When first diagnosed with ciliac disease or some other type of gluten intolerance, many people immediately think of their favorite foods and what they’ll be missing out on. Pastas, breads and pastries are just a couple of the favorites that can make a gluten-free diet seem intolerable. However, the only known treatment for ciliac’s disease is a lifetime commitment to a gluten-free diet.
Kimberly A. Tessmer, author of Gluten-Free for a Healthy Life, (Career Press, 2003) writes that “learning and following a gluten-free diet are not easy tasks.” However, there are ways that people can enjoy many foods similar to those that contain gluten if they are willing to put in the time to find good ingredients and learn to cook for themselves.
Gluten Free Cooking Lessons
People who have an intolerance or sensitivity to gluten are more likely to stick to a lifelong plan that helps to prevents complications and symptoms of the disease by learning to cook for themselves. While there is a growing market of ready-to-eat gluten-free products available in many grocery stores, the food is considerably more expensive than its non-gluten-free counterparts. The best and most versatile is listed in Gluten-Free Foods and Products for a Healthier Lifestyle.
While not many celebrity chefs are teaching their audience how to cook without gluten, some of Alton Brown’s recipes are specifically gluten-free and other recipes of his can be easily adapted well for a gluten-free diet. Other chefs that are specifically gluten-free specialists can also give guidelines, like the Gluten-free chef or Gluten-free girl and the chef.
Kitchen Tools To Go Gluten Free
The biggest concern when it comes to gluten-free kitchen tools is cross contamination. If there will still be foods prepared with gluten in the house, it’s best to have a specific set of gluten-free cookware and toaster oven that is never used to make foods that contain gluten. For instance, a cast iron skillet is great at preparing many gluten-free foods, but the seasoning is porous and will cause cross-contamination issues unless removed down to the bare metal and re-seasoned in the oven. Separate food storage containers are also important so that a celiac sufferer won’t get sick because they used the same dish for their leftovers that a loved one used previously.
Get rid of pepper shakers. Some companies use wheat products in pre-ground pepper as a filler and it isn’t always labeled correctly. Instead, whole pepper corns and a pepper mill will actually help your food taste better and fresher and there won’t be any worries about what’s in your seasonings.
Because gluten-free breading don’t brown very easily, it will become significantly easier to cook with the assistance of an infra-red thermometer (especially when using a cast-iron skillet). The thermometer can help obtain a nicer color on the things that are cooked when the cook knows exactly how much extra heat they’re using. Additionally, oil with a high smoke point (like corn oil) will help when trying to brown gluten-free breading.
Gluten-Free Diet Plan
Pasta may be the one staple that many think is difficult to reproduce gluten free. However, there are a couple alternatives to grain pasta that can be used for a pasta substitute. Quinoa is a seed that has a fluffy, creamy, slightly crunchy texture and is considered much healthier than regular pasta. Additionally, rice pasta is a great alternative although American-made rice pasta is sometimes considered gritty or can fall apart. Instead. the rice pasta found at Asian grocery stores is gluten free, significantly cheaper than its American counterparts and usually holds together extraordinarily well.
Pastry is one of the hardest experiences to reproduce in a gluten-free diet plan. While there are plenty of different ways to achieve a pastry-like product, experienced gluten-free cooks will honestly say that they made many failures along the way.
There are two techniques that make possible substitutes. The first is to use 100 percent quinoa flour and make as per normal short crust. The mix will be very crumbly and hard to work. The finished texture is also more crumbly than wheat flour, and the taste is nutty – put palatable and not dry tasting (unlike other flour substitutes tend to be).
The second technique is to make potato pastry. Recipes can be found though a variety of sources but can be difficult to make because the recipe needs to be adjusted to the variety of potato. The ideal potato is somewhat floury – one that would make good mashed potatoes. The part of the recipe that needs adjusting is the amount of gluten-free flour and water added to create the right consistency. Adding more butter than is advised can also sometimes create a more pastry-like texture. Neither technique makes good pastry base.