No good baking recipe begins without the basics...flour. If you have one or more food allergies, finding good allergy friendly flours is important. If you are looking for a base for some of your favorite recipes you’ve known and loved, the flour you use is so important! With flour being one of the most important and common baking ingredients you will use, make sure you use the best allergen free flour!
What is Gluten?
Gluten is an important binding agent in flour. It holds a baking recipe together and gives it a very nice elasticity. Gluten is non digestible and some people become intolerant or allergic to gluten containing products. The good news is there are now so many great gluten free flours on the market and easily available at major retailers.
What Are Food Allergies?
Food allergies develop when proteins (or protein derivatives) from foods cause the body to create an abnormal immune response. Approximately 40% of children with food allergies have allergies to more than one food. This can be because some foods have similar proteins.
It has been identified that over 90% of people diagnosed with food allergies are most allergic to eight common food allergens. These allergies must be labeled on all food packaging in the United States.
The common top 8 allergens are:
- Tree Nuts
Less Common But Still Notable Food Allergies...
I’ve also noticed several less common food allergies or intolerances lately that a lot of people mention they have. Sometimes these less common allergies are labeled on products, but not always.
- Chemicals like sulfur dioxide, nitrites, MSG, sugar free sugars like aspartame, caffeine, artificial colors and flavors and various preservatives.
What Do Food Allergy Reactions Look and Feel Like?
Reactions to these foods can vary from stomach upset to severe anaphylactic shock. It is important if you have one of these allergies or intolerances to consult with your physician and dietician on dietary and or medical needs.
What are Gluten Free Flours
Gluten free flour does not contain gluten, therefore it does not contain the proteins most people are allergic to. Because of this so you may find the texture of your baked products to be different at first until you get used to this newer texture. One ingredient you will want to look to see is already added in your gluten free flour is xanthan gum. If your gluten free flour mix does not contain it, you will need to add some. This acts as the binding agent that gluten usually serves as. It’s not the same as gluten though so it won’t have that same elasticity, but it will lend a little.
The Best Gluten Free Flours
I do A LOT of gluten free baking (probably the #1 reason why there are WAY too many dessert recipes on my site!) My favorite flours I use are:
This brand does contain dairy however it makes the PERFECT baked goods that taste as close to the gluten filled products you loved. If you just need a gluten free flour, this is the perfect one to start with!
This one gets the award because it’s so easy to find and is probably one of the most affordable baking mixes available. It’s usually available at most major retailers and I even saw it available for sale at a major local gas station grocery area recently! This mix is easy to use and substitutes easily in any traditional baking recipe.
We love this gluten free keto flour. It has really worked well in a lot of recipes I’ve had to substitute flour for. It is a bread mix so it can be a little different to use in cookies but if you are doing a keto diet or just looking for lower calorie dessert options we have five amazing keto dessert recipes that use this flour. You can’t find these recipes anywhere else and it tastes amazing!
The market is doing a great job of providing good name brand gluten free mixes that do a wonderful job with cooking. Look for popular powerhouse baking brands like King Arthur Flour or popular gluten free companies like Namaste.
Top 8 Allergen Free Flours
The next category of flours not only do not contain gluten, they don’t contain ANY of the top 8 most common food allergens and would make a great choice for baking if you suffer from multiple food allergies.
Olivia’s is free from all eight food allergens plus corn and sesame. This is a nice highly rated flour mix that substitutes well in recipes.
This brand name gets thrown around a lot in the gluten free flour world and has become one of the most respected for it’s omittance of not only the top eight food allergens but corn, sesame and mustard as well.
If you have more than one food allergy, chances are you’ve eaten something from this product line. Most famous for their line of top 8 food allergen free products like chocolate chips, cookies, and bars, Enjoy Life also sells the flour blend behind all their great food products. In addition to their flour not including any of the top 8 food allergens, their flour blend is also free from sesame, corn, casein, sulfites and potato.
There are other great top 8 allergy friendly flours on the market as well. Popular brands like Hodgson Mill, King Arthur Flour and Namaste all have baking flour blends that are allergen free flours.
Ready to Start Baking?
Here are some easy recipes to get you started with baking with gluten free flours: