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Gluten-Free Flours for More Than Baking

By Alana Sugar, November 7, 2011  |  Meet the Blogger  |  More Posts by Alana Sugar

If you or someone close to you follows a gluten-free diet, then you know firsthand how frustrating it can be around the holidays. All of the wheat-laden desserts, pies and cookies, not to mention casseroles with bread crumbs, stuffings and gravies. Fortunately these days there are more food manufacturers creating  gluten-free options for serving on their own or as a replacement ingredient. Good gluten free cooking demands comparable alternatives for traditional flour and breadcrumbs for a wide range of holiday favorites, so we’ve put together a list of simple, delicious ideas to help you keep on track for a happy, healthy gluten-free holiday. {C}{C}{C}All-Purpose Gluten-Free Flour and Baking Mixes Gluten helps provide texture to baked goods, making them light and airy. Natural alternatives such as xantham and guar gums are often used to achieve similar results. Many gluten-free baking mixes contain these natural additives, and are designed for you to use in your favorite recipes as a replacement for flour. Check package labels and instructions for best results. Thickening Flour is commonly used to thicken pie fillings, sauces and gravy, and sometimes soups and stews. Here are some tasty alternatives:

  • Arrowroot or cornstarch – perfect for pie fillings and gravies. Our gluten free Foolproof Turkey Gravy is thickened with cornstarch.
  • Rice flour and pureed potatoes, or all-natural potato flakes from a box of instant mashed potatoes can also be used to thicken gravies and sauces.
  • Thicken soups with mashed or pureed potatoes or beans such as white beans.
  • Gluten-free oats can be used to thicken pureed creamy soups. Simply throw in a handful, simmer for 10 to 15 minutes, puree and serve.

Coating Breadcrumbs have traditionally been used for coating fish, chicken or pork chops and for topping savory casseroles.

  • Gluten-free breadcrumbs are available for purchase, or you can easily make your own by gently toasting your favorite gluten-free bread and then processing to crumbs.
  • To bake or pan sauté, coat meats, tofu or tempeh with cornmeal, rice flour, ground nuts such as almonds or pecans, and a blend of spices such as cumin, coriander, garlic and onion granules, dried herbs, salt and pepper for extra flavoring.
  • Potato flakes from a package of all-natural mashed potato mix makes a great coating, too!

Stuffing Traditionally made from bread or cornbread, gluten-free options include cornbread made with gluten-free flour, homemade or from a ready-to-prepare package. Bread stuffing is best made using gluten-free bread and following a favorite recipe as directed.

Alternatives to the traditional stuffing include wild and brown rice stuffing, potato stuffing, or stuffing made from cubed winter squash. A gorgeous side-dish is winter squash stuffed with wild or brown rice, or gluten-free bread stuffing.

Baking Baking cookies, breads, muffins, and pies? We have a plethora of gluten-free options available that substitute wonderfully for traditional flour, including brown and white rice flour, corn meal, coconut flour and ground almond flour.

These days eating gluten free doesn’t mean giving up holiday favorites! Here’s our gastronomic guide to fabulous gluten-free holiday recipes. Are you planning a gluten-free holiday? Got a favorite tip or trick? We’d love to know!




Jessica says ...
The gluten free corn flakes in the cereal isle at Whole Foods ground slightly also make a great crumbing mix.
11/08/2011 6:37:16 AM CST
Denise Breyley says ...
Hi Alana, There is a new line of gluten-free "flours" available in the Seattle, WA Whole Foods Market stores that you should try - Maninis' Gluten Free that are fabulous. Let me know if you'd like more information.
11/09/2011 6:17:21 PM CST
Anne-Marie Shealy says ...
You have MY business! Thanks for being ON THE BALL!
11/10/2011 7:03:00 AM CST
Kathy Beltz says ...
Thank you for all these fantastic gluten free recipes! I will enjoy making them and sharing with friends. God bless!
11/10/2011 11:27:27 AM CST
Kristen says ...
Great ideas! Thanks for the post. Lately I've been baking with Bob's gluten free oat flour and the goodies are family favorites.
11/10/2011 11:35:57 AM CST
Paul says ...
Having fairly recently been diagnosed with Celiacs, I realy appreciate the recommendations and comparable alternatives provided here. Thank you Whole Foods Market!!!
11/11/2011 2:59:32 PM CST
Tonya says ...
Until I recently started working with a man who cannot eat gluten because of health reasons I was unaware of how much gluten most things have in them. I have since tailored my receipes so that when I bring goodies into the office, everyone can partake and no feels left out.
11/12/2011 11:47:25 AM CST
laurie says ...
Are the steel cut oates in bulk at Whole foods, Gluten free?
11/13/2011 9:46:49 AM CST
Gluten-Free Flour says ...
Nom nom nom!! This tapioca sounds incredible! I love that it’s. <a href="http://www.akfponline.com/" rel="nofollow"><b>Gluten-Free Flour</b></a>
11/14/2011 6:30:26 AM CST
janejohnson says ...
@Laurie Since each store sources their products a little differently, the best way to get the most accurate information regarding your question about the steel cut oats is to reach out to your community's Whole Foods Market directly. The link below will help you identify the contact information for your store and a Team Member there will be happy to let you know if their steel cut oats are indeed Gluten Free (GF). www.wholefoodsmarket.com/stores
11/15/2011 4:42:55 PM CST
Kate says ...
Great gluten-free suggestions for every course! If you're looking for a no-bake option, make a tasty pie crust with mejdool dates, nuts, unsweetened shredded coconut, and lemon zest. Combine in a food processor, then top with cinnamon-covered apples or pumpkin pudding. http://bread-n-chocolate.blogspot.com/2011/05/strawberry-tartlets.html
11/16/2011 11:55:09 AM CST
Deborah Peters says ...
Thank you for providing these recipes! I have added them to my favorite's list, can't wait to try :) I'm the only one gluten free in my family so my "experiments" are not always on "par", I'd like them to be for the holidays. Happy Holidays, Deborah http://deborahapeters.com
11/20/2011 1:13:38 PM CST
toni says ...
would appreciate it if you could let me know if you sell almond or coconut flour.. it was recommend to me and i am having trouble finding it.. thanks, toni
12/03/2011 5:34:12 PM CST
janejohnson says ...
@Toni Since each store does things a little differently, the best way to learn if your community Whole Foods Market offers the almond or coconut flour is to reach out to them directly. However, I will say that those flours are staples of a Gluten Free diet and are offered at every store I've visited. :) SO, to contact your store, please follow the below link. Thanks for reaching out. www.wholefoodsmarket.com/stoers
12/05/2011 12:36:57 PM CST
Eric Muthomi says ...
Hi, Great article. I am a manufacturer of gluten free banana flour used for thickening and baking when substituted with wheat. Have you tried this flour and how does it compare to other gluten free flours?
01/29/2012 11:06:41 AM CST
Barbara Meints says ...
Would appreciate the names of stores where I can buy the gluten-free flour mix. Tacoma Washington Thank you.
08/15/2012 1:33:15 PM CDT
Virginia Korzenecki says ...
have a friend that was just diagnosed with allergy to wheat, milk and also needs gluten free. need receipe for bread--( I have a bread machine) or the finished product--she bought one with rice flour and said it does not taste like bread... any help would be appreciated
11/04/2012 10:43:30 AM CST
Ellen says ...
do you sale bags of gluten free flours?
11/06/2012 2:22:59 PM CST
Nikki - Community Moderator says ...
@ELLEN - Our products vary between store locations so I would recommend checking with your local store to see what Gluten Free flours they carry. You can find their contact info at http://www.wholefoodsmarket.com/stores/list.
11/07/2012 2:35:14 PM CST
Trish says ...
I am very new at gf baking as my grandson has a sensitivity. Who makes the All-Purpose Gluten-Free Flour and Baking Mixes? What are the sizes and prices? Can the flour mix be bought in bulk? I live in the Niagara area and work in Burlington. Suggestions appreciated. Thank you
01/02/2013 9:43:07 AM CST
Nikki - Community Moderator says ...
@TRISH - Our products vary between store locations so the vendor for GF All-Purpose Flour will differ. I would suggest reaching out to your local store to see what options they have for sizes and prices. Another idea to keep in mind is that due to cross-contamination, we cannot label anything as GF in the bulk department. An alternative would be to see if you could special order an item that you are interested in bulk and have the team member check if the product is made in a certified GF facility. This way you could order a bulk-sized sealed bag. If you do not have a store location near you, we do offer shipping of non-perishable products from our store in Austin. You can contact them at 512-542-2243!
01/02/2013 12:49:17 PM CST
Jeffrey McClung says ...
Enjoyed your article. I am fairly new to GF baking in general. My question; is it correct that some common gluten-free flours need to be refrigerated in order not to go rancid? If I store them in a dark, dry cabinet, what temperature will be sufficiant to preserve them? Thanks for any feedback. Here's to better eating and health!
02/05/2013 5:11:49 PM CST
Nikki - Community Moderator says ...
@JEFFREY - I would suggest following the instructions on the manufactures' packaging. While I haven't heard that this is necessary, if a vendor thinks it will help keep the flour longer, they will put it somewhere on the package. Hope this helps!
02/06/2013 1:19:12 PM CST
Mary Louise Buxton says ...
Do you carry Florapan. It is a Canadian yeast for gluten-free sourdough starters? Thanks. MLB
03/04/2013 3:09:40 PM CST
Nikki - Community Moderator says ...
@MARY - Our products vary between locations so I would encourage you to reach out to your local store directly to see if they carry Florapan. You can find the contact info of your local store at http://www.wholefoodsmarket.com/stores/list.
03/04/2013 4:52:00 PM CST