What are some healthy alternatives to baking powder? I have heard that it is not the best for your body. Thanks!
What have you heard is "not the best"? The only caution I'm aware of is for use of baking soda when cooking dried beans, that it may reduce the content of some of the B vitamins.
Sorry, I missed the aluminum question. That's easily avoided by buying a brand like Rumford that is a long-standing classic, reliable and widely available.
Because there was a worry about 10 years ago that aluminum might cause dementia. It's been since disproven.
However, some people can taste a metallic hint in biscuits that contain a baking powder containing aluminum.
My advice is to make your own baking powder. Use two parts baking soda to one part cream of tartar, the advantage is that stored apart the acid and alkaline don't interact with each other, thus are more shelf stable and will react better once moistened.
Agreed -- it is the metallic taste that is most objectionable, although most commercial baking powder also includes a starch to minimize clumping. Usually that starch is corn starch. Unless it is organic (has anyone seen an organic baking powder? -- if so, please share the brand), chances are excellent the corn starch came from genetically engineered corn, and many people are concerned about GE foods. Ophelia's idea of making your own is a GREAT alternative. You probably only want to make what you'll immediately use (rather than a big batch to store) as it won't include the starch to prevent the clumping...
Since all baking powders contain a synthetic in one form or another, it can not be certified organic, only approved for organic production via the National List of Prohibited and Approved Substances on the NOP website. Hence there is no certified organic salt in the US, only in Europe.
Hain Featherweight Baking Powder contains potato starch instead of cornstarch. It is also gluten and sodium free if that is a concern.
I realize this was a while ago but I just wanted to say that baking powder is made from baking soda. Perhaps you would be interested to see how baking soda is made! http://www.ehow.com/how_6752224_make.... This is the reason I've been looking for the same answer. I think you may be interested in answers I found here http://cooking.stackexchange.com/questions/14928/alternative-leavening-agents-other-than-baking-powder-and-their-ratios-of-subst
Ophelia, the discussion Alx directed us to says 2 parts cream of tartar to 1 part baking soda, which is the opposite of what you mentioned. How can we resolve, because I'd love to make my own baking powder?
If you have any qualms about using the baking powder that contains aluminum and cannot find a brand that doesn't (or if you just run short and don't have time to go to the store), just make your own:
2 Tablespoons baking soda
4 Tablespoons cream of tartar
4 Tablespoons arrowroot
-Mix it all together and store it in the empty baking powder can you just finished! Makes just over 1/2 cup.
I have used this for years and don't miss putting baking powder on my shopping list!
But as Chef Ono points out, if you're going to store it after making it, you'll need cornstarch or potato starch to keep the two ingredients from reacting.
No additional starch needed - the arrowroot takes care of that. It substitutes 1:1 just fine.
You can get 1.2 lbs. of cream of tartar on amazon.com for $8.99 and 1 lb. of arrowroot for $3.39.
Just countering your grocery store prices, Chef! Even if you waste most of it, you're still ahead of those.