Revised: Man can’t live on bread alone, but I might get by on tortilla chips for a while.

I will be baking it up this weekend!  I’m looking forward to trying a couple of new recipes I found at Gluten Free Girl and the Chef this weekend as I am trying to broaden my gluten-free food options.  I’ve been semi gluten-free for 6 months now. I can’t say I am completely gluten-free because I know there are times I eat foods that have it, although I generally avoid all obvious breads, flours, and processed foods.   

I decided to try it after spending time with my Sister-in-Law who has suffered for years with debilitating migraines has had to eliminate gluten and many other foods from her diet. (Even lettuce!  Lettuce!)   It has been such a rough road for her I am so glad to see that she’s found some relief from her symptoms and can enjoy spending time with her husband and beautiful daughters.  Her journey intrigued me and I wondered if making some changes would help my husband (her brother) with his hiatal hernia and chronic acid reflux (GERD). 

What surprised me was how much better I felt when I eliminated gluten from my diet.  What was most noticeable was how much more energy I felt all day.  Especially at work.  I no longer needed a shot (or three) of caffeine at 1:30/2:00 because my eyelids felt like 10 pound weights and like I hadn’t slept soundly for 8 hours the night before.  It was remarkable.  Really.  My mind was clear and alert and I just felt better.  My husband also noticed this and commented that I hardly ever mentioned how exhausted I am anymore (which I realize I said a lot).  Another positive side effect (?) that has baffled and elated me is how my adult acne [shuffles feet awkwardly] is almost gone. I have changed all my hygiene and cosmetic products too, so that is also a likely factor.  At some point I’ll share that information here as well.

I started to read more about gluten and was surprised to learn there is a link between gluten and infertility/miscarriages.  This really got me wondering considering I have not been able to carry a pregnancy to term.  I miscarried twice at 8-9 weeks.  While I am hesitant to peg this as a factor because there may be no explanation, it really makes me wonder.

I have not been tested by a medical doctor to see if I actually have any level of intolerance to gluten.  I don’t have any of the other physical symptoms listed, although when I eat gluten foods I have noticed a severe drop in my moods and am unexplainably sluggish and tired the following day which can linger. I don’t know if that means anything or not, but it’s happened more than once.  I did speak with my Chiropractor about my diet changes and I appreciated his insight when he said: “if eliminating or reducing gluten makes you feel better, it sounds like that’s what you need to do.”  Simple, but true.  Does having an official “diagnosis” make what I know I feel somehow more credible?

Anyway, I will be trying the following breakfast-type recipes.  The first one can be found at Gluten Free Girl and the Chef:

Gluten Free Whole Grain Muffins

Gluten- Free Granola

Ingredients:

  • 5 cup oats (certified gluten-free)
  • 2 cups coarsely chopped almonds
  • 1 cup pumpkin seeds
  • 2/4 cup sesame seeds
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp ginger
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 ½ cups dried fruit (your choice)
  • ¾ cup maple syrup
  • 2 TBS canola or other vegetable oil

Use a large roasting pan to prevent spills (cookie sheet will make a mess)

  1. Preheat oven to 350*F
  2. Mix oats, almonds and seeds. Sprinkle with cinnamon, ginger and salt and mix well.
  3. Add at least 1 ½ cup bite sized pieces of dried fruit, you can add to your preference.  Stir well.
  4. Drizzle maple syrup over surface of oats mixture.  Repeat with the oil. 
  5. Stir until well coated not too stick or too dry.
  6. Place in 350*F oven for 12 minutes.  Stir and repeat 3 times.

Granola should be golden brown with a crunch (not wet).  Makes 10 cups.

One of the foods I miss (a lot) is doughnuts, so I will be trying these to see if they are an edible alternative.  I have tweaked the original recipe here, but you can find it at Food.com: Gluten- Free Doughnut Holes Recipe # 295554 (by Jubes at food.com)

Gluten Free Doughnuts (my version)

Ingredients:

  • 2 cup water
  • ½ cup butter 0r margarine
  • 1 1/2 cup rice flour
  • 3/4 cup potato starch
  • 2 TBS sugar
  • 1 tsp nutmeg (or less)
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • 4 eggs
  • Oil (for frying)
  • Cinnamon sugar, for dusting: 2 TBS sugar to ½ tsp cinnamon

Directions:

  1. Heat oil to 375*F.  You need at least 1-2 inch of oil.
  2. In a sauce pan, heat water and butter until boiling point is reached and remove  from heat.
  3. Add rice flour, potato starch, sugar, nutmeg and salt.  Stir until mixture forms a ball and pulls away from the sides of the sauce pan.
  4. Using an electric mixer, add eggs one at a time.  Mix well between adding each egg.
  5. Drop batter by small rounded teaspoons into hot oil a few at a time.  Turn them to brown evenly, approx 5 minutes to cook.
  6. Remove from heat and drain on paper towels and shake then in a plastic bag with cinnamon sugar.
  7. Best served warm.

My husband is a maple doughnut freak, so I may have to find a gluten-free maple glaze if these actually work.  We can stop whining that we can’t visit Pastry Perfection in our town anymore.

**Update 1/26/11: I was able to make 2 of the three recipes on my list:

Gluten Free Granola:  It is awesome. So much better than store bought. I used golden raisins, craisins and roughly chopped almonds and made 2 batches. I think the secret is the ginger. It has such great flavor! I keep it in an airtight container and have enjoyed it for breakfast for the last few mornings. I made GF french toast the other day sprinkled some on top with a little sliced banana. SO GOOD.

Gluten Free Doughnuts:  Oh, my. This was an adventure. I think it will work better after a little more tweaking, but they were certainly edible, just a little dense for a doughnut.  This will definitely test my coooking skills (I’m not that great at adjusting recipes).

One thought on “Revised: Man can’t live on bread alone, but I might get by on tortilla chips for a while.

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