Can Gluten-Free Be Healthy? The Choice Is Yours

Give millet flour a try; it's gluten-free but also light and buttery so works well in baked goods like scones.
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Since my son Isaiah was diagnosed with gluten and dairy intolerances more than five years ago, I’ve learned to adapt my kitchen—especially for baking. After all, it was just six years ago that I was lifting 50 pounds bags of gluten- full unbleached white pastry flour at my old bakery in Brooklyn.

Now, if you look in my pantry, you’ll see dozens of gluten-free flours like rice flour, almond flour, sorghum flour, sweet rice flour, quinoa flour, mesquite flour, chestnut flour, corn flour, oat flour, coconut flour and, possibly my new all-around favorite, millet flour.

What’s so good about millet? It’s corn-like in flavor and light in texture, but the real surprise is that it’s almost buttery. This works beautifully in scones, especially when made with strawberries. The great thing about the scone recipe below is that it can be as healthy as you want it to be.

Here are some easy swaps:
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INSTEAD OF: White rice flour TRY: Brown rice flour or sorghum flour

INSTEAD OF: White sugar  TRY: Coconut palm sugar

INSTEAD OF: Butter  TRY: Coconut oil or nondairy buttery sticks

INSTEAD OF: Whipping cream TRY: Coconut milk
Strawberries-and-Cream Scones

This recipe was developed by Silvana Nardone and reprinted with permission from the just-released cookbook, Betty Crocker Gluten-Free Cooking (Wiley, $20). Use your family’s favorite berries, such as raspberries or blueberries, in place of the strawberries. If you can’t find millet flour at your local supermarket, use almond flour or increase the white rice flour to 1¼ cups.

Prep Time: 20 minutes
Bake Time: 30 minutes
Makes: 10 scones
1 cup white rice flour
½ cup tapioca flour
¼ cup millet flour
¼ cup potato starch
2 teaspoons xanthan gum
1 tablespoon gluten-free baking powder
½ teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons sugar
6 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cut into ¼-inch pieces
½ cup chopped fresh strawberries
1¼ cups whipping cream

Heat the oven to 375°F. Line a cookie sheet with cooking parchment paper.

In a large bowl, mix the white rice flour, tapioca flour, millet flour, potato starch, xanthan gum, baking powder, salt and 2 tablespoons sugar with a whisk. Cut in the butter until coarse crumbs form. Add the strawberries; stir gently to coat with the crumb mixture. Stir in 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons whipping cream, mixing just until combined.

Onto the cookie sheet, drop the dough by ¼ cupfuls about 2 inches apart. Brush with the remaining 2 tablespoons whipping cream; sprinkle with the remaining 1 tablespoon sugar.

Bake for 25 to 30 minutes or until golden and puffed. Remove to a cooling rack. Serve warm.

Silvana Nardone is a food lifestyle expert, magazine editor and motivational speaker. She is the editor-in-chief of the all-digital, gluten-free magazine, Easy Eats. Silvana is also the author of Cooking for Isaiah: Gluten-Free amp; Dairy-Free Recipes for Easy, Delicious Meals and publisher of Silvana’s Kitchen, a blog that takes the guesswork out of how to feed a family with food allergies. Previously, she was the founding editor-in-chief of Every Day with Rachael Ray.

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