Since June of 2011 I have become a GLUTEN FREE BAKER, having found out that I am gluten intolerant and actually have Celiac Disease.
I was a well known baker, promoting the benefits of freshly ground whole wheat flours. Often called on to bake for others and my family, baking was something I loved to do. Nothing has thrown me so far off than to have to give up gluten products like freshly ground wheat, rye and barley. Even my oats have to be 'gluten free' and not processed on machinery that also processes gluten products.
Eating out is a challenge, but that saves money, fast food is out and we can't afford eating out at most sit down restaurants. Best of all, being gluten intolerant/Celiac is forcing me to make even better food choices. As a food and diet consultant I created numerous meal plans for many clients. Now I re-create recipes and make meal/menu plans for different folks.....those of us who are gluten-free/celiac.
Being gluten-free has forced me to investigate other 'flours' and how to use them. I've found some very interesting ones which I will be sharing with you as I learn to be a GLUTEN FREE BAKER.
Kitchen Basics for a Real-Food Kitchen
A Real-Food Kitchen has several basic necessaties. We are first going to understand that you know why you need a Real-Food Kitchen and what Real-Food is.
The first thing you need is a good grain grinder so you can grind your own fresh flours. This goes for whether you are baking with wheat or you are Gluten-Free. The important thing to remember, if you are converting from a Wheat kitchen to Gluten-Free is that you will have to purchase a new grinder to avoid contamination.
We love our NUTRIMILL and use it on all our seeds (except flax and other oily seeds). Try the sources below:
www.urbanhomemaker.com run by Marilyn Moll.
www.countrybaker.com run by Denise Fidler
www.grainsoftruth.com run by Donna Spann
www.pleasanthillgrains.com run by Gary & Anita Hansen
www.realfoodliving.com run by Vickylynn
Most of these sources work strictly with Gluten Grains and I am looking for a source where you can buy Gluten-Free Grains/Seeds and instructions on Gluten-Free baking that really works and is done with nutritious componets!
These sites will also carry a good kitchen machine. I prefer a Boosch and have used one for years. It has attachments for the best blender, a food processor and more. The picture is from one of the above sites of the new Boosch. Mines an older model. Remember to never get liquids in the gears of this machine and to keep the gear assembly clean and you will have a long lasting machine.
You also need a small coffee grinder for grinding flax seeds and other oily seeds. Flax seeds loose their nutritional components quickly once ground so it is best to grind them just before using in your recipes.
Making Your Own
Making your own ingredients and cooking from scratch is the essence of a Real-Food Kitchen. Some of the things you will be doing are found on my blog already and more will be added to this list as I begin to blog and teach you about this.
Taco Seasoning Mix
Gluten-Free Flour Blends
You'll find tons of wonderful recipes for gluten-free cooking and comfort foods on this site.
Where to Buy Nutrient Dense, Real-Foods
A Nutrien Dense, Real-Food is a food that is still in the state that God, Our Father has created it. Yet, any vegetable, fruit and the like can still be in a less than Nutrient Dense state even if purchased fresh. HUH? Food that have been altered by hybridization or being a GMO (Genetically Modified) is NOT NUTRIENT DENSE, REAL-FOOD. Additionally, if the product is not Organic or Naturally Grown then chances are it is grown in worn out, chemically ladden soils. Typically Organic or Natural Growers/Farmers care about their soils and work to build a healthy soil to grow their crops in. Healthy Soils Grow Healthy Foods (a great topic for a future blog post).
Whenever you ship products any distance at all your food will loose nutrients. That's the nature of things. Once picked the decline starts. That's why I promote Local Foods. Buy locally and know your farmer. Don't be afraid to ask questions. The honest food provider will not be offended if you quiz them on what they do to enrich their soils, what they feed their animals and how they are cared for. We suggest you do your best to find sources of your food within 100 miles from your home. Once you do that, food disruptions in the national food chain will not affect you.
Never assume anything. Is is marked Organic or Naturally Grown..............ask the questions!
That said there are still things you can't get locally. You can purchase things from:
Local Food Co-ops, Farmers Markets, CSA's
Costco (often has organic foods)
Azure Standard - you'll have to join a co-op if one is available to you. They are expanding nation wide so we'll have to see how the expansion affects this great business.