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Author Topic: Good Alternatives to Flour - for Baking Cookies  (Read 7135 times)

Offline AnnaL

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Good Alternatives to Flour - for Baking Cookies
« on: September 13, 2009, 06:50:34 PM »
Greetings to All!

I am a NE student and love to bake, especially during the holidays.  I am going to be experimenting with baking cookies with alternatives to refined sugar, but also would like to replace the enriched, bleached flour with something healthful.  Have any of you baked cookies with things like oat flour?  What other flours have you used in place of white flour?  As I develop the modifications to my cookie recipes, I will definitely post them.

Great food and health to all!
Missy
Warm regards,
Missy Leathers

Offline HallieK

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Re: Good Alternatives to Flour - for Baking Cookies
« Reply #1 on: September 14, 2009, 05:47:36 AM »
I, too, love to bake.  While I occasionally "indulge" and go all out with a white flour recipe, I almost always substitute with whole-grain or gluten-free flours.  Some of the flours I use:
--Whole wheat flour
--Sorghum flour
--Brown rice flour
--Buckwheat flour
--Quinoa flour (only once)

Check out this website for great gluten-free, refined-sugar free, healthful baking recipes:
www.nourishingmeals.com

Or visit: www.101cookbooks.com 

If you come up with creative new recipes for healthy baked goods, please post them!   

Offline MiraD

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Re: Good Alternatives to Flour - for Baking Cookies
« Reply #2 on: September 14, 2009, 02:11:39 PM »
Hi Missy,

You can definitely substitute flours.  Just remember that if you are using whole grain flours the density of your baked goods may vary a little bit.  Also, it's important to let the batter sit for a few minutes to allow the fiber to absorb some of the liquid in the recipe.

I have a few tips about whole grain baking and some yummy recipes on my blog http://grainsandmore.blogspot.com/search/label/baking hopefully you will find some helpful ideas there.

Be well,
Mira

Offline AnnaL

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Re: Good Alternatives to Flour - for Baking Cookies
« Reply #3 on: September 16, 2009, 07:27:32 PM »
Hi Mira and Hallie,

Thank you SOOO much for your responses and suggestions on substitutes for white flour.  I am thinking about using oat flour in a cookie recipe - and if it works I'll definitely post the recipe.  It's an old Ginger Cookie recipe that I have already modified by substituting crisco for unsalted butter - and I am going to try Sucanat to replace the sugar and oat flour to replace the refined white flour.  Will keep ya' posted!

Missy
Warm regards,
Missy Leathers

Offline MiraD

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Re: Good Alternatives to Flour - for Baking Cookies
« Reply #4 on: September 17, 2009, 06:58:04 AM »
Dear Anna,

A better substitute for butter would be coconut oil.  Not sure why you are choosing to substitute the butter since it is a healthy fat, but coconut oil is also healthy and provides lauric and capryllic and capric acids, all very beneficial.

I will share from personal experience that if you try to change everything at once you may find that you get an unpleasant result and that you're not sure why it happened.  I usually change the flour first, then the fat, then the sugar.  Keeping notes along the way helps me to understand the hydration of the recipe (I've made some great doorstops/hockey pucks in my time by switching the flour and not having enough extra moisture in the recipe.

Depending on how much butter the recipe calls for (and most ginger cookies call for a lot) you can substitute up to 1/2 of the amount with applesauce.  This gives a great flavor and adds moisture if needed.  On ginger snaps if you are looking for a true "snap" you won't get it with the applesauce, but if you are just looking for a soft gingery cookie you could start by adding 1/4 the amount of fat called for.  The applesauce gives no discernable flavor.  Other substitutes for fat include pumpkin butter and prune butter both of which have a flavor but it is one that can be successfully paired with the flavors of your baked goods to enhance them.

HTH,
Mira

Offline MiraD

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Re: Good Alternatives to Flour - for Baking Cookies
« Reply #5 on: September 17, 2009, 06:59:20 AM »
PS, the sucanat is a good choice because it will give a nice molassas-y depth the the ginger in the cookie.

Offline AnnaL

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Re: Good Alternatives to Flour - for Baking Cookies
« Reply #6 on: September 17, 2009, 11:21:07 AM »
Oh goodness!   :o   I stated something completely wrong!!!  I replaced using Crisco with using unsalted butter!  I said it the other way around in my second post....yikes!  I made that switch about 15 years or so ago, and also cut the amount of fat (unsalted butter) from 3/4 cup to 1/2 cup.  When I 'master' the modifications to this recipe, I'll definitely post it.

Thanks to all of you for your replies.

Bon Appetit,
Missy
Warm regards,
Missy Leathers

Offline DanielleG

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Re: Good Alternatives to Flour - for Baking Cookies
« Reply #7 on: October 04, 2009, 12:56:39 PM »
I'm new to the forum and the natural chef program  :) I love to bake and I am experimenting with some new baking recipes. Speaking of flour substitutions..... I found a recipe that calls for gluten-free flour. I was wondering if you could substitute any type of whole grain flour in such a recipe? It is a pancake recipe and it specifically states in the intro that the light texture of the gluten-free flour lends particularly well in this recipe.... Would substituting change the consistency and texture too much?

Also, what is the best alternative sweetener to brown sugar in a recipe?
Thanks

Danielle 

Offline MiraD

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Re: Good Alternatives to Flour - for Baking Cookies
« Reply #8 on: October 04, 2009, 02:48:14 PM »
Hey Danielle,

When substituting non-gluten flours for glutinous you have to pay attention to the consistency sometimes having to add a binder of some kind.

When going the other way you have to pay attention to the effect of the gluten and sometimes add more leavening or possibly more moisture.

Baking times can also be affected by the change, sometimes it's an even exchange sometimes it's not.  I have not yet learned a set of rules that determine when you need to make what changes.

Instead of brown sugar I usually use sucanat although lately I have been using turbinado in place of the sucanat because it doesn't have a dark a flavor.

hth,
Mira

Offline Nori

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Re: Good Alternatives to Flour - for Baking Cookies
« Reply #9 on: October 04, 2009, 05:21:08 PM »
May I suggest ground nut meal and coconut flour for baking-- they both work so very well, providing a low carb treat.  A nice cobbler can be made with ground nuts, coconut oil, cinnamon and nutmeg, and date sugar as the topping. Proportions for everything but the oil is "to taste" but you want the result, when mixed with a fork, to hold together loosely. 

Date sugar is a tasty, fibrous, whole food alternative to brown sugar.
Nori M. Hudson, BA, MS
Instructor, Bauman College, Berkeley
Board Certified in Holistic Nutrition by and Registered with NANP
Certified Diet Counselor, Nutrition Educator,  Nutrition Consultant, and Nutrition Teacher through Bauman College

Offline LeviH

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Re: Good Alternatives to Flour - for Baking Cookies
« Reply #10 on: October 05, 2009, 09:37:35 AM »
Namaste
My gratitude to Missy for sharing her inquiry and inspiration, and to MiraD, Danielle, Hallie and Nori for the thoughts that have been contributed and wonderful suggestions made!

I'm a new CF student who is incredibly thankful for the opportunity to broaden my understanding of how to conceptualize and cook Real Food. A friend of mine is not permitted sugar or wheat. He has *quite* the sweet tooth and has a birthday coming up. I would like to surprise him a cake that is not too dense, has moist texture, very rich in flavor, and meets his dietary requirements. Two questions:

1. I am not sure if the information that I have is sufficient (all sugar? only refined sugar? what about natural sugars?) or whether from a nutritionist's perspective, "no sugar" means something specific enough that I can begin working from there?

2. I've never worked with natural/"alternative" sweeteners before (Stevia, honey, molasses, etc) nor have I ever previously worked with alternative flours. Would your thoughts be the same in terms of approaching a cake rather than cookies?

With gratitude,
Levi
« Last Edit: October 06, 2009, 04:09:25 PM by Marlina E »
M. Levi Halberstadt
(202) 487 - 4464
levi@edenhotel.org

Offline DanielleG

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Re: Good Alternatives to Flour - for Baking Cookies
« Reply #11 on: October 05, 2009, 05:07:44 PM »
Thank you Nori and Mira for your responses  :) I will be sure to try your recommendations.... much appreciated

Danielle

 


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