×

The reality of Celiac disease and gluten-free food

It was interesting when my niece in Europe called me several years ago with a huge concern. She knew I was into cooking and did a lot of reading about cooking and food articles and shared what she seemed to think was a eating problem with her teenage daughter. It seemed that after every meal she would get severe pains, pass blood and fatigue would set in. Finally after months of various medical examinations they diagnosed her with Celiac disease which made it where she had to eat gluten-free foods which is common with many people.

Celiac is a genetic intolerance to gluten, a protein found in wheat, rye and barley and when people with this disease eat foods containing gluten their immune systems are triggered inflammation and interferes with their digestion system.

My niece’s main concern was how she was going to send her off to the University where she would have to pay attention to her diet and foods she would eat.,

The solution was for her to go to the Gluten-Free section in the Super Market and find items that she liked and were also gluten-free. In the mean time I personally also sent her gluten-free recipes of which many she enjoyed and helped her get use to the new life style of eating. I was playing doctor without being a doctor but my suggestion and advice seemed to work and off to college she went.

When a person is diagnosed with Celiac disease they miss all the basics like bread, pizza, pastas, pies, cookies among many other items. Are these carbo-loaded foods actually good for us or do they cause more harm to a person?

It takes time and patience when you research the foods that are gluten-free and my niece said she never thought she could find a decent recipe that she liked but slowly with her determination she found foods and recipes that were almost as delicious as before her diagnosis.

Many of these foods and baked goods are available in stores and online and probably not as good or fresh, cost more than if you would prepare your foods yourself. Plus bakery prepared foods must use ingredients like sugar, fats and chemicals for longer shelf life.

Time and effort aside it is far best to bake your own cookies, muffins and cakes that will be much fresher and cost less.

All animals eat but humans are the only animals that cook and that is what makes us human but for the gluten-intolerant, the need to cook foods without gluten is a must.

Below are recipes for gluten-free muffins

Till next week

***

Cornbread or Corn Muffins

1 cup cornmeal

1 cup Brown Rice Flour Mix

1/2 teaspoon xanthan gum

1/4 cup granulated sugar

3 and 1/2 teaspoons baking powder

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/4 cup canola oil

1 cup milk minus 1 tablespoon

1 large egg, well beaten

1/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit, position rack in center of the oven. Grease muffin pan or 8 inch round cake pan with cooking spray. Mix dry ingredients in medium mixing bowl. Combine oil, milk, eggs and vanilla in another small bowl. Add wet ingredients to dry and gently stir to combine. Do not overmix. Pour batter into muffin pan or 8 inch round cake pan. Bake about 20 minutes for muffins or about 25 minutes for bread. Remove from pan and serve immediately.

***

Blueberry Muffins

2 cups Brown Rice Flour Mix

2/3 cup granulated sugar

1 tablespoon baking powder

1 teaspoon baking soda

3/4 table spoons xanthan gum

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/4 to 1/2 a teaspoon of nutmeg to taste

1 and 1/2 cups of unsweetened fresh dry blueberries

1/2 cup of milk

1/2 cup canola oil

2 large eggs

1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Cinnamon sugar for garnish or optional streusel topping (recipe to follow)

Preheat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. Position rack in center of oven. Grease muffin pan with cooking spray. Mix flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, xanthan gum, salt and nutmeg in large mixing bowl. Add blueberries and Stir to coat evenly. Combined milk and oil in a small bowl, remove one tablespoon of combined liquid and discard it. Beat in eggs and vanilla. Add liquids to blueberry mixture and stir until just blended. Fill muffin pans 2/3 the way full, then sprinkle top with cinnamon sugar or streusel topping and bake 18 to 25 minutes until light golden. Remove muffins from pan and serve immediately or cool on a rack.

***

For Chocolate Chip Muffins: Omit blueberries, nutmeg and cinnamon sugar topping. Add 1 cup chocolate chips. Sprinkle top with granulated sugar or streusel topping. Bake at 350 degrees Fahrenheit rather than 375 degrees Fahrenheit.

***

Streusel Topping

1/2 cup Brown Rice Flour Mix

1/3 cup brown sugar

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

/4 teaspoon xanthan gum

3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

Combine flour, brown sugar, cinema and xanthan gum in a small bowl, then stir to blend. Pour in butter and stir until all dry ingredients are moistened. Break into small pieces with spoon.

***

Apple Cinnamon Muffins with Streusel Topping

2 cups Brown Rice Flour Mix

2/3 cup granulated sugar

1 tablespoon baking powder

1 teaspoon baking soda

3/4 teaspoons xanthan gum

1/4 teaspoon salt

2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

1 cup peeled, chopped apple

1/2 cup chopped walnuts, optional

1/2 cup milk

1/2 cup canola oil

2 large eggs

streusel topping or cinnamon sugar for garnish

Preheat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. Position rack in center of oven. Grease muffin pan with cooking spray. Mix flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, xanthan gum, salt and cinnamon in a large mixing bowl. Add apples and walnuts. Stir to coat evenly. Combine milk and oil in a small bowl, then remove one tablespoon of combine liquid and discard. Beat in eggs. Add liquids to apple mixture and stir until just blended. Fill muffin pants 2/3 the way full. Top with streusel. Bake 18 to 25 minutes until light golden. Remove from pan and serve immediately or cool on a rack.

***

Chocolate Ricotta Muffins

1 and 1/4 cups Brown Rice Flour Mix

1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder

1/2 cup granulated sugar

1 and 1/2 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/4 teaspoon xanthan gum

1/4 teaspoon salt

2/3 cup semi sweet chocolate chips

1 large egg

1/2 cup ricotta cheese, part skim

2/3 cup milk

2 tablespoons canola oil

2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Position rack in center of oven. Grease muffin pan with cooking spray or line with paper baking cup liners. Whisk flour, cocoa, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, xanthan gum and salt together in a large mixing bowl. Stir in chocolate chips. In another medium mixing bowl whisk egg, ricotta, milk, oil and vanilla together until well blended. Pour the milk mixture into the flour mixture and combine until well blended. Do not overbeat. Spoon batter into prepared muffin cups and place in center of oven. Bake for 18 to 20 minutes until toothpick inserted in center of a muffin comes out clean. Remove from pan and serve immediately or cool on a rack.

NEWSLETTER

Today's breaking news and more in your inbox

I'm interested in (please check all that apply)

COMMENTS

Starting at $4.39/week.

Subscribe Today