There is nothing better than baking – apart from watching other people bake! My husband does not understand my obsession with cooking shows but I love getting ideas and inspiration from them as well as simply being entertained by all their foibles.
So I was excited to see that The Great British Bake Off was doing a ‘free from’ show this week. It is great that such a popular platform is showcasing dairy free, gluten free and sugar free cooking. I do think they could have chosen some more inspiring challenges – how inspiring can gluten free pitta bread be?! – but it’s a big step in the right direction.
In the past year and a half since I have been learning to cook free from food, I have learnt a lot, experimented and been amazed at what is possible. So here are some of my top tips
Cooking dairy free
In most cases, cooking dairy free is the easiest of the free from options. In basic recipes you can just substitute butter for dairy free spread – we use Pure – and substitute Cow’s milk for a dairy free alternative.
These delicious dairy free muffins are a good place to start.
On Great British Bake Off last night they had to make dairy free ice cream which is a bit more tricky. Most contestants used coconut milk which works well. but there are also some really simple ways to make ‘ice cream’ using banana which are quick, easy and healthy. We also just cheat and buy Swedish Glace which my ice cream loving husband declares in better than the real thing!
Baking egg free
Baking egg free is a bit more tricky but there a lots of options out there. The infographic below is a useful alternatives list.
My favourite option is using ¼ cup apple sauce to replace one egg. This makes mixtures quite moist and is best when there is only one egg in a recipe. I just use the little kiddie fruit pots. Another option is to use egg replacer – we use Organ – which works well and can also be used to make things like vegan french toast
Nut free alternatives
Generally, cooking nut free is about avoidance and checking labels very carefully. A few products are great replacements though. The first is Wow butter which I am always raving about! It is basically a fake peanut butter that tastes just like the real thing (I have no idea how!). I have used it to make wow butter bites and nut free peanut cookies.
Another good one is sunflower seed butter which has a nutty taste to it and I use in our No Nuts Nutella recipe which is great for eating straight from the pot, spreading on bread or making chocolate croissants.
Gluten free baking
We are lucky that J is OK with gluten so we don’t need to avoid it. We have some great gluten free recipes on our weekly #freefromfridays linky though and for more advice visit some of our great bloggers: Free From Fairy and Gluten Free Alchemist are good places to start.
What are your top tips for free from baking? What did you think of Bake Off?