Cooking For A Gluten-Free Diet


Experimentation is a must for gluten-intolerant people. The flavour and texture of baked goods is vastly different from wheat-based products.

Combining flours may be more acceptable than using a single flour.

•Rice flour is probably the most commonly used flour. White rice flour is bland and is an excellent thickener. Brown rice flour and rice bran are good for quick breads.

•Soy flour has a strong flavour, but is nutritious and excellent if blended with other flours. In small amounts, such as in thickening, it can be used straight across for wheat flour.

•Corn meal, corn flour and cornstarch are all excellent substitutes for wheat flour in quick breads and for thickening.

•Tapioca flour is good for thickening: Substitute 2 teaspoons of quick-cooking tapioca for 1 tablespoon of wheat flour.

•Potato flour has a strong potato taste, but is good blended with other flours.

•Potato starch has a bland taste and is good for thickening and baking.

•Arrowroot can be used for puddings, but it does have a chalky flavour. When used for thickening, only use half as much as wheat flour.

•Xanthan gums can be purchased in specialty stores and used in baking as binders.

•When baking increase the amount of leavening; bake longer at a lower temperature and in smaller batches.

Baking Mixes

There are many good gluten free baking mixes available. At the Kootenay Co-op we have had good success and customer feedback from the following recipes.

Gluten Free Baking Mix ( use as a substitute in any baking recipe calling for all purpose flour) :

  • 6 Cups Rice Flour
  • 2 Cups Potato Starch
  • 1 Cup Tapioca Flour

Make it

In large mixing bowl, combine all ingredients.  Store in a cool dry place for use as needed.

(From Vegetarian Times Magazine)

 Feather Light Rice Flour Baking mix

  • 3 cups Rice flour
  • 3 cups Tapioca flour
  • 3 cup Cornstarch
  • 3 Tbsp Potato flour

Make it

In a large mixing bowl, combine all the ingredients.
Store in a cool dry place for use as needed.

(From the book “Gluten Free Gourmet Bakes Bread” by Bette Hagman)

GF Flour Substitutions per 1 cup Wheat Flour:

Grain Flour                          Amount

Cornmeal                            1 cup

Corn Flour                           1 cup

Oat*                                      1-1/3 cups

Potato                                  3/4 cups

Rice                                        3/4 cups

Soy                                         1-1/3 cups

Tapioca                 1 cup

Quinoa                 1 cup

 Gluten-free Playdough

  • 1 cup of rice flour
  • 1 cup of corn flour
  • 1 cup salt
  • 4 tsp of cream of tartar
  • 2 cups water
  • 2 Tbsp vegetable oil
  • Food colouring

Make it

Put all the ingredients into a saucepan. Cook over a low heat for about 5 minutes, stirring well all the time.  The mixture is very runny to start with but gradually firms up. Remove from the heat and knead on a table or large board to remove any lumps. Roll into a large ball and store in an airtight tub. It will keep for several months.

 Gluten Free Scones

(makes about 10)

  • 2 ½ cups blanched almond flour, plus about 1 cup for dusting the dough
  • ½ teaspoon celtic sea salt
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • ¼ cup earth balance natural buttery spread (soy free)
  • 1 tablespoon agave nectar, honey or maple syrup
  • 2 eggs

Make it

In a medium bowl, combine almond flour, salt and baking soda. In a separate large bowl, blend together buttery spread, eggs and agave. Stir the dry ingredients into the wet until a nice dough forms. Dust dough with extra almond flour if it is sticky and roll out to about 1½ inches thick. Cut dough into biscuits using a cutter or a mason jar with a 3-inch wide mouth. Carefully transfer biscuits to a parchment lined baking sheet. Bake at 350° for 15 minutes, until biscuits are browned on the bottom edges. Serve with butter and jam, or anything you fancy. Alternatively, why not add some fresh blueberries or grated apple to the dough – gently fold in at the end when you combine the wet and dry mixes. Yum.

Recipe adapted from one found online at:

Ideas on what to serve to gluten-intolerant guests:

-Veggies and Gluten-free crackers, with Hummus, Baba Ganouj.

-Fresh Fruit

-Rice cakes with nut butter

-Corn chips and salsa, or nachos.


For more information on Celiac Disease and gluten free diets please visit the following on line resources:

The Celiac Disease Foundation

The Canadian Celiac Association

Gluten Intolerance Group

Alive Magazine Celiac Articles


Food Allergy Survival Guide by Vesanto Melina, Jo Stepaniak and Dina Aronson

The All Natural Allergy Cookbook by Jeanne Marie Martin

Cooking Free by Carol Fenster

The Gluten-Free Gourmet: Cooks Fast and Healthy by Bette Hagman

The Gluten-Free Gourmet by Bette Hagman

The Kootenay Co-op’s Customer Service department maintains a list of products carried in store, which are gluten free. Please ask staff for your copy. Most packaged GF flours, grains, etc, can be special-ordered at Customer Service in various larger sizes.

Our Wellness department also stocks a variety of Gluten Free reference and cook books, and can do special orders on additional books if available.