What's grain-free, gluten-free, stabilizer-free, and still makes incredibly great-tasting baked goods? Hint: it's not the mass-marketed "GF flour" you see at the grocery store, because that stuff might have gluten-free grains, GMO'ed ingredients and all kinds of other stuff in it like sweeteners or gums. The correct answer comes from California Country Gal and their Rustic Bread Mix (aka their Grain Free Multi-purpose Baking Mix) nominee for best new product at ExpoWest Food Show. And deservedly so, this mix makes for intensely cravable baked goods, betters, and bests. Just try it to believe it. Use this for paleo-friendly bread, cookies, crusts, whatever your little healthy heart desires!
I don't always eat or make paleo-friendly baked goods, but when I do . . . they're still gluten-free. Keeping the flavor volume at an "11" is this amazing baking mix byCalifornia Country Gal. They call it Grain Free Multi-purpose Baking Mix, which is kind of a mouthful. Good thing the recipes you'll use it in are also a mouthful – in the yummy way.
The mix starts with two of the most well-known real food flours: coconut and almond. Then California Country Gal adds a few special touches to keep the mix light and still easy to digest, like dried sweet potatoes (not the starch – the actual potatoes) and psyllium for extra moisture in your final recipe.
The possibilities are endless - use this mix in place of any "GF flour" mix, or head to the California Country Gal recipe website to choose which recipe suits your craving. They range from muffins to cookies to savory breads to crackers to pizza crust to fried chicken! One mix, dozens of options. You could even make the bread and then let it dry out to make your own croutons or bread crumbs for casseroles or gratin dishes. As much as those things sound great, I'm also thinking about chewy chocolate chip cookies or brownies – because chocolate in higher cacao percentages is definitely paleo-approved in current thinking.
When you make the standard bread recipe, the loaf is as darn tasty as any gluten-free bread on the planet – utterly unlike some of the spongy iterations on the market. In short, this is progress, and progress tastes awesome.
I can count off the ways that old-school flours could do a number on your digestion, but you can read about that stuff online or in some of the newer research-heavy paleo books on the shelves. Suffice it to say, grains and flour and gluten ain't so good for ya. Along comes California Country Gal and shakes up the whole paradigm for gluten-free baking. Gone are the rice flour bases, gone are the alternative grains. Instead, the recipe starts with a friendly mix of almond flour, coconut flour, psyllium, baking soda, and sweet potato. These ingredients are already well-known in the paleo kitchen, especially the kitchen that loves to bake. Not only that, but they're easy on the digestion and require no special stabilizers or gums to allow the consistency of your food to be perfect.
Coconut has been used by many cultures worldwide for thousands of years, and is well known for its many amazing properties. Coconut is so nutritious, its list of benefits reads like a patent medicine bottle. Many people eat several tablespoons of coconut oil daily, for the incredible host of benefits it confers. It’s full of health-boosting lauric acid and medium-chain triglycerides, and it’s been shown to help with weight loss, improve blood markers, and lots of other awesome benefits. It's kind of a superfood before superfoods were cool.
Almonds are naturally delicious and extremely nourishing. Healthy fats, fiber, antioxidants, calcium, zinc, selenium, copper, magnesium, manganese, tryptophan and vitamin E are just a handful of the key nutrients that make almonds so nutritious. Almonds are so nutritious — their list of benefits reads like a patent medicine bottle. They’re full of health-giving fats, like oleic acid and linoleic acid, powerful antioxidants that can protect against many forms of cancer (oleic acid can protect women against breast cancer specifically), and can also significantly lower the amount of LDL in your blood, and reduce your risk for heart disease. Almonds can effectively improve your complexion, slow down your aging process, help improve your blood profile by reducing your LDL, build a strong immune system, prevent the onset of high blood pressure and protect you from other diseases like ADHD, asthma and osteoporosis. They can also help speed up your metabolism, and work well in weight control. A wonderful natural sweetness and impressive variety of nutrients makes almonds one of nature’s most perfect foods.
Psyllium is primarily used to manage constipation, and it contains boatloads of fiber that is easy to digest for most people. In addition to alleviating constipation, psyllium can also lower your risk of heart disease and may help with glucose tolerance in people with diabetes.
These are some of the great attributes that come along with this mix - it's only up to you to add it to your favorite recipes and make something really special:
There are literally hundreds of recipes online (like here!) that you can hunt down using this mix specifically, but here's a sampling of the foods that Annabelle and her family have come up with so far:
Annabelle is the brains and bodaciousness behind this company. Her story can be found on californiacountrygal.com Here's how she describes her journey and history that brought her to be the founder of a wee California gluten-free healthy foods company:
"I grew up in Southern California, a scruffy, mostly barefoot little tomboy and the youngest of four children. At 18 I married a small town trouble maker with lots of hair and started poppin' out kids. Just about a dozen years ago, we moved our family of four young men from city to suburbia and finally to the southern California countryside to work our fingers to the bone, stretch our budget well beyond comfort (I'm talkin' beans 'n wieners and nearly a squirrel or two!), keep our children isolated from their friends and, in general, just annoy each other (and some of our far and wide neighbors) to the best of our ability! It has been one fuuuuun decade!!
Okay, well along the way we also learned a few things... like how to build our home and lots of 'out buildings' using our own resources (mostly a few teenage muscles)! We learned about homeschooling and independent studies. We put up a five acre fence line (on very rocky terrain), acquired an entire pack of dogs, and learned about raising chickens, goats and a piggy...and NO, we will never eat him! We learned about planting and caring for fruit trees and vegetable gardens and irrigation. We've learned about water wells, septic systems (the place where the poop goes!) and solar energy.
Now, with that crazy decade over with, I'm fast forwarding to my latest passion, which is my love of feeding my family delicious meals and baked goods with my healthy California twists on the recipes. This includes a desire to share my discoveries with whoever will pay attention, so, this website was born.
My Recipes are not just Grain, Gluten and Guilt FREE, LOW CARB and with NO Extracted Starches, but I take eating Grain Free to the next level by using Real Foods that promote Health and Weight Loss. They're not just easy but they taste like the delicious comfort foods you're used to... yet don't contain a bunch of typical gluten-free baking starches and other junk... so they're also great for your waistline! Kids (and husbands:) loooove this REAL FOOD and never suspect it's good for 'em!"