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Frequently Asked Questions

Celeste's Best Gluten Free Flour Mix contains two rice flours and white bean flour. White bean flour is a very mild bean flour. If you've tried garfava or garbanzo bean flour before and found the taste too noticeable and overpowering, you'll be pleasantly surprised by how mild white bean flour is and what it adds to a gluten-free flour mix. And the mix only uses a small amount of bean flour, about one and half tablespoons per cup of flour. Just enough to get the benefits of bean flour without any of the unpleasant taste.

And some very good news for those who must avoid beans - I've recently discovered that if you use Authentic Foods brand white rice flour and sweet rice flour you do not need to use any bean flour in my mix without any noticeable effect on taste or texture of your baked goods! There are a few recipes that you'll need to modify and you'll find them by clicking the My Cookbook tab under recipe revisions.

Yes. Most of the recipes in Celeste's Best Gluten-Free, Allergen-Free Recipes use a blend of two gluten-free flours. The recipe is given in the book and you can simply whisk the flours together and keep on hand to be used in the recipes.

I also recently discovered that if you use Authentic Foods brand white rice flour and sweet rice flour you will not need to add a third flour to my mix. Authentic Foods flours are very finely milled and wonderful for gluten-free baking.

When I created the mix, the goal was to make the blend as allergen-friendly as possible. Substituting flours can be tricky. Why? Because every flour in the mix brings something else to the table, so to speak, and then they all work synergistically together to create a blend that most closely resembles wheat flour.

If you've made any changes to the recipe that have resulted positively for you, please take a moment to add a post to the forum to help others who also may need help with this.

For the longest time, I used xanthan gum as a binding ingredient in my gluten-free baking. I hadn't really questioned it. I believed the myth that you had to use it to produce foods that stayed together and didn't fall apart into a pile of crumbs.

Then, along with many others once my diet was clean of most common allergens, I realized that something was still bothering me and my daughter and I felt it was the xanthan gum.

I set out to find something that would produce similar results, but be more natural and healthier for us. After a bit of testing, I found konjac glucomannan powder. Konjac is a terrific supplement that many health professionals are now recommending.

It is a bit costly, but you use only a small amount in each recipe that uses gluten-ree flour. You can read more about konjac powder in my blog post Why I No Longer Use Xanthan Gum.

Yes, many of the recipes can be made without eggs. There are also two egg substitute recipes in the book. I did not title the book as "egg-free" because I am still in the process of trying all the recipes without eggs. If I have already tried and tested a recipe using either flaxeggs (recipe in book) or egg replacer (recipe in book) I will list it in the note box at the end of the recipe.

We no longer have eggs in our diet now either and I've just started testing chia seeds as an egg substitute and I've been more than pleased with the results.

I store any opened bags of gluten-free flour in the refrigerator if there is room. If I am short on space, I store only the whole grains in the refrigerator and the starches like tapioca, arrowroot, and sweet potato, I store in a cool location.

I also keep all my unopened flours in a cool location to maintain freshness.

A recent study found that three-quarters of those tested for gluten sensitivity were also sensitive to yeast. My daughter, my sister-in-law and I are all sensitive to yeast.

None of the bread recipes in the cookbook use any baker's or brewers yeast, but you'd never know that by seeing or eating them. Even without yeast, they still have the taste and texture of "real" bread.

There was a time when I thought the definitive test for celiac disease was an intestinal biopsy. Then I read Celiac Disease (Revised and Updated Edition): A Hidden Epidemic by Dr. Peter Greene. An excellent book that anyone with any food allergy, sensitivity or intolerance should read that is available on Amazon.

Doctors at one time or another have told both my sister-in-law and I that we didn't have celiac disease. Considering how sick I get from gluten, I almost find that laughable. Interestingly, as you'll read in Dr. Green's book, in order to be diagnosed as celiac, there must be damage to the villi. Damage that is visible. But what if they don't look in that one specific spot of the intestine where the damage is beginning? And the real question - why should we wait for damage before eliminating a specific food?

I firmly believe in listening to your own body. It knows which foods you should eat and which you should avoid. Often you can eliminate several offending foods for several weeks and then one by one let them back into your diet and see how you feel after you eat them.

Unfortunately, this isn't a yes or no question. Regulations recently changed. And in the near future, foods will be able to be labeled “gluten-free” if they are foods that are inherently gluten-free or do not contain an ingredient that is: 1) a gluten-containing grain (e.g., spelt, wheat, rye, barley); 2) derived from a gluten-containing grain that has not been processed to remove gluten (e.g., wheat flour); or 3) derived from a gluten-containing grain that has been processed to remove gluten (e.g., wheat starch), if the use of that ingredient results in the presence of 20 parts per million (ppm) or more gluten in the food. To be labeled "gluten-free" the food must contain less than 20 ppm.

But even when this regulation goes into effect food with up to 20 ppm (parts per million) of gluten will be labeled gluten-free. What if you were to eat several foods or several servings of food all containing these small amounts of gluten? Have a few servings of one food and get 40 ppm and then another serving with 20 ppm of another food and it all starts adding up. I wonder how much gluten an average gluten intolerant person may be ingesting in a day of foods considered to be gf.

My family and I are highly sensitive to gluten, so we strive to eat foods that are inherently gluten-free. Small amounts like the proposed 20 ppm do affect us.

Another thing for those highly sensitive to gluten to consider is whether or not the facility that manufactures the food also processes food with gluten or other allergens. Often then the supposed gluten-free food can become cross-contaminated with gluten or other allergens. We prefer to purchase only those products produced in dedicated gluten and allergen-free facilities. To truly understand why this is important, watch this video detailing what Kinnikinnick needed to do when purchasing a facility that once was used to produce wheat based waffles.

Like I said, unfortunately, it's not a yes or no question. And I'd also add that if you eat a food that is labeled "gluten-free" and you don't feel your best after eating it, trust your body. It is always the best indicator of which foods you should be eating and those you'd be better off avoiding.

There are many people who must avoid gluten or simply choose to remove gluten from their diets. The recipes in Celeste's Best Gluten-Free, Allergen-Free Recipes are all gluten-free. You'll be able to use all the recipes. If you have no sensitivity to milk or casein, you can use cow's milk in the recipes.

Many of the readers of the book have celiac disease and are only following a gluten-free diet. You may find, though, once you eliminate some of the other common allergens from your diet such as milk, corn, soy and yeast, that overall you begin feeling better. Many of these foods also affect those who are sensitive to gluten.