Sunday, July 14, 2013

Gluten-Free at home.

I am still following a low carb diet to keep my liver happy.  I tried a couple experiments last year where I modified my diet for a couple of months and then had my blood tested to see what caused my liver enzymes to rise to unacceptable levels or fall close to normal.  When I followed a gluten-free diet, my liver enzymes were just about normal.  When I stopped and went back to eating normally, they rose up again, but the antibody test for gluten response was negative.  After talking to my doctor, I decided that while at home I would try to stick to a gluten-free diet and while traveling do the best I can, with the occasional piece of homemade bread.  It has been almost a year.

One of my friend's daughter is celiac and has to be very careful what they eat.  She asked for some of the recipes that I use.  I posted a year ago with a couple of recipes, both of which are still favorites.  We grind most of our flours at home. I have refined my gluten free pancake recipe over time.  I still don't measure usually, but today I made sure to weigh the ingredients:

Gluten-free pancake

Dry Ingredients
150 g Rice mix flour
65 g Sorghum flour or corn flour or ground oatmeal
50 g Urad flour - bean flour
Pinch of salt
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
Wet stuff
1-2 Tbsp. honey
1-2 Tbsp. oil
1 lemon - zest and then squeeze juice.
2 eggs

I mix all of the dry ingredients and then add the wet stuff.  I have the dry ingredients here as grams, in reality I put about 2 parts rice mixed flour to 1 pt sorghum or corn meal and 1 pt bean flour.  One of the benefits of a gluten free flour is that for pancakes usually you have to be careful about mixing too much and activating the gluten - which makes a tough pancake.  No problems here with that.  Mix as much as you want.  The lemon is really to replace buttermilk, which we rarely have, and to add some flavor to the pancake.  The batter is quite foamy at first, but after a while the calcium carbonate stops reacting with the acid in the lemon juice and it flattens.  I like to make the first pancakes while it is still foamy so they are thick as possible.  The later ones are thinner, but still have a good texture.

From Annalise Roberts' "Gluten-Free Baking Classics"
Rice mixed flour

6 cups Rice flour - finely ground
2 cups potato starch
1 cup tapioca flour

I use this same rice mixed flour and her recipes for noodles and desserts.  I find if we don't grind the rice flour enough they can be a bit grainy.

Egg noodles

1 cup Rice mixed flour
1/2 tsp xanthan gum
2 large eggs
pinch salt

Egg noodles are really so easy.  Just mix the eggs, add salt, flour and xanthan gum.  The book says to use an electric mixer, but I rarely do.  I usually mix it in a bowl with my hands until it is smooth and pliable.  Then I dust the counter and roll as flat as possible and cut into strips with a pizza cutter.

She has great recipes for brownies, lemon squares, and cookies.  She raves about her chocolate cookie recipe, but I wasn't that thrilled with it.  It is OK.  But I must admit I did substitute butter for vegetable shortening, because my shortening smelled bad.  She is insistent that vegetable shortening should not be substituted for butter.  I added a little more flour so that they didn't spread excessively.

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

What do you do in the summertime?

This summer had flown by. Somehow July is half over and I have a list things I haven't done that is as long as my arm. 

Obviously I haven't updated my blog either. So here I am sitting in my car waiting for lessons typing on my new iPhone. 
I ran a small race while we were in Gig Harbor. I have been running regularly. My phone has a running application. That maps out my route, keeps track of my speed, and has programmed training it has been very helpful to measure how slow I really have become and to see the speed begin to pick up. 
I went to Mexico for work on a very fast trip. 

Lots of time looking at corn grow and worrying about too much rain and now a potential drought. 

My garden is beautiful this year. I have enough veg to feed dozens of vegetarians. 
Broccoli out if control. 

I found this 15 in snapping turtle just outside of town by my corn field.