Gluten Free, (mostly) Soy-Free, and Low-Sugar Update

I’ve been very blessed recently with reasonable energy (not needing naps daily) and with a growing toddler who can do a bit of sustained, independent play, meaning that I can get more labor-intensive food preparation done with less distraction!

After doing some more reading on going gluten-free to combat the thyroid destruction that comes with Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis, I’ve realized that some people recommend going TOTALLY GF…as in, eating as if you have Celiac Disease and striving to remove every molecule of gluten from your diet.

Honestly, at this point in my life, that just sounds insane. I enjoy eating out at restaurants with friends and at other people’s houses. Eating is a very social, emotional, meaningful activity, and I don’t want to complicate it even more than going GF already has.So, for now I’m going to do my best, meaning that I’m going as GF/Soy Free as possible while staying sane and not thinking about food all the time.

A WONDERFUL (with one caveat) resource that I’ve found? A cookbook titled Gluten Free Artisan Cooking, by Kelli and Peter Bronski.They have a lovely blog on which they share some of their recipes and their most important discovery–their whole grain, artisan, GF flour blend. It was such a relief to run across this blend–it’s made of brown rice flour, sorghum flour (a wonderful, nutrient-rich seed), corn starch, 2 kinds of potato flour, and xanthan gum. I am now on my second 12-cup batch of this flour (I mix it up in advance so that it’s easier to make their recipes), and have made the following from their book: Yellow Cake, Pie Crust for apple pie, Waffles, Pizza, and Corn Bread.

Their recipes are designed to taste delicious and have beautiful textures. They’re both hardcore foodies (she’s a baker and he’s Italian), so they really care about the appearance, texture and taste of their foods. I haven’t been disappointed with any of the recipes.My favorite so far has been the cornbread–it was fluffy, light, deliciously nutty with a pleasantly distinct cornmeal flavor, and not too dry. All of my non-GF tasters loved it, and I had no trouble finishing off what was left the next day.

The only caveat is that their flour mixture takes a while to get used to. The cake I made gave me and my taster tummy aches (admittedly, we both ate 3 servings of it)–I think that sorghum is so foreign to our guts that our tummies reacted by getting gas-y, which caused some pain. I experienced the same thing with the pizza. However, the Corn Bread didn’t do this to me, probably b/c it has a lot of cornmeal and just a small amount of the flour blend. It took me about 2 weeks of eating recipes made with this flour blend to get to a point where my tummy isn’t surprised by the blend.

Looking at some of the reviews of the book on amazon, at least one person professed to be unable to digest sorghum, and thus returned the book. So, I’m not alone in having a reaction to the sorghum.

Another thing that I LOVE about this cookbook is its focus on whole, “real” ingredients, as well as recreating comfort foods. The only unusual ingredients that they use are their flours–everything else is easy to find and tastes great. I’m looking forward to trying their cinnamon roll recipe, as well as their recipe for soft, chewy GF chocolate chip cookies.

Some people on amazon complained about the fact that the Bronski’s include recipes that are “naturally” GF (e.g., a few rice recipes, several ethnic recipes, sweet potato recipes, oven-fry recipes, etc). I actually liked this inclusion b/c it’s a good reminder that many cultures’ foods are naturally GF (Hispanic, Asian, African), so eating GF doesn’t mean that one has to modify every single recipe.

Some other resources: A Facebook friend of mine recommended these two recipe blogs:

Oh She Glows (tasty, nutrient rich, vegan and frequently GF recipes)

and

MELOMEALS, a vegan, frugal recipe site maintained by a chef. If you click on the link, you’ll get to my current fave recipe on her site–the Chunky Monkey Mug Cake with Banana Pecan Ice Cream. :)

Happy Gluten Free Munching!

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1 Comment

Filed under 2011, gluten free, refined sugar free, soy free, Thyroid

One response to “Gluten Free, (mostly) Soy-Free, and Low-Sugar Update

  1. I’m with you on the “mostly” gluten free thing. Our emotions have a larger impact on our health than the glutens do. I’m 90% gluten free. Never compromise your happiness/health for a diet that makes you miserable.
    Cheers!

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