Today is National Celiac Disease Awareness Day. I know gluten-free has become a fad diet for some, but for those who suffer from Celiac Disease, a gluten-free diet is absolutely essential.
Celiac disease is an autoimmune digestive disease that damages the villi of the small intestine and interferes with absorption of nutrients from food. What does this mean? Essentially the body is attacking itself every time a person with celiac consumes gluten. – National Foundation for Celiac Awareness
My daughter has a wheat and gluten allergy, but does not have Celiac Disease for which I am grateful.
Living gluten-free now is soooooooo much easier than it used to be, however there are still challenges (B-Day parties, school functions, family parties, restaurants). So many times kids/people who need to avoid gluten are not able to eat the same fun treats other people are and it leaves them feeling like a bit of an outsider. For this very reason, my heart leapt when we were in Orlando recently. I knew that Downtown Disney had recently welcomed Babycakes Bakery (Vegan, Gluten-Free, Egg-Free, Soy-Free, Dairy-Free, & Kosher). It was with such joy that I was able to tell my daughter, “You can have ANYTHING you want from this bakery!” She looked at me like I was on crack and then quickly became mesmerized by the goodies in the glass cases. We ended-up buying a cupcake, donut, and chocolate chip cookie sandwich. Great memories! Babycakes also has bakeries in NYC and Los Angeles. I also love my Babycakes cookbook and I hear Erin just came out with another cookbook, Babycakes Covers the Classics, that I am sure is fab.
I thought I would take this opportunity to share with you some of my favorite gluten-free resources:
Are there any blogs or gluten-free resources that you use frequently and don’t see listed above? I’d love to hear from you.
My latest Chic Vegan column. I have lots of vegan bread recipes that call for whole wheat flour, but I don’t bake with gluten. Is there a formula for adding xanthan gum to gluten free flours, ie…teaspoon for every cup of flour, etc.? ~ Sirica Hi Sirica, Yes, there is a formula for adding xanthan gum to recipes. The amount of xanthan gum added depends upon what you plan on using it for. Here is a quick breakdown: Cake – ¼ tsp. per 1 cup of flour Breads – 1 tsp. per 1 cup of flour Pizza Crust – 2 tsp. per 1 cup of flour Salad Dressings – 1/8 tsp. per 1 ½ cups of dressing Frozen Treats – 1/8 tsp. per 2 cups of liquid For those of you not familiar with xanthan gum, it is a powdery substance often used in gluten free baking to replicate the function of gluten. When added to dressings xanthan gum binds the dressing together and improves the texture. When added to frozen treats it inhibits the development of large ice crystals and imparts a more creamy texture to the dessert. A wonderful resource for learning how to bake gluten free is The Gluten Free Goddess by Karina Allrich. I always keep a bag of Karina’s Gluten Free Flour mix in my fridge. Karina’s Basic Gluten Free Flour Mix
1 cup sorghum flour (aka jowar flour)
1 cup tapioca starch or potato starch (not potato flour)
1/3 to 1/2 cup almond meal, buckwheat flour, millet flour or quinoa flour
To read more of Karina’s gluten free baking tips click here. I know it seems intimidating at first, however with a little experimentation I know you will soon be very comfortable baking in your gluten free kitchen. Here’s to health! Gretchen **Do you have a questions for Grettie? She is here to answer any of your health and nutrition related questions! Email her firstname.lastname@example.org .**