I have a confession to make – I hate the pre-mixed packages. I got onto the gluten free diet the year before the pre-mixed fours and cakes and muffins started popping up everywhere. Naturally I nose-dived into them the moment they hit the shelf, expecting the return of my previously uncomplicated diet. The first thing I tried tasted like a cardboard rock, the next tasted like… beans. So I looked at the ingredients and, surprise – Garbanzo Beans. What was up with that?! Eventually I found a few brands that I could trust to taste like real food, not bean food (soybeans &  garbanzo beans particularly) but by that point I’d developed my own method (which is below).

So, I have only a very few rules for my cooking.

  1. It can’t taste like beans. Unless it’s supposed to – as in Tacos with Beans or Bean & Cheese Enchiladas.
  2. It’s got to taste exactly like the real thing, or better.
  3. It can’t cost me an arm an a leg every time I bake. That means I very, very rarely use any kind of flour that’s not, well, cheap.

Henceforth, in most of my recipes you’ll find that I use rice flour. I typically by Bob’s Red Mill, because you can find it anywhere, and I choose brown rice over white because it is marginally healthy. I’m also probably the only person complaining that they don’t supplement rice flours the same way they do wheat flours. I’m not going to lie to you – unless it tastes like crap (which is the effect Quinoa, Garbazo, and all those other flours tend to have) it’s crap for you. There is absolutely nothing healthy about eating rice flour. It’s starch, plain and simple. But it’s tasty.

I’m sure many of you have tried baking some favorite recipe with rice flour,  and you ended up with a very heavy lump that might share the same weight as a pound of lead. Clearly, rice isn’t the only thing in my recipes. I also add: Tapioca (for lightness), Corn Starch (for stiffness), and Xantham gum (although Gour Gum will do) for cohesion. The amounts vary, but there you have it, the foundation of my baking success – hold the beans.