Answers to Your Most-Asked Questions
Page updated December 2017.
If you have questions about living with celiac disease, eating or baking gluten-free, managing food allergies (dairy, soy, peanuts, tree nuts are my focus), traveling with food issues, or living a more balanced life, feel free to email your questions here.
Questions are grouped by topic, so keep scrolling until you see the heading you need. Popular questions appear below headings.
Recipes & Baking Questions
Flours and Starches
What brand of gluten-free flours and starches do you use?
For everyday baking and recipe development, I use my Everyday Gluten-Free Flour Blend, which is gum-free (free recipe here on the site via link). I also keep King Arthur Multi-Purpose Gluten-Free Flour on hand. It works interchangeably with all the recipes here on the site, so if you don’t feel like mixing your own from my recipe, that’s a great substitute.
Note: the King Arthur product linked above is different from their all-purpose mix and measure-for-measure product, which both contain gum. I do not recommend a gluten-free flour with gums in my recipes.
King Arthur Gluten-Free All-Purpose Baking Mix is a good gum-free choice for a “quick” mix for pancakes, shortcakes, biscuits and more. This year, I’ve used it more often and enjoy the results. There are several recipes here on the site that use this mix. Check out these Shameless Chocolate Chip Cookies.
In April 2015 we moved to France for six months. There, I used some of the Schar gluten-free flour blends available in France or organic base flours (like rice, corn, buckwheat, chickpea, etc.) from La Vie Claire, a bio (organic) store.
Can brown and white rice flour be used interchangeably?
Yes. I never use white rice flour these days. Brown rice flour has just a hint more nutrition, so I go with that.
Is tapioca flour the same as tapioca starch?
Yes. In the USA these are the same. Tapioca is a starch derived from the cassava root.
Is potato flour the same as potato starch?
No. These are very different products. Read The Difference between Potato Flour and Potato Starch for a full explanation and uses.
How should I store and measure gluten-free flours?
For the science-backed facts on gluten-free flour storage, measuring and a note about sifting gluten-free flours, please read Research-Based FACTS about Storing Gluten-Free Flours and Starches.
How do I substitute gluten-free flours and starches in flour blends and recipes?
Please refer to my resource page, Substituting Gluten-Free Flours and Starches.
Can you offer any guidance for substituting ingredients in your recipes?
I share substitutions on each recipe where applicable. All my recipes are designed to be free from gluten, dairy, soy, peanuts and tree nuts. Many recipes I create are egg-free, or offer an egg substitution.
Dairy Free Milk
What dairy-free milk(s) do you use in baking?
I use unsweetened coconut milk (from a carton) for recipe development and everyday cooking and baking where one would use regular milk. I recommend using one with as few added ingredients as possible (i.e., avoid carageenan and gums). In France, the coconut milk in a carton I find at La Vie Claire shops is far superior to any in the USA.
Generally, you may substitute your preferred type of milk, either dairy- or plant-based, in my recipes. I will always specify if you should not.
I like the information on this site regarding all things coconut, including how coconut milk is made. And this article tells you the difference between the various types of coconut milk. Coconut is not a nut, regardless of the FDA classification. Please read “Coconut is NOT a Nut” for details.
When a recipe calls for full fat coconut milk in a can, what brand do you use and where do you purchase it?
I try to avoid gums, so I choose a full fat canned coconut milk with only coconut as an ingredient. This is one I really like using (it comes in a box, not a can). Try it in Dairy-Free Coconut Milk Whipped Topping or Dairy-Free Ice Cream.
Sugar and Other Sweeteners
Can I substitute honey or pure maple syrup for the sugar in your recipes?
I have not tested this substitution in all my recipes, but feel free to experiment.
Keep in mind, substituting honey or pure maple syrup in place of granulated sugar will change the flavor of the finished product. Honey also makes baked goods brown more than sugar, so reducing your oven temperature by 25 degrees is advisable when using honey.
When substituting a liquid sweetener like honey or maple syrup for granulated white sugar, use less. For each cup of sugar called for in a recipe, use 2/3 to 3/4 cup honey or maple syrup. You may also need to reduce other liquids called for in the recipe. For example, if you substitute 3/4 cup honey for 1 cup sugar, reduce other liquids in the recipe by 1/4 cup.
For each cup of honey you substitute, add 1/4 teaspoon baking soda to the dry ingredients to balance the acidity of the honey.
All that said, every recipe is unique, so be prepared for different outcomes.
Can I substitute other granulated sugars (like coconut sugar) for white granulated sugar in a recipe?
All of my recipes have not been tested with a variety of sugars, but you should be able to use coconut sugar interchangeably with granulated sugar in most of my recipes.
Coconut sugar will cause recipes developed using white or brown sugar to be a bit more dry, more cake-like (versus chewy, as with cookies or brownies) and can change the texture in other ways, as well. It does impart a terrific caramel flavor, though!
Keep in mind coconut sugar does not dissolve in liquid as readily as traditional white and brown sugar. My recommendation is to test a half batch of a recipe with coconut sugar when subbing it for other sugars. That way, if you do not achieve desired results, you haven’t lost an entire recipe’s worth of ingredients.
Can I use stevia (or other sugar substitutes) in your recipes in place of sugar?
Great question and one often asked. I do not use stevia or sugar subs in baking, so you’ll need to experiment on your own.
Various Reader Questions
Can I substitute fresh grated coconut for the coconut you use in your recipe (like Macaroons)?
No. Fresh grated coconut is very wet. The coconut I use is unsweetened desiccated organic coconut.
If you would like to substitute the more readily available grated (or shredded or flaked) sweetened coconut (like Baker’s brand) in my recipes, you may do so. Keep in mind, this adds extra sugar to your finished product.
Is there a good gluten-free AND soy-free substitute for soy sauce?
Yes! I like Coconut Secret Raw Coconut Aminos.
Appliances, Kitchen and Table Wares
I strive to create recipes any home cook can recreate and enjoy without any special or expensive equipment, so I tend to keep my recipes and methods as simple as possible. That said, there are some products I really enjoy using, in my cooking and baking.
What type mixer do you use?
I use a Kitchen Aid stand mixer. I prefer to mix by hand with a spoon when I can. If a stand mixer, or electric hand mixer, is necessary for one of my recipes, I always state this in the directions.
Do you use a standard blender, or do you have a fancier model (like a Vitamix or Blendtec)?
Do you prefer a gas or electric oven and cook top?
I’ve used both and prefer gas cook top with electric oven.
Do you grease your cookie sheets or use parchment paper when baking?
Nutritional Information for Recipes
Why don’t you offer nutritional information like calories per serving and fat content for your recipes?
I do not supply nutritional information for my recipes for several reasons.
1. The assessment I supplied would only be valid for the exact brand of ingredients I use. Not everyone has access to the same brands I do, and nutrient info does vary between brands.
2. Readers often make ingredient substitutions in recipes, sometimes substituting multiple ingredients to suit their own dietary needs, tastes or to use ingredients they have on hand. While this is not usually a problem in terms of preparing a dish, it would most likely cause any nutritional information provided to be inaccurate.
3. Calculating nutritional information for every recipe I share would be very time-consuming. Based on #1 and #2 above, that time investment would likely not be useful to most.
For these reasons, and a few more, my time is better spent creating new content for you to enjoy here on the site, and in my other endeavors to help raise awareness of celiac disease and educate the gluten-free community. Thank you for understanding, and remember, you can calculate nutritional value yourself by tallying all nutrition amounts for each ingredient in a recipe, then dividing those totals by the number of servings you make from the dish OR by using an online nutrients calculator.
This page contains affiliate links of some brands that I actually use. I never recommend or share a product with you that I do not use myself. If you purchase a product via a link I share, that means, at no extra cost to you, I make a small commission on the purchase. This helps me keep the content I share here free to you. Thank you for supporting my work!