Friday, July 10, 2009

making gluten free flour and almond milk!

ya baby! thats what I love to do! Bake, whip it up from scratch, I mean the very beginning! I used to do it all scratch, grind my wheat the whole thing. Then L was arrested and life changed. I am either to tired, to sick, not enough time, dont care whatever there is a reason. So we have mainly eaten store bread(YUCK GAG SPIT SPUTTER EW) But now with chubby not being allowed any dairy I have to make sure he can have substitutes. And with the possible gluten issue no one gets it for a month or 2! We will see if there is a difference in anyone after the month, if there is on Chubby is in for more testing, if not we will give it another month, if no one does anything different its back to gluten. But in the mean time we have to find good stuff! I love to cook and bake. So instead of sitting here complaining about what we cant have I am looking for new stuff to try! Been fun so far!Since we love yogurt and ice cream I had to find substitutes! I did! Ice cream can be made from coconut milk and it is delicious! Creamy, just oh awesome. We made chocolate coconut ice cream. I would take it over store ice cream any day! Its a soft serve, but thats ok, I dont mind. It was yummy. I think I put the recipe for it in the last post. If not and you want it let me know I will repost. I am putting together a recipe book of the dairy and gluten free stuff we try, keeping track of specifically the yummy ones!
I just whipped me up a breakfast/lunch drink, its yummy and fast took me under 5 minutes here is the recipe:
Coconut milk smoothie
½ can coconut milk
Hersheys syrup(small amount)
Ground flax
Almont flour(from making almond milk)
Ice cubes
Blend in blender and drink up!
This filled a 1 qt jar.

ok back to my flour and stuff. I took pictures and am going to write the process. The items I have to make flour, and I am finding I can make any flour with these. I had all but 1 I picked it up cheap I have:
* wheat grinder
*food processor
*coffee bean grinder- great for grinding beans for bean flour!
Cheese clothe for straining some things

Ok first recipe to cover Almond milk. Of the options for Chubby its all he likes, and having tasted them with him I understand why! Almond milk tastes like almonds, its good stuff! But its expensive and you know me if I can make it cheaper I am all for learning how to do it, so I did! Plus making it I also get almond flour for baking, he can have almond flour!
So start off
2 cups almonds
6 cups water, cover and sit over night
in the morning put almonds and the water in blender and blend until smooth.
strain with cheese cloth
you can keep the left over almond and dry and grind for flour, use and make a paste for baking or whatever.
I added 2 TBS almond back into it and blended, about 3/4 cup coconut ground and 1/2 can coconut milk, blended and its cooling in the fridge now. Tastes pertty good. Hope its even better when chilled.

Next up flours

* Brown rice flour- simple same for white rice also, but it is stickier
put the rice in blender or if your grinder will do it the grinder and turn it on until flour consistency!

flax in blender and blend- refrigerate after if you dont it goes rancid fast. Also only do small amounts at a time. I keep a spice grinder full and in the fridge, no more than that. If I want more I grind it when I want it.

*bean flour- I know what would I want bean flour for? Well we discovered it is awesome as a thickener for gravies and sauces! I used white northern beans and we made sausage gravy, turned out good. Its a little different to get the amount than using corn starch but it works good, and it adds to the daily protein! You can use any bean. Some bread and other recipes call for it. Good for soups and stews either as thickener or for flavor and nutrition

*Oat flour- in blender oats(oat meal) or steel cut oats, blend until flour, makes awesome cookies! Use to thicken also but I love this in cookies and bread

The biggies now! Potatoe flour, can also do with sweet potatoe/yams! I did this and made starch and potatoe flour! it was fun!
Step 1 -
Grate the potato very finely and place the wet pulp into a clean cloth that you have sitting in a bowl or chop and run through juicer. I did both and got more juice from the juicer than shredding
Pulp is dried for flour, juice is saved and made into starch

Step 2 -
In this step you will be rinsing the starch out of the pulp by squeezing the bag of pulp then adding clean water and squeezing again until the water runs clear when you squeeze. I forgot to rinse repeatedly as I was squeezing the bag, I sq ooze and then went to next step, the result was less starch and my flour was gray. Still can be used but not as pretty as the starch

Step 3 -
Settling out and rinsing the starch is next. At this point you will need to place the liquid into the refrigerator (to keep the liquid from oxidizing or fermenting). Let it sit in there for 1-2 hours Take it out as carefully as you can so as not to stir up the starch that has settled to the bottom. Pour off as much of the liquid as you can without loosing all the white starch at the bottom. No add some clean water and stir up the starch. I used a turner which worked really well to loosen the starch from the bottom. Then place back in the refrigerator for at least an hour. The starch will have settled again. Pour off the rinse water being careful not to loose the starch. Allow what water does remain to evaporate until you have dry starch. Collect this and store it once you are sure it is dry. I let it sit in the pan with cheese cloth over it to dry

OK, Now. How to Make Potato Flour:
If all you are after is the flour and not any separate starch you can skip the steps above and merely dry the pulp with the starch in it. All you need to do is let the pulp dry out. I dried the pulp in my dehydrator and then used the blender to grind, after the blender I used the coffee grinder for a finer grind.

I threw together a large bowl of all purpose flour for mixing fast, bread, cakes, cookies whatever. If its handy we are more apt to do it, and less intimidated than grinding it all every time the kids want a cookie! The mix I made was simple and tastes good. Here it is:

6 c brown rice flour
5 c oat flour
2 c quinoa
1 c flax
1 2/3 c corn starch
mix well seal in air tight container.
This may sound like a lot but with the baking we do its not. I also have the following I found and have not tried but plan on trying this next week or at least soon.

add this to the above:
Self-Rising Flour Mix
1 cup gluten-free flour mix
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt

more tricks
Adding Moistness and Flavor to Gluten-Free Baked Goods
Choose a recipe wisely. Recipes containing pureed fruit, shredded veggies, yogurt, or sour cream translate beautifully to gluten-free. Think: banana muffins, carrot or pumpkin cake, sour cream apple cake.
Adding applesauce, pureed fruit or yogurt to recipes helps gluten-free cakes, muffins and quick breads stay moist.
Adding shredded or desiccated coconut, chopped nuts, dried fruit, and chocolate chips also goes a long way to improving texture and flavor. Start with adding one half cup to your favorite recipe. Experiment and have fun.
Use organic brown sugar instead of refined white sugar. It boosts moistness and flavor.
Honey is a humectant and adds moistness [use less liquid in the recipe if you use honey].
More recipes later! Any ideas? Questions? Let me know love to hear thoughts
oh and yes I do know about the oats and gluten being unsure, I made sure mine are gluten free.
Agave adds moisture, too. But if it's humid on the day you are baking, use less agave (or honey).
Use more vanilla. I always double the vanilla in my recipes. Gluten-Free flours can taste strong and unfamiliar, and a little extra vanilla helps soften their flavor.
Add extra baking spices - like cinnamon and nutmeg - to deepen flavor complexity cinnamon and chocolate is a yummy secret
here are some pics of making the almond milk, some of the flours I have made and the simple appliances needed to do it!
boring? Ya maybe, for someone else. I am easily entertained and love doing this stuff! So now you get lessons and pictures!