So if your a sugar free newbie or thinking about it, your probably thinking how awful life is going to be without cakes, and cookies, and candy, right? If you LOVE to bake (as do I), your baking days are not over. There are wonderful and delicious low carb recipes for deserts out there. However, your baking ingredients are going to change a bit.
Ok, so baking low carb is a bit different, but its not rocket science. It takes a little practice with some of the new ingredients that you've probably never worked with before but you'll become familiar with their baking properties as you use them more often. I would like to start posting recipes for some sugar free/low carb GOODIES! I do however, want to familiarize you to the ingredients you will be most likely using. Some of these you can find at your local grocery store, some are harder to find and you may need to visit your local natural foods market or even go online to search them out.
List of Low Carb Baking Ingredients
Walnut flour, almond flour, coconut flour, hazelnut flour etc. All are substitues for your traditional flour, however, each of them have slightly different baking properties. I would say Almond flour is the most easy to use. I use a combination of hazelnut, almond, and coconut flour (a bit more almond than the rest) and I store it in a container together.(see below)
This stays in the fridge and I store the rest of the flours in the freezer. You can't leave these out like regular flour.
Xanthan Gum or Guar Gum
I use Xanthan Gum (pronounced "Zanthan"). You MUST have this to use the nut flours. Nut flours lack Gluten which is what makes breaks, cakes, cookies, etc. take formation and hold together. Xanthan gum is a replacement for gluten. It can also be used to thicken gravies and sauces instead of flour. A little big of this goes a long way in recipes. If you use too much, you'll notice a heavy or stringy texture in your baked goods.
As a general rule you will use 1 teaspoon of Xanthan Gum for every 1 cup of nut flour. (but you'll still have to experiment with it as you use different nut flours and bake different things.) Sometimes you'll need more, sometimes less.
Store this in the fridge or the freezer if you are going to be using it very infrequently.
Most people do not like artificial sweeteners but in small amounts I am completely ok with it. If you want to bake and have goodies around your going to need some. Splenda is my favorite to use. It doesnt have a strong aftertaste, its low carb and low calorie. I have the large baking package and I also have the little individual packets (I carry some in my purse as well.) Splenda measures cup for cup like sugar so its pretty simple to use.
Those are the main ingredients for low carb cooking but here's some other things you'll want in your low carb baking pantry:
Unsweetened Soy Milk (low carb as possible)
Heavy cream and Half-N-half
Low carb or no carb soy protein powder
Powdered Egg Whites
Sugar Free Syrups (I use Davinci Syrups-they have to die for flavors! Use in deserts, coffee, etc) I get mine from a local natural foods market (Cooks, in Rogers, AR) but you can buy them online at http://www.davincigourmet.com/products/sugar_free_flavored_syrups/
Sugar Free/Low Carb chocolate chips (yes they exist!)-Try CarbSmart Semisweet chocolate chips. Youll have to buy these online. So worth it! You can find them here: www. carbsmart.com/minichips.html
So there you have it! These are the essentials for baking low carb baking. So go stock up and check back for delicious recipes for sugar free/low carb goodies!
HAPPY LOW CARB BAKING! <3