THE BLOG
10/30/2012 02:32 pm ET Updated Dec 30, 2012

Finally! Hello Delicious, Gluten-Free Baking

We have all seen the craze of gluten-free. Whether your doctor recommends you adhere to a gluten-free diet or you are simply choosing to, there are tons of great GF flours out there to play with. More Americans -- about 6 percent of the population, according to the Center for Celiac Research at the University of Maryland -- have found that gluten, in wheat, barley and rye, can cause health problems. What had been a niche market has become mainstream.

My line of Sweet Loren's ready-to-bake desserts are not certified gluten-free, but we plan to come out with a line one day soon so that more GF eaters can enjoy them. Until then, let's start playing with these tasty, gluten-free flours. Of course, my baking will always include whole food ingredients, which means only whole grain flours -- nothing refined or highly processed. Not only are these flours more nutritious than refined flours, but they also contain more protein, which is better for baking. Let's make dessert delicious... that just happens to be GF too.

My favorite GF flours are:
*gluten-free rolled oats
*gluten-free oat flour
*quinoa flour
*sorghum flour
*brown rice flour
*almond meal

My advice is to try to make your favorite desserts without, or with very little, flour: flourless rich chocolate cake is always a crowd pleaser, or baked apples with nuts and spices are perfect for the fall season. If you are craving baking with flour, then use some of these flours in your next recipe while combining them with a flavor that really bursts. Depending on what you are making, you can use just one kind of flour, or sometimes it is better to create a mixture of flours so that no one flavor stands out. I love to use oat flour in my Dark Double Fudge Brownies; quinoa flour is my Nutty Peanut Butter Cookies; or almond meal in my baked Apple Pear Crumble.

I hope you enjoy. Be SWEET to yourself!