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4 Gluten-Free Baking Secrets

Filed Under: Gluten Free,Recipes at 12:21 pm | By: Maggie Marton

Do you want to bake gluten-free goodies but get stuck on the substitutions? Have you tried baking without gluten but couldn’t get the right texture or flavor?

Gluten, a family of proteins found in grains like wheat, barley and rye, gives foods their shape and structure. It helps dough rise and provides that delightfully chewy texture that we all love in baked goods. Recreating those sensations without gluten takes some finesse and, unfortunately, often results in crumbling cookies or heavy hunks of cake.

It’s true: Baking without gluten can feel challenging. But, it doesn’t have to be!

You can successfully bake gluten-free treats at home without sacrificing flavor or texture, assures Shelly Henley, owner of No Label at the Table Food Company in Carmel, Indiana.

Henley created the entirely gluten- and dairy-free bakery to help her son, who is on the autism spectrum, achieve his dreams in the food industry. The company provides employment opportunities and job skills training for people with autism.

Henley’s son has been on a gluten- and casein-free diet since he was a toddler. “Eighteen years ago, no one knew what gluten-free was, so I pulled him up on the kitchen island and we baked,” she recalls. “Baking and cooking are process-driven. You follow the steps and in the end, you get a yummy reward. It’s very satisfying work for him.”

4 Keys to Successful Gluten-Free Baking

Here are some of Henley’s best tips to take the stress out of gluten-free baking:

Convert Recipes to Gluten-Free

The trick to successful gluten-free baking isn’t just to swap one flour for another. Instead, to compensate for gluten’s job of helping dough rise, it takes some additions. While you can find gobs of gluten-free recipes on Pinterest, you might want to convert one of your non-GF faves. There are handy conversion charts on the internet. We like this one because it explains the science and math behind the conversions (and includes a tasty cookie recipe at the end).

Use the Right Ingredients

Not all flours are gluten-free, of course. Beyond the obvious white and wheat flours, some others to avoid include flour made from barley, rye and spelt. For guidance, check out this list of the best gluten-free flours and other baking ingredients. Remember, though, that you can’t swap a gluten flour for a GF flour without some additional conversions.

Some gluten-free mixes are available to take care of those substitutions and conversions for you, but they’re not always a seamless replacement, depending on what you’re making. You may have to trial-and-error your favorite recipes with some of the pre-made mixes available.

Let Your Dough Rest

Allow your dough to take its time before you bake, and you’ll end up happier with the texture and consistency of your treat. “A good tip is to hydrate your doughs,” Henley says. “If you make a batter or dough, let it sit for 20 or 30 minutes. Gluten-free flours need more time to take in the fats and liquids of the recipes.”

Henley also finds that coddling the eggs helps with the process. “Remember in your chemistry class in school, you learned reactions happen faster at higher temperatures. Baking is science, molecular gastronomy.”

Know When to Give Up

Perhaps Henley’s best advice involves giving up. “Give up on trying to buy the perfect blend of GF flour,” she says. “There’s not one. You’ll always need to substitute a couple flours to get your desired result. Breads will need more protein. Cakes more starch.”

Maybe even more important is giving up the idea that you are living without something, Henley says. “Don’t try to recreate your old diet. It was probably making you sick anyway. When you focus on what you can have versus what is off limits, the whole world opens for you.”

Ready to master the art form of gluten-free baking? Check out our 7 Essentials for the Gluten-Free Baker.


4 Healthy Flours for Gluten-Free Baking

Filed Under: Gluten Free,Health Foods at 5:00 am | By: Mauricio Matusiak
Do you love baking but wish you could find better, healthier alternative ingredients for your baked goods? Changing one main ingredient can make a big difference: flour.

Using natural flour can make your baking healthier, delicious, and even provide health benefits. Today, we focus on 4 healthy types of flour for baking: coconut, brown rice, tapioca, and almond.

1. Coconut Flour

A soft, not grain-based flour produced from dried coconut meat, coconut flour is a natural byproduct of coconut milk production. This soft, fine powder is suitable for baking and popular among those adhering to grain-restrictive diets such as paleo diets. Coconut flour is gluten-free and rich in protein, fiber and fat which makes it exceptionally filling. A great source of manganese, it also contains lauric acid, a saturated fat known to support the immune system, the thyroid, and promote good skin health.

2. Brown Rice Flour

Brown rice flour has a stronger, nuttier flavor than conventional wheat flours and is an excellent choice for muffins and cookies. This flour can be gluten-free and it tend to behave differently from conventional wheat flour when baked and may make your baked goods a little brittle, but also richer in fiber.

3. Tapioca Flour

Tapioca flour comes from the cassava plant and is a gluten-free starch that can help improve not only the flavor but also the texture of gluten-free baked goods. Tapioca flour can help building the structure to gluten-free goods, making them chewy and more like traditional recipes.

4. Almond Flour

Almond flour is full of protein, fiber, and healthy fats. Perfect for pancakes, muffins, bread and brownies, this soft, delicate crumb is actually a flour used in many traditional baked goods. Just like tapioca, almond flour is often used for the texture it brings to baked goods.


Recipe: Healthy Pumpkin Pie Bites

Filed Under: Gluten Free,Health Foods,Recipes at 12:42 pm | By: Jessica Justh

Fall is here so it’s time to celebrate with flavors of pumpkin and spice with this easy autumn dessert. It’s gluten, dairy and peanut free which makes it perfect for a school party or just as a healthy treat.



  1. In a stand mixer, mix on low speed the following ingredients pumpkin puree, almond butter, vanilla, clove, cinnamon and salt
  2. Once combined add the quinoa flakes and oats
  3. Refridgerate for a ½ hour
  4. Using your hands roll into balls and place on a lined baking sheet. (Mixture will be sticky)
  5. Keep in fridge or enjoy immediately



This Ain’t Your Grandma’s Mac N’ Cheese

Filed Under: Gluten Free,Nutrition,Recipes at 8:00 am | By: Jessica Justh

Okay, we did the impossible and made a plant-based version of mac and cheese that will knock your socks off. Plus, it’s vegan, dairy-free, gluten-free and packed with nutrients.

Instead of white flour pasta, we used organic brown rice pasta made with whole grain brown rice, which offers 4 grams of healthy fiber per serving. The plant-based “cheesiness” is from nutritional yeast. It’s produced from culturing yeast with sugarcane and beet molasses and provides a full spectrum of essential amino acids and a balanced variety of B vitamins.

Plant Fueled Mac n’ Cheese



  • Cook pasta according to directions
  • Drain well but do not rinse with cold water and return to pot
  • Add nutritional yeast and milk stir well
  • Add the remaining spices and enjoy!


Oatmega Breakfast Cookies

Filed Under: Gluten Free,Recipes,Superfoods at 7:22 am | By: Jessica Justh


Cookies for breakfast? Heck, yeah! Using just one bowl, you can bake like Betty to create these delicious and nutritious cookies loaded with superfoods like chia, flax and blueberries. Start your day with these vegan, gluten-free breakfast cookies that taste exactly like a blueberry muffin!



  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  • Grease a baking sheet with coconut oil or use parchment paper
  • In a large bowl, mix together melted coconut oil, coconut sugar, mashed banana, and vanilla
  • Next fold in flaxseed meal, almond meal, baking soda, salt and spices. Mix well until a dough forms. Then fold in blueberries
  • Roll dough into a ball and press on the top slightly
  • Bake for 15 minutes and let cool



Recipe: Snickerdoodle Bites

Filed Under: Gluten Free,Health Foods,Nutrition,Recipes at 9:33 pm | By: Jessica Justh
A baking sheet with cookie dough balls.

If you haven’t heard of xylitol yet, you’re in for a sweet surprise! It has fewer calories than sugar and makes a great alternative sweetener in baked goods for those trying to lose weight or avoid the overuse of sugar in their diet. Xylitol doesn’t compromise on taste or texture and is metabolized without insulin, so it creates a significantly lower glycemic effect when eaten.

Now let’s get rolling…these snickerdoodle bites are an easy, one bowl recipe that can be made in no time. Did we mention they’re delicious too!


Sugar Topping


  1. Combine all ingredients into a bowl
  2. Mix well until combined
  3. Use your hands to roll into bite-sized balls
  4. Roll balls in the sugar topping mixture
  5.  in refrigerator and enjoy


No-Bake Cranberry Granola Bars

Filed Under: Gluten Free,Recipes at 9:05 am | By: Jessica Justh

It’s summer so let’s crank up the oven… said no one ever! That’s why you’ll love this delicious. no-bake granola bar recipe. It’s perfect for on-the-go nutrition or a snack for the kiddos. Plus, they only have four ingredients and are paleo, raw, dairy free, gluten free and no added sugar! You can make this recipe nut free by using pepitas or sunflower seeds.


1 cup dates

2 cups walnuts or Brazil nuts

2 cups shredded coconut

3/4 cup dried cranberries

3 tbsp water


  • To get a rich flavor out of the nuts, we recommend toasting them in the oven for 5-10 minutes on 350 degrees.
  • Once cooled add them to your food processor with the remaining ingredients.
  • Once the mixture is crumbly, gradually the water, a tablespoon at a time. You want the mixture to be sticky enough that it holds together.
  • Line a baking dish with parchment paper and press the mixture down firmly.
  • Place in the fridge for three hours.
  • Cut into bars and sprinkle a little more shredded coconut on top.


How to Go Gluten Free

Filed Under: Gluten Free at 10:56 am | By: Dr. Jeremy Wolf, ND & Lead Wellness Advisor

Celiac disease, wheat allergies, and the prevalence of gluten sensitivities are just a few reasons why people are implementing gluten free diets into their lives. In today’s society, there is a great deal of buzz surrounding the word gluten, but a lot of people don’t truly understand or know what gluten is. Gluten is the name for the main proteins found in grains such as wheat, barley and rye. For individuals with a wheat allergy or celiac disease, the body’s immune system reacts to these proteins in the intestinal mucosa which can cause damage to the intestinal lining making it difficult to absorb nutrients. By adapting a diet free of gluten, the body can work more efficientlyresulting in less discomfort for the individual. Whether you’re switching to a gluten free diet by choice or because of a health concern, here are some tips to consider to ease the transition.

What To Look Out For On The Ingredient Label  

Other Hidden Sources Of Gluten


Wheat Binders and Fillers
Barley Alcohol
Rye Couscous
Triticale Orzo
Kamut Salad Dressings& Sauces
Spelt Soup & Chili Bases
Farr Processed Deli Meats
Bulgur Soy Sauce
Durum Hydrolyzed Vegetable Protein
Einkorn Malt
Oats (Although these are naturally gluten free, they are often processed in facilities with gluten containing grains and may become cross-contaminated) Artificial Crab


Meet Some Gluten Alternatives

  • Amaranth –This grain is similar to oats and has a rich, nutty flavor profile thatis high in protein, fiber, minerals and B vitamins. This grain can be a great thickener for sauces, soups, stews and even jellies.
  • Quinoa – Quinoa contains some of the highest quality protein compared to any other grain or cereal because it has all 9 essential amino acids. But that’s not all!It’s also is packed with fiber, iron, magnesium folate and heart-healthy omega 3 fatty acids. Quinoa can be used as a thickener for soups, chili and stews. It can also be a great side dish to any main course.
  • Chia – Chia seeds come in black or white, both of which are a great source of protein, fiber, minerals, vitamins and antioxidants. They also have a high concentration of plant-based omega 3 fatty acids. You can sprinkle the seeds on gluten free cereals, yogurt or salads, and can also be added to smoothies and used for puddings.
  • Sorghum – Sorghum is a tall growing cereal grain high in protein, phosphorus, potassium fiber, niacin, iron and B6. It is commonly used for the production of sorghum molasses, syrup and in the production of alcoholic beverages, but can also be used in cereals, granola bars, snack foods and baked products.
  • Millet – Millet is an ancient grain thatis a good source of protein, fiber as well as vitamins and minerals. Millet has a mild, sweet flavor and quick cooking time. It can be served alone or turned into a flour to be used for baking.
  • Buckwheat – Although commonly included in the lists of grain, Buckwheat is not a grain. It is actually a seed rich in trace minerals like manganese, magnesium and copper. It is also a good source of vitamins, fiber as well as quercetin and other bioflavonoids. Buckwheat is great when seasoned and served as a side dish but also is great when added as a thickener to stews or soups.

Gluten free foods must be labeled in a variety of ways: gluten free, free of gluten, no gluten, and without gluten. The FDA now enforces the labeling of these 4 variations, which means there must be an unavoidable presence of gluten that is below 20ppm.


Other Information To Consider:

  • Going gluten free does not necessarily mean that you are eating healthier. It’s important to not fill up your diet with gluten free processed foods but instead focus on foods such as fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, fish and meats which are naturally gluten free.
  • Gluten may also be found in a number of cosmetics, personal care products, vitamins and some pharmaceutical medications. It’s important to look out for this on product labels.
  • When it comes to choosing your gluten alternative, it is important to read the full ingredients label. You will want to look for products that are Non-GMO & USDA Organic.


What Is Millet?

Filed Under: Gluten Free,Nutrition at 11:11 am | By: Jessica Justh
milletThere’s a “new” ancient grain on the block. Enter millet. I know what you’re thinking…isn’t that, like, bird seed? Well, not so fast.

Millet was mentioned in the journals of Marco Polo and considered sacred in China. It has been a staple in India and Africa for thousands of years and is even mentioned, as a grain for making bread, in the Old Testament. You might say that millet isn’t just “for the birds”. Here’s why…


Millet is a gluten-free grain packed with Magnesium, which can help prevent migraines and heart attacks. The Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry reported that multiple varieties of millet boasted high antioxidant activity. Further research has found that millet may be helpful in controlling diabetes and inflammation. It’s an alkaline food which makes it easy to digest and serves as a great source of dietary fiber. Plus, one cup of millet contains eight grams of protein — perfect for vegetarians.


Combine about 2 ½ cups of liquid for each cup of millet grain. This highly versatile grain can be used in sweet or savory dishes. You can use it in a variety of ways — everything from pilafs to breads, soups and stews. It can even be popped like popcorn for a healthy, delicious snack. Cooking millet increases the goitrogenic effect so unless you want to send your thyroid into a tizzy (hypothyroidism), keep your millet consumption to a minimum.  Store in an air-tight container in a cool, dry, dark place.



Sweet Treats for a Gluten-Free Lifestyle

Filed Under: Gluten Free,Nutrition,Recipes at 9:00 am | By: Leah Hazuda, Contributing Editor
iStock_000046279286_SmallFinding out you’re gluten-intolerant can be a bit devastating. I’ve seen my mom go through a transition from eating whatever she desired to eating gluten-free. About 10 years ago, my mom was diagnosed with Celiac disease, the autoimmune disorder where eating gluten can “attack” and damage the lining of the small intestine. It can be pretty difficult to hear the news that you can never eat gluten again. But once you stop mourning your gluten-filled food loves, you’ll start to feel better and realize that our culture is becoming better at accommodating a gluten-free lifestyle.

I don’t know about you, but fall is definitely my favorite season. This time of year can be especially difficult when thinking about all the delicious seasonally appropriate desserts that are not gluten-free friendly. The pumpkin and apple recipes are everywhere, but luckily as the awareness around Celiac disease spreads, more and more recipes are finding their gluten-free equivalent. Over the years I’ve tried a lot of not-so-great gluten-free dessert recipes with my mom, but with time, we’ve gotten better at gluten-free baking. Here are two of our favorite recipes to satisfy a gluten-free or even a non-gluten-free sweet tooth in the fall or any time of the year. With recipes as easy as these, just imagine how you could change them up and make them your own! Enjoy!

Spiced Apples

1/4 cup butter
5 large Granny Smith apples; peeled, cored and sliced
1 cup sugar
1 tsp. ground cinnamon

1/4 tsp. ground nutmeg

Melt butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add apple slices and remaining ingredients. Saute 15 to 20 minutes or until apples are tender.

Peanut Butter Cookies

1 cup gluten-free peanut butter
1 cup of sugar
1 egg
1 tsp. gluten-free vanilla extract

In a mixing bowl, combine the ingredients and stir well.  Roll the dough into balls the size of walnuts and place on a cookie sheet about 2 inches apart. With a fork dipped in sugar (to prevent sticking), press a crisscross design on each cookie. Bake at 350 degrees for 12 minutes. Cool slightly before removing from pan.


Banana & Kale Bread Recipe

Filed Under: Gluten Free,Recipes at 7:13 pm | By: Jessica Justh


Do your kids hate kale? Well, they change their tune when they try this Banana Kale bread. You’ll have them saying, “Oh Kale Yeah!”


4 eggs

3 large ripe bananas, cut in large chunks

6 oz. pre-washed baby kale

1/2 cup butter, melted

1.5 cups certified gluten free oat flour

1/2 cup sucanat

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon lemon juice

1/2 teaspoon sea salt



  1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Remove stems from a pre-washed container of kale.
  3. Put all of your ingredients into your food processor on high. In between, stop to scrape down the sides of the bowls. Process again until all ingredients are combined.
  4. Grease a small loaf pan and add mixture. Bake for about 32 minutes.


Makes one 9×5 loaf pan or  12 muffins that freeze great as well.



Healthy Dipping? Salsa!

Filed Under: General Wellness & Wellbeing,Gluten Free,Health Foods at 7:00 am | By: Mauricio Matusiak
Salsa dip

Snacking doesn’t necessarily have to be unhealthy but did you know that one of the most popular dips actually offers a ton of health benefits? Yes, that’s salsa. Fresh tomato salsa has several health benefits when made with fresh ingredients and low salt. The most common ingredients in tomato salsa are hot peppers, onions, lime, and olive oil. These ingredients provide a source of essential nutrients such as vitamins C, beta carotene, minerals, antioxidants and much more.

Fresh red tomatoes are high in vitamin C, vitamin A, and contain the wonderful lycopene ingredient known to prevent heart disease and atherosclerosis, the hardening of the arteries.

Hot peppers such as jalapenos are often used in salsa and contain vitamins A, K and C, as well as folate and lutein. Jalapenos are also known to speed up the metabolism helping you burn fat more efficiently. Capsaicin, the chemical responsible for a pepper’s spiciness, plays a role in the treatment of some health conditions, and may help relieve indigestion and stomach pain.

Lime juice has antioxidant properties and may help to prevent infections. Onions contains vitamin C, or ascorbic acid. Olive Oil is likely the best choice of oil to be used for salsa for its multiple health benefits as it contains mono and polyunsaturated fats, which unlike saturated fats, may help lower cholesterol levels in the blood, reducing your risk of heart problems.

Fresh tomato salsa is often served with Mexican dishes such as tacos, chips and fajitas but you can also eat it with healthier alternatives like chopped carrots and celery sticks, making a very healthy snack full of vitamins, minerals and fiber. Plus, you can use salsa as a healthy garnish for grilled fish or chicken, boosting the meal’s nutrient content and adding flavor without the use of salt or fat.


New Brand Spotlight: Organic Traditions

Filed Under: Gluten Free,Green Living,Health Foods at 7:00 am | By: Mauricio Matusiak
OTLucky Vitamin is happy to introduce another premium brand of superfood products to our customers: Organic Traditions.

Organic Traditions offers unique superfoods to bring you organic nutrition from around the world. The company is fully committed to supporting farmers who are dedicated to the principles of sustainable and fair trade agriculture. Now more than ever, we need to nourish ourselves with superfoods, herbs, seeds and fruits packed with the nutrition needed to support the challenges that come with living in a fast paced world.

Organic Traditions superfoods are powerful, versatile, and you can easily incorporate them into recipes in any creative way you see fit. The company creates these products so that you may have the opportunity to choose dense nutrition at every meal. From raw, gluten-free superfoods to high potency digestive and therapeutic enzyme formulas to the very best in whole food supplementation. Organic Traditions is committed to offering the most important anti-aging strategies for prevention, wellness and longevity.

Organic Traditions also believes that the environment is important to us.  The company maintains an eco-mission to ensure sourcing of only organic, wild crafted, ethically grown ingredients and eco-conscious products.

You can save even more when you shop Organic Traditions products at Just enter the promo code JULY15NEW15 at checkout to save 15% on all items of this new brand.


New Brand Spotlight: Paleo People

Filed Under: Gluten Free,Health Foods at 3:00 am | By: Mauricio Matusiak
PaleoAnyone looking for wheat and gluten free diet snacks? Stop looking. We are happy to introduce a new brand of delicious snacks made with good, clean ingredients: Paleo People.

Paleo People manufactures a unique “Paleo” snack line of fruit and nut cluster snacks, available in four delicious flavors; Banana Nut, Apple Crisp, Cacao Nut and Cappuccino Crunch. All Paleo snacks are certified gluten-free, grain-free, sodium-free, dairy-free, soy-free, and contain only all-natural ingredients and no GMOs

Paleo People are the prefect snacks for celiacs, vegetarians, cross-fitters, fitness lovers, kids, healthy snack seekers, and pretty much anyone else who enjoys a healthy and delicious bite. You can try them in salads, with almond milk, as a topping, and in baking.

The idea of creating these amazing products goes back in history. Just like our ancestors, the simple formula of gathering nuts, seeds, berries, fruits, spices and natural sweeteners inspired the creation of the first line of Paleo snacks. The launch date was January 2011 and since, the company continues to grow as testimonials keep pouring in on how tasty all the flavors are. One of the company most popular products is the Fruit and Nut Cluster Snacks Banana Nut. This blend of nuts, seeds, berries, lots of cacao and a hint of harvest spices is the perfect snack to satisfy your craving.

You can save even more when you shop Paleo People products at Lucky Just enter promo code JUNE15NEW15 for an additional 15% off on all items of this new brand.


The Good For You Chocolate

Filed Under: General Wellness & Wellbeing,Gluten Free,Health Foods at 3:05 pm | By: Dr. Jeremy Wolf, ND


When it comes to getting your daily dose of probiotics, many people head right for the dairy aisle. We’re all aware that yogurt is one of the best sources for probiotics. What if I told you that you could skip the dairy aisle and head right to the chocolate? Probiotic chocolate bars are becoming more and more popular and independent research studies have proven chocolate to deliver probiotics up to 3X more effectively than dairy alternatives.

OHSO from Solgar is the good for you chocolate that provides the optimum daily amount of probiotics. Each chocolate bar contains nearly one billion species of Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium, which are the two most commonly found probiotics in our digestive tracts.  Crafted with 100% delicious, 53% cocoa Belgium chocolate, these bars have no added dairy, and are free of wheat, gluten and nuts. They are also perfect for vegetarians.  Each tasty bar contains only 70 calories, has roughly 6g of sugar and comes in two delicious flavors.

Parents are always telling children not to eat chocolate before dinner because it will “spoil their appetite.” Maybe now this isn’t the case! These good for you probiotic chocolate bars promote a healthy digestive tract, keeping both children and parents appetites growing strong. Try adding this OHSO delicious way of taking probiotics to your daily regimen.