Wednesday, 5 October 2011

Phase 6 - Scour the Stores and Start Baking!

Now that you have the basics, and the not-so-basics under control it is a great time to start experimenting with baked goods. Whether you choose to buy your gluten free bread and cookies or make your own, there will be a lot of trial and error. I'm hoping that I can minimize some of that for you, and save you some money along the way. Over time I will be posting all of my favourite store-bought foods and all of my favourite recipes and cookbooks to try and help you in your journey. I am quite particular in what I call "great", "amazing", or "fantastic" foods. I never thought I would use those terms with gluten free food but I now know that they exist and I want to share my findings with you.

The first store-bought gluten free baked goods that we purchased were very disappointing. Everything was dry and crumbly, and tasted terrible. We experimented over and over, and it got quite expensive. I finally attended a meeting organized by our local Chapter of the Celiac Association and some of the presenters there had brought in some home-baked goodies to share. There was also a local vendor, Judy's Magic Mixes, who had brought in some freshly made bread, cakes and even a pizza! It was at that meeting that I had my first tastes of great gluten free specialty foods. What a relief! I collected a few extra cookies to take home to PapaBee (still not trusting anyone else to make food for BoyBee), and then the gentleman from Judy's Magic Mixes caught me adding a corner of his loaf of bread to my stash…he asked what I was doing and I thought I was in trouble for a moment until he took what remained and gave me most of what was left! It was so exciting to take these goodies back to my family.

There are quite a few great foods available on the market nowadays but they are not always easy to source. I am a great supporter of purchasing gluten free products online (more on that in a later post), but the very best foods you can get are going to come straight from your kitchen. I've done a lot of experimenting with recipes and had many poor results. It was such a relief when things started to turn around. My advice is to hang in there, stock the most common flours and starches, and try to find a trusted source for recipes (maybe me?). Oh, and once you have found a place to buy a given item it is a great idea to record where you got it. It is hard to find a store that carries everything so my products have come from 5 or 6 different stores. I wish I had written down where I got certain ones as they were not all easy to find!

To start you off with your shopping, find two or three recipes that look great and start searching for ingredients. I found that every time I found a new recipe it would call for an ingredient that I didn't have yet so I started buying them all, whether I needed them at the time or not. Over time you'll learn which items are most useful to and you can stock up then. One final tip...If you know of a cookbook with a lot of great recipes that uses a pre-made mix, make a big batch - it is a wonderful time saver.

Here is a list of what I tend to stock...

Most frequently used:

- brown rice flour
- white rice flour
- almond flour/meal
- tapioca flour/starch
- arrowroot starch
- potato starch
- corn starch
- corn flour
- amaranth flour
- chickpea flour (aka garbanzo bean flour)
- buckwheat flour
- sorghum flour
- xanthan gum
- baking soda
- baking powder

Less often:

- sweet rice flour (aka glutinous rice flour)
- quinoa flour
- hazelnut flour/meal
- coconut flour
- flaxseed meal
- guar gum
- millet flour
- potato flour (different from potato starch)
- quinoa flakes
- teff flour
- cornmeal

Phase 1 - Start Eating
Phase 2 - Remove the Obvious Gluten
Phase 3 - Try Some Gluten Free Grains
Phase 4 - Eliminating Cross Contamination in the Kitchen
Phase 5 - Removing Other Hidden Sources of Gluten

You can subscribe to Gluten Free Bumble Bee via Email, RSS or Twitter.

Shop at or and support Gluten Free Bumble Bee.

No comments:

Post a Comment