Hints, Tips and a Recipe to Maintain a GFCF lifestyle
Tips and a Recipe to Maintain a GFCF lifestyle
Many people refuse to even try the GFCF diet, as they feel it will be too difficult to start and to continue. Like anything new in life, why not give it a try? Some things in life ARE scary, but after you dive in, they become second nature and part of your life. Why not look at the big picture and seriously think about trying this diet for children who have ASD or ADD,/ADHD. Even many mental disabilities have been helped by this diet.
The shelves at many stores are adorned with many GFCF foods. Some stores even have kiosks or aisles or sections dedicated to at least GF products, many of which are also GFCF and many are even GFCF and also soy free and egg free. Online shopping is another popular idea to purchase your GFCF foods.
Baking is something many people enjoy. Baking or cooking from “scratch” does not need to be something reserved for Grandma’s days. Baking from “scratch” is alive and well in the 2000’s. It is a healthier option, fun to do with the kids and can be a great educational experience. Think of all the math, reading and science involved! It is a great tool to use for all families.
When baking with GF flours, it is not as easy as just substituting one type of flour for the wheat flour in most recipes. There are great cookbooks written, where the author has spent many months and years experimenting with a variety of flours to give you the best tasting, best textured and best all around product. I highly recommend getting some GF cookbooks from your library or bookstore, to save you the trouble of figuring out what flours work best for what type of recipes. My favorite cookbooks were written by Bette Hagman, The Gluten Free Gourmet. She has perfected breads, cookies, cakes, pastries and many other types of foods. She has many cookbooks for all sorts of needs! She even has packaged mixes in stores of her many flour combinations. To save money it is really easy to prepare the mixes yourself and keep them in a freezer bag or container marked with the type of flour “blend” it is, such as for bread, muffins, cookies, etc.
You can make this up ahead of time and keep the dough wrapped up in a freezer container or plastic wrap to take out and roll out, as needed, when you are in the mood to make some cut-up sugar cookies.
Baking and cooking from scratch can be a fun family project. Everyone loves fresh made goodies. Why not make some today? (Amazon links included)
- ½ cup Margarine
- 11/4 cup Sugar
- 2 eggs
- 2 Tbsp CF milk alternative
- (rice, hemp, almond, potato,
- soy (if tolerated))
- 1 tsp. Vanilla
- 1 ½ cup Flour Mix (see below)
- 1 ½ tsp Baking Powder
- pinch of salt
Cream together the margarine and sugar. In a separate bowl, stir in the eggs, “milk” and vanilla. In a third bowl, mix the dry ingredients together, alternately adding the egg and flour mixtures to the margarine/sugar mixture. After mixing together, divide into 4 balls. (You might have to use your hands). Chill for 1-2 hours. Roll out onto a GF floured surface or use powdered sugar. Cut into shapes. Bake at 375 degrees for ~ 10 minutes.
Decorate your cookies with DYE FREE sprinkles! India Tree makes many crystal-type kinds in a variety of colors, available at health food stores, Whole Foods and Sprouts. Edwards and Son’s also makes some DYE FREE sprinkles, which are mixed together in little packages.
GF Flour Mix for baking
- 2 ½ cup rice flour (any type)
- 1 cup Potato Starch (NOT FLOUR)
- 1 cup Tapioca Starch or
- Flour (same thing)
- 1/4 cup Cornstarch
- ¼ cup Sorghum flour
- 2 Tbsp Xanthan Gum
It is ideal to keep this mix handy in your freezer to whip out any time you might wish to make sugar cookies. Being organized and keeping flours you will use often is a great idea to help eliminate running to the store all of the time. There are many brands of GFCF flours, but I prefer Bob’s Red Mill. Not only do his products come in small, less expensive packages, they seem to be more readily available and he makes a variety of flours to choose from. Check out your stores availability, compare prices and purchase the best flours that you can.
To make it easier, you might want to put all of the flour packages in one large plastic bag. This way, when you are ready to cook or bake with GF flours, you can just pull out the large plastic bag from your freezer and decide which flours you will need to use for your recipe. To keep the flours from pouring out, use rubber bands and/or zip type bags to keep the flour intact and not mixing with the other types of flours.
Recent medical literature states, people with the following conditions may benefit considerably from a gluten-free diet:
- Autism- ADHD- Down’s syndrome- Cognitive problems(brain fog)
- Seizures- Anemia- Ataxia (loss of balance)
- Cystic Fibrosis
- Type 2 and Type 1 Diabetes- Rheumatoid arthritis
- Irritable Bowel syndrome-Thyroid Problems- Multiple sclerosis
- Neuromyelitis (inflammation of the nervous system)
- Osteoporosis- Parkinson’s disease
Helpful GFCF Articles
- Ditch The Chemicals Start The Year Off Healthy
- Where to Purchase Gluten Free Casein Free (GFCF) Foods and Some Favorite Brands
- Finding GFCF Baked Goods While You are Traveling
- GFCF Holiday Recipes and Hints on Eating Outside of the Home
- Getting Ready for Summer Fun: Being GFCF & Other Healthy Ideas
- Fall Means Pumpkin GFCF Recipes to Enjoy this Cozy Autumn Season
- GFCF/Chemical Free Holiday Breakfast or Brunch
- GFCF Holiday Cookie Recipes
- Preparing Ahead Before You Make GFCF Recipes
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This post originally appeared on our January/February 2011 Magazine