Prairie Creek Edibles Ltd. was started in 2008 by a mother-daughter team to offer Celiacs and gluten intolerant persons a tasty alternative to the cardboard packaged food available.
When we first started, we were told to forget everything we ever knew about baking. As we traversed down the gluten free trail, we discovered that we needed every scrap of baking and chemistry knowledge we had. Helpful family presented us with various gluten free cookbooks. Some were useful, some were down right useless.
We found that the best recipes are old family favourites that can be translated straight across gluten free. These are not recipes that require special handling. These are recipes that can be left in the oven too long, have their ingredients interchanged, or can be left without a timer. All that is really needed is a great gluten free baking mix (which we make in-house) and a bit of xanthan gum.
A great gluten free baking mix is the key to great gluten free baking. A mix that is nutritionally balanced with one simple carbohydrate like tapioca starch and several complex carbohydrates like whole stone ground millet are what you are looking for when buying a gluten free baking mix. If the mix is balanced, then you feel fuller longer and your blood sugars stay balanced. If the mix is one flour and two starch, you get a spike in blood sugars and then a crash. There is rarely any fiber in these types of mixes. Yes, they produce a very white product but there is no nutritional value. You might as well eat a couple of teaspoons of sugar. The result is the same.
We get asked on a regular basis how to bake gluten free products. What kind of mix do you recommend? What kind of thickener do you use? What is your egg replacer? Do you sell your recipes or have a cook book?
The answers surprise some people:
We use Bob's Red Mill for our flours. We then make our mixes from 25 lb. sacks. We recommend Bob's Red Mill Gluten Free Baking Mix since we know the flours and quality. If you have a gluten free baking mix you like, use it (make sure it has balanced nutrition).
We use Xanthan Gum as our thickener or gluten replacer. It is one of the stickiest things around. Just be careful with it! It is a dust that expands to several times its original size when wet so cleaning up is a challenge!
Our egg replacer is Flax Seed Extract or flax goo. We boil whole flax seeds and extract the goo-y outer layer from the seed. The seeds are used in our products and are then easily digested. The flax goo is then used as an egg replacer in our Vegan products.
No, we do not sell our recipes nor do we have a cook book.
Baking is one of life's simple pleasures (next to eating!) and that should not change even if you have some dietary restrictions!
We recommend starting with the something that you can have some success with: COOKIES! Cookies can be repurposed into a variety of things if they don't work out. Very few other things can. If the cookies don't turn out, crush them for ice cream topping, apple crumble topping, cheesecake base, Nanaimo Bar base...the options are limited only to your imagination!
We aren't talking about Madalines or vol au vents, we mean the humble but tasty drop cookie. A simple drop cookie can be transformed by the optional ingredients of chocolate chips, raisins, craisins, sunflower seeds, or even jelly beans! Look in your cookbooks or recipe cards for a simple drop cookie recipe. Ask a relative who has the best one for their recipe. Make two simple changes: swap out the wheat flour for gluten free baking mix, then add 1 tsp of xanthan gum. And suddenly you are baking your favourite drop cookie again!!
Even if you do not get your gluten free products from us, do not be afraid to get baking again!! There is nothing fancy required! Just dig out your family's favourite recipes and have some fun!!