Blogged by Kira Powers..
Could a new product from the nutrient dense seed that promotes weight loss and regulates blood sugar, liven up the world of gluten-free/ vegan baking, and my mum’s birthday? Allow me to introduce a new kid on the baking block –chia flour!
I first heard about this exciting new addition to market, after scouring the web for new gluten-free products ahead of my (gluten-free) mum’s birthday. Mum has always loved baking cakes and during the first decade or so of my life, her birthday and other family celebration were always a very happy and delicious affair. My sister and I would love to help my mum make cakes ( especially when we got to fight over the yummy cake mix that remained!), and Christmas was even better as we had the addition of mince pies and Christmas pud to enjoy too. Mum would also bake homemade bread every couple of months, which not only smelled gorgeous, but tasted divine. However, around the time I started secondary school, mum discovered she had celiac disease and things in the kitchen changed dramatically. For a while her birthdays were a bit bleak, with no more cake mix for me and my sis to battle our spoons over, and no nice cake to all sing happy birthday round . Supermarkets were only just starting to develop gluten-free ranges, and the one type of gluten-free flour available was only worth buying if you enjoyed rather cardboard-esque results.
Fortunately, over the last several years, things have improved and a wide variety of gluten-free flour can now be found in stores. In fact, I’ve taken to annually buying the latest gluten-free flour on the market as a present for my mum to experiment with for her special day.
Mum’s become a bit of a gluten-free master chef over the years as it goes, and makes great cakes, cookies, wraps, flapjacks, and bread that tastes just about as good as it did in my childhood. So things baking-wise have been pretty good for a while now, and I pride myself on annually finding an exciting new flour to earn my good daughter points. Coconut flour, buckwheat flour and hemp flour were particular favourites over the last few years…yep, all has been good, EXCEPT this year, I couldn’t find anything new! Aargh! It seemed all gluten-free grains, nuts, seeds and even most legumes have now been ground and on the market for quite some time, and my mum has tried them all! Boo! This was not good -I really had to find something new. Luckily, after several hours Googling, I found out about a very new addition to the gluten-free market –Chia flour! Like the whole seeds, it contains beneficial amounts of omega 3, lowers high blood pressure and regulates blood sugar. Phew –I’d found the perfect present for this year! However, the next problem was finding somewhere in the UK that sold it. Thankfully, Ingredients UK https://www.ingredients-uk.com/product/chia/ saved the day, as not only did they have it in stock, but they even have it in bulk! My mum could bake her way into gluten-free eternity! What’s more they even sent a free sample for mum to do a test-run with, before placing a larger order!
My mum was delighted with her early birthday gift and the moment it arrived she headed for the kitchen.
First she made some gluten-free chia wraps (chia flour mixed with buckwheat flour, quinoa flour chickpea flour, a few caraway seeds, and a pinch of bicarb and salt). She said the chia helped to bind the mix together much better than other flours and added a delicious nutty flavour.
Then later on the same day she made chia bread using a mix of chia flour, buckwheat flour and rice flour (200g buckwheat flour; 150g rice flour; 150g chia flour; 1x teaspoon of dry active yeast (gluten free); 1x teaspoon of vit c powder;1 x teaspoon of sugar; 1x teaspoon of salt; 1 x tablespoon of oil and 300g water). Similarly to the wraps, my mum reported that everything seemed to bind together a lot better with the chia flour, and again there was a nice subtle nutty flavour.
Overall, she was really pleased with the results that chia flour produced, and she’s already been enquiring about if she’ll be getting more in time to make a birthday cake. Luckily, I’ve just placed an order with Ingredients UK for a large bag, which with the super quick delivery, is set to arrive just before her special day. Good daughter points for me again this year – thanks again Ingredients UK!
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