Interested in gluten-free cooking and baking but don’t know how to make the right substitutions? Here’s a roundup of various gluten-free substitutes along with some brands that I like to use.
I know a lot of individuals are sensitive to gluten, so I decided to make a round-up with some healthy gluten-free swaps I use often. With so many new gluten-free products nowadays, gluten-free eating does not have to make you feel limited. Here are some of my favorite gluten-free swaps.
- Liquid aminos and/or Coconut Aminos (as a paleo/whole 30 option) for Soy Sauce.Some notes on liquid aminos. Liquid aminos taste more salty like soy, but it does use soy as an ingredient. Coconut aminos have a slight umami flavor and uses coconut as its ingredient making it paleo/whole-30. Both are gluten-free and vegan. My favorite brands are Bragg Live Foods for both.
2. Cashew Cream or Canned Coconut Milk for Heavy Cream.
To make cashew cream, blend together ½ cup raw cashews with 1 cup warm water. If you need a larger quantity of cashew cream, you can soak the cashews with water and let it sit overnight. Both cashew cream and canned coconut milk provide a creamy texture to recipes, and both are dairy-free as well. Cashew cream has a slightly more neutral flavor while coconut is creamier. I use coconut milk a lot with curry or for baking. It is also a good nut-free option. My favorite brands are Edward and Sons or 365 by Whole Foods for coconut milk. For raw cashews, I like to use Trader Joe’s, Woodstock Foods or 365 by Whole Foods.
3. Coconut sugar, dates, date syrup, maple syrup, raw cane sugar, stevia, monk fruit, erythritol or honey for white sugar.
There are so many alternative sweeteners nowadays that you can find easy replacements for them. Depending on the recipe, I will use one of these or a combination of a few. Raw cane sugar is most similar to white sugar, but is still slightly processed. Try using 1/2 raw cane sugar and 1/2 coconut sugar if you are just starting out. Dates are a great natural source of sugar and there are quite a few brands making date syrup now. Maple syrup and date syrup are vegan friendly and paleo-friendly. Honey is paleo-friendly.
If you are looking to cut back on sugar or follow a keto-lifestyle, stevia, monk fruit and erythritol are great options to try. My favorite brands are Beekeeper’s Natural Honey, Costco’s brand maple syrup, the Date Lady date syrup, NuNaturals stevia, Lakanto Monk Fruit Blend, and NOW brand stevia or erythritol.
4. Gluten free 1:1 flour, oat flour, buckwheat flour, millet flour, sorghum flour, coconut flour, chickpea flour, almond flour instead of regular flour.
Coconut and almond flour are paleo-friendly and whole-30 friendly. Each flour has a different ratio and playing around with each flour or a combination in different recipes is a great way to start experimenting. I left some links below with some additional information on gluten-free flour substitutions. My favorite brands are Bob’s Red Mill for almond, millet, sorghum, chickpea, buckwheat, coconut, and gluten-free 1:1 flour, and King Arthur for gluten-free 1:1 flour, and oat flour. I also like making my own oat flour using Bob’s Red Mill or One Degree Organics gluten-free oatmeal. To make your own gluten-free oat flour, blitz certified gluten-free rolled oats in a food processor until they’re finely ground. This is also a cheaper alternative than store-bought oat flour.
5. Pumpkin, Greek yogurt, applesauce, banana, ricotta, avocado, and nut butter for butter or oil in baked goods.
If you’re looking to cut back on oil in recipes, particularly desserts or sweet recipes that may be heavy already, try swapping with one of the above. I love using bananas as an egg replacer because they are sweet enough that you do not have to use a lot of sugar along with it. Apple sauce is another good alternative to bananas if you do not like the taste of bananas. However, applesauce is a bit denser in baking than using bananas. If you want a lighter texture to anything you’re baking, add some baking powder to the recipe.
No specific brands here that I love. These are staples you can find in most grocery stores.
I hope you found this guide to gluten-free substitutes helpful! Let me know if you have any questions, and thoughts in the comments below.