Friday, November 11, 2011

Gluten Free, Dairy Free, and almost Sugar Free.

Hey Readers,

              I was thinking about it while doing some baking and I realized I haven’t really mentioned anything about my baking!  I do a lot of it and it’s gluten and dairy free.  I guess I should give you the history of why we are gluten and dairy free.
  It’s not really by choice although it kind of is, at least that is how it started.  In Albuquerque, I read a fantastic book called Ultra Metabolism and it made me very aware of how polluted our food is. Not whole foods but processed stuff like cheetos and flavored chips and how even ketchup contained high fructose corn syrup.  I don’t care what those ridiculous commercials say, high fructose corn syrup is B-A-D, BAD!!  I won’t go on some crazy rant like I usually do, but I will say this. You know how you can eat a box of wheat thins and wonder where it went.  Well, that ,my friends, is the works of high fructose corn syrup. Your brain does not register HFCS. Crazy, right.  I avoid the stuff like the plague.  Anyway, back to Ultra Metabolism.  I went on a detox for 10 days to help cleanse my body and among the things on the list to not have was gluten.  This is when I found one of my go to websites, gluten free goddess.  Karina has been on this gluten free adventure with me since day 1.  I use her recipes on a regular basis as well as a newer blogger to me, Carol, of simply gluten free.  So, while I started my gluten free adventure by choice and continued baking gluten free after the detox, I now do it because my husband is gluten intolerant.  No, he does not have celiacs, but he does have a reaction to gluten, even the tiniest bit. His face turns bright red, and his stomach goes into knots.  Of course, it doesn’t help that he has Crohns.  Well, life without gluten is great for both of us.  I actually get headaches if I eat more than a very small portion.  Yes, I do have gluten every now and then but it’s not something I must have.  We have so many great gluten free options it’s really great.  Audrey eats gluten free as well.  It most certainly can’t hurt and is most likely helpful.   As for the dairy free thing, well that’s a Crohns related choice due to Johne’s disease, which is Crohns for cows.  Johne’s disease can be passed on to people that consume milk.  Unfortunately, no amount of high pasteurization can prevent the passing of Johne’s disease. The link is Johne’s disease in cows can cause Crohns in people.  Back in 2007, I started drinking soy milk by choice.  We have now graduated from soy milk to almond milk.  I will occasionally have some Horizon strawberry milk but I haven’t had that since I was pregnant.

So many people think how awful it must be to have to eat gluten free.  Actually, it has inspired me to get in the kitchen and cook instead of relying on boxes and frozen dinners and such.  It also helps that we have a great menu planner, we plan out the week’s meals on Friday, grocery shop in Saturday and that’s that.  I do some cooking but prefer baking.  Gluten free baking is so simple once you know how to work with the flours, starches, sugars, spices, and all of that.  Was I always a good baker, absolutely NOT!  I can’t tell you how many cookies I have made that turned out like hockey pucks and bread loaves that could be door stops or paper weights.  You just keep trying and experimenting and laugh at yourself along the way.  Since Audrey started eating, my job has become more difficult.  I prefer to bake with A LOT less sugar, if not sugar free for Audrey.  This is proving to be a challenge. Gluten, Dairy, AND Sugar free.  I’m working on it, but I like a good challenge and that is exactly what baking in this house is.  I am currently working on a tab for the blog that will have a list of great recipes that are gluten, dairy, and close to sugar free that are good for the whole family and BLW friendly.   On that note, I am off to bake some snickerdoodle cookies and watch the rest of the Harry Potter marathon!

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