Monday, 30 January 2012

The Gluten-free Experiment

I am on a gluten-free diet for at least 3 weeks to determine if this is the root of some "issues" I've had for a long time. My switch won't be as difficult as it might be for some as being a strict vegan means I'm used to a certain paradigm when preparing food - read every label; substitute where necessary; come up with "work-arounds"; make it up as you go and make as much as possible from scratch (processed and packaged vegan, and it turns out, gluten-free products are horrifically expensive).

I already had a lot of stuff in the pantry (like quinoa, amaranth, arrowroot, ground flax, etc.) but need to rethink breads, bagels, wraps, etc. (I'm not a sweets eater except for homemade Larabars and fruit, so that won't be an issue). You'd be shocked by the "hidden" gluten and/or wheat in things (I have to learn a whole new vocabulary of -dextrins). Yesterday was the first day at this and I made many discoveries: I LOVE corn pasta - it's so much tastier and has a better texture than multigrain or wholewheat. I made the best vegan (which just happened to be GF) waffles ever; crisp on the outside and heavenly inside, from quinoa and amaranth flour which I ground up myself in a dedicated coffee grinder (doesn't get much fresher than that). I've been dreaming about these all day today, LOL! Tossed some in the freezer to toast up later this week. Lunches around here are usually homemade soup this time of year, so that's good; very easy to adapt. We eat a lot of different kinds of rice already.

Now for the kick in the pants - beer. Yep - malt is usually malted barley. AAARRRGGHH! Those who know me know I love a rich pint of microbrew IPA. This is going to hurt. I did find a gluten-free beer today, though (New Grist). Haven't tried it yet, but any beer that's described as "crisp and refreshing" probably won't cut it for me. At least wine is GF, and I do like a glass of dry red. Sake also works.

I can smell the quick bread I put in the oven as it does its wonderful chemistry-thingie (always amazed when things poof up just right). This one is brown rice, quinoa and arrowroot with grated carrot, applesauce, fresh orange zest and cardamom. Will report back later - have to go and check on it right now!

LATER: Scrumpdiddlyumptious!

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