Friday, March 7, 2014

Learning to Cook Gluten Free

I am trying an experiment by going gluten free to see if there is any difference to my health.   There has been so much hype in the media these days of the affects of gluten related diseases and intolerances.   We also have a couple members of our family now that for health reasons are on strict gluten free diets.  Learning to cook and bake gluten free is becoming more important - especially when they come over for a meal.

So far it's been a couple of week without gluten and it hasn't been too difficult.  Cooking without gluten has been fairly easy since I am used to cooking most of our meals from scratch.   Our meals are fairly simple without fancy sauces or gravy that require thickening with flour.  I don't thicken soups with flour either.   I rarely ever buy pre-made food/frozen foods so that hasn't been an issue either for us.  And I as a rule don't eat much bread.  But once in a while a sandwich is really nice.   Eating out or on the run can be problematic.  It's hard to find a restaurant that serves food without gluten.

The difficult part has been baking.  Baking without wheat flour has been challenging.  How to make muffins or cookies, pie or a cake that doesn't turn out to be like a brick or not worth eating.   I'm not a big dessert eater, but once in a while I like a treat.  Gluten free baking is different from the way I have baked for my whole life.  It's certainly a mind shift - when it comes to baking with different flours and the taste / texture is different.  Finding all the right gluten-free flours locally hasn't been easy either without spending a lot of money.   The bulk food stores carry a lot of gluten free products, but you have to be careful as there is no guarantee with cross-contamination of items at these stores that are not packaged individually.  If you are celiac it is very important there is no cross contamination of any kind.  

I am enjoying trying out new recipes from the two books by Alissa Segersten/Tam Malterre;  The Whole Life Nutrition Cookbook and Nourishing Meals.  Everyone of the recipes tried so far have been an success.

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