Saturday, March 16, 2013

The Gluten Experiment

I've decided to try Brooks on a gluten free diet for about 3 months, and see if his tummy issues/overall health improves at all, and I will likely get him allergy tested in the summer. He went gf starting on Friday, after eating the promised birthday cereal of Kenna's. First up, snack. My homemade granola bars are gluten free, and I stocked up on some gf cookies, and also had make No Bake Cookies/Haystacks - also gluten free. Morning snack is usually a cookie type thing, afternoon snack is usually a fruit or veggie, so we're safe there.

Lunch. I had already decided to make pancakes (what Kenna wanted for her birthday), and so I made gluten free ones! I used my normal pancake recipe, and didn't change a thing, other than sub out the flour, for Trader Joe's GF All Purpose Flour. This flour, from TJ's, is 4.99 for 2 lbs, (pricey!!), and does not need Xanthan Gum to be added, which is typical for substititute flours in GF baking - you need the Xanthan Gum to bind it together.

I literally did not alter my recipe AT ALL, just subbed out the flour, cup for cup. Well, I likely should have added a touch less milk than originally called for - It was runnier than normal. Typically this would not be an issue, but my griddle is kinda bent/warped/not perfectly flat anymore. So it sent the batter running for the low spots on the pan. This created oblong pancakes, instead of round. Oh well.
They didn't "bubble up" exactly the same, normally my pancake have large bubbles (so you know its time to flip), these pancakes had teeny tiny pinprick sized bubbles.
My bent up pan! Poor pancakes!
The result - the pancake was thinner - did not puff up the same, however taste and texture were not compromised. They tasted just fine. And not "just fine for gluten free", they tasted just fine, period. I used the same amount of batter to make the pancake as normal (about 1/4C), so they were just thinner and larger instead of smaller and fatter.

All the kids ate them, and I did too, and everyone ate their normal amount, requested seconds etc. I didn't mention they were gf, and no one seemed to notice, so it passes that taste test! I froze the leftovers for Brooks to reheat for later meals, and I think I will normally do that - make a batch for him and freeze the rest until used up. The gf flour is too pricey to make it for everyone, but with his tiny appetite, it should be able to last awhile and be more affordable. Other brands that DO require the addition of Xanthan Gum (it's a powder and thickening agent) are only about .50c cheaper than the TJ's brand, so we'll have to see what I find works best in recipes, as we go forward.
For now, he is excited that he has his own food that no one else is allowed to eat (his own cookies, and his own loaf of Udi's gf bread), but I'm sure that will wear off soon! Today at Costco he was denied several samples because they contained gluten, and that made him pretty miserable.

For dinner, in addition to our regular pizzas, I made a gf pizza crust, from a mix that you add yeast and oil to, and it was actually not bad. To me, it tasted like pizza "from a box" in the frozen aisle. You know how those pizzas have a slightly "something" taste to them, but while being somewhat flavourless, are still alright? Well, that is what I would liken this to. Definitely not terrible. Not an exact replication of normal dough, but it tasted fine enough for a gf person to enjoy pizza without complaint. Brooks didn't complain at all, in fact, and I also ate that pizza with him and it was good. Different than "the norm" but not bad, so I guess that makes it good!

I'll post some good tasting gf recipes as I come across them. Lucky for him, much of our diet consists of fruit, veggies, rice & meat, so he's golden there. Brian and I have cut back on pastas, but I still make it for the kids. I have bought a few gf varieties and will have to see which one he likes the best.

1 comment:

  1. Oh boy, I am grateful we don't have to embark on that endeavor - and hopefully never will! Friends of ours went gluten free (actually many of our friends have) and she uses GF waffles for "Sandwiches" for the kids! Just another idea for ya to switch it up.