The Gluten Free Journey
My dad has Celiac disease. If he eats gluten from wheat products or their relatives, he can count on a stomachache that will last the entire trip through his digestive system. My daughter has gluten intolerance, which may be Celiac disease also though the test was not conclusive, and if she eats wheat, she can’t think straight, feels like she’s in a fog and has similar stomach issues as her grandfather. My nephew has severe Celiac disease. If he eats wheat, he can’t function. He will be laid out on the floor of the bathroom until every last molecule of gluten escapes his body. For him, not eating at all is far better than eating something containing gluten.
Recently, because of my Hashimoto’s Thyroidosis, I ventured into a gluten-free diet. I miss wheat bread for sure! But those donuts and pastries set out for snacks during Sunday School don’t add calories to my day any more. I thought I’d lose a lot of weight, but I quickly found treats that are just as fattening to fill the void. I also found that I felt better. Then I found that when I cheated and ate wheat, I felt a lot worse.
Gluten Free Tips
Gluten free living costs more. What a shame that people who already have to sacrifice food eaten by almost everyone else, must pay more for food they can eat. To reduce the cost, my mom buys gluten free flours, starches and xanthum gum to make mixes for everything from pancakes to biscotti, ordering items from suppliers on line and picking up bulk amounts on trips we make through Ohio. My daughter shops at stores like Aldis and Deal Mart to cut costs. I’m experimenting. I can sometimes find mixes on sale or reduced or at Aldis. I can buy a gluten free flour blend at Costco that is cheaper than store bought mixes. Since I don’t have a severe problem, I can work around foods that list “Made in a facility that processes wheat products.” I wish the rest of my family could.
Today, I experimented with gluten free oatmeal cookies. They came out fantastic. I took them to a birthday lunch at church. The women literally ate them up. Here’s the recipe:
1/2 Cup softened butter (1 stick)
1/2 Cup vegetable oil (next time I’ll try coconut oil)
1 Cup brown sugar
1/2 Cup white sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 Tablespoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon salt
1 Tablespoon vinegar
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 1/2 cups gluten free flour mix
3 Cups old fashioned oats
1 Cup raisins
Cream the butter, oil, eggs, sugars, vanilla and vinegar. Add all the other ingredients. Mix well. Drop by rounded teaspoons onto a lightly greased cookie sheet. Bake at 375 until they are soft and chewy (10 to 12 minutes) or brown and crispy (12 to 14 minutes)—however you like them best.
I was told the vinegar helped activate the baking soda. The cookies don’t taste at all like vinegar.
By the way, you can make these with regular flour too!