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 Granola
- 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)
- Preheat oven to 350*F
- Mix oats, almonds and seeds. Sprinkle with cinnamon, ginger and salt and mix well.
- Add at least 1 ½ cup bite sized pieces of dried fruit, you can add to your preference. Stir well.
- Drizzle maple syrup over surface of oats mixture. Repeat with the oil.
- Stir until well coated not too stick or too dry.
- 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)
- 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
- Heat oil to 375*F. You need at least 1-2 inch of oil.
- In a sauce pan, heat water and butter until boiling point is reached and remove from heat.
- 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.
- Using an electric mixer, add eggs one at a time. Mix well between adding each egg.
- Drop batter by small rounded teaspoons into hot oil a few at a time. Turn them to brown evenly, approx 5 minutes to cook.
- Remove from heat and drain on paper towels and shake then in a plastic bag with cinnamon sugar.
- 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).