Embracing the Paleo Lifestyle: How to Set Yourself Up For Success

by Bob's Red Mill in Health

Lately, the Paleo Diet has been generating a lot of buzz within the health industry, with talk of cavemen, meat and weight loss, this diet has everyone wondering if it’s right for them. The Paleo Diet encourages individuals to eat wholesome and unprocessed foods, cut out carbs, and to stay away from foods that are known to cause allergies and inflammation (i.e. gluten, refined sugar, candy). It is also praised for being a high-protein, high-fiber diet that allows people to lose weight without cutting calories. Although paleo may sound less restrictive than other diets, it can be tricky to understand exactly what you can and can’t eat when it comes to Paleolithic foods. Whether you’re thinking about going paleo, or just want to try it out, we’ve highlighted a few simple ways to help you set yourself up for success when following the Paleo Diet!

Understand Your Motivation for Going Paleo

People choose to go paleo for numerous reasons. Whether it’s medical issues, weight loss, or simply because you want to try and improve your health, know your reasons for going paleo and stand by them. Your motivation for going paleo will keep you encouraged throughout the process and help you define your guidelines when following the diet. Those who are going paleo for medical reasons, such as an autoimmune disease like celiac disease, will have stricter rules about what they can and can’t emit from their diet. While those who are focusing solely on weight loss may be more lenient with their carb intake and allotted cheat meals.

Know What You Can and Can’t Eat

While we’ve already said the Paleo Diet encourages individuals to eat more wholesome, unprocessed foods, what does that mean?

When referring to meats and protein, the Paleo Diet recommends eating grass-fed, organic meat, as well as, wild caught fish. This farm-to-table rule also applies when picking out vegetables, fruit and eggs. If this already sounds like too much for you, don’t stress. When starting any new diet, it’s important to know when to pick your battles. Often grass-fed beef will be much easier to find than organic meat and will probably cost less, as well. As for fruits and veggies, try visiting your local farmers market for organic options that are much cheaper than those in the store. Nuts, seeds, and healthy oils are also encouraged to eat when following the paleo diet.

Now that we’ve got what you can eat covered, what can’t you eat on the Paleo Diet? Anything unprocessed and refined. Those following the Paleo Diet tend to stay away from foods such as dairy, refined sugar, refined vegetable oils, processed food, candy, potatoes, legumes and cereal grains. It may sound like a lot at first, but, as with any diet, your cravings for these foods will decrease with dedication and patience, and it will become easier to exclude them from your meals.

Start Small

Remember, you are the one in charge. Take your time, build your way up and don’t force yourself to omit every food you’ve ever loved from your diet at once. By starting slow and removing one or two items a week, the Paleo Diet will be much easier to follow. Rules such as the 85/15 rule have also been created to make sticking to the Paleo Diet easier. Following this rule means that if 85% of your diet comes from Paleolithic foods, then you’re likely to reap 100% of the benefits of the diet and can allow yourself 15% of wiggle room. Eating non-paleo, 15% of the time would mean that you’d get about 2-3 cheat meals each week, making it easier to eat out at restaurants and occasionally indulge in some of your favorite foods.

Make it Hard to Cheat

Even when starting small and following rules like the 85/15 rule, the Paleo Diet can be tough, and temptations are everywhere. After a long, hard day at work, even those who have an abundance of willpower may find a 5-minute premade meal to be a tempting choice. To make following the Paleo Diet easier, do yourself a favor and remove any and all temptations from your home, I guarantee you’ll thank us later.

Note that, clearing out your kitchen doesn’t have to be a wasteful or painful process, though! A lot of the processed food you’ll be clearing from your pantry can easily be donated or given to friends, so they don’t go to waste!

Lastly, Be Proud of Yourself and Enjoy the Benefits

Whether your 100% paleo, following the 85/15 rule, or simply adding a few paleo-friendly meals into your weekly diet you’re taking steps to better your health and should be proud of the efforts you’ve made. The Paleo Diet encourages individuals to introduce more healthy fats, fruits, and veggies, which contribute to the production of healthy cells, muscle production, more energy and better gut health. Caring for your body is essential for a long and healthy life, and you’re on the right track. We have bunch of amazing Paleo recipes that any newcomer should try out while they are easing into the diet!

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Bob's Red Mill Google: Bob's Red Mill
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10 Things to Know About Pressure Cooking / Bob's Red Mill

10 Things to Know About Pressure Cookers

by Sarah House in Featured Articles

Pressure cookers are a great way to save time in the kitchen, but they can be very intimidating. Here are ten things to keep in mind when using a pressure cooker. 

1.    They aren’t as scary as they seem or as they were.

The first time I ever used a pressure cooker (canner, actually) I hid around the corner fearing the whole dang thing would explode all over my kitchen.  Bob has a great story of a very young Bob and his roommate covering their entire kitchen with their dinner that was simmering away in a pressure cooker.  It turns out, though, that my fear was unnecessary.  Modern pressure cookers are much safer than they used to be, just make sure to keep them in good working order and follow the manufacturer’s instructions on how to clean and care for the equipment (oil those rubber gaskets, y’all).

2.    But you still need to handle them with care.

It’s very simple:  read the owner’s manual before you begin and maybe as a refresher if you’ve put the cooker away for a season or two; properly assemble the equipment; and properly disassemble, clean, and store the pressure cooker when not in use.  If you follow the instructions and use some common sense, you’ll be safely cooking (and eating) in no time.10 Things to Know About Pressure Cooking / Bob's Red Mill

3.    Pressure cookers are fast.  Ooh are they fast!

When pressure cooking, liquid is heated to boiling in a tightly sealed pot, creating a high level of pressure and temperature.  Since the pressure has nowhere to go and less liquid is used, the liquid penetrates the food faster and cooks quickly.  Pressure cookers cook many foods in about a third of the time they would take to prepare using the standard stove top or oven methods.

4.    Fast cooking makes for better color, flavor, and probably more nutrients.

Fast cooking times and low liquid levels keeps color intact, flavors vibrant, and allows less time for vitamins and minerals to leach out of the food and into the cooking water (which is usually tossed).

5.    They can cook a lot of things!

  • Vegetables and fruit.
  • Beans and grains.
  • Meat, poultry, and seafood.
  • Soups and sauces.
  • Canning and preserving.

6.    But not everything.

Beans and grains that have been cracked, split, rolled, or pearled have a tendency to release high amounts of starch which can clog the pressure release valve and cause some serious problems to the product, the equipment, and maybe even you.  Steer clear of preparing granular or rolled cereals like oats, pearl barley, and split peas in the pressure cooker.  Other items that should be left out:  cranberries, applesauce, rhubarb, and many pastas.

10 Things to Know About Pressure Cooking / Bob's Red Mill

7.    Read the instruction manual but basically:

  • Soak beans or grains in water for a few hours or overnight, then drain off and dispose of the soaking liquid.
  • Place the beans or grains in the pressure cooker along with the proper amount of fresh liquid.
  • Place the pressure cooker evenly onto a properly sized burner.
  • Place the lid onto the pot, close securely, and lock into place.
  • Select the appropriate level of pressure (low or high, typically).
  • Set burner to high.
  • When steam begins to escape from the steam valve, reduce heat to medium-low or low and begin cooking time. Adjust heat as necessary to maintain pressure and a gentle and steady release of steam.
  • When the cooking time has completed, turn off the heat and use the proper release method (check the owner’s manual for this).
  • After all the pressure has released, unlock and carefully remove the lid.
  • Commence eating!

8.    Do not do these things.

  • Do not use in the oven.
  • Do not move, bump, or shake a pressure cooker while it is cooking and be very careful moving a hot pressure cooker.
  • Do not fill over two-thirds full.
  • Do not prepare the items listed above (note #6) in a pressure cooker.
  • Do not open or remove the lid until the pressure has been released.
  • Do not put your face, hands, or forearms (or any part of your or someone else’s body) directly over the lid during cooking or when removing lid.

9.    Beans and grains in the pressure cooker.

Again, always consult the owner’s manual for your specific model.  Whole beans and grains benefit from a few hours up to overnight to soak before pressure cooking (you don’t need to do this with rice or anything else that cooks quickly on the stove top).  You can add about 1 Tbsp of oil to help reduce foam.  After cooking, letting the pressure release naturally is usually the best bet for properly cooked beans and whole grains.

We are currently in the process of calculating pressure cooking instructions for our beans, grains, and a few soup mixes but typically 1 cup of beans or grains plus 3 cups of liquid set on high pressure.  Times vary greatly so consult your owner’s manual or keep checking back with our website.

10. Listen to some Queen featuring David Bowie while cooking and then some Toots and the Maytals while the equipment is cooling down. 

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Sarah House Google: Sarah House
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How to Clean up Xanthan Gum

How to Clean up Xanthan Gum

by Test Kitchen in Gluten Free

Xanthan gum originates from a micro organism whose cell coat has the uncanny ability to form strong gels in most liquid solutions. This unique property makes it a desired ingredient in many food items, particularly gluten free baked goods.

However, this gelling quality can also pose problems when spilled; often leaving us with the question, “I spilled xanthan gum on my counter. What is the best way to clean it up?” And, unfortunately we did not have a concrete answer, until now.

Our test kitchen compiled a list of 8 viable household items and put them to the test.

How to Clean up Xanthan Gum | Bob's Red Mill

The Test

We divided the test kitchen counter into 8 squares (one for each item), distinguished by painters tape. In each square, 1 tablespoon of dry xanthan gum was sprinkled to create an even layer.

The designated household item was applied to the xanthan gum covered surface and wiped with a paper towel. The results are listed below.

Baking Soda
1 tablespoon of baking soda was added to ¼ cup of water. This solution caused the xanthan gum to smear.

Cooking Oil
Though the xanthan gum did not gel, the surface was left oily and it was undecided if the oil had cleaned the surface or simply absorbed and smeared the xanthan gum.

Dish Soap
When xanthan gum was wiped with dish soap, the soap acted as a surfactant and successfully removed the majority of xanthan gum from the surface. The amount of residue left behind was miniscule.

Hydrogen Peroxide
Hydrogen peroxide was allowed to sit on the surface for a couple of minutes before being wiped. Though some of the xanthan gum of successfully removed, gelled portions remained on the counter

Ice Water
When ice water was applied to the xanthan gum coated surface, the xanthan gum immediately began to gel and was not able to be wiped off.

Laundry Detergent
Acted in the same manner as dish soap.

Lemon Juice
Lemon juice was poured on the surface and wiped. The xanthan gum had gelled and was smeared on the surface.

Rubbing Alcohol
Rubbing alcohol was allowed to sit on the surface for a couple of minutes before being wiped. When wiped with a paper towel the surface was clear of xanthan gum and all residues.

Acted in the same manner as Lemon juice.

Reviewing the results, a multi-step process was tested and agreed upon.

Step 1: Scrape or sweep as much dry xanthan gum as possible off the surface.

Step 2: Using a paper towel or clean cloth, wipe the surface clean with rubbing alcohol.

Step 3: Add soap to a soft sponge and gently scrub the surface.

Step 4: Wipe the soapy surface thoroughly with a dry clean cloth.

Step 5: Use hot soapy water to thoroughly wash the surface clean, repeating if necessary.

It is important to note that water should not be used until Step 5.

Though we did not test this clean up process on Guar Gum, they possess the same properties and we are confident that the above method will yield the same results – a clean counter or floor.

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Garbanzo Fava Bean Flour

Flours: A Primer

by Sarah House in Gluten Free, Recipes, Whole Grains 101

The world of flours seems to be growing year after year.  Long gone are the days of two options:  white flour and whole wheat flour.  By my count, Bob’s Red Mill carries fifty-four different flours and meals.  And these range from gluten-free to gluten-full, light to white to whole-grain, single grain flours and flour blends.  Is anyone getting overwhelmed yet?  How in the world does one pick a flour to use?

As many people are aware, there are flours that contain gluten (a protein found in wheat and similar grains and flours that are gluten-free (contain no gluten proteins but therefore aren’t able to create structure as easily as gluten-based baked goods).  Gluten-full grains provide great structure and delicious flavors that can be enjoyed by anyone who is not affected by Celiac disease nor has gluten intolerance.  Gluten-free grains may be enjoyed by anyone and provide many unique flavors, colors, and textures that many gluten-eaters haven’t yet discovered.

Bob's Red Mill Flour Primer: gluten free, high protein, low carb, whole grain- we have it all and we'll tell you how to use it. #bobsredmill

If you aren’t affected by food allergies, eat any and every grain flour you can!  There is a whole wide and wonderful flour-full world out there.  Grains and flours that contain gluten include:  wheat & semolina, barley, Kamut®, rye & pumpernickel, spelt, and triticale.  All-purpose, bread, pastry, and cake flours are typically varieties of gluten flours with differing amounts of protein that correspond to their specific purpose.

If you maintain a more strict diet, don’t fret, your options are far more expansive than you can imagine:  nuts, beans and peas, amaranth, buckwheat, coconut, corn, flax, millet, oat, potato, quinoa, rice (white and brown and sweet), sorghum, soy, tapioca, and teff.  All of these products are inherently gluten-free but they are not always tested for or processed in certified gluten-free facilities, so if you follow a gluten-free diet, make sure to check the labels.

Most gluten-containing flours are available as whole-grain flours (meaning they contain the bran and germ along with the standard endosperm) and white or light versions.  Classifying flour as “white” or “light” indicates that all or most of the bran and germ have been removed.  Why choose one over the other?  Whole grain flours contribute rich flavor and color to a baked item as well as affects the texture (and don’t forget about all the fiber and vitamins and nutrients!).  The gluten and starches in the grains’ endosperm create wonderfully pillowy structures that give us our much-loved sandwich breads, ciabattas, baguettes, cakes, and cookies.  The bran and germ, when included (or not excluded), cut into the endosperm’s structures, thereby creating items with a bit less height and a more defined texture.

The best way to pick your gluten flour is to think about the finished texture.  The lightest and most delicate items should be made with Super-Fine Cake Flour or Unbleached White Pastry Flour.  Hearty heavy-duty breads work best with whole-grain flours like Organic Ivory Wheat Flour and Organic Dark Rye Flour.  Most other items fall right in the middle and can use blends of any light, medium, or heavy flours.  Coarse meals like Organic Pumpernickel Dark Rye Meal and Graham Flour can be added for extra texture and a coarser crumb.

Bob's Red Mill Flour Primer: gluten free, high protein, low carb, whole grain- we have it all and we'll tell you how to use it. #bobsredmill

Super Light




Extra Special Add-Ins

If you are new to whole grain flours or just aren’t in the mood for 100%, try swapping out a portion of your standard white flour for some whole grain.  An easy exchange is 25%.  Use a blend of 75% Unbleached White Fine Pastry Flour and 25% Whole Wheat Pastry Flour in you next pie crust, or try Spelt Flour as a quarter of the flour in your next sandwich bread.  Or just go for it and whip up a batch of whole wheat chocolate chip cookies!  (see recipes below)

Just because you may not follow a gluten-free diet, don’t turn your back on all those gluten-free flours or you will be missing out.  Gluten-free flours run the gamut in terms of flavors and textures.  Gluten-free flours rarely work as stand-alone flour and the typical flour blend consists of two gluten-free flours and one starch.  A good jumping off point is 1/3 of each, but as you become more comfortable and familiar with gluten free baking, you’ll run across and be able to create blends that better suit your personal tastes (more info is available here

Including links about how to use binders).  To incorporate gluten-free flours with gluten-full, swap out the same 25% as you would whole-grain flours.

The most popular gluten-free flours are made from rice and sorghum and rice is milled as both whole grain and white.  These grains contain enough protein to aide in structure and have mild flavors that don’t detract from the ideal finished product.   For yeasted breads, bean flours are often used due to their high protein contents.  Be forewarned, some people may notice a distinct bean flavor and aroma in raw doughs but it will dissipate after baking.

Using gluten-free flours are a great way to change up flavors and textures.  Amaranth and quinoa add savory grain flavors while buckwheat, corn, millet, and oat can walk the line between both sweet and savory.  Teff, buckwheat, and green pea and black bean flours can change up the color along with incorporating unique flavors.

Almond, hazelnut, and flaxseed meal, and coconut flour are all unique ingredients that require a bit more practice and information.  All can be added as an extra addition and almond and hazelnut meal work well as stand-alone flour in certain applications (think macarons, flourless chocolate cakes, and paleo-centric baking).  Flaxseed meal and coconut flour are a bit tricky.  Flaxseed meal combined with water makes a gel-like substance that is a great substitute for eggs when used as binders and is wonderful to add to any baked good for a fiber boost.  Coconut flour is extremely high in fiber and using it as the main ingredient in an item will call for using unique recipes unlike any traditional bakers have seen before.  Adding a tablespoon or so of coconut flour to your recipe will help with liquid absorption and will add a delicate coconut undertone to the flavor.  Before you go adding any more than that, check out some recipes designed especially for coconut flour.

Bob's Red Mill Flour Primer: gluten free, high protein, low carb, whole grain- we have it all and we'll tell you how to use it. #bobsredmill

Creating a Gluten Free Flour Blend:

  • For an all purpose flour blend use a ratio of 1/3 light flour and 2/3 heavy and/or medium flour.
  • For a pastry flour blend use a ratio of 2/3 light flour and 1/3 heavy and/or medium flour.

Substituting Gluten Free Flours for one another:

  • As a general rule, substitute gluten free flours within the same “weight” group cup for cup.
  • By substituting flours, you may experience a change in flavor and texture.

Heavy Flours

Medium Flours

Light Flours

Gluten free flours are classified based on their protein content. Heavy flours assist in creating the structure of your baked goods, as do medium flours. Light flours aid in binding and moisture retention.

These recommendations should help you set out on your foray into whole grain baking.  As you become more comfortable and as you investigate other resources, more and more ideas and flour blends will come your way.  Some excellent new whole grain baking books have come out in the last few years, some even earing award nominations!  Pick up a bag of whole grain flour that piques your interest and start baking!


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Sarah House Google: Sarah House
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Hot Cereal 2

Hot Cereal: Thinking Outside the Bowl

by Sarah House in Whole Grains 101

Hot cereal is a great way to start your day, especially with the variety of styles available:  flakes, farinas, grits and meals.  The possibilities of whole grain goodness are almost endless.  But, have you ever thought about making something other than your usual hot pot of breakfast cereal for you and the family?  If not, then you should.  Hot cereals are so much more than just for breakfast.

Hot Cereal F

Our flakes and rolled cereals (think oats, barley, rye, spelt, triticale and wheat) are perfect candidates for home-made granolas, crisps, and cookies.  Try swapping out the usual rolled oats in your favorite fruit crisp topping or oatmeal cookie with barley or wheat.  If you want to take it a step further, try incorporating rolled flake cereals into biscuits or breads.  Since the cooking time (think “how long it takes for the flakes to hydrate and soften”) is relatively short for rolled flake cereals, they are great candidates for additions to quick cooking items like biscuits and scones and they work great mixed-in and sprinkled-on yeasted breads and rolls.  The texture and décor they provide when incorporated into a loaf of bread or sprinkled on the top of rolls is an excellent way to personalize a recipe.  I like to add up to ½ cup rolled flakes into my single loaf bread recipes.  As a topping décor, anywhere from 2 Tbsp to ¼ cup usually gets the job done.

bread w oats

If you are aiming for a muffin or bar with a more delicate and chewy texture, farinas, grits, and meals are what you are looking for.  The amount of liquid necessary to fully hydrate the cereal will vary depending on the particular grain (wheat, corn, rice, millet, buckwheat, and many, many blends) so make sure to take note of the liquid amounts recommended in the basic preparation instructions before making a final choice.  Adjust the liquids in your recipe accordingly (or try soaking and then draining the cereal before using) otherwise, you may find some crunchy bits in your baked goods!

Finely ground cereals like farinas, grits, and meals release more starch than flakes or larger grind cereals.  This extra starch will contribute to softer textures and increased chew and also works well as a binder.  Try using a starchy cereal like Brown Rice Farina in place of a panade in your next meatloaf or to help hold together a batch of veggie burgers.

When incorporating farinas, grits, and meals into baked breads, their small grind and subsequent starchiness can cause a significant effect on the crumb similar to flours.  Using this style of cereal to replace some flours as opposed to “in addition to” will produce a better loaf.  For satisfying texture and flavor, replace up to 20% of a recipe’s flour with cereal; anymore and you’ll be looking at a shorter, heavier, and dense loaf (which isn’t always a bad thing).

Now, let’s say you cooked a big pot of porridge for breakfast and there is still a fair amount left over in the pot.  Did you know…you can bake that leftover hot breakfast cereal into your next loaf of bread?  As if you were adding nuts or seeds to your bread dough, try adding some cooked flakes or granular cereals.  Start small, about ¼ cup per loaf.  Once you know what the outcome is, adjust the amount and type of cereal to your liking.  I won’t go into specifics here and instead direct you to the master artisan bakers at Tartine in San Francisco, in particular their book Tartine Book No. 3.  If you are serious about bread baking, this book and all their other bread books are a goldmine of information and creative inspiration.

If you are feeling totally overwhelmed by the myriad possibilities of incorporating cereals into your recipe repertoire, just step back and take a breather.  Cook up a pot of good old-fashioned hot cereal and choose one of our unique topping combos for any easy and impressive spruce-up.

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Sarah House Google: Sarah House
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Chia Seeds BRM

How-to Replace Eggs and Fat in Recipes with Flax and Chia

by Sarah House in Health, Recipes

When the calendar flips over to a new year, we are often driven to change things up for the better. Quit some things, start doing others, improve what we’re doing and do it better. More often than not, these changes often involve some tweak to the food you eat. Maybe it’s the excess of the holidays that drive us to want to eat healthier, but I think there is something about a new year that makes us want to be better than we were. A chance to start over.

If some major changes are underway for your diet (say you’re going vegan or cutting back on fat or cholesterol) seeds are an excellent substitute for many animal-based proteins commonly used in baking and can increase the nutritional value of your baked good. Simple, easy swaps for a healthier you.


Eggs are easily replaced with Flaxseed Meal or Chia Seeds, which is a great way to reduce cholesterol or transition towards a plant-based diet.  Use either of the substitutions below and, after they’ve had a chance to sit for 5 minutes, add the whole mixture just as you would the eggs in a recipe.  Just remember that seeds won’t provide leavening power like egg whites.  So, if your recipe is devoid of yeast or chemical leaven (baking powder or soda) or heavy on the eggs, try adding ¼ – ½ tsp of baking powder or soda to your recipe.

1 egg = 2 tsp Chia Seeds + ¼ cup water (let sit for 5 minutes)

1 egg = 1 Tbsp brown or golden Flaxseed Meal + 3 Tbsp water (let sit for 5 minutes)

If you are looking to cut back on fats, use the ratio of 3 parts Flaxseed Meal to replace 1 part fat.  Chia Seeds work, too, but in a slightly different ratio (explained below).  Now, you won’t want to replace ALL of the fat.  Fat is an important factor in flavor, mouthfeel, and helping you feel full.  You don’t want to eat three fat-free (but still sugary) cookies and feel unsatisfied when one cookie with at least half the fat would have done the trick!  So any time you plan on substituting fat, only sub half.

Chia seeds1 Tbsp fat = 3 Tbsp brown or golden Flaxseed Meal + 1 Tbsp Water (let sit for 5 minutes)

1 Tbsp fat = ½ tsp Chia Seeds + 1 Tbsp water (let sit for 15 minutes)

Yes, the volumes of these fat subs aren’t identical but the thickening abilities of the seeds even out with these amounts.  Substituting these seed mixtures for fat often causes baked goods to brown more rapidly and most success has been found with recipes which contain small amounts of fat such as muffins and pancakes.  You may want to experiment with reducing the baking temperature by 25°F and increasing the baking time.  If the crust starts to darken too fast, tent the top with tin foil.

One thing you don’t want to do is substitute BOTH the eggs and fat in a recipe with all seeds.  You will most definitely NOT end up with something close to what you were expecting.  Instead, use the seed swap for eggs and rely on other fat substitutes like applesauce or pureed banana, avocado or prunes.

If you’re happy with your egg and fat consumption, you can still incorporate seeds into your baked goods for some major health bonuses and some great new flavor and texture profiles!

Flaxseed Meal can replace 10 – 20% of the total flour in a recipe.  If you want more texture and opt for whole Flax Seeds, combine them with the liquid called for in the recipe and let the whole thing sit for 30 minutes first.  Baking with Flaxseed Meal can make the texture of an item chewier and sometimes a bit dry.  If you find that to be the case, add a bit of extra liquid next time.

Not only are Chia Seeds an excellent and more nutritious substitute for poppy seeds but they also act as a great food extender that lowers calories and doesn’t affect the flavor!  Use a ratio of one part chia seeds (you may grind them after measuring if you want) to nine parts water.  Let this mixture stand for 10 minutes and then use in your favorite soups, smoothies, dips or spreads.  The exact amount of gel to use depends on the specific recipe you are using so adjust to your liking.  This mixture keeps, refrigerated, for up to two weeks.

Seeds are so much more than a last-minute garnish or muffin mix-in.  Alongside all the unique flavors and textures, Chia and Flax boost nutrition and spark tons of creativity in the kitchen.  Have fun!

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Sarah House Google: Sarah House
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FlaxseedandMeal F

5 {Easy} Ways to Add Flax to Your Diet

by Cassidy Stockton in Whole Grains 101

Flaxseed is considered to be a super food for two main reasons- it delivers quality plant-based omega-3 fatty acids and ground flaxseeds (as opposed to the oil) are a good source of dietary fiber. There are many other wonderful health properties that are attributed to flax, but we’re not doctors and you can read the claims elsewhere- like this great WebMD article. If you want to know more about flax, read our What is it? Wednesday post. I’m not really here today to tell why should include flax in your diet. No, I’m here to tell you just how easy it is to include flax. We’ll assume you already want to eat more flax.

5 {Easy} Ways to Add Flax to Your Diet | Bob's Red Mill
Here are five simple, easy and DELICIOUS ways to make sure you get a little more flax in your life.

1. Drink it down- version 1. Okay, this one might not be all that delicious, but I can tell you that it is a common practice in our office and you can see this method being used on any given day here because it’s easy and it gets the job done. Here’s what you do- pick your beverage of choice- we recommend water or juice and mix in 1 to 2 tablespoons of flax. Just mix it up and drink it down. Don’t let it sit too long or you’ll have a very thick drink. Yes, kind of unappealing, but if you just want to get it in, this is a quick and relatively painless way to do it.

2. Drink it down-version 2. This is my preferred method. Add flax to your smoothie. If you don’t have smoothies on the regular, it might be a fun way to mix up your breakfast routine. We put together 10 of our favorites in this post if you need some inspiration.

5 {Easy} Ways to Add Flax to Your Diet | Bob's Red Mill
3. Mix it with your oatmeal. Or any hot cereal really. Just add your flaxseed meal after you’re finished cooking. It adds a nutty flavor that won’t overpower the dish. If you like your hot cereals with sugar, you’ll probably never even notice the flax.

4. Add it to your baked goods. This is a great option for those of you who want to eat more flax, but don’t like the flavor and/or texture. Muffins (pictured below), quick breads, pancakes, brownies, cookies, bread– nearly anything can take a little flax without altering the flavor and texture of your baked good. To get started, I recommend following a tried and true recipe, like these Date and Apricot Muffins from Spiced or these Blueberry Banana Muffins from The Lemon Bowl. The only downside of eating flax this way is that you’re not guaranteed to get a full serving with each serving of the baked good. The upside is that you won’t notice the flax. Heck, your picky kid probably won’t notice the flax (although I’m convinced mine would notice if I breathe funny on his food). You can feel better about eating said baked good and know that you are getting the benefit of flaxseed. *You can also use flax to replace eggs. We’ll dive in deeper on this topic tomorrow.

5 {Easy} Ways to Add Flax to Your Diet | Bob's Red Mill

5. On Toast. This is a funny one that a customer recommended to me a long time ago and, once I tried it, I was hooked. It’s definitely my second favorite way to enjoy flax. Slather a piece of toast (although it could really work with any bread-like substance from muffins to pancakes), with honey, peanut butter, jam, whatever as long as it’s sweet and/or flavor masking, sprinkle flax on top, mix it in a little bit and chow down. A good multi-grain bread with peanut butter and honey is my go-to. The bread and the topping cover most of the flavor and texture.

That’s it. Five easy ways to get more flax in your diet. For recipes and inspiration, visit our recipe collection at or check out our Super Seeds board on Pinterest. Be sure to check back later in the week to find out how to use flax to replace eggs and fat in your baked goods.

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Cassidy Stockton Google: Cassidy Stockton
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Chocolate Chip Caramel Gooey Bars | Bob's Red Mill

Chocolate Chip Caramel Gooey Bars in a Jar

by Sarena Shasteen in Gluten Free, Recipes

I am a huge fan of giving homemade gifts for the holidays. It not only gives me the chance to share treats that I love, but also allows me the opportunity to personalize these gifts for whomever I’m giving them to. I like including a cute jar that can be used for other things with an easy to assemble recipe along with a platter to serve it on and a dish towel for a cute presentation. I try to come up with things I know work with the recipients decor or cooking personality. The recipe I’m sharing today is based on another family favorite around here. This is one of those recipes that I always get asked to bring to events and gatherings. I love how well it came together as a gift and it’s so easy to bake. The best part about these bars is that they are even better the second day. So, easy to make and they keep well, could you ask for more?

Chocolate Chip Caramel Gooey Bars | Bob's Red Mill

Now, about the bars…

Caramel, oatmeal, brown sugar and chocolate chips! Could you really go wrong? Not in this house! These Chocolate Chip Caramel Gooey Bars are layers of oatmeal chocolate chip cookie with a rich dense caramel center. These bars are perfect treats for holiday gatherings since they bake up quickly, slice beautifully and will stay fresh for days (not that they will stick around that long).

Chocolate Chip Caramel Gooey Bars | Bob's Red Mill

Chocolate Chip Caramel Gooey Bars

Large Jar Ingredients

Small Jar Ingredients

Extra Ingredient

  • 1-1/2 cups cold Dairy Free Butter (EarthBalance)

To assemble the jars:

  • 1 – 10 cup jar
  • 1 – 2 cup jar

Combine 2 cups flour with baking soda and salt. Place in the large jar. Next layer the oats, then the brown sugar and then add the chocolate chips to the top.

In a bowl, combine the caramel sauce and the remaining 1/2 cup flour. Pour mixture into the small jar.

Chocolate Chip Caramel Gooey Bars | Bob's Red Mill

To Bake Bars

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. In a bowl, combine flour mixture, oats, brown sugar chocolate chips.
  3. Cut in butter until crumbly. Set half aside for topping.
  4. Press the remaining crumb mixture into a greased 13 x 9 baking pan.
  5. Bake for 15 minutes.
  6. Drizzle caramel mixture over the top of the half baked layer. Spread mixture all over, but not to the edges.
  7. Sprinkle with reserved crumb mixture.
  8. Bake an additional 20-25 minutes or until golden brown.
  9. Cool on a wire rack for 2 hours before cutting.

Sarena Shasteen: The Non Dairy QueenSarena Shasteen has been an avid health food and fitness enthusiast from an early age. She holds a degree in Culinary Arts from The Art Institute of Atlanta, a certification in Fitness Nutrition and is a certified Fitness Trainer from International Sport Science Association (ISSA). Becoming a Personal Trainer and Specialist in Fitness Nutrition has been a lifelong goal of hers. Sarena enjoys helping others reach their health goals by teaching them that health and fitness are not only achieved in the gym, but also through fun everyday activities. Now a food writer, recipe developer, personal chef,  Personal Trainer and Specialist in Fitness Nutrition, she enjoys sharing with others that healthy living can be fun and delicious. Keep up with her at The Non Dairy Queen and on Facebook and Twitter.

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Sarena Shasteen Google: Sarena Shasteen
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Chocolate Hazelnut Biscotti Mix F

Chocolate Hazelnut Biscotti Mix in a Jar (Low Carb)

by Carolyn Ketchum in Recipes

In this age of crazy consumerism, a handmade, homemade gift can set you apart from the store-bought crowd. Bonus points if your gift comes in cool, pretty and useful packaging. It may be ridiculously trendy to give things in Mason jars tied up with festive twine but that hardly detracts from the heartfelt nature of the gift. I love this trend and I am jumping on the bandwagon with a loud thud. Move over and make a little room for me, would you?

Chocolate Hazelnut Biscotti Mix in a Jar | Bob's Red Mill

I love giving homemade baked goods during the holidays and I know they are always appreciated. But it can be tricky with the sort of gluten-free, sugar-free treats I like to make. In conventional goodies, sugar acts as something of a preservative, keeping them fresher for longer. Given the slightly more time-sensitive nature of some of my recipes, it can be better to give things as a mix and let the recipients have fun making them up on their own. Besides, then you can layer the ingredients prettily in a jar, tie them up with festive twine and feel like a homemade gift-giving rock star.

Chocolate Hazelnut Biscotti Mix in a Jar | Bob's Red Mill

These chocolate hazelnut biscotti are a wonderful gift to give, either as a mix or fully baked. Made with Bob’s Red Mill hazelnut meal and whole dry roasted hazelnuts, they are naturally gluten-free and intensely chocolatey. They are healthy and wholesome but they don’t taste like it one little bit. Winning!

Chocolate Hazelnut Biscotti Mix | Bob's Red Mill

All you have to do is grab a few quart-sized Mason jars, layer the ingredients, find a cute set of holiday printables for the labels and recipe cards and tie it all up with a pretty bow. I found that forming a cone with a large piece of paper was the easiest way to layer the ingredients with minimal mess. It also helped me pour the next ingredient in without disturbing the layer below it too much. And all your giftees need to do is add some oil and eggs and bake them up.

You may want to keep one of the mixes for yourself; these biscotti are that good. As long as you let them cool completely in the oven, they will crisp up nicely and are perfect for dunking in your morning coffee or afternoon tea. Enjoy and happy holidays!

Chocolate Hazelnut Biscotti Mix | Bob's Red Mill

Chocolate Hazelnut Biscotti Mix 

In a medium bowl, whisk together hazelnut meal, baking powder, xanthan gum and salt. Pour about half of the mixture into the bottom of a quart-sized mason jar. This works best if you use a piece of paper to create a cone through which to pour the mixture. Remove the cone and shake the jar to even the layer out.

Next layer the cocoa powder through the cone. Even it out by gently shaking. Layer the sweetener in the same fashion, then the remaining hazelnut flour mixture. Finally layer the chopped hazelnuts and chocolate chips.

Instructions for the recipe card:


  • 1 jar Chocolate Hazelnut Biscotti Mix
  • 6 tbsp melted butter or hazelnut oil
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 large egg white


  1. Preheat oven to 325F and line a large baking sheet with parchment or a silicone liner. Transfer biscotti mix to a large bowl and whisk to combine. Add butter or oil, egg and egg white and stir until dough comes together.
  2. Divide dough in half and transfer to prepared baking sheet. Shape into two low, flat rectangles about 4 inches by 8 inches. Bake 28 minutes or until slightly puffed and just set to the touch. Remove from oven and let cool 20 minutes.
  3. Reduce oven temperature to 300F. Carefully cut into 1-inch slices and lay cut-side down on baking sheet. Bake 10 minutes and then gently flip slices over. Turn off oven and let biscotti sit inside until oven is cool.

Makes 20 to 24 biscotti

Carolyn Ketchum | All Day I Dream About FoodCarolyn Ketchum is the writer, photographer and almond flour wizard behind All Day I Dream About Food, a low carb and gluten-free food blog. Her mission is to prove to the world that special diets need not be boring or restrictive and that healthy dishes can be just as good, or better, than their sugar and gluten-filled counterparts. It’s astonishing what you can do with a bag of almond flour, a stick of butter, and a willingness to experiment. Follow her on FacebookTwitterGoogle Plus and Pinterest for inspiring ideas for the low carb, gluten free lifestyle.

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Carolyn Ketchum Google: Carolyn Ketchum
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Triple Chip Oatmeal Cookie Mix-4

Triple Chip Oatmeal Cookie Mix in a Jar

by Erin Clarke in Gluten Free, Recipes

Holiday shopping stresses me. I want my gifts to be more thoughtful than a gift card, but guaranteed to please the recipient.  After years of my sister privately asking me for gift receipts, I have finally found the holiday gift that’s a guaranteed hit: Homemade Triple Chip Oatmeal Cookie Mix in a Jar.

Triple Chip Oatmeal Cookie Mix | Bob's Red Mill

A few things I love about Homemade Cookie Mix in a Jar for holiday giving:

  • It’s the right size
  • It’s the right color
  • It’s budget friendly, but still thoughtful
  • It can be easily customized to fit taste preferences and dietary needs

I originally set out to make regular (still fabulous) homemade oatmeal chocolate chip cookie mix, but then I became distracted by other tasty options winking at me in the pantry. The holidays are no time to be skimpy, so I loaded this homemade cookie mix with a combination of peanut butter, semi-sweet, and white chocolate chips.

Triple Chip Oatmeal Cookie Mix in a Jar | Bob's Red Mill

You could also swap in chopped nuts, dried fruits, and even toasted coconut—just keep the total amount of mix-ins to 1 cup, or you’ll need a second jar.

This Homemade Triple Chip Cookie Mix can also be made completely gluten free. If dietary restrictions are a concern, use Bob’s Red Mill Gluten Free 1-to-1 Baking Flour and Bob’s Red Mill Gluten Free Rolled Oats. As someone who is a bit hesitant to experiment with gluten free baking, these products have been a lifesaver. I simply swapped the gluten free flour for the all purpose flour (same for the oats) in my favorite oatmeal cookie recipe, and the results where outstanding.

Flour and Oats

If dietary restrictions are not a concern, you can use the same amount of regular all-purpose flour (or even white whole wheat flour) and oats in the baking mix.

Once the ingredients are layered, tie the jar up as you please, then attach this handy recipe to the front. (Download a higher resolution version here.)


Now that we have the holiday shopping under control, only one serious cookie mix question remains: exactly how many minutes we after the cookie mix is opened before hinting at “testing” it out? I think 10 seems socially acceptable, don’t you?

Triple Chip Oatmeal Cookie Mix in  Jar | Bob's Red Mill

Triple Chip Oatmeal Cookie Mix in a Jar

Yield: about 30 cookies

For making the mix:

For baking the cookies:

  • Jar of Cookie Mix
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted Butter
  • 1 Egg
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons pure Vanilla Extract

To make the mix: Combine the flour (gluten free mix or all-purpose) baking powder, baking soda, and salt in small bowl. Place the flour mixture in 1-quart jar. Layer the brown sugar, granulated sugar, chocolate chips, white chocolate chips, peanut butter chips, and oats in the order listed, pressing firmly after each layer. Seal with lid and decorate with ribbon as desired. Attach recipe printable.

To bake the cookies: Place rack in the center of your oven and preheat oven to 350 degrees F. In a large mixing bowl, beat the butter, egg, and vanilla until well blended. Add the cookie mix and mix well, breaking up any clumps.

Drop the dough by heaping tablespoonfuls onto lightly greased or parchment-lined baking sheets, leaving about 1 1/2 inches between each ball of dough. Bake for 12 to 15 minutes, until light golden brown, rotating the pan’s positions halfway through. Remove from the oven, and let cool on a wire rack.

Store leftover cookies in an airtight container.

Erin Clarke

Erin Clarke is dedicated to wholesome food that tastes incredible. On her blog, Well Plated by Erin (, she shares approachable recipes for lightened-up comfort foods, healthier baked treats, and seasonal eating. She passionately believes that family dinner can be special without being complicated and that one need not sacrifice taste to enjoy a balanced diet. The Huffington Post named her as a “Best Food Blog for Eating on a Budget,” and her recipes have been featured on TODAY, Oprah, Parade, The Kitchn, and Cosmopolitan. She conducts televised cooking demonstrations and resides in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

When Erin’s not in the kitchen, you’ll find her out running, working on long overdue photo projects, and exploring Milwaukee’s local food scene. She owns far too many plaid shirts and is convinced that bourbon should be classified as a condiment.

Keep up with her on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Google Plus


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Erin Clarke Google: Erin Clarke
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