I used to LOVE those just add water packages of mashed potatoes. I would add milk instead and feel oh so gourmet. I know that Idahoan brand is still gluten free (as of the writing of this post) but the list of ingredients is staggering and no longer as appealing to me. I am still struggling with finding out what other foods I may have intolerances too. With no insurance that is not an easy task. I have narrowed it down to corn and possibly rice that are the offending stomach ache inducers. My favorite stand by Idahoan potatoes contain corn so I went on a quest to find a good substitute.
I have fallen in love with coconut flour and try to incorporate it into just about everything I make. In an effort to use up the foods that I can no longer eat I made Alan a packet of Idahoan. They smelled incredible. I tried to think of a good substitute for my raging craving and realized I was out of anything even resembling a potato. I knew coconut flour would have a similar consistency from using it in my brownie breakfast cereal. A few big questions remained. Would my Nutiva Organic Coconut Flour be adaptable to a mashed potato flavor? Would coconut flour really make a fitting substitute or just become a gross mess? I think you know the answer since it would be silly for me to write a detailed post about a disaster.
Ok I’ll indulge you… My first attempt at creating coconut flour mashed potatoes smelled terrific. I popped those babies out of the microwave and quickly turned to set the overly hot dish on the counter. Little did I know that at that exact moment my kitchen rug and my little feet would decide to go to war. I tripped on the rug and sent hot potatoes flying all over the floor, my leg, the washing machine, the dryer, the walls, and the refrigerator. I even found some lingering inside a cabinet later that evening. The tiny speck left in the bottom of the bowl was amazing! I promptly cleaned up the mess and tried again. Within minutes I was eating the best mashed potato substitute I could ever dream of.
In September of last year I put together a coconut flour guide highlighting 7 different brands of coconut flour. I tested each brand using my Best Coconut Flour Chocolate Mug Cake Ever. Since then I have had many people email me asking if I had tried their favorite brand. Once I got enough responses like that I knew I just had to do another coconut flour roundup.
I love testing new products and sharing my results with you all. I have been making my Low Calorie Banana Muffins for breakfast most mornings, so I decided that I would test out the new brands using that recipe. These days I only make the chocolate one on occasion for dessert as it is incredibly rich and decadent.
I originally planned to test these flours using my 108 calorie banana mug muffins, but my diet has changed and I have adapted the recipe to fit my new dietary needs. Over the past few months I have had to cut out all added sugar and sugar substitutes. Sugar has been making my heart race and then making me incredibly sleepy until 20 minutes after consumption I’m out like a light. I believe it may be reactive hypoglycemia. If any of you have experienced this I’d love to here from you in the comments. I’m still looking for answers and gave up on doctors a long time ago.
As most of you know I have had to cut out corn products and derivatives as well. I am still learning how corn affects me and what products I can and cannot tolerate. So I eliminated my favorite stevia due to it containing dextrose and eliminated vanilla extract due to possible corn as well. If anyone has a good corn free stevia recommendation I’d love to hear it.
So, I will be making these simplified added sugar free Banana Bread Mug Muffins for this test.
Here are the brands you all asked me to compare in no particular order. Coconut World, My Elixir of Life, Nuts.com, Honeyville, Shiloh Farms, Earth Circle Organics, Yankee Trader, and Mercola. I emailed all of the companies but only got responses from the first three. I didn’t want to wait to get this information out to you guys. Here are the three companies that responded. If I get responses from the other companies I will update the post with their information and a test of their flour as well. If you have a coconut flour you would like me to test, or are interested in a comparison of any other gluten free food or product please please let me know. I love doing these tests for you guys and sharing my results!
I began with a control group muffin using my go to coconut flour Nutiva. You can see my results of my last coconut flour comparison here.
I made two cute mug muffins using the Simple Banana Bread Mug Cake recipe I eat for breakfast every day. It is quick, healthy, added sugar free, and uses few ingredients. For the rest of the testing I decided to make the mug cakes as I do every morning; in a cereal bowl. They may not be as pretty, but they take less time and effort than dirtying two mugs or microwaving two separate cakes.
All of the flours in this test came in close and tasted great. Here’s how they stacked up.
Overall out of this test I believe Coconut World Organic Coconut flour to be the best. It has a sweeter flavor than the other brands which I consider a plus for mug cakes and added sugar free baking in general. Alan is not a big coconut flour fan. He says it is gritty. He tolerated this brand well and said it was the least gritty of the flours in this test. I found Coconut World to have the best texture, rise, and flavor. The recipe worked with no modifications to ingredients or time.
NUTS.COM Organic Coconut Flour
2 tbsp = 14 Grams (0.5 oz)
Fat: 1.5 Grams
Carbs: 10 Grams
Protein: 2 Grams
Fiber: 6 Grams
Nuts.com fared well in my testing. In fact all of the other brands came in so close that I will be listing them in no particular ranked order.
Nuts.com was the second sweetest out of the flours I tested. It was slightly gritter than the Coconut World flour but not in a way that would negatively affect baking. The nuts. com coconut flour did not need any adjustments in ingredients although I must note that it did take an additional 30 seconds in the microwave. it was not set at the three minute mark. This flour makes a denser yet still amazingly tasty bread than Coconut World or My Elixir of Life. I can see it working well in brownies or other baked goods that need a denser less fluffy result.
My Elixir Of Life Gluten Free Organic Coconut Flour
My Elixir of Life Coconut Flour was less sweet that the other brands. It would lend itself fantastically to Coconut Flour Buttermilk Biscuits or other savory coconut flour baked goods where sweetness is not as desirable. This flour produced an edible muffin with good flavor. My Elixir Of Life flour produced a muffin that was lighter in color and did not rise as much as the other flours in this test. Alan thought out of the flours tested that this one was the grittiest. I enjoy the texture of coconut flour. While this may have been slightly grittier I still quite liked it.
Every year I receive gift cards to local restaurants for Christmas. This year I got one for PF Chang’s. I was very hesitant to go there since I could not find any information on weather they could handle my corn intolerance. I had been there multiple times before and they handled my celiac gluten free meals perfectly. Since needing to go corn free as well I was afraid that there would be nothing I could safely eat.
I went on there website and noticed that all of there meat is listed as marinated with cornstarch. I relegated myself to getting a plain steamed veggies meal and enjoying the company of my family while they ate awesome PF Chang’s goodness.
I let the server know about my celiac and corn intolerance. She immediately told me about the nifty allergy matrix system their restaurants use. They type in your allergens and it spits out all of the safe menu items and items that can be modified to suit your allergy needs. I was excited to hear this.
The server came back a few minutes later to inform me that corn was not in their allergy matrix, but the manager would be right out to help me figure out what they could make me that was corn free.
Before the server even left our table the manager arrived. She was extremely nice and told me salmon and chicken would be good protein options for me. They could make them fresh without the cornstarch marinade.
I chose chicken. She then asked how well I tolerated spicy food, I love medium to spicy foods and told her so. She quickly decided that the Chang’s Spicy Chicken could easily be done corn free and gluten free. She also suggested that I get it with a side of Garlic Snap Peas since the Chang’s Spicy Chicken did not come with many vegetables.
I was so excited to be able to eat a corn free meal at a restaurant! I know the salmon would have been an option too, but the chicken sounded so good I went with her suggestion.
They may have other corn free options as well if you don’t like spicy food. I didn’t ask about other options since the first option sounded good and I was ravenous.
Our food took slightly longer than normal to be brought out to us but I was glad that they were taking good care to keep me safe.
The food was amazing! The chicken was sweet and spicy with a light crunch. They dusted my chicken with potato starch instead of the normal cornstarch to keep it corn free. The beans were a great addition as well. I was told that the beans are not on their regular menu anymore but they always have them and will make them if you ask. I was extremely happy that they went to such lengths to keep me safe and my belly happy.
My server and the manager were friendly and helpful and made the experience of eating out fun for me. So if you need a restaurant that can adapt meals to any allergy PF Chang’s is the place to go.
I love Pb2 and found it on sale at our local Big Lots of all places. I had never tried the chocolate flavor and found this to be the perfect opportunity to to grab a jar. I usually mix Pb2 and coconut oil to use as a dip for bananas. If you haven’t tried it it is divine.
I know the combination of chocolate, peanut butter and bananas is a popular one so I tried my fave snack with the chocolate PB2. I found the chocolate PB2 to be less peanut buter flavored and not as chocolatey as I thought it would be.
I knew I needed to use it up as I hate to waste ingredients. I started out attempting brownies, but ended up with an amazing protein packed chocolate peanut butter cake. I have tried protein cakes before and not cared for them as they were gritty, chalky, dry or wierdly flavored. This has all of the protein of a whole jar of PB2 and all of the flavor of rich chocolate peanut butter. The chocolate flavor really blossoms when more PB2 is used.
This recipe only has 1/4 cup of sugar in the whole thing. I still found it to be quite sweet for me and am sure the sugar amount could be decreased to 2 tablespoons if you like very lightly sweet desserts. Continue reading →
I wanted ranch flavored chicken. I wanted it so bad I could taste it in my head. I have expiramented with making my own ranch powder mixes before. I have used numerous recipes that claimed to taste like Hidden Valley packets but none even came close. I have tried my own spice combinations and still that amazing ranch flavor eludes me. I am beginning to think that the chemicals and ingredients with long names are what makes it taste so good.
On my latest quest for ranch flavored powder I came up with these yummy chicken tenders. I call them buttermilk dill because they too were just not ranch flavored. They were however amazingly good. I love Saco buttermilk powder. I use it in my coconut flour buttermilk biscuit for one. Now I have a new go to chicken recipe and a new use for my buttermilk powder. Alan says he wants this chicken as often as I am willing to make it. Try it and then tell me about your homemade ranch successes and/or failures in the comments section below.
Alan’s mom buys pre-made monkey bread on a regular basis. Being the sweetheart that he is he never eats it. Not that he isn’t tempted to, he just values my kisses more than gluten filled treats. I have attempted to make gluten free monkey bread before, and it was Delicious. It just wasn’t blog worthy monkey bread. That version used all tapioca flour and was too chewey. So I had put monkey bread making into the back of my brain and moved on.
A few days ago I found Hodgson Mills Gluten Free Xanthan Gum in individual packets at Walmart. I had never attempted Xanthan Gum based breads because I found it too costly. I don’t have a large refrigerator in my RV either. I was just afraid to buy that large thirteen dollar bag of gum and possibly have it go bad before I used much of it. That is why I was so excited to find it in yeast sized packets for 48 cents a piece. That 48 cent packet opened my eyes to a new world of bread making. I still wasn’t quite ready to dive into making sandwich loaves quite yet. So I picked up my favorite new gluten free flour blend by Gluten Free Cafe. I can also find this at my Walmart for 4.88 for 2 pounds. Also incredibly reasonable!
I figured it was time to revisit the sticky sweet caramely goodness that is monkey bread. The recipe may seem complicated but it comes together quickly and is really fun to make. This recipe is much easier and gives tastier results that any gluten free cinnamon roll recipe I have tried too. The butter can be subbed out for coconut oil and the milk for non dairy milk to make this a dairy free treat if needed. I have not tried an egg substitute, but if you do please let me know how it turned out by leaving a comment. You may also omit the buttermilk powder if you do not have it. I don’t think that will make or break the recipe.
This monkey bread came out perfect! We ended up eating half of the loaf in under four minutes. I had to force myself to stop eating it so we can have some with coffee in the morning. This treat is not low fat or low calorie, but it is ok to indulge on occasion. Especially when it tastes this darn good.
1 stick of melted butter OR 8 tbsp melted coconut oil
1 cup brown sugar
½ cup sugar
2 tsp cinnamon
slivered almonds for sprinkling (can be omitted)
Start by adding the one teaspoon sugar and the yeast to the warm milk. Let those sit while you prepare the rest of the dough.
Beat the eggs, 2 tablespoons of sugar, 2 tablespoons of coconut oil, and vanilla for about 1 to 2 minutes.
Mix in buttermilk powder, xanthan gum, salt, flour, cinnamon, and yeast mixture. Mix until dough comes together.
In a separate bowl combine the brown sugar, sugar, and cinnamon for the topping mix.
Leave the melted butter or oil in second separate bowl for dipping the dough balls into.
Spray your loaf pan with your favorite spray grease.
Dip a tablespoon into the melted butter or oil. Use that tablespoon to scoop a tablespoon of dough. Drop the tablespoon of dough into the butter . Roll the ball in the cinnamon sugar mixture. Drop the ball in the pan. Repeat until the bottom of pan is full. Sprinkle a layer of slivered almonds across the dough balls if you like nuts.
Continue making, dipping, rolling, and dropping balls in pan until you run out of dough.
Add another layer of nuts if you would like.
Mix remaining butter and sugar together and drop/crumble over balls in pan.
Cover the pan with plastic wrap and let rise for 45 minutes.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Bake uncovered for 30 to 40 minutes or until toothpick can be stuck in the center and comes out clean.
let cool for 5 to 10 minutes and then invert the pan onto a plate. Scrape any remaining caramel from the pan and drizzle over you monkey bread.
I just recieved an email from Tom Hogue Director, Congressional and Public Affairs Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau alerting me of some awesome changes to the TTB regulations on gluten free alcohol beverages. I will share my opinions in a later post. Here’s the official update!
February, 11, 2014
Use of “Gluten‐Free” on TTB‐Regulated Alcohol Beverages
We have completed our review of how the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) final rule on the use of the term “gluten‐free” in the labeling of products under FDA’s labeling jurisdiction impacts TTB’s interim policy on gluten content statements in the labeling and advertising of wines, distilled spirits, and malt beverages that we previously set forth in TTB Ruling 2012–2.
As a result of our review and consultation with FDA, we are updating our policy on gluten labeling. Given the important consumer health considerations relating to “gluten-free” claims, TTB believes that it is important to adopt an approach on this issue that is as consistent as possible with the regulations that FDA issued.
Under our updated policy, alcohol beverages that are made from ingredients that do not contain gluten (such as wines fermented from grapes or other fruit and distilled spirits distilled from materials other than gluten-containing grains) may continue to make “gluten-free” claims in the same way allowed in the new FDA regulations for inherently gluten-free products.
Consistent with the new FDA regulations, TTB will continue to consider “gluten-free” label claims for alcohol beverages that are made from gluten-containing grains to be misleading to consumers who are seeking to avoid the consumption of gluten for health reasons. However, products made from gluten-containing grains may be labeled with a statement that the product was “Processed,” “Treated,” or “Crafted” to remove gluten, if that claim is made together with a qualifying statement that warns the consumer that the gluten content of the product cannot be determined and that the product may contain gluten.
TTB may revise this policy after FDA issues a final rule or other guidance with respect to fermented and hydrolyzed products. In the interim, we remind consumers that the FDA has determined there is still no scientifically valid way to evaluate the claims that beers made from gluten-containing grains can be processed in a way that removes gluten and that there is inadequate evidence about whether such methods are effective.
Our Revised Interim Policy on Gluten Content Statements in the Labeling and Advertising of Wine, Distilled Spirits, and Malt Beverages (TTB Ruling 2014–2) can be found on our Web site at: http://www.ttb.gov/rulings/2014-2.pdf.