Lately we have been more conscious of our food choices and what we are buying for the kids to eat. Don't get me wrong - you will still find us eating things that we know we 'shouldn't', but we try to stick to a 80/20 rule at the moment (although that 80/20 rule looked a bit more like 40/60 these last two weeks of holidays). The one thing that I have learnt more about since doing refined sugar free September is that you can make healthy, 'good for your body' food that is delicious - you don't have to miss out.
One of the things that had been concerning me lately was the additives in commercial gluten free flours. Here are the ingredients listed in the Macro Gluten free flour that we have purchased from Woolworths from time to time:
Gluten Free Flour (Maize, Rice), Starch (Maize, Tapioca), Thickener (Cellulose 464, 466)
*Additive 464 is Hydroxypropyl methylcellulose and additive 466 is Sodium carboxymethylcellulose.
I'm not an expert in additives, but I like to understand the ingredient label of the products I buy (so that I know what I am putting in our food) and I couldn't quite understand this one. I try to shop organically where possible (I'm doing well if it's 40% of the time at the moment - I'm still learning), but couldn't find a decent gluten free flour around - unless I ordered it online, which I would prefer not to.
I did a bit of research on making our own gluten free flour and do you know what!? It cost us less to make it our self (compared to the White Wings brand we used to buy, we are saving $3.05p/kg) and a whole 2 minutes and 30 seconds of our time! This will be something I add to my 'make the basics myself list' along with bread, tomato sauce, washing powder and yoghurt.
You can find the original recipe here. Changing habits have included the recipe for the Thermomix recipe (which I used) and the traditional method as well. This is their recipe:
100 grams of unpopped popcorn
200 grams of brown rice
100 grams of whole chickpeas
100 grams of whole quinoa
200 grams of potato flour
200 grams of coconut flour
Now that is an ingredient list I understand!
The popcorn, rice, quinoa and chickpeas are put into the Thermomix bowl first. You grind the ingredients on speed 10 for 2 minutes (cover your ears!) and then add the coconut and potato flour in and mix for a further 30 seconds on speed 6 and you're done. I popped the flour into a container in the pantry and my work was done. How easy is that!?
Now here is the exciting part!! Cost comparison - my favourite. When we first started buying gluten free flour from Woolworths, the only option we had was to purchase White Wings gluten free flour which cost us $9.09p/kg (!!). Woolworths then brought out their Macro brand which costs $5.72p/kg. I was expecting that the gluten free flour I made would be more expensive because I was using 'real products' and not adding any thickeners etc, but guess what (?), it wasn't as bad as I thought! The flour I made cost us $6.05p/kg and it is additive free! I made sure that I paid full price for the above ingredients so that I could do the worst case scenario pricing, but imagine how much I would be saving if I purchased those ingredients on special?!
If you are interested in the cost breakdown, here it is:
Potato flour $4.95 per kg, I used 200g which equates to 99c
Coconut flour $7.95 per kg, I used 200g which equates to $1.59
Quinoa 19.98 per kg, I used 100g which equates to $1.99
Unpopped popcorn $3.23 per kg, I used 100g which equates to 32c
Brown rice $3.21 per kg, I used 200g which equates to 64c
Chickpeas 52c per 100g, I used 100g which equates to 52c
Has anyone made their own flour before? What recipe do you use?