How to Convert a Recipe to Gluten Free
You have a recipe box full of recipes from Grandma, but they're full of gluten! Find out how to adjust the recipes so they're gluten free.
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We've all been there. You have a collection of recipes passed down from your grandmother or great-grandmother, but they aren't gluten free. You might be wondering to yourself How to Convert a Recipe to Gluten Free and now you will have the answers. Short of just experimenting in the kitchen and finding out what works and what doesn't, there are a few specific techniques you can try to adjust a recipe so it's gluten free. It might be a good idea to write down the gluten free version if it works for you and store it with the original. So, when you pass on the recipe collection, whoever receives it has both versions.
When you get the celiac disease diagnosis or you're told that you have a gluten sensitivity, it can feel like everything you used to eat is now evil. You have to avoid some foods and it feels like you're avoiding all of the foods. Converting a recipe to be gluten free re-opens that world for you. You can still enjoy your favorite foods as long as you're careful with the ingredients. And better yet - once you learn how to make the gluten free versions, your favorite foods won't make you feel sick anymore!
Craving some cake? Check out our best Gluten Free Baking Tips
Swap the flour
Sometimes all you have to do is change the flour to make a recipe gluten free. You can substitute all-purpose regular flour for all-purpose gluten free flour at a ratio of 1:1. If you're baking things like cakes or breads, add 1/4 teaspoon of xanthan gum per cup of flour to help with binding the ingredients together.
Another flour swap technique is to measure by weight. Each flour has a different weight and density. 1 cup of potato starch is not going to be the same weight as 1 cup of your favorite all-purpose gluten free blend. For every 1 cup of regular all-purpose flour, use 140 grams of gluten free all-purpose flour.
Check out our collection of recipes with flour substitutions!
Substitute for a naturally gluten free ingredient
Sometimes you're just going to have to come to terms that the recipe isn't going to be exactly the same when you make it gluten free. There are going to be substitutions that you have to make that might alter the recipe more than you want. If you're making a pasta casserole, it might be easier to use quinoa. It won't be easy to change all of these ingredients, but you'll feel better knowing that everything is gluten free.
For more substitution ideas, you can check out our article, Tricky Gluten Free Ingredients, to stock your pantry with naturally gluten free foods.
Look for a similar recipe online
The Internet is an endless resource that you can use to help with your recipe adaptation. If you're converting Grandma's chocolate cake to be gluten free, search for other gluten free chocolate cake recipes and see what those gluten free bakers do. Try some of their techniques and add the ingredients that make Grandma's special (like her dash of cinnamon or how she always adds extra chocolate).
Experiment with your ingredients
Sometimes there's no easy way to adjust the recipe so it tastes and feels the same without gluten. You might have to adjust the other ingredients as well when you try new flours. Some flours might be a bit drier so you might have to add more liquid ingredients. Cooking is a fun science, but you will need to figure out what your favorite flours require.
Find a similar recipe that's already gluten free
Once again, the internet is an invaluable resource to everyone learning how to cook gluten free and those looking to convert their classic recipes. Say your grandmother had a famous chocolate cake recipe that you want to make for your gluten free family. Find some gluten free chocolate cake recipes online and see what other people did. It's a shortcut that will give you ideas on what ingredients to swap and maybe you'll find a gluten free baking technique that you didn't know about and can implement in your quest for gluten free recipes.
For more help, check out our best Gluten Free Cooking Tips from Bloggers!
Do you have everything you need in your gluten free kitchen? Find out if you're missing anything: The Ultimate Pantry Guide for Gluten Free Living
Do you have any recipe conversion tips or questions about converting recipes? Let us know in the comment section!
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