Not eating sugar and flour but missing baked goods? Here are my best tips for how to bake without sugar and flour.
Why Would I Bake Without Sugar & Flour?
When it comes to baking, I enjoy sugar and flour as much as the next person. In my work on healing my relationship with eating, I have learned to happily enjoy all foods. That said, I learned to make these delicious baked concoctions back when I followed a rigid food program that cut out flour and sweeteners entirely, and what can I say? I still adore these baked breakfast concoctions and they remain a mainstay of my weekly meal routine. I haven’t even ever been tempted to add flour or sweeteners in, because they are that good.
In this post I’ve shared all of my strategies for how to bake without sugar and flour, so that whether you eat those foods or not, you can enjoy flavorful, filling, delicious, nutrition-packed baked goods with hearty, well-formed textures.
These Delightful Treats are Great For
- Staying full until lunch!
- Batch prepping ahead and enjoying throughout the week
- Traveling (I’ve brought these on many red-eye plane rides)
- Camping or hiking
- Diabetics or people who like to eat foods with a low glycemic index
- Using up odds and ends in your pantry
- Using up overripe bananas
Challenges of Sugar & Flour Free Baking
Flour-free and sweetener-free baking can be tricky. Without flour, it’s hard for moisture to absorb and it’s easy for baked goods to come out mushy. Without sweetener, flavors can be underwhelming, especially since the idea of cookies, muffins, and breads trigger flavor memories and expectations of highly palatable and desirable treats.
Why These Sugar & Flour Free Baked Goods Work
These decadent yet wholesome breakfast goodies work without flour or sweetener by using whole grains, fresh fruit, ripe bananas, and the healthy fats and oils in nut butter.
The oats are lightly processed in many of these recipes by pulsing them in a food processor, not to the point of flour but just enough to help with absorbency in baking. If you are comfortable processing the oats very finely, go ahead. High protein flours such as quinoa, chickpea, almond, and oat are flours are often tolerated well by those who don’t like to eat a lot of flour products. This is also the reasoning behind legume pasta being acceptable for many following a flour free diet.
As for sweeteners, mashed bananas are plenty sweet for my taste. If I’m baking for others who are accustomed to sweeter foods, I might lightly sweeten these recipes with a teaspoon or two of a minimally processed, low glycemic sweetener such as honey, maple syrup, or agave nectar. For the sweetest baked goods made without processed sweeteners, use overly ripe bananas.
A Few Tips & Tricks for Sugar & Flour Free Baking
Toasting & Processing Oats
While it definitely isn’t necessary, toasting rolled oats improves their flavor, and coarsely processing them in a food processor improves absorbency and adds texture to flourless baked goods.
To toast oats, preheat the oven to 325° F. Place oats on a baking sheet in a thin layer and toast until fragrant (about 15-20 min), stirring about halfway through. They won’t look noticeably different. Let cool to room temperature, add to a food processor, and process 10-15 seconds, until some oats are coarsely ground and others are still whole. I do this in large batches and store the oats in the pantry in a lidded container, ready for use.
If it’s important to you not to eat flour, don’t process them too finely, or, just skip this step. I have found that even just breaking up the grains a little bit improves the texture of the baked goods. As always, do what best serves you.
How To Make a Flax Egg
“Flax eggs” are a popular substitute for regular eggs in vegan baking. Both regular eggs and flax eggs work great in these baking recipes and can be swapped out 1-for-1.
To make a flax egg, mix 1 Tbsp of ground flax seed with 3 Tbsp of warm water in a small bowl and let it sit for 5 minutes to thicken. If you have an issue with flax, you can do the same thing with chia seeds to make a “chia egg.”
Baking Powder vs. Baking Soda
I’ve found that baking powder works best for leavening flourless baked goods. Baking soda is more ideal when acidic ingredients are present such as lemon juice, cocoa powder, vinegar, or sweeteners.
Gallery of Yummy Baked Goods
Happy baking! Which are your favorites?