Gluten Free

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ViewsAskew
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Gluten Free

Postby ViewsAskew » Wed Jul 07, 2010 5:57 pm

Bethf asked if there was a gluten free flour. I thought I'd start a thread here rather then muck up Mia's thread.

There really is GF flour. There are many grains, nuts, starches, grasses, beans, etc. that can be subbed for wheat flour: sorghum, almond meal, millet, white rice, brown rice, glutinous rice, corn starch, quinoa, amaranth, buckwheat, and the list goes on. All of them need a binder - such as xanthan - to provide the stick-to-itself quality that gluten has. Without it, anything made with it crumbles. You can't sub one of these flours for wheat flour, however, you usually need a mixture of at least three of them to approximate the texture and taste of wheat flour.

Some crazy people, like me, have all of these on hand and mix them based on what they are trying to make.

Most sane people buy a pre-made mix that can be subbed 1:1 for wheat flour (really, white bleached flour). These usually have the gum added. There are many vendors, mostly online, that sell them, but I see some of them at places like Whole Foods in the US.

Per helping the RLS, it didn't help me at all. I've been gluten-free, sugar-free, dairy/casein free, soy-free, corn-free, nut-free - all at once and separately. An elimination diet helped me identify other issues, such as a dairy and corn intolerance, but it didn't help the RLS.
Ann - Take what you need, leave the rest

Managing Your RLS

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ViewsAskew
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Postby ViewsAskew » Wed Jul 07, 2010 6:41 pm

I think most people start simple - there is SO much to learn and remember that using a basic flour mix in the beginning makes it a bit easier.

Before there were mixes ready made, many people used what I call a 6:2:1 mix. 6 parts rice flour (brown rice adds a tad more fiber), 2 parts potato starch (NOT potato flour), and 1 part tapioca starch/flour.

As you can see, it gets complicated right from the beginning. Potato starch and flour are different items, but tapioca starch and flour are the same. When you start adding other flours, it gets even more complicated. Corn flour in the UK is what we call corn starch in the US. And on.

A lot of people don't like the 6:2:1 blend because the rice flour can be gritty depending on the grind and rice gets hard when it cools (think of Chinese take out rice and how hard it is). So, some of us prefer other blends.

What you like depends a lot on your taste buds and how much of a foodie you are. I love sorghum because it gives a wheaty texture to cake and bread but some people don't like it at all. I don't like more than a dash of bean flour (it does lighten gf flours wonderfully) in most baked goods because I can detect the taste and am grossed out by it, yet one of my good friends bakes with it all the time.

Upshot? I'd start with some commercial flour mixes and try them. If you don't like or do like one, see what the ingredients are. Then try another one with different ingredients. If you decide you like to bake, putz in the kitchen, and play mad-scientist, then you can start buying the individual flours and create your own.

Some commercial winners in our house:
Udi's bread
Bob's Red Mill Chocolate Cake Mix
Chebe mix for pizza crust
Pamela's Wheat Free bread mix

I don't use baking mixes regularly, but some that other GF people I know like:
Pamela's baking mix
Tom Sawyer
Better Batter

There are many others!

One other option: join a GF forum. When I first needed to go GF, I was lost! I joined a forum in 2001 and it helped me immensely. The only caveat is that there can be a lot of misinformation and celiacs can sort of marginalize those who are GF for other reasons. Example: vinegar has been considered GF since 2002 or so. They realized the gluten molecule is too large to pass through the distillation process. Yet you still have people saying not to use white vinegar because it has a wheat grain base. The only vinegars that are not GF are malt vinegar and a few flavored vinegars that have flavorings added after they are distilled.

Also, there are MANY wonderful GF blogs out there. Some better than other, but all give you great ideas and help with figuring out how to cook/bake food that you will love without sacrificing texture and taste.
Ann - Take what you need, leave the rest



Managing Your RLS



Opinions presented by Discussion Board Moderators are personal in nature and do not, in any way, represent the opinion of the RLS Foundation, and are not medical advice.

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SquirmingSusan
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Postby SquirmingSusan » Fri Jul 09, 2010 9:33 pm

Thanks for posting this information, Ann.

I don't do gluten free, but we have baked with coconut flour because it has such a low glycemic index. I know it is also used in GF baking, and it makes great brownies. It requires a lot of eggs to get things to stick together.
Susan

ViewsAskew
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Postby ViewsAskew » Sat Jul 10, 2010 2:54 am

If anyone wants a specific recipe, just ask. I even have one for mock Hostess cupcakes :-).
Ann - Take what you need, leave the rest



Managing Your RLS



Opinions presented by Discussion Board Moderators are personal in nature and do not, in any way, represent the opinion of the RLS Foundation, and are not medical advice.

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Postby badnights » Sat Jul 10, 2010 2:54 am

Thanks, Ann! I have copied this info to my hard drive in case it gets buried here.

I wish I knew for sure if it would help, to make the effort to go gluten-free, but the only way is to try it. I am not ready yet; but I think I will stay on the look-out for flour, and make some bread if I find any, and maybe go for a day eating only that and some obviously non-gluten things. People who say going gluten-free works for their RLS generally seem to feel it instantly (same day).

ViewsAskew
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Postby ViewsAskew » Sat Jul 10, 2010 8:11 pm

My SIL is GF - she doesn't test celiac as her brother, but she finds that being GF helps several other problems that she couldn't resolve: ear infections and sinus infections. If she eats gluten, they come back.

I know another woman who stays GF because of a similar thing. She kept feeling bad (can't remember in what way) and they tested her for lots of thing, no results. On a whim, she tried a gluten free diet. Yup - it all went away.

The most common symptom of celiac is now considered to be neurological. In addition, people with schizophrenia and autism both are sometimes helped by a GF diet. Given the neuro complications that gluten seems to have in some people's brains, stopping it makes sense.

A lot of people think you can't live GF, but it's much easier these days. There are so many things you can buy, from premade bread to excellent mixes, that you honestly can make just about whatever you want. About a year ago one of my GF baking pals and I made phyllo dough GF and then make baklava. It was delicious.
Ann - Take what you need, leave the rest



Managing Your RLS



Opinions presented by Discussion Board Moderators are personal in nature and do not, in any way, represent the opinion of the RLS Foundation, and are not medical advice.

badnights
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Postby badnights » Sat Jul 10, 2010 9:43 pm

I am being convinced. I think it is worth a try. But I am not going to make a big deal of it because I don't want to overwhelm myself. I will start small, with the loaf of bread.

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Postby Scarlett46 » Sun Jul 11, 2010 2:42 am

My grandmother has celiac, as well as some other odd allergies. I looked up a bunch of Gluten Free recipes on the internet, and made her a cookbook for her birthday last year. There are some really thorough message boards with recipes and tips out there.

My DH has Crohn's disease. I have often wondered if a GF diet would resolve some of his issues as well, but he is such a picky eater, I doubt I'd ever be able to keep him compliant enough to notice a difference.
"After all... Tomorrow is another day!"

ViewsAskew
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Postby ViewsAskew » Sun Jul 11, 2010 3:49 am

Starting small is probably good. I jumped in with everything and went gluten, dairy, soy, sugar, corn, nut, egg free all at the same time. It was tough.
Ann - Take what you need, leave the rest



Managing Your RLS



Opinions presented by Discussion Board Moderators are personal in nature and do not, in any way, represent the opinion of the RLS Foundation, and are not medical advice.


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