.
There are a world of possibilities for substituting wheat and dairy in our diets. The key piece of equipment will be a good quality blender. With this, you are limited only by your imagination. Enjoy the ride!