A Nutritious Ingredient in
Any Gluten Free Diet

Let homemade cookies be a part of your gluten free diet. Cooking and baking your own foods is a sure way to avoid gluten, specifically the protein gliadin. Following these suggestions can make your foods tastier and more enjoyable.

  • A lack of gluten makes your baked goods, homemade cookies included, dry and crumbly. You can easily minimize this shortcoming by adding additional egg white, extra leavening, or unflavored gelatin.

  • As with wheat flour, blending of various gluten free flours is often necessary for optimal result.

There are many types of gluten free flours on the market. Soy flour, in particular, is gaining popularity because of its nutritional value. Naturally, I would be remiss not to mention it in this discussion of gluten free diet.

Percentage of Protein in Soy Flour Compared to Other Whole Grain Flours1 gluten free diet with soy

Soybean is not a grain, but a legume. Compared to wheat, it is high in proteins (between 40 – 50%), unsaturated and healthy fat (about 20%), and low in starch (15 – 20%). It also contains a high amount of calcium, iron, A and B vitamins. Unlike animal proteins, soy proteins have no cholesterol, good or bad.

Soy flour comes from either roasted or unroasted soybeans. Unroasted soy flour has an enzyme that can oxidize carotenoids. Therefore, it is added, sometimes, added to bread dough as a whitening agent.

soy flour for a gluten free diet

Whether roasted or unroasted, soy flour comes either full-fat or defatted. The difference between them is the natural oil found in soy beans. Since this oil does not contain important nutrients, defatted soy flour is more nutritionally concentrated.

Cookies made with soy flour tend to brown quicker and are more tender. Extra moisture in soy flour extends their shelf life. Whether or not you’re on any gluten free diet, I hope that the following helpful tips will encourage you to use soy flour in your baking, especially cookies.

  • A tablespoon of soy flour dissolved in a tablespoon of water can be used as a cholesterol-free substitute for a whole egg.

  • Replace up to 15% of wheat flour with soy flour in your cookie recipe. Your fried cookies, especially, won’t be very greasy because soy flour absorbs less fat than any other flour when fried.

  • With recipes for bar cookies including brownies, you can use a higher ratio of soy flour to wheat because these cookies do not rely so much on gluten for quality and texture. Typically, 1 part soy flour to every 3 parts wheat flour will do nicely.
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1. FIGONI, P. How Baking Works – Exploring the Fundamentals of Baking Science. First Edition, 2004. Wiley & Sons, Inc.

2. The All-Purpose Baking Cookbook. First Edition, 2003. The King Arthur Flour Company, Inc.