A note on Gluten Free Grains

A note on grains:

What should our baked goods look like?

We are used to baked goods that have a springy feel, but not spongey, are soft, but not gooey, crumbly, but not dry.  Wheat naturally does this for us.  However, it is a tall order for other grains to do the same thing.

Other cultures have been using other grains for ages, but they don’t expect it to behave like wheat.  For example, there is a Korean bakery in our town.  They use rice flour for the most part, and bake with sugar and beans.  They steam most of their special treats.  And stuff them with sesame seeds.  For Koreans – this is IT for baked treats – a not-very-sweet, slighty gooey, very jelly-like dough, that is wet on the surface.

And other cultures have been reaping the benefits from other grains too.  Wheat is one of the least healthy grains.  I know that Amaranth, Quinoa, and Teft are widely used for their wonderful protein, and fiber content.

How to select new flours:

So about a year and a half ago when my husband was newly diagnosed with celiac sprue, I went all out and changed our diets 180 degrees – thinking we were going to get “healthy”.  Unfortunately none of us would eat the stuff, so it wasn’t making anyone healthier by sitting in the cupboard.  My advice – stick to as-close-to-wheat flours as you can until everyone adjusts to the new flavors & textures.  Use already tested GF recipes for your baking, such as the ones on this site.  And leave the “healthy” grains for later.  By the way, when going for those “other” grains be sure to find their shelf lives, and store in the freezer or refrigerator as needed.

If I can do it, so can you!

The thing is, I actually have to get around to cooking.  This was a huge adjustment at first, but we couldn’t and can’t eat out as often as we used to.  So we spend way less money on groceries & dining out over the long run.  I actually plan my meals two weeks in advance, and make sure that I have all the ingredients on hand.  I have three little girls and there’s no way that I could cook every night, if I had to run off to the store nearly every day!  I’ll post my menu plans, and blank menu’s that you can use yourself, if you feel up to it.

Be sure to leave your comments, suggestions, and questions for me.  I love to hear from you!