Christmas Baking for Free From Diets

Author: kim

Tips for Free From Baking

Baking season is upon us, whether it's trying the Great British Bake Off creations, preparing for Christmas feasting and gifts or simply making some goodies to cheer you on as the nights draw in. Whatever you plan to do, there's no need to give up your favourite cakes or bakes just because you're on a free-from diet or baking for someone who is. Here are our best tips to show how working without gluten, dairy or refined sugars can be just as simple as working with them.

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Gluten Free

If you're a coeliac or baking for one, ensure you are using certified gluten free flours and replacements (marked GF in our webshop). Find Gluten Free baking and flours here.

 

Many products are 'naturally gluten free' - for example, nuts, but whilst that's fine for whole items that you can scrub any gluten residue off, that won't work for ground and milled goods (marked NG in our webshop).
 

Err on the side of caution, coeliac disease is extremely painful and nobody will thank you for triggering the auto-immune response. If you, your friend or family is simply avoiding gluten, then all of the range is suitable.

All certified GF are clearly labelled in our webshop as distinct from naturally gluten free items.

 

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Flatbreads

You can make a virtue of avoiding the traditional 'rise' gluten gives by simply focussing on recipes where it's not needed in the first place. Corn tortillas, buckwheat crepes, injera (made with teff flour), masala do (made with rice and lentils) or chickpea socca are all made without any gluten ingredients.

Try this recipe for Gluten Free Beetroot Buckwheat Crepes

Go Nuts

Nuts work as a replacement for a myriad of flours. Try chestnut flour or chestnut puree to replace traditional wheat flours in sponges or fridge cakes. Ground almonds are also a popular substitute and pair brilliantly in many chocolate recipes.

This recipe for chestnut pastry (pictured left) is particularly good for pumpkin pies. 

Gluten Free Flours

There's a great range of ready-made GF flours in our Gluten Free baking section to experiment with, including coconut, chickpea, oat and fava bean flours. If you simply want to replace flour in a sponge recipe, Doves Self-Raising flour (a mix of tapioca, maize, buckwheat, potato and corn) is very popular and certified gluten free.

 

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Dairy Free

Milk alternatives

Alternatives to milk include a wide range of nut and seed milks, find the full range of alternatives to dairy milk here. We have everything from the ever-popular almond milk and soya drinks, to more specialist tigernut, coconut and hemp drinks, along with oat alternatives to milk. Great for switching out the dairy in recipes like pancakes.

There are also ready-made versions of oat, almond or rice creams available here.

Soya

Try soya cream, it’s a great way to add creaminess to bakes without having any lactose or dairy. If you're making fruit crumbles this autumn try soya custard to serve.

Banana

It's popular in baking for good reason, adding sweetness and often a fudgy texture. Avocado is also popular. Or try using a banana as an ice-cream replacement, just blend with a tasty flavour (like this Free From recipe pictured left with camu camu) and pop in your freezer for whenever you want it.

 

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Egg Free

Eggs can be replaced in meringues with chickpea water! Give it a shot, it really is delicious. Just drain a can of chickpeas and whisk the water until it makes snowy peaks, then add 100 grams of caster sugar gradually until the meringue is formed, then bake as normal!

Eggs are used as binding, leavening and to add moisture in baking. For moist cakes try banana or chia seeds, for leavening use baking powder. Have a look at our handy egg infographic for all our tips. Or buy egg replacements here

Refined Sugar Free

We have a great range of refined sugar substitutions including maple, agave, honey, rice syrups, stevia and xylitol. Have a look at all of the different types here in our natural sugar alternatives article. Or shop the range in our webshop here

Try this recipe for marzipan chocolates (pictured left), using coconut nectar for sweetness, it's also vegan and gluten free.

You can also bake with fruits and use their natural sugars to add sweetness. Sweet potatoes, beetroot and bananas are all incredibly popular for this and can be used in many bakes. Have a look at our recipes section for inspiration here.