Saturday, May 29, 2010

Gluten Free

...and dairy free, and potato free, and legume free (which includes peanuts), and citrus free, and nightshade free (tomatoes and peppers and eggplant)... and I think that's all my dad has cut out of his diet so far. My sister is keeping her cool and is "only" gluten free.

I've learned a lot in the last few months about cooking and baking with strange ingredients. And that you have to read labels verrry carefully. Whowoulda thought that simple products like soy sauce are not gluten free? Or that oats are processed on equipment that also process wheat products, which deems them contaminated. So, when my family comes to visit, I pull out my ever growing supply of weird baking ingredients, and search the internet for something new to try.

I'm always perfecting my bread recipe. I use my own concoction of white rice flour, brown rice flour, tapioca starch, sorghum flour, soy flour, garbanzo flour, guar gum, and xanthan gum (which, at $20 a pound, is a good thing I only need a couple of teaspoons). If I make muffins, I'll throw in a little buckwheat flour (which incidentally, is not really a wheat at all).

Since it's my sister's birthday on Monday, I went all out and made a chocolate cake. I considered a "flourless" cake, but the reviews all said they were really brownie-like. And I really wanted something that resembled an actual cake. It was really tricky, because lots of chocolate is contaminated with dairy. I couldn't find a dairy-free frosting recipe that didn't include margarine or shortening, so I created a chocolate frosting using tofu. The end product looks almost normal.

I'm very grateful that I'm not a glutentard.

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