I discovered my gluten sensitivity and went gluten-free five years ago.
Even though my body felt amazing, I craved the comforts of cookies, muffins, croissants, macaroni and cheese and stuffing at Thanksgiving. That is, until I discovered gluten-free baking.
Though it comes with a learning curve, I can now eat some of my favorite recipes without the usual side effects.
MAKE BAKING EASY
The best way to acquire gluten-free baked goods is to bake them yourself. Most recipes call for multiple ingredients in place of traditional all-purpose flour. I recommend either making your own blend (like the Minimalist Baker’s blend of 1½ cups brown rice flour, potato starch, ¼ cup white rice flour and ¼ cup tapioca flour) to have on hand, or buying Bob’s Red Mill Gluten Free 1-to-1 Baking Flour. You’re then (mostly!) able to follow your favorite baking recipe by substituting the all-purpose wheat flour with your gluten-free blend.
GLUTEN, GLUTEN EVERYWHERE
Gluten can be tricky, and many items contain hidden gluten (soy sauce, flavored coffee syrup, even candy). Be sure to check all labels and use your judgment based on your sensitivity before using an ingredient. Hidden gluten can make it especially hard to eat at restaurants, because unless dishes are on a certified gluten-free menu and prepared away from gluten, you can’t be certain they’re actually gluten-free. Find Me Gluten Free is a useful app for finding gluten-free and gluten-free friendly restaurants. Here are two of my favorite recipes.
Makes 12 muffins
1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
2. Line cupcake pan with liners.
3. Combine dry ingredients — 1½ cups gluten-free flour (such as Bob’s Red Mill Gluten Free 1-to-1 Baking Flour), 1 cup sugar, ¼ teaspoon salt and 2 teaspoons baking soda — in a bowl.
4. In a separate bowl, mix together wet ingredients: 1⁄3 cup vegetable oil, 1 egg, ½ cup milk and 2 teaspoons vanilla.
5. Combine dry and wet ingredients.
6. Carefully fold in 1½ cup blueberries.
7. Spoon into cupcake liners and bake for 20 minutes, or until toothpick inserted in center of muffin comes out clean.
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
2. Beat 8 eggs and combine with ¾ cup half-and-half or heavy cream.
3. Make 8 slices cooked bacon and chop into small pieces.
4. Add olive oil to a skillet and sauté 2-3 handfuls spinach leaves until wilted.
5. Combine egg mixture with bacon, spinach, 1 cup sliced mushrooms, ½ cup grated carrots, 1 scallion, 1 cup smoked cheddar cheese, and salt and pepper to taste.
6. Pour into a greased pie dish and bake for 40-45 minutes.