Gluten added as a thickening agent or sweetener
Many processed foods and condiments like salad dressing and soy sauce have gluten added as a thickening agent or sweetener. Unless your processed foods and condiments claim Gluten-Free they might contain Gluten. This is what I call Secret Gluten, on an ingredients list it might read modified food starch, which is often from wheat, Malt Extract, which is often from Barley, or Hydrolyzed Protein, which is from wheat.
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Other culprits are vinegar and alcohol. If the vinegar or alcohol is distilled from grains, more than likely it's a Gluten containing grain. So stick with vinegar that comes from fruit like apple cider or wine vinegar, and alcohol that is Gluten Free or from fruit like wine, sorry beer drinkers. This leads into another problem with condiments, the vinegar used in mustard, salad dressing, hot sauce, barbeque sauce, and ketchup may contain Gluten. Look for products using apple cider or wine vinegar or that read Gluten-Free on the label. Be wary of seasonings which usually have modified food starch.
Another issue is grain fed meat, the grains fed to livestock are often Gluten containing grains and this meat may cause a reaction in you. Look for grass fed meat products. Its not only healthier for you, but more sanitary, healthier for the animal raised, the environment, our water systems, just all around good. Keep in mind that ruminants like cows are designed to eat grasses not grain. Big Springs Beef is a local farm that offers grass fed beef by order only or at the Farmers Market, they do deliver. Also, watch out for gluten in deli meat and smoked sausage, it's used as a binding agent. One more gluten culprit is moldy cheeses like Blue or Roquefort the mold is grown on bread and mixed into the cheese.
And lastly, even when you do your best, you still may have reactions. A personal example of this was when I went out to eat at a popular chain chicken wing restaurant: I made sure to research ahead of time and order only the foods that did not contain Gluten. Unfortunately, I still had a reaction. So I wrote an email to the company in question and the respondent who answered enlightened me to the fact that while the foods I ate did not contain Gluten, they we're fried in the same oil as all the foods that do. I was surprised that this hadn't occurred to me, but also at how insignificant cross-contamination can cause a reaction.
As a mention, the FDA has an amount of gluten that is acceptable in foods labeled Gluten Free so you may find some Gluten Free foods still bother you. Really just pay attention to your body. As I always say, every-body is different.
And finally I neglected to mention this in class but body care products that contain wheat, barley or rye may also cause reactions in persons with gluten sensitivity.
But before you run out and buy a bunch of Gluten-Free alternatives to the foods you're used to eating, give yourself a few weeks to adjust to not eating those foods. The alternatives are not going to be as delicious or have the same texture you're used to and will ultimately be a disappointment which may cause you to want to give up and go back to your familiar Gluten containing diet. By waiting, these alternatives will seem like a welcome treat and variation to your new Gluten free diet. In the meantime stick to Vegetables, Fruit, Beans, Nuts, Organic Dairy, and Grass Fed Meat. With more and more people recognizing gluten sensitivity more and better products are available. Theres a list of my favorite brands of alternatives and a few recipes at the end of this packet.
Can I go out to eat or eat other peoples cooking? The short answer is No. The long answer is yes, but there will be Gluten in the food you eat even if you avoid breads and pastas. Since many condiments and seasonings have gluten and many people use flour as a thickening agent you can guarantee there will be gluten in their cooking. It is up to you to decide if you want to suffer from eating out or other peoples cooking. Even with the best of intentions from my friends and family who tried to cook Gluten Free for me I have gone home only to suffer from the symptoms of eating Gluten. I have since learned to bring my own food everywhere and enough to share if it is potlatch or even if it isn't because people are curious and want to eat your food. But take care because with 1 in 5 having a gluten sensitivity more restaurants or friends and family will be cooking gluten free before too long.
On a personal note, I have found that other people who do not have food allergies or sensitivities will not really understand what it means to be Gluten Free. They do not know how even a slight amount can very greatly impact my body, and might not think to tell me if something they made has gluten, if it is a small amount, or in something they don't know has Gluten, like soy sauce. Often feelings are hurt because they've tried their best to cook for me and I still can't eat it.
Not to mention all the holidays where I have brought my own food rather than eating all the delicious family foods I associate with the holidays. And every one of these occurrences has illicited the dreaded gluten free diet chat that in my opinion never seems to go well because most people just don't understand.
It is a big adjustment. And the easiest thing you can do for yourself and others is to let them know you are on a restricted diet, you will be attending but you'll be bringing your own food and not to worry about you. Or just skip the food part and join up for the rest of the fun.
How to cook and bake with Gluten-Free alternatives: Many of your local stores will have Gluten Free flours and Gluten free baking mix. For the beginner I would suggest getting a baking mix that includes rice, potato, sorghum, and tapioca flours and avoid the ones with bean flour. Bobs Red Mill has a large assortment on-line if you want something specific. Here in Taylorsville we have a local company which makes Bloomfield Farms Gluten Free products that you can find at Country Mart. This is what I used often in my Gluten Free value added products at the Farmers Market. I think they work really well, but unfortunately have a high carbohydrate count and no fiber. But when you're eating cake are you really thinking about either of those things?
Also remember any product you use must be Gluten Free. You will probably need new baking powder, baking soda, corn starch, vanilla extract and any other extracts you use, and make sure things like your chocolate chips are gluten free. Make sure it claims Gluten Free.
The big difference in Gluten Free is taste and texture. This has to do with how refined gluten free flours chemically react when baked and how little water they absorb. I find the best flours for baking to produce a good texture are oatmeal and buckwheat. This is partly because they are whole grains, have fiber, and bind together better. But unless you are used to Buckwheat flours taste I would suggest mixing it with something else light like rice or oat flour. Most other gluten free flours do not absorb a lot of liquid because they don't have as much or any soluble fiber. So you will not need to add as much liquid as usual.
My general rule of thumb is to make the recipe you have, substitute wheat flour for your gluten free flour and see how it turns out and adjust from there. Sometimes you don't have to change a thing and other times it's a complete mess. It often has to do with the type of flour and most mixes will have some recipes to follow on the back. I have learned that if it's not a quick bread, meaning no rise time, it will not be good.
As a short lesson in baking with gluten, it is what gives bread it's chew and holds it together. This is why the longer you knead dough the tougher the bread becomes and why when baking with whole grain, adding gluten will give your breads a lighter texture.
Eggs! Eggs are very important in holding the bread together, giving it a good texture, and helping it rise. But if you have an egg allergy, using ground up flaxseed as a substitute works well.
But, Gluten Free Quick breads typically come out nicely. But I've always had problems making good yeast breads and cookies. In the latter it is probably because the flour does not absorb the fat. Oatmeal cookies are about all I can do and Peanut butter cookies. And with Gluten Free baking the least amount of time you mix/beat your flour the better. And you want to get it baked almost immediately, it does not do well for the dough to sit around. Another big difference is quick breads made with Gluten Free flours, will dry out faster and the texture will deteriorate more quickly. So, most taste best nearly fresh out of the oven. Some leftover will become crumbly and mealy.
Now if you are trying to thicken a sauce or make gravy your best bet is Gluten Free Corn Starch, but there are other gluten free thickening alternatives like arrow root.
In Closing I just want to say it is very hard at first to give up the largest part of the food pyramid. But eventually you will not miss gluten containing foods. The improvement in the way you feel will positively reinforce your new diet, and you'll be reminded why you don't want to eat gluten when you do eat it.
1.2.3 Gluten Free Box Mixes, esp. the spice cake, make it with pumpkin.
I have not found a bread or pasta that I like so try to choose something with some fiber.
Ancient Grains makes a Quinoa lasagna noodle that is pretty good.
Blue Diamond Nut Thins crackers, the Hazelnut are the best! Be wary of the seasoned ones, some of them have gluten.
Food For Life sprouted grain corn tortillas
Sarahs Favorite Substitutions:
Quinoa (Pronounced Keen-Wa) is a delicious grain alternative to bulgur wheat or couscous , it's high in protein and fiber.
Spaghetti Squash instead of Pasta
Quick Cooking Gluten Free Oatmeal in meatloaf and meatballs, use can also use whole grain oats by blitzing them in a food processor first.
Gluten Free Corn Tortillas for wraps
Corn Chips instead of pita or crackers.
Omelets instead of sandwiches. Easy to eat fresh, but hard to pack as a lunch.
Low Carbohydrate Egg (Pan)Cakes
For every egg use,
1 Tablespoon Oatmeal or Buckwheat Flour, or a combination
1 Tablespoon of Milk
1/4 tsp. Baking Powder
2 Tablespoons Gluten Free Pancake mix (Like Bloomfield Farms)
1 Tablespoon of milk or water
Combine dry ingredients. In a separate bowl beat eggs and milk, then add dry ingredients. Mix ingredients together, you do not want lumps. Using a good 10 inch skillet, over medium heat, melt some butter, pour in batter slowly-it will spread quickly. I find it easier to make several small pancakes vs. large ones. Grease with butter in between batches. Serve with Maple Syrup or Cream Cheese and Fresh Fruit Compote.
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Posted in Home Improvement Post Date 03/19/2018