Sunday, August 8, 2010

I've decided to change direction slightly. So I won't necessarily be blogging about physical travel - although that may show up here too; but I'll be blogging about another kind of journey. I'v recently found out, though a conversation with my sister Judy, that she is sensitive to something that loosely translate to gluten. While we both test negative for Gluten sensitivity, we both are reacting to things that are made with gluten flours.

For years, we have both known about sensitivites to other things in food. We both react to many of the chemical food additives, artificial colors and flavors. Both of us react to sulfites in alcoholic beverages; nitrates in preserved meat and sausages, etc. In addition, I am very allergic to msg, artificial sweeteners make me nauseous, and Judy is lactose intolerant. I also am mildly allergic to corn and peaches. So now Gluten? And Judy has noticed a reaction to Almonds and Peanuts, so I now am avoiding them too...just to be safe.

So the journey, if you will, is to find good gluten free products that are satisfying, tasty, have good texture, and contain some fiber. Fortunately I really like vegetables and fruits, or otherwise I'd have nothing to eat that has any fiber to speak of!

Commercially available, and inexpensive, cereals like Rice Chex and Corn Chex have virtually no fiber. Oatmeal isn't bad, but I really am not interested in eating hot cereal in the summer. Many of the granolas have Almonds in them, or contain wheat. There are some Gluten free cereals - besides the Chex, but they are quite pricey and seem very high in calories, so I ultimately will probably make my own basic granola, and add things to it according to my taste - like raisins, dry cranberries or blueberries, roasted pecans, etc. That way I can control the sugar content, as well as the grains & other added ingredients.

I've found some good websites just by googling Gluten Free, and Judy and friends have given me some others. I have so far bought one loaf of commerically available GF bread for IIRC $6. It tasted very much like a cross between wallpaper past (dry) and cornstarch (also dry). I tried 2 slices and threw it away. And I've made one loaf of bread from a mix which I will not buy again. The primary ingredient was cornstarch. It did rise, and it smells good, but it is very heavy and not terribly tasty, I'll look up the brand and post it later so no one else buys it either.

I have gotten a recommendation from my cousin at this link: and I logged onto Udi's here:!/udisglutenfree and . I did find that Udi's products are available locally at a big chain - Meijer, and a local chain - Woodmans, so I'll go looking next week. Their bread is supposed to look and taste like actual bread. Of course, it'll be about $6 a loaf.

That's another thing I've noticed in just the last month of GF living... everything GF is EXPENSIVE! General Mills has GF products. Yellow and chocolate cake mixes, brownie mix and Chocolate chip coolie mix. I bought & made a yellow cake. Standard yellow cake mix costs about $1.50 and makes a 13X9" cake. The GF yellow cake makes an 8 or 9" square cake and costs $4.99. It also is sweeter and higher in calories that the standard cake. Each GF cake states it serves 10 and each piece is 220 calories. Do you know how big 1/10 of a 9X9" cake is? General Mills is now supposedly selling a GF Bisquick. I have not found it yet, but I've asked 2 local chains to order it for me - a Jewel and a Super Walmart. We'll see if I get a call.

That's all for today, but stop back in when you have a chance to follow my exciting journey to Gluten Free living...

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