Saturday, August 8, 2009

The BEST Gluten Free Cookbook

Several months ago I went to a "gut" specialist for the aching and tiredness I was experiencing. He decided we needed to do a procedure so that he could see my stomach and intestines. After the procedure he said he may have seen possible celiac disease, so I went home and stopped eating gluten, and started feeling better. I went back to see him only to hear him say that the test was negative for celiac and to take a prescription for the aches the may be caused by a "non celiac gluten intolerance." I went home confused. If gluten was making me not feel well, it was obviously not being handled by my body properly and should be avoided. I have been eating gluten free ever since and have been feeling great.
Although I had already been cooking gluten free for my son with autism for the better part of a year, this experience led me to search for even better gluten free baking recipes. I worked in bakeries for 5 years. I had to be able to bake things that I would really enjoy!

That is when I found the ultimate gluten free baking book: Cooking Free by Carol Fenstar, Ph.D.

This book is AWESOME for baking for persons with autism, because many of the recipes have included alternatives to the major ingredients that many persons with autism have problems with: sugar, eggs, milk, and of course gluten.

The best part of this book is that the recipes are good! The ones I use most are the pancake recipe, the basic chocolate cake (it's great for family gatherings!) and the sandwich bread recipe.

The basic flour blend recipe that is the staple for all the recipes in the book is a flexible one, meaning you can use the flours to best suit the recipe to your taste. I find that bean flour in the mix makes a better flour for pancakes and sandwich bread, while corn flour (not corn meal) instead of the bean flour portion makes a better blend for sweets, like the chocolate cake. I just mark my two quart ziplock bags "corn flour blend" or "bean flour blend" and I am stocked and ready to bake anytime.

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