Saturday, April 30, 2011

Gluten free life.


For those of you who don’t know, I cook and bake Gluten Free, Dairy free. I’m not turning this blog into one of the many wonderful GF blogs, but rather just want to share a bit of my journey and put up a few of my gluten free creations.  This hasn’t been an easy journey and change, but I finally feel like a few aspects of it have “clicked”, which makes baking a delight once again.  We made the switch right after Thanksgiving, 2009.

Keith was dubious about going GF, but we were at the end of our rope. We had finally gotten a clear bill of health in terms of worms, parasites, and the like, but his body was still a wreck. A wonderful doctor here finally said he thought Keith had a second allergy other then dairy. So after trying to eliminate everything we thought it could be with no success, we finally eliminated all gluten.  After almost 2 years of gut issues, he was restored to a new “normal”. I was excited. I was teary. I felt everything that I had on the menu was now no longer safe!  I found it a daunting task at first, especially with the 4 remaining children in my home that already had developed a taste for wheat products.  There were many tears at the beginning (mine included), but with time, prayer, patience, and the right cookbooks, the switch to a GF lifestyle has almost become normal.  We also discovered at the beginning of this year that our son, Noah, also has wheat/soy allergies.  I am SO glad we had already made the GF switch (did I mention Keith’s and two of the boys have always been dairy free?) beforehand. Noah is now growing much faster then he has been in his first 5 years of life! I am thankful for modern medicine, for God’s wisdom, and for the many people that have given me input into gluten free living (Thanks Gretel!)

I am still anticipating years of improvement on my side,  but also am happy to say that most things I make can be compared to their wheat counterparts! My 3 other kids that have wheat from time to time don’t even ask what is or isn’t gluten free. I knew I’d finally hit the jackpot of pizza crust recipes when I made two of them, served them to my entire family (without a word that they were both gluten free!) and got the thumbs all from all members! Part of the reason why it’s taken me time to get a grip on baking GF is the products I can get locally are much different or don’t exist. Yup, no Fruitful Yield just down the road.  I’ve finally discovered sifting the local tapioca flour about 4 times turns it into a similar consistency as the tapioca starch in the US.  The sorghum flour I get here is also darker and heavier then the type in the US. My favorite GF flour uses sorghum, tapioca flour and corn starch.  For those of you who want recipes, ask! 

So, here are a few pictures from last weekend’s baking. Donuts! I decided a new fun tradition would be to make donuts for Good Friday. There was something fun about the empty middle that reminded me of the empty tomb.


The texture is sticky, but worth the patience.


If you work with gluten free dough, these silicon mats save you the effort and expense of parchment paper usually required to keep the dough from sticking.


I’ve made donuts before and have to say, a candy thermometer is a MUST. If your oil is too hot, they brown too fast and have gooey middles.


Little fluffy goodness! Drooling yet? Yup, gluten free, dairy free, soy free donuts! 

My next gluten free baking adventure entailed making my mom’s Easter kolachi.  Now, this was my 4th attempt at making it without wheat products. My Christmas batch came out good, but this was better yet.  It’s still not perfected, but it will get there one of these days! Keith was in GF Kolachi heaven. Little does he know I still have one in the freezer for a rainy day! :)



I even made a few of them in little buns, which were soft and tender. I think this pic was before they were baked though.  Can you see how dark the dough is?


I have to say, I don’t put these up to get praise and glory –really. I give all the glory to our God and the Holy Spirit who has continued to put a passion in me to care for my family to the best of my ability.  All of these things might seem simple and frivolous, but to me they are a little bit of His work in me and through me. To God be the glory, great things HE has done!