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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Personal Care Items // Bob's Red Mill // Baking Soda

Whole Grain Foods for Every (Hygiene Practice?) of the Day

by Lindsey Duncan in Health

We at Bob’s Red Mill pride ourselves on fulfilling Bob’s vision of providing whole grain foods for every meal of the day. But if you’ve ever thought about “going green” with your personal care routine, chances are that you’ve been directed to one of our products for an alternative use.

For me, it all started in 2013 when I ditched laundry detergent. It wasn’t because I felt opposed to conventional detergent, but rather because the brand I loved was no longer being produced and I simply didn’t care for the other brands out there. I found a recipe for homemade dry laundry detergent online and haven’t looked back since.

A friend of mine started doing the no-poo method in 2012 and swore by it. If you haven’t heard of no-poo, it’s basically a method of washing your hair without using shampoo or conditioner. Instead, you wash with baking soda in water and then condition with apple cider vinegar. Inspired by my buddy and knowing how well I like my natural detergent, I tried no-poo too! My hair looked and felt clean – I was so excited to have a new, natural solution to clean hair!

After that, I went wild looking up recipes for homemade personal care products. When you do that too, you’ll find that the same several products – products Bob’s Red Mill offers – show up again and again in various homemade, chemical-free personal care recipes. We do not claim to be alternative-use gurus – our expertise lies in baking and cooking – but here are some all-star products and how they can be used:

PCPs new

  1. Baking Soda – is the king of homemade personal care because it’s so versatile! It is simply sodium bicarbonate, a naturally-occurring mineral, and ours is mined from the Earth! Besides its obvious baking applications, baking soda can be found in recipes for homemade toothpaste, deodorant, dry shampoo, and of course, wet shampoo as mentioned above. (By the way, it’s also great for removing stains from coffee cups!)
  2. Arrowroot Powder – this light and airy absorbent starch can be found in recipes for antiperspirants.
  3. Cornstarch – can be used much in the same way as arrowroot powder and can be used as a face powder to reduce oily skin.
  4. Flaxseeds – golden or brown flaxseeds are often used as egg replacers due to the gelatinous texture flaxmeals produce when combined with water. It’s no wonder you’ll find flaxseeds in recipes for chemical-free hair gel!
  5. Oatmeal – used to relieve dry skin and redness through oatmeal face masks, lotions, and baths.
  6. Oat Flour – can also be used for a dry shampoo. We have a gluten free oat flour too!
  7. Sea Salt – used to make exfoliating scrubs that wash dead skin cells away and rejuvenate your skin.
  8. Chia Seeds – can be used to create a face mask for oily skin.

There must be many more!

One resource I went to often to help me go chemical-free was Ashley’s Green Life – she has wonderful step-by-step videos and recipes, making the transition to chemical free super easy!

Check out the many resources below for other recipes and ideas!

Toothpaste – Ashley’s Green Life

Deodorant – Ashley’s Green Life

Dry Shampoo – Wellness Mama

Face Powder – Nancy’s Easy Homemade

Flaxseed Hair Gel – Ashley’s Green Life

Oatmeal Bath, Facewash, and Exfoliator – Huffington Post

Sea Salt Scrub – The Kitchn

Chia Seed Mask – Bustle

Leave a comment below – tell us which Bob’s Red Mill products you use for personal care products. How do you use them?

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Lindsey Duncan Google: Lindsey Duncan
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Chocolate Berry Breakfast Bowl: Sick of smoothies?  Many smoothie and juice bar establishments are popularizing the smoothie bowl: a cool and creamy concoction so thick you have to eat it with a spoon.  Add toppings of your choice and breakfast has just become much more fun! // @bobsredmill

Smoothie Burnout? Try These Recipes Instead

by Sarah House in Recipes

As we’ve probably all heard by now, protein is now part of the popular crowd.  And for good reason!  Lean proteins are an excellent way to fill up and stay full until the next time you are SUPPOSED to eat, not 45 minutes after your last meal.

For breakfast, and those pre- and post-gym snacks, options have been limited.  Not many people crave a boneless, skinless chicken breast for breakfast, and a spoonful of peanut butter while hustling into the gym can just be messy.  Smoothies have been all the rage for quite some time and are a great way to incorporate tons of good food stuffs:  protein, probiotics, and fiber.  But is that really the only speedy and convenient on-the-go meal?

Get your protein, fiber and probiotics on the go with Bob’s Red Mill Nutritional Boosters!  // vegan, gluten free, no sugar

Not when you have a bag of one of Bob’s Red Mill’s new Nutritional Boosters chock full of vegan protein, fiber, probiotics, and omega-3s!  Besides an unflavored version, we also make three delicious flavors:   Vanilla, Chocolate, and Chai.  Of course these can be used in a plethora of smoothies, but our full-service boosters provide so many more options.

The tony crowds in bastions of cool like New York and L.A. have been flocking to juice bars selling protein bowls for months now.  Simple to prepare and super-satisfying to eat, protein bowls have all the tasty nutrition of a smoothie coupled with the joy of chewing your food.  Blend up some fresh or frozen fruits and veggies, toss in a scoop of our Nutritional Boosters, and add a little chilled almond, coconut, or hemp milk to make an awesomely spoonable and pleasing breakfast.  Top with some of your favorite granolas, nuts, and fresh or dried fruits, and you’re good to go!

Chocolate Berry Breakfast Bowl: Sick of smoothies?  Many smoothie and juice bar establishments are popularizing the smoothie bowl: a cool and creamy concoction so thick you have to eat it with a spoon.  Add toppings of your choice and breakfast has just become much more fun! Gluten Free, Vegetarian, Dairy Free// @bobsredmill

Chocolate Berry Breakfast Bowl

Are you totally over shakes and smoothies and their ilk?  Luckily there are bars and truffles and other recipes ripe for the snacking.  Using fruit and nut purees and adding some good whole grain cereals or flours makes a great bar base.  The addition of any one of our Nutritional Boosters plus your favorite extras like flax, chia, or hemp seeds, coconut and chewy dried fruits, crunchy nuts, and always popular chocolate chips turns snack time into something to truly look forward too.

Pumpkin Chai Boost Bars: For a nice tide-me-over or for some sweat session fuel, these bars will keep your body going. Vegan, Gluten Free // Bob's Red Mill @bobsredmill

Pumpkin Chai Boost Bars

Almond Chai Protein Truffles: Pop one of these protein rich treats before a workout for a nice fuel boost. Gluten Free, Vegan, Dairy Free // @bobsredmill

Almond Chai Protein Truffles

And if you have a favorite granola bar recipe, the probiotics in our Nutritional Boosters are heat stable, so bake away!

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Sarah House Google: Sarah House
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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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3 Easy {and Healthy!} Breakfast Ideas for Scorching Hot Days | Bob's Red Mill

3 Easy {and Healthy!} Breakfasts for Scorching Hot Days

by Cassidy Stockton in Recipes

Portland has been experiencing an unusually hot and dry summer this year and I’ve long since hung up my apron when it comes to breakfast. Sweltering or not, a girl’s gotta eat. My stomach doesn’t care if it’s summer, breakfast still has to deliver a nutritional punch or I’ll be in trouble.  Here are our favorite breakfasts that are easy, healthy and will keep your kitchen cool.

1. Muesli or Granola and Yogurt: AKA possibly the easiest whole grain breakfast ever. Combine our Old Country Style Muesli, Gluten Free Muesli or one of our many varieties of granola with your favorite variety of yogurt and Voila! breakfast is served. For a softer cereal, combine muesli and yogurt and let sit overnight in the fridge.

3 Easy {and Healthy!} Breakfast Ideas for Scorching Hot Days | Bob's Red Mill

2. Overnight Oats: There are myriad versions of overnight oats online these days and we love them all! The premise is simple: combine oats, milk, yogurt and fruit and let sit in your fridge overnight. The oats will soften up and you’ll have a creamy, delicious bowl of oats that you can enjoy hot or cold. Some of our favorite versions include Peanut Butter Banana Overnight Oats from The Lemon Bowl, Banana Bread Overnight Oatmeal from The Roasted Root and Mixed Berry Overnight Oats from Naturally Ella.

3. Smoothies: As a busy mom, I find smoothies to be one of the easiest and most manageable breakfast choices as I scramble to get everyone out the door in the morning. I make a big batch, everyone gets a nutritious smoothie and breakfast is done! I like to combine frozen bananas, protein powder, a scoop of almond butter, a heavy helping of chia seeds and a smidgen of unsweetened cocoa powder. Luckily, the little monster loves it, too. Check out our best smoothies ever list for inspiration. (Here we are enjoying our smoothies.)

3 Easy {and Healthy!} Breakfast Ideas for Scorching Hot Days | Bob's Red Mill

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Cassidy Stockton Google: Cassidy Stockton
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What is it Wednesday | Bob's Red Mill

What is it? Wednesday: Tapioca Flour/Starch

by Cassidy Stockton in Gluten Free, What is it? Wednesday

Our topic this week for What is it? Wednesday is Tapioca Flour. This ingredient is a tricky one to understand and there is a lot of confusing information about it online. We’re going to do our best to clear it up, but if we missed something or you still have burning questions, please leave them in the comments and we’ll get you an answer.

What is Tapioca Flour? Tapioca flour is made from the crushed pulp of the Cassava root (pictured below), a woody shrub native to South America and the Carribean. Like other starches, tapioca flour is a very fine, white powder that works well in gluten free baking. It can replace cornstarch as a thickener for pies and sauces and aids in creating a crisp crust and chewy texture in baking. It is most often used in the Brazilian treat Pão de Queijo (pictured below), a light, puffy cheese roll. Tapioca flour is becoming increasingly common in paleo diet recipes, as well.

What is it? Wednesday: Tapioca Flour. We explore this gluten free, paleo-friendly, vegan ingredient and sort out tapioca starch v tapioca flour. | Bob's Red Mill

Why is Tapioca Flour sometimes called Tapioca Starch and is there a difference between the two? There are quite a variety of different tapioca products on the market. Our tapioca flour is the same thing as tapioca starch, however you need to be aware that there is a third choice called tapioca flour/starch often found in stores that cater to a Caribbean and South American clientele. This type of flour/starch is typically sold as Cassava Flour, but it will not work the same as our tapioca flour. To best avoid confusion, if you need to use an ingredient for gluten free baking, we recommend sticking with something that is clearly marked as tapioca starch or tapioca flour and steering clear of Cassava Flour.

What about Modified Tapioca Starch? This is an entirely different ballgame of starch. Modified starch works well in gluten free baking, but it is not the same thing as our tapioca flour and they cannot be used interchangeably. Expandex produces this type of modified starch.

How is Tapioca Flour made? Essentially, cassava root is peeled, washed and chopped. Then it is rasped (finely shredded) and the resulting pulp is washed, spun, and washed until the mixture is primarily starch and water. The starch is then dried. We  recognize the hazards of under-processed cassava root and our product has been processed in an appropriate manner to make the product harmless.

Is Bob’s Red Mill Tapioca Flour gluten free? Yes, tapioca flour is naturally free from gluten. At Bob’s Red Mill we take it a step further by producing it in our gluten free facility and batch testing it for gluten in our quality control laboratory.

Is Bob’s Red Mill Tapioca Flour organic? No, our tapioca flour is not certified organic.

Is Bob’s Red Mill Tapioca Flour vegan? Yes, our tapioca flour is suitable for a vegan diet.

Is Bob’s Red Mill Tapioca Flour sulfite-free? Yes, our tapioca flour is sulfite-free.

Is Bob’s Red Mill Tapioca Flour pregelatinized and what does that even mean? No, our tapioca flour is not pregelatinized. Pregelatinized means that the starch has been cooked and dried, making it ideal for quick thickening. This process is used for things like tapioca pearls to create instant puddings, salad dressings, pie fillings, etc. Grinding tapioca pearls will not produce tapioca flour, however, you can replace instant tapioca pearls with tapioca flour. If you need tips for doing so, see below.

Why would you use Tapioca Flour? Tapioca flour is a wonderful thickener that is superior to Arrowroot Starch and Potato Starch. It provides a crispy crust and chewy texture in gluten free baked goods. Some people choose tapioca because they cannot eat corn or potatoes for health reasons and tapioca flour is a wonderful alternative.

Tips for using tapioca flour to replace other ingredients: 

  • Tapioca Flour for Cornstarch in baking: Replace 1 Tbsp Cornstarch with 2 Tbsp Tapioca Flour
  • Tapioca Flour for All Purpose Flour in thickening: Replace 1 for 1
  • Tapioca Flour for Instant Tapioca Pearls: For every 1 Tbsp of quick-cooking tapioca pearls use 1 ½ Tbsp of tapioca flour.  Mix the tapioca flour with any dry sugar in an uncooked pie filling or make a slurry with a small amount of the liquid before heating in a pre-cooked pie filling then slowly add the slurry back into the pie filling and continue to cook the filling at a simmer for 5 – 10 minutes or until the cloudiness from the tapioca flour has turned transparent.

Our favorite recipes using Tapioca Flour:

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Cassidy Stockton Google: Cassidy Stockton
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If you're going to take the time to cook beans and whole grains from scratch, making a big batch and freezing the leftovers will save you time in the long run. Learn how to best store these ingredients. | Bob's Red Mill

Storing Cooked Grains and Beans

by Cassidy Stockton in Whole Grains 101

Last year I wrote a post about the best way to store uncooked whole grains, today, I’m sharing how to best store cooked grains and beans. This topic comes up a lot around here because whole grains and dried beans are time consuming to cook and lack of time is one of the most common reasons people cite for not cooking with whole grains or making dried beans.

If you're going to take the time to cook beans and whole grains from scratch, making a big batch and freezing the leftovers will save you time in the long run. Learn how to best store these ingredients. | Bob's Red Mill

Yes, cooking beans and grains is time consuming. That’s why you need to make it worth your effort. Most people who use whole grains often will tell you to make a large batch and store the rest for use throughout the week. But how do you do that? What is the best method for storing cooked grains? My conundrum has always been that I will make a big batch, but I get worried about how long they last in the fridge (what day did I make those again?) or I forget to use them and they go to waste. Then, I discovered that most grains and beans can be frozen with no ill effects.

I freeze my grains in resealable plastic bags in 2 cup portions, small usable amounts that work well for a meal on the fly. They take very little time to defrost (simply plop that sealed plastic bag into a bowl of hot water for 15 minutes and you’re good to go) and take about 40 minutes off your cook time. They taste just as good as freshly cooked grains. Same thing goes for beans. They take a bit longer to defrost, but far less time than cooking from scratch. You can easily use any form of airtight container- plastic, glass, whatever. I like the bags because they take up less room in my freezer, can be easily labeled and can be set in water to defrost quickly.

Grains that work well with the freezer method:

Grains that don’t work very well, are those that tend to be softer when cooked, such as Millet, Amaranth and Teff. They’ll freeze just fine, they just won’t have the same properties as they did before they were frozen. All beans will work well when frozen, though lentils and softer beans may be a bit mushy upon defrosting.

That’s the freezer method. If you are good about using your grains and beans throughout the week- airtight containers in the fridge work fine. Cooked grains and beans will last approximately 3-4 days in the fridge. They’ll last about 2 months in the freezer.

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Cassidy Stockton Google: Cassidy Stockton
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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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What is it Wednesday | Bob's Red Mill

What is it? Wednesday: Popcorn

by Cassidy Stockton in What is it? Wednesday, Whole Grains 101

What is popcorn and what makes it different from ‘regular’ corn? Popcorn is quite simply, a variety of corn. Some corn is best for milling cornmeal, some corn is best for eating on the cob, some corn is best for feeding livestock and some corn is best for popping. Unlike these other types of corn, popcorn is the only variety of corn that will pop when exposed to heat.

What is the difference between white, yellow, red, blue and all the other colors of popcorn? The color of the hulls is the primary difference between the different colors of popcorn. That shiny outer layer of a popcorn kernel is the hull and will be different colors depending on the variety of popcorn. The white part we associate with popcorn is generally white (I have yet to see one that is truly another color) regardless of the hull color. I have noticed that blue popcorn tends to be very white, while yellow is a bit more creamy. No matter what, though, they all have pretty much the same corn flavor and nutritional profile.

Is popcorn a whole grain? Yes, all popcorn is whole grain. Whether you buy the chemical-laden packets from the store or choose a simple bag of unpopped kernels like ours, all popcorn is whole grain. This makes it an ideal snack. We prefer the simple popcorn to the junky versions, but in the world of snacks, popcorn is far superior to convenience foods. It has a healthy dose of fiber, is very low in calories and pretty darn tasty, too!

What is it? Wednesday: Popcorn | Bob's Red Mill non-gmo, gluten free, healthy

Is Bob’s Red Mill popcorn gluten free? Popcorn is naturally gluten free. At this time, our popcorn is not certified or tested gluten free. We plan to add gluten free testing and our gluten free symbol in a few months. If gluten is a concern for you, be sure to look for our gluten free symbol on the packaging.

Is Bob’s Red Mill popcorn non-GMO? Yes! Bob’s Red Mill yellow and white popcorn were the very first Non-GMO Project verified items in our line. They will be the first products to proudly display the Non-GMO Project logo.

What is it? Wednesday: Popcorn | Bob's Red Mill non-gmo, gluten free, healthy

What is the best way to make it? Do you need a popper? There is no single right way to make popcorn. Anyway that yields a healthy amount of popped corn is right in our book, however, you don’t need a popper and you don’t need a fancy packet to make a quick batch of popcorn in the microwave. Check out this post for a handy, easy-to-follow microwave method using only popcorn and a paper bag. (These instructions will start appearing on our packaging soon.) Works like a charm, trust us.

Our favorite ways to enjoy popcorn are:


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Cassidy Stockton Google: Cassidy Stockton
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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

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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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