Lordy Lordy... Wheat Free? What the @#$%^#%?
- lollya Aug 20, 2007 02:41 PM
Okay, I did a massive search of this on the site, but I am still needing some help. Basically I'm a foodie. I love to cook. I am also a vegetarian. But now I find out that the migraines I've had for over 15 years may be attributed to a wheat sensitivity. This differs from Celiac. The sensitivity is more to wheat, but a bit to gluten. I need help!!!! I've tried the co-op and Whole Foods, but I'm really looking for recipes to replace some favorites...pastas (homemade are great) bread (SHUCKS, I just bought the bread bible and made my first artisan loaf) I'm scraping by on a large repetitive rice and beans life. Help please! Chows help Lollya! I need you!
A good source would be gluten-free girl:
The links down the left side also point to gluten-free food bloggers and other sites devoted to gluten-free stuff.
It could be a useful starting point and I directed a friend of mine recently there who just found out she has a wheat sensitivity.
I have Celiac so I am a bit more restricted, but here is what I have found.
1. I took a break from bread for awhile. I did do corn-bread and a few things like that because I was disappointed with most of the wheat-free bread alternatives.
2. I looked for traditionally wheat-free recipes. Need a cake - make an almond torte. Works well.
3. I used a few very specific baking mixes to make pancakes (Pamela's is decent) or brownies, etc, until I felt ready to bake on my own.
4. Once I was ready I baked muffins with teff flour - still a favorite for bread. I now bake GF bread, but artisan loaf it is not. It tastes fine and when I am payign attention it is as good as any I can buy, but nothing compares to the real wheat loaf.
You are in luck because you can try the wheat related breads - they may work better.
In the end, I don't find that my foodi-ness has been in jeapordy. I stopped focusing on what I couldn't have, and what I could have and how much better I felt! After time goes by though, I have to say, you become more forgiving of some baked goods, and you find things that don't suffer from being gluten free.
FYI - I haven't found a gluten-free blog I love dearly. I try a few, but mostly just focus on all the wonderful things out there that are GF.
Here are a few things to try:
Tinkyada pasta is the best I have found. I hav ethe best luck with the "energy saving" cooking instructions. You may try some spelt pastas and the like though. They may be better.
Spanish tortillas are very filling, satisfying and naturally GF.
Grilled polenta. Put a nice summer tomato, eggplant, pepper sauce over it. Cheese if you are inclined...
I have discovered quinoa and millet to add variety to my grains. Madison's vegetarian cooking for everyone has some recipes if you don't use them, as does Heidi Swanson's book.
I LOVE dosa! I usually don't make my own, but you can if you want.
For a crust for a quiche (assuming you eat eggs), use cooked rice, or try the teff crust from 101 cookbooks.
You can make your own falafel at home (sub wheat free flour if you need to in the recipe) and eat with a salad and yogurt or tahini sauce.
I have made super yummy squash gnocci, with very little flour (I used sorghum I think or rice). They are dropped into the water and boiled wihtout shaping, so they can stay very soft without the wheat.
Hello lollya and jsaimd- I totally agree with you jsaimd. I've been WF for 15 yrs (though I lapse, get sick and then come back to the restricted diet.) Tinkyada Rice pasta has brought pasta back into my life. After trying corn, quinoa, etc. all non-gluten forms of pasta on earth the only one that is satisfying is the Tinkyada. Beware of spelt, is my suggestion. I can handle rye and oats (not all wheat sensitive people can) but spelt/farro (same thing) and Kamut are related to wheat, same genus, and cause same problems for me. Polenta is a real treat and especially good if homemade with all sorts of additions- eat it hot in its porridge form or cool it, cut it and then grill and top with anything you love. As jsaimd said, try to focus on what you can eat rather than dwelling on the "oh I really wish I could eat that yummy palmier at your favorite french bakery" (I know this one well.) WF options have come a LONG way in the last five years. Mixing flours (barley, brown rice, quinoa, oat) is a way to enjoy the benefits of the each without being dragged down by their shortfalls (bitterness, sogginess, heaviness, etc.) Although you may find recipes using garbanzo flour for sweet treats- I cannot suggest garbanzo for any thing you'll be calling a treat. It works for a indian type pappadums or a coating for veggies or fish, but wouldn't go much further than that. Also invest in xantham gum, helps hold those wheat free creations together where they usually end up crumbly and without structure.
For bread alternatives, try some of the whole rye sourdough breads that are available (only at the health food store where I live). They come with flax seeds, sunflower seeds or pumpernickel style. Though they don't hold up like wheat bread for a sandwich, they're great toasted or for a grilled sandwich.
Good luck and thanks for all the other posts.
I've baked cakes with almond meal, texture is not your average, delicious, moist chocolate cake or dense, moist pound cake, but very good and flavorful. And there is always the flourless chocolate cake- rich and delicious with a raspberry coulis.
I've found some of the raw foodies have great ideas that give you completely different alternatives.
I'm reading this with interest, because I don't think I have any sensitivity, but someone I know went to a seminar and was told how gluten is so evil and all your ills are caused by it etc etc, and my Mom is also jumping on the bandwagon. I'm not going there but thought it would be interesting to get slightly away from it to some extent ( I love my carbs), so thanks for all the the info.
PS How common is this really? I'm overwhelmed by all the things that are supposedly bad for us.
I do not know of a satisfactory pasta substitute, but I'm certain that corn pasta is not it! What is that "ancient wheat" grain, begins with an F I think ... do you know if you can have that? Tried quinoa?
A couple things you might try ... fresh field peas, fresh corn cut from the cob. I like to make salads with both of these.
do you mean farro maybe, foiegras? i'd also recommend kamut wheat pasta-- it is an ancient egyptian variety of wheat and many people with a wheat intolerence (not those with celiac though) can tolerate it. it's like a "very" whole wheat pasta, chewier, needs an assertive sauce, but once you are used to it very hearty and satisfying. eden organic makes good stuff from it-- different shapes as well. quinoa is great too. some rice pastas are really good, a little more delicate.
Lollya, i know you're veg and not vegan, but i just picked up a the "little vegan monsters" cookbook and there are a lot of wheat-free and gluten-free recipes you might be able to use. baking recipes too!
I am gluten intolerant as well, so I can certainly sympathize...
Some of us have problems with oats, others don't (I personally can tolerate unprocessed steel cut oats all right as well as those from Bob's Red Mill).
I use soy grits from Bob's Red Mill, and I make both sweet and savory grit concoctions.
As a pasta sub, I found I prefer spaghetti squash to the gluten free alternatives. That or zucchini sliced with a spirulina slicer.
Somewhere I have a great amaranth bread recipe; if you're interested, I'll dig it up and post it.
I have found a number of great products through Dixie Diner brand (love the maple smaps i.e. maple flavored gluten free rice krispy product) http://www.dixiediner.com
I'm a fan of lemon and found this cake recipe on epicurious
http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/foo... a while back.
I've never made it but always wanted to try it. I don't have gluten allergies. I am curious to how allergic you are to gluten or is it just wheat? I do love kamut pasta which has gluten but isn't wheat. Also, many people who can't eat wheat can digest spelt. And there is some good spelt bread out there.
It doesn't sound like your allergies are that severe so I'm certain you can eat more than you think. I've kept myself off of wheat before and ate very well. So if you can give more details I could certainly give you more ideas for eating.
hi janine, first off, thank you for the wonderful cake recipe - i love lemon as well. i wil have to try the kamut pasta as well. the allergy is specifically to wheat, not gluten in particular, but have sensitivity to gluten as well, just not as severe I guess. I'm not sure. I'm cutting out both to make sure for now. I do not have digestion problems as I am not Celiac diagnosed. I know it is confusing, it is for me too. However I want to make clear that my sensitivity is very severe for me. I have had stress-tension and migraine headaches almost daily for years now. They started when i was 15 and I am 31 now. They are so bad that I have tried many many meds, physical therapy, chiropractic, and other holistic techniques and had many procedures (tests) as far as MRI's etc for them. I just found out about the wheat sensitivity last week. I sleep with icy hot smeared all over the back of my head and on an ice pack through the night because the pain is so intense. I would love anything - help, support, suggestions from anyone. I am struggling very much.
Sorry to hear about the headaches. I cannot possibly know how difficult that is. All I can offer is what I know and that is another recipe with lemon in!
You'll have to buy gluten-free icing sugar. Did you know they put flour in icing sugar? Anyways, they are cookies that I make every Christmas but they are edible any time of the year. I cut this out of the newspaper long time ago.
They are called Tilli's Lemon Hearts
3 egg yolks
1 cup granulated sugar
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 tsp finely grated lemon zest of 3 drops lemon flavouring
1/8 tsp baking powder
2 cups ground almonds
Icing: 1/2 cup icing sugar with lemon juice (about 1 tbsp)
Beat yolks with sugar until they change colour and add vanilla. Batter will be fairly stiff. Stir in zest, baking powder and about 1 1/2 cups of ground almonds to form a dough.
Roll 1/2" thick and cut with heart shaped cookie cutter and lay on cookie sheet covered with parchment paper.
Bake at 375 for 10-15 minutes or until golden. Brush glaze immediately after baking.
I sometimes cheap and don't bother with rolling them out and just drop them onto the cookie sheet. The cookie will be more delicate and sometimes the centre falls in when you brush the glaze on. Rolling them with the extra almonds makes for a heavier cookie but still very good.
Also, meringue cakes are okay for you. I use quinoa instead of couscous. I looked at your blog, rice noodles are gluten free. I know that buckwheat has gluten in it but if you can tolerate some that might be a good runner up for some pasta dishes. You'll have to read the labels since packages mix wheat with the buckwheat. Also, bean thread has no gluten, you can has mung bean (chinese) or green bean (chinese/philippino) or the yam (korean).
If you like asian foods, there's alot of new recipes for you to try. Thai, Chinese, Korean, Japanese, Indian are okay as long as you stay away from the wheat noodle dishes (shanghai noodle, chow mein, chappati bread, naan)
And there are many good GF cookbooks out there now, especially ones that will show you how to make bread!
That recipe looks yummy! I will have to try them. I love almond flour desserts.
Buckwheat actually is gluten free - it isn't related to wheat, just has a similar name. Widely recognized as gluten free, but you are correct in that most buckwheat noodles also have wheat in them. I use the Tinkyada pasta, yam, rice and bean noodles.
Make sure you check out asian sauces for wheat based soy sauce or other sauces. Tamari is a bit stronger than soy sauce, but substitutes just fine.
thank goodness you finally discovered what the problem was! As a fellow migraine sufferer and a celiac, I can truly celebrate your joy! I have only recently discovered my own celiac status, and it is hard! As someone else said, once you grow accustomed to the GF products, you will find that you grow to like them more and more. If you can tolerate spelt, it is a pretty good wheat substitute, in my opinion and that of others. I cheat sometimes and go with spelt, but I know I shouldn't. Once you figure out your gluten threshold, you will adjust rather quickly. I have a few GF cookbooks, and will be happy to post some recipes for you if you can tell me what you are craving most.
oh chispa and alex, i coud squeeze you! (((((chispa and alex)))))
this is truly hard. i'm putting on a brave face round the house, but when you start thinking about all of the things that have to change (can't just order your favorite pizza for dinner or go get your favorite burrito from Bryant Lake Bowl. SUCK SUCK SUCK. :(
the other thing is...welll i've been working really hard on my food blog and recipe site stuff. i cook for the love of it. i guess i'll take this as a challenge. when i first started looking at other GF blogs etc, a lot of them were great, but geared on celiac - and was hard to find basic right away need-to-knows. i'm sure they have them, but maybe this will drive me to start a blog right away - and deal with some of the thoughts and feelings and things people need to know right away when then find out. ??? it's an idea anyways, might even be therapeutic.
Alex, I would love any of your favorite recipes containing no meat or wheat. :)
I love Mexican, Italian, Indian, Asian food. Maybe we can swap some stuff. Let me know if you need my direct email or if you want to post here.
you can find me on lollya.blogspot.com or http://www.grouprecipes.com/people/lo... as well.
thank you both. honestly, sometimes a persons just gotta talk to someone.
OH DUH!!!! Lollya i'm so dumb but i forgot you are from my town. didn't remember til you mentioned BLB. ***soupkitten smacking forehead*** GET THEE TO THE WEDGE, where you will find tasty gf alternatives to lots of stuff, gf bakery goods, gluten-free guides and a helpful staff expert to walk you thru the store and help you find stuff. any of the co-ops are your friend right now, but the wedge has the best selection of gf items i believe. they are also very very responsive to the needs of their customers, someone will special order stuff for you if you are a member & you can get a discount on stuff if you buy it in bulk/by the case. there are also local gluten free bakers at the mill city farmer's market, believe at least 1 takes special orders. good luck. at least you live in msp, land of supportive co-ops!
I met this person the other day in Austin. She caught me shopping the GF aisle at Whole Foods. She has a blog similar to what you are referring to...
Also, I don't know if you have a Chipotle in your area but that's where I get my burrito fix now. I get a burrito bowl (no tortilla) and have them fill it with rice, corn salsa, cheese, chicken or barbacoa, lettuce and guac. So good.
I am also on grouprecipes, but haven't quite figured it out yet. I think your therapy blog sounds like a great idea... it certainly would have helped me. ANd still would... I still suffer from post-gluten-stress-disorder where I feel that I will go stark raving mad from the wafting scent of a freshly baked yeast bread (I have yet to find a GF yeast bread worth eating). Yes, SUCK SUCK SUCK, I wholeheartedly concur.
I am already tucked into bed, but will get you some recipes tomorrow, but I eat a lot of meat, so my selections may not tempt you much.
p.s. i HATE the FOod For Life brown rice tortillas. They crumble into brittle cardbaord craggy bits as soon as you try to bend it to accommodate any kind of filling. (I can't eat nuts or corn so those other tortillas are nto availabe to me. Just passing this on in case thr brown rice idea happens to appeal to you and you are tempted by this horror product)
Hey Alex...I buy Spelt Tortillas from a local Austin Company:
Price is right and they are very, very good. I don't know if they ship but I do know that Rudy's (a national brand) sells a version of Spelt tortillas as well.
P.S. My kids can't tell the difference.
That is not exactly true. Spelt is on the no list for people with Celiac. Depending on what is causing a wheat intolerance or sensitivity spelt can be an option. I have a considerable wheat intolerance problem but I can consume spelt. I also don't have issues with oats. There is a difference between Celiac and wheat intolerances.
Just wanted to mention ... I do not have any wheat or gluten sensitivities, but I have experimented with different things just to increase the variety in my diet, and also in an effort to do more whole grains.
I have tried spelt bread, and been perfectly happy with it. I think I've gotten it from both Whole Foods and Central Market.
Is there a special needs bread machine cookbook out there, I wonder?
I've made a flourless traditional cookie before with ground almonds, meringue, chocolate, and lemon--quite good, and I don't really like meringues. If anyone's interested I can dig up the recipe, or the name of the cookbook ...
here is a little list of hidden glutens from my book, bette hagman.
candy - caramel color - instant coffee - dextrin - envelopes and stamps (try to resist gulping them down ;) - french fries - hydrolyzed vegetable protein - imitation seafood - modified food starch - prescription drugs - rice syrup - tea - triticale
these sometimes contain gluten - commercial ice creams and yogurts - light or fat-free dairy products - salad dressings - canned fruit - self-basting turkeys - canned soups - some curry powders and condiments
the list is pages long, but these are a few of the non-obvious culprits. I don't think I need to list the breaded cutlets that the book warns about.
Like a lot of people have said, spelt is great, but if you find that you can't tolerate, or your doctor advises cutting out all gluten initially, here are 2 popular formulas for gluten-free mix. One is rice based and the other bean-based
2 parts white rice flour
2/3 part potato starch flour
1/3 part tapioca flour
2/3 part garfava bean flour
1/3 part sorghum flour
1 part cornstarch
1 part tapioca flour
Some people recommend making your own mixes because the pre packaged ones are quite expensive. And I haven't yet found an organic pre-packaged mix, perhaps it would be exorbitantly expensive? I don't know if you prefer organic or not.
here is one recipe where the substitutes work better than spelt for the texture as spelt is "heartier", and not something I look for in a treat.
classic sponge cake (paraphrased from bette hagman)
1/2 cup rice flour
1/2 cup tapioca flour
3/4 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
7 eggs, separated
1 tsp lemon zest
3/4 cup sugar
1 tsp ream of tartar
- preheat oven 300 - get out a 9 inch tube pan
- sift together the flours with the baking powder and salt
- separte eggs
- whip yolks on high for 3-5 minutes, add lemon zest, and whip again until thick and pale yellow
- beat egg whites with clean beaters for 1 minute, add 1 tbsp of sugar and cream of tartar and whip for 4-5 minutes until glossy and stiff.
- fold yolks into whites
- fold sugar into the mix in three batches
- fold flour mixture into that mix in three batches
bake for 50-6- minutes until it springs back
- cool upside down and let stand for 2 hours before removing the cake.
Friends have preferred this to regular wheat cake because of the fine texture.
another favorite because it doesn't feel gluten-freeish, just different, if you know what I mean.
1/2 cup ricotta cheese
1 tbsp veg oil
1/2 cup rice flour
2 tsp sugar
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
3/3 cup milk or nondairy liquid of your liking
in a food proc or mixer, beat together the eggs, ricotta and oil. sift dry ingredients together and beat into the eggs alternately with your liquid. the mixture is thin. Cook them off! But they burn quite easily and they are rather delicate in texture so use caution.
Energee Foods has some really great products. I have no allergies but my husband does so I am always trying new things. Energee has some fantastic Cinnamon Rolls, Biscotti, pretzels etc and I can tell you, that I am amazed that they are wheat and gluten free. Go to thier web site and check it out!
I have had some success with adding xanthum gum to my recipes. It helps with the lack of gluten. Its expensive but a little goes a long way. I have achieved a tortilla with good texture, and a pita like item. I use a mix of flours that i make becuase i can't have corn - so arrowroot, rice , potato and a couple of others - still working on that. Tortilla recipe and a couple of other decent items of livingwithout.com
My husband and I are vegan and I'm gluten-free. We buy the gluten-free pasta from Trader Joe's. With any gf pasta, you need to get it out of the water quickly when cooking time is up, otherwise it disintegrates (sp?). Consider getting Bette Hagman's "The Gluten-Free Gourmet Bakes Bread" (it's not vegan but we easily veganize the recipes). We have a VitaMix and make our own brown rice flour, garbanzo flour, buckwheat flour. If we want a small amount or use something tiny like amaranth or quinoa, we use a coffee/spice grinder. We buy sorghum flour (Bob's Red Mill). WFM and TJ's have lists of their gf products. When substituting gf flours in mainstream recipes you'll need to add xanthan gum or guar gum to hold things together.
Here is a wheat/gluten free recipe for pasta
225g/8oz Amaranth flour
125g/5oz Tapioca Flour
1 tbsp Walnut Oil
1-2 tablespoons Water
1. Sift together the flours into a large mixing bowl.
2. Make a well in the centre then add the remaining ingredients and mix well.
3. Turn onto a lightly floured surface and knead for 10 minutes. until smooth and elastic.
4. Cover with clingfilm and allow to rest for 20 minutes.
5. Roll out thinly and form into whatever pasta shape your recipe calls for. Cook in boiling water for 3-4 minutes.
Very cool! I've never heard of this bread.
I can say that the Udi's bread located in the frozen section at both Central Market and Whole Foods is wonderful. It's the first 'chewy' GF bread I've found.
There's a bakery in San Francisco that makes these increadible Apple tarts. It's called Crave and they have a website. I tried their product in San Francisco about 5 years back and more recently at Whole Foods in Boulder. I'm hoping the Austin Whole Foods will start carrying their product. I like the fact that they sell smaller, individual sized portions.
It's always a bummer to want to by something sweet and be forced to purchase an $8 four pack.
I have a wheat allergy/intolerance. I can handle spelt and oats. If you can consume spelt without problems it is probably the best and easiest option. It behaves like an all purpose or a cake flour. I buy Vita Spelt white spelt flour. You can make a decent loaf of bread as long as you stick to denser loaves. It works great in moist bread recipes. It does not do so great for french bread. I can get a passable loaf of french but nothing like a good loaf of wheat. For baking pastries, cakes and cookies I actually prefer the end result using spelt as does everyone else in the house so I use the white spelt for those kinds of things. Tinkyada rice pasta is great. I do find that without strong sauces or accompaniments it tastes a bit different. Vita Spelt also makes a pasta line that is really good if you can find it. There is also a brand of GF pasta called Deboules (Sp?) and even Walmart carries that.
The biggest problem I found was hidden wheat in processed foods. Others already mentioned common foods that have hidden wheat ingredients. This caused me to start cooking more and more from scratch to avoid all of these hidden additions of wheat. San-J tamari soy sauce is also a good wheat free product, better than many of the wheat soy sauces. Wheat is used in many soups and sauces as a thickener. Corn starch can be substituted in many of them. Spelt works just like wheat in those that require the properties wheat brings to the dish.
Find what foods you really miss and focus on finding a good tasting alternative for those.
You might find the following of interest:
The Gluten-Free Gourmet Bakes Bread by Bette Hagman
The Gluten-Free Vegetarian Kitchen by Donna Klein
The Gluten-Free Vegan by Susan O'Brien
The Allergen-Free Baker's Handbook: How to Bake without Gluten, Wheat, Dairy, Eggs, Soy, Peanuts, Tree nuts, and sesame by Cybele Pascal
Pure and Simple: Delicious Whole Natural Foods Cookbook Vegan, MSG Free and Gluten Free by Tami A. Benton
and Flying Apron's Gluten-Free & Vegan Baking Book by Jennifer Katzinger