Recipe FAQs

Please read over the following Recipe FAQs for answers to the most common questions. If you don’t see an answer to a question you have, contact me and I’ll be happy to include it here!

Do you write your own recipes?

Yes! All recipes here are created, tested, and photographed by me.

Do you take your own food photos?

Yes! I love food photography, and shoot every single one of my recipes myself. I even film all of my recipe videos as well!

Why did you start a food blog?

Because I love food, duh! Well that, and I also have always loved to cook and experiment with new recipes. I’d study diets and healthy recipes every free chance I got and one day thought, why don’t I just put this all out on the internet? So that’s exactly what I did! Sam Does Her Best started off as solely an Instagram account, then I eventually launched this website in March 2021.

What is your favorite recipe to make?

Probably every single cookie recipe here! I also love making a fresh batch of my homemade granola. It’s so easy and makes my entire apartment smell like absolute heaven. 🙂

What kind of flours do you use and like? Do you use any specific brands?

I use mostly Bob’s Red Mill flours. Their Gluten-Free Baking Flour is truly the best I’ve found so far. I also enjoy a handful of Anthony’s Flours. I almost always have a 5 pound bag of their almond flour in my pantry at all times.

Are all your recipes on your site gluten-free?

Most of my recipes are gluten-free, with a few exceptions. If a recipe isn’t gluten-free, I always give a gluten-free option!

What does gluten-free mean?

Gluten is a protein found in several grains, therefore gluten-free is anything without those particular grains. Wheat is the most common grain containing gluten and can be found in breads, pastas, cakes, cookies, cereals, etc. Gluten-free recipes are best for those who are either allergic or intolerant to gluten, or for those who suffer from celiac disease. However, even if you tolerate gluten just fine, it’s unfortunately been proven to cause inflammation in all of our bodies. Therefore, I believe we could all benefit from the occasional gluten-free recipe!

What does dairy-free mean?

Dairy-free means a recipe or diet that is completely free of any milk or milk products. The most common examples of milk products are yogurt, cheese, and butter. The reason why most people are dairy-free or enjoy dairy-free recipes is because they experience some sort of lactose intolerance. Lactose is a sugar found in all dairy products, and those who are lactose intolerant simply lack the proper enzyme in their gut to digest lactose. However, similar to gluten, dairy has been proven to cause inflammation in the body, whether you’re lactose intolerant or not. Therefore, we all could benefit from enjoying dairy-free recipes!

What does paleo mean?

A paleo diet is one that prioritizes eating only the foods that were available to us during the Paleolithic era. For example, plenty of fruits, vegetables, nuts, meat, and fish. The paleo diet excludes grains, legumes, dairy, refined sugar, and most processed foods in general. Many people resort to this type of diet to improve their health, since it’s been studied to do so. I have definitely experimented with a paleo diet, and while I don’t follow it today, I do create and enjoy plenty of paleo recipes!

What does vegan mean?

A vegan diet is one that is completely free of any animal products! So this means no meat, eggs, dairy, or seafood. It’s another diet people turn to to improve their health, and some would argue to help the environment. I’m a big fan of vegan recipes, and supporter of the vegan community. Fun fact: my sister’s vegan!

Why didn’t my recipe come out like yours? It looks different. 

There are many factors that could contribute to making your recipe appear different than mine. Sometimes it’s the strength of your oven, the temperature of the room you were making it in, or the specific brand of ingredients used. Many times, when a recipe doesn’t look exactly how it’s photographed, it’ll still taste delicious! However, if the recipe seems off in any way, double check that you’ve used the proper ingredients, amounts, and that your oven/stove is working correctly. If something still seems wrong, don’t hesitate to contact me for further assistance!

What is xanthan gum? Is there a substitution?

Xanthan gum (pronounced zan-than gum) is a powdered substance derived from fermented sugar. It’s a thickening agent and stabilizer in many recipes, specifically gluten-free ones. You may even find it in your ice cream, chocolate, and/or cosmetic products. Xanthan gum has its pros and cons when it comes to health, so do your research and decide if it’s an ingredient you’re willing to cook with or not!

What alternative sweeteners do you prefer?

If we’re talking sugar-free sweeteners, then I’m definitely not a fan of any! Artificial sweeteners are overly processed and in my opinion, do more harm than good. However, for those suffering from diabetes or pre-diabetes, I believe stevia or pure monk fruit sweetener are the best, most natural ones out there.

I can’t have eggs, do your recipes use egg replacements?

Feel free to use an egg replacement in any of my recipes! I’ve actually had a ton of success with the Bob’s Red Mill Egg Replacer, and can confidently say it can be used as an equal swap in most recipes. As far as flax or chia eggs go, those are always options, but may change the texture of whatever you’re cooking or baking. However, be sure to read through each entire recipe post to see if I’ve included a flax or chia egg option!

I’m allergic to nuts, what can I do?

If you suffer from any food allergies or intolerances, be sure to check my “Adjust This Recipe to Your Dietary Needs” section for plenty of options under the nut-free category! I’ll always include a nut-free variation there whenever possible.