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Unless otherwise noted, all recipes on this blog are free of gluten, peanuts, soy, corn, tomatoes, potatoes, shellfish, cane sugar, oranges, and yeast. Most recipes are also free of egg, dairy, and tree nuts (if used, reliable substitutions will be provided for these when possible). Check out my recipe index for a full list of recipes by category. 

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Tuesday
May122009

Homemade Corn-Free, Aluminum-Free Baking Powder (gluten free)

This recipe makes a great substitute for regular baking powder.  Commercial baking powder is a mix of three ingredients: baking soda, cream of tartar, and a starch (generally cornstarch).   For those of us who need to avoid corn, this is a problem!  And the baking soda generally contains aluminum.  So what's wrong with that, you ask?

The increased presence of aluminum and heavy metals in our diet, products, and environment is staggering.  Metals accumulate in our bodies, and can lead to conditions of the central nervous system and internal organs. While aluminum is far less toxic than the heavy metals mercury, arsenic, lead or cadmium, it shows up more frequently.  It is present in things like aluminum cookware, food additives, fireworks, antacids, anti-perspirants, and our drinking water.  Studies have tied aluminum toxicity to dementia and Alzheimer's disease, and it could have a negative affect on the kidneys, digestive system, and central nervous system.  So, if you can, it is wise to avoid using aluminum containing products.
This is best made in smaller amounts and used often; I always keep a small batch on hand for baking!  While it works just as well as regular baking powder to make your baked goods rise, it will be single-acting, not double-acting like most commercial baking powders.  
What does that mean?  Here's a good explanation from about.com:

"Single-acting powders are activated by moisture, so you must bake recipes which include this product immediately after mixing. Double-acting powders react in two phases and can stand for a while before baking. With double-acting powder, some gas is released at room temperature when the powder is added to dough, but the majority of the gas is released after the temperature of the dough increases in the oven."

So, make sure you add your homemade baking powder right before popping in the oven to get the best lift, and don't over mix. I find that adding 1/4 tsp of vitamin C crystals dissolved in 1 T of boiling water to any recipe, and adding right at the end, also gives more lift too. If your dough/batter requires resting for a long period of time before baking, try adding the leavening agents AFTER letting the dough rest.  Either way, you'll still get some lift - it just won't be as much if it sits for a long time.  

HOMEMADE CORN-FREE, ALUMINUM-FREE BAKING POWDER (gluten free)

2 parts cream of tartar
1 parts arrowroot starch
  1. Mix all ingredients together.
  2. Store in a dry, air-tight jar.

 

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