Gluten Free Baking
When it comes to baking, there are many dietary restrictions such as egg free, fat-free, low carbohydrate, vegan, sugar-free as well as gluten-free.
Gluten-free baking does impose many restrictions and often makes it quite difficult to enjoy food and have convenient choices and eating most of us take for granted. Gluten-free baking does not have to be the chore many of us think it must be and all gluten-free food doesn’t taste like cardboard. The good news for those needing gluten-free baking is that there are more and more delicious recipes and selections available.\
There are several reasons to go gluten-free in baking. Many people go gluten-free for health reasons, but personal preference also plays a big part as well.
Celiac disease comes into play when an individual has an adverse reaction to the gluten found in wheat. The immune system reaction then goes on to damage the small intestine disallowing the absorption of nutrients from that food.
Symptoms can range from upset stomach to excruciating pain in the abdomen. Side-affects could also include rashes, fatigue, and muscle stiffness.
Your Doctor will confirm your diagnosis with a blood test and / or biopsy of the small intestine. You can start by testing yourself with a gluten-free diet for six weeks; if the symptoms subside after a strict six weeks exclusion, it’s time to get tested.
Intolerance to Gluten
Other individuals without Celiac Disease may still have an intolerance to gluten. Symptoms are typically the same but more subtle. For example, bloating may be a side effect, and chronic fatigue and joint stiffness may be a side effect. Gluten intolerance is a little bit trickier to diagnose as joint stiffness and fatigue could be caused many things such as different types of arthritis or a problem with the thyroid.
While some individuals have Celiac Disease and others have an intolerance to gluten, others may feel better off gluten altogether. Others insist that their digestive issues and energy levels are much better off when they are off gluten. Not to mention that removing gluten has improved other conditions including, ADD, ADHD, Autism, stunted growth, muscle atrophy and weakening immune systems.
Whether you’re gluten intolerant, have Celiac Disease or simply just have a feeling that you feel better without gluten, going gluten-free is easier than ever before.
There are many resources available for those who need to eat gluten-free. Baking with gluten-free may take a few attempts and failures; you will succeed in making delicious gluten-free baked goods
There’s even more and more ‘convenience’ or prepackaged foods for gluten-free cooking. This means that those who once had no option but creating meals from scratch do now have shortcuts available.
If going gluten-free is something you’ve considered, why not give it a try?
So what is Gluten?
It’s is a protein in flour that gives the food some bounce and holds the dough and final product together.
Gluten is found in all of these grains and foods.
Avoid the following flours:
- Wheat (spelt, durum, atta, wheat bran, wheat germ, cracked wheat, couscous)
- Fu (common in Asian foods)
- Graham flour
Also avoid adding ingredients made from these flours or grains malted barley, wheat starch, maltodextrin, chicken broth, malt vinegar, some salad dressings, veggie burgers (if not specified gluten-free), soy sauce, seasonings and spice mixes, soba noodles, condiments.
If you don’t have “Gluten Free” flour you can choose one of these flours:
When baking with “Gluten-Free” flour, you will notice differences in flavor, texture and look of the end baked product. Unlike regular white flour, different bands of “Gluten-Free” flours have a different taste.
Take the time to get to try gluten-free recipes and incorporate them one at a time into your cooking repertoire. If you have a confirmed Celiac diagnosis, don’t wait as you need to repair your gut lining and become well nourished again. You will be amazed at how you feel as well as how great the food tastes.