Saturday, May 22, 2010

"At least it's not as bad as going vegan..."

I am really having to swallow my epicurean pride right now...I've always made fun of people who say they are allergic to wheat. "Wheat is the new peanut!" I always liked to say. No, no, it's not me who's discovered a legitimate gluten allergy- it's the man I cook for, who, upon getting some blood work done has discovered that his dry skin is due largely to the fact that he eats too much wheat...and dairy, eggs, and almonds apparently. And while that doesn't sound that bad (We both agree, "It's not as bad as going vegan"), you'd be surprised at how many dishes and foods have at least one of these ingredients.


Ok, scratch that entire opening paragraph.

New Title: "How to show my love"

So, for the summer, at least, Raj can't eat wheat, dairy (butter is OK), or almonds. As a baker, I find this an enormous- but really fun- challenge. You all know by now that I don't like fake things- tofurkey, milk substitutes, etc, so I refuse to go out and buy some wheat free baguette.* However, wheat gluten also shows up in a plethora of surprising places. Oats, for one, unless you buy them specifically gluten free. This has blossomed into a request for home made granola, which I am working on as we

My experience in trying wheat free baked goods from other places and in making them myself is that wheat substitutes don't do very well. Luckily, I have a repertoire of naturally flower free desserts such as coconut macaroons, and flourless chocolate cakes.

I did buy all purpose gluten free flour just to see what I could do with it. It's made of an assortment of dried bean flours and potato starch, and although it probably wouldn't do very well in things that need flour for texture like cookies and muffins, it makes a fine substitute for flour when it is needed to simply absorb moisture. I made pear, raspberry, and chocolate crisp last night (substituting walnuts for almonds) with the new flour, and it was absolutely divine.

*Although, Raj has expressed in interested in trying out Wheatless in Seattle


Unknown said...

I thought you hated walnuts :) Interesting about Raj's allergy though. You should take him to accupressure. Have fun with this new challenge!

Christi said...

My sister has the same skin issue as Raj, and her MD has had her on a gluten-free, dairy free, corn free diet for over a year now. It's made a huge improvement!
Also, I've tried that Bob's gluten free flour with cookies...I thought it was really yummy! :)

Anonymous said...

ok, that crisp sounds amazing! I'll definitely being trying it soon!