Sunday, February 27, 2011

Going Gluten-free

Hi!  Wow, it is almost March and I have not even posted yet in 2011.  I guess it is time to change that!  Life is good, work is crazy, but fun, and M is almost done with his architecture exams (big yay!!)

So, I recently have had two friends inquire on gluten-free cookbooks, tips, and tricks.  Below, is what I responded with, but I would love to know your opinions too.  Here is a couple questions to get you started:

  1. What is the one thing that make your life easier to be GF?
  2. What is your favorite source for information?  i.e. what is your go-to?
  3. What is the one thing that sets you back the most?  (for me it is sauces and cream based soups)
Bette Hagman is the cookbook author when it comes to GF cooking.  I got "The Gluten-Free Gourmet Cooks Fast and Healthy" When I first went GF and it was/is awesome, lots of mixes and things so you could mix up a big batch of say, pancake mix, and then use it for the next couple months.  It is really helpful to have a number of go-to things ready.  I also have "The Gluten-free gourmet cooks comfort foods" it is a good one too.

A different option would be "Gluten-free Girl and Chef" by Shauna and Danny Ahern.  I have not gotten this one, but is is receiving some rave reviews from the NY Times and such.  I think as much as this is a cookbook, it also chronicles some of the struggles Shauna had with going gluten-free.  She also has a great blog.

Last, if you would like to get her a magazine subscription, Living Without is a great magazine.  It covers GF and food allergies really well, with new recipes in each issue.

A couple of tips to give your friend:
- figure out a flour mix she likes I mainly use the nearly normal GF mix. You can buy it premixed online, but I actually prefer to use the proportions and mix up my own.  that way I can add in more whole grains, etc.  But depending on how much of a baker she is, having something pre-mixed is nice.  There are tons of other mixes that she can buy, in fact bisquik now has a GF version.  I would avoid the Bob's Red mill GF flour, unless she really likes chickpeas.  They use a bean flour blend that can really turn you off to the possibilities. Bob's individual flours are great.

- Bisquik, Betty Crocker and some other big names now have GF offerings.

- learn to bake by weight 5oz = 1 cup of flour.  By doing that, you can usually substitute G-F flour for any of your standard flour containing recipes

- The best bread out there is Udi's and Kinnikinnick has good baked goods too.  Whole Foods has a good freezer section as well.

- Amy's has a good GF rice mac and cheese

- The web has been my true go-to for recipes etc.  If you want to give her a link to my infrequently updated blog (I need to work on that).  I have a whole list of good blogs to follow. (Look to your right)

So, what would you add?