September 23, 2010

Gluten Freak.

Alex’s Friendly Guide to Becoming a Gluten-free Freak.

The Gurgle in your stomach could be a Gluten Monster…

Going gluten-free can be rough—and yes, it is unfortunate that wheat is in some of the most delicious delicacies such as pasta, pizza, bread and beer.

Is food really being altered so much by technology that one of the top produced crops has created allergies for some people?  Some would say so.  Statistics show one in six are gluten sensitive.

So, what sort of options exist for these people?

More and more alternative products are coming out.  Unlike a few years ago when being gluten free meant a vegetable diet with some soy crackers on the side, many unique and flavorful options now exist.  Local Farmers Markets are great places to look for gluten free options that are fun and make life a little bit easier.

Having friends over for dinner becomes much harder when you have to accommodate a gluten free meal for one person, especially when it’s not you. Hopefully they won’t burst out in hives if you accidentally contaminated their food with wheat, or it tastes awful because you don’t know what gluten free options taste good.

Checking out the Boulder Farmers’ Market (our your local market, of course) to find new gluten-free products is well worth your time. Just this season, a few original Boulder companies such as Shamane’s Bakery added a new gluten free pie crust.  Udi’s put together a gluten free sandwich bread.  Outrageous Baking still specializes solely in gluten and dairy free sweet breads.  And Lilabees, the newest company this season, specializes in gluten free mixes, such as a blueberry muffin mix and a basic white cake mix for a semi-home made feel.

Local restaurants are also putting together gluten free menus—it’s great to have options on a menu, instead of, say, just a salad with no croutons when going out to socialize with friends. Having a nice meal is half the point, right?  Munch on fresh bread, drink a beer, and try the new pasta dish featured on the menu.

As for the future of gluten free, it is already popular, life-changing eating habit around the nation. Coming up with alternative recipes, and ways of cooking could create new generations of Grandma’s homemade muffins, and Aunt Salley’s breaded fried chicken.

Eating is fun! It makes us grow, survive and give us a way to appreciate one another’s cultures. The inspiration to become gluten-free could be based on genetics or health, religious beliefs, social fads or cultural habits.

Just for fun, here is a super simple recipe to play around with, just in case you have a run in with gluten free and want to have a snack or impress someone special.


Applesauce Cake (low sugar)

1  1/4 c. Gluten Free flour Mix

1/4 cup coconut flour (adds more fiber) or you can use 1/4 cup more of the flour mix

1/2 cup palm sugar/ honey /agave

1/2 tsp baking soda

1/2 tsp baking powder

1/4 tsp salt

1tsp cinnamon

1/4 tsp nutmeg

2 eggs

1/4 cup melted butter or earth balance

3/4 cup applesauce

3 Tbsp coconut milk , reg milk or any milk substitution

Preheat oven to 350

Mix all dry ingredients ,Blend eggs, sugar or honey , melted butter, milk  and applesauce add to dry ingredients and blend until incorportated. Can add currants or nuts for variety.

Also can top with 1/2 chopped pecan or walnuts mixed with 1 tbsp palm sugar, 1 Tbsp O.B. flour mix and 1 tsp mested butter, spinkle the mix on top.

Grease and flour either a loaf pan, a 9 inch round pan, or even little cup cake bite size. Bake 45-50 minutes or until the knife comes out clean.

Alex Hanifin is a Boulder local. She climbs rocks to get off the ground. She bakes to enjoy herself. And her work comes along with it all.

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