Sunday, May 22, 2011

How To Start A Gluten-Free Diet: Cooking and Baking Gluten-Free

It occurred to me after I started this series that most of what I wanted to tell you had already been said. Often when I was starting to write, I would recall a great post I had already read that touched on everything I was thinking! That's why my How to Start a Gluten-Free Diet series has included so much link love. Why say it again when it's already been said so well by someone else?

For this reason, I'm going to link to a couple of great posts on cooking and baking gluten-free. These are the places I go to when I have questions. My only advice for you in these areas is to start simple and build your way up. Cooking gluten-free is really no different than cooking any food. You just have to know which ingredients are okay and which aren't. On the other hand, baking gluten-free is kind of like an alien baby. You might be scared when you first see it, but once you get used to the tentacles and googly eyes, you'll start loving it more and more every day. Eventually, it will look no different to you than any other adorable baby. (I have no idea where that idea came from and I recognize it doesn't make much sense, but just humor me and go with it.)

In all seriousness, baking gluten-free is an adventure and it is fun. But start simple. Buy some baking mixes, like Pamela's or Bob's Red Mill. They've already done the hard work; you just need to add a few ingredients and stir. Then look for some really basic recipes, ones that don't contain twenty different ingredients. Many gluten-free recipes call for a variety of flours, and for good reason. Baked goods often taste better with a mix of flours. But if you're starting out, it can be intimidating to have to buy five new flours for a recipe. So save my recipe index for once you've purchased more flours, and start with an easy recipe like Elana's Chocolate Chip Cookies or something that's already naturally gluten-free like meringues. Perhaps set yourself a challenge to try one new recipe a week. Just remember, there will be failures, but there will be more successes. Believe me, I've had my fair share of both!

So here are my favorite resources for tips on cooking and baking gluten-free:
Gluten-Free Baking Tips (and more!) at The Gluten-Free Goddess
How to Avoid Gluten-Free and Allergy-Free Baking Mishaps at Cook It Allergy Free

That's it. I know there are many more great resources out there, but more often than not, if I have a question, The Goddess or The Mistress of Allergy Free Cooking has the answer.

Have you missed any of the posts in this series?

So now that we've got all of this information on living gluten-free down, I finally get to talk about my favorite topic: Healing your body through food! On Thursday, I'll be posting a tip sheet for speeding up the healing process after you cut out gluten, followed by some healing recipes. Stay tuned...


gfe--gluten free easily said...

Iris, I'm behind on commenting, but this is a fabulous series you are doing! Those cookies are beautiful and it's wonderful to see Karina (who so many of us look up to in so many ways) and Kim (who I adore for herself and her endless cooking skills) highlighted this way. :-) I'm catching up on your posts in this series and looking forward to the healing one very much!

Shirley said...

I've finally mastered gluten free baking at altitude!! Most of my baked goods have actually turned out pretty well :-)

Ricki said...

I agree with Shirley, a great series! And of course healing with food is close to my heart. . . can't wait to see what you bring to the topic.

Maggie said...

This is such a cool (and important) series Iris! I love it. And I can't wait until Thursday! I love the whole idea of healing through food. So darned true!

Mehjabeen Arif said...

This is super series.. Love it.

New to your space and Happy to follow u :)

Do visit mine as time permits

Carol, Simply...Gluten-free said...

This is a really great series. Since I really learned to bake after going gluten free I didn't have to transition as much as others might have but I do recall some early flops vividly!

Kim-Cook It Allergy Free said...

Oh Iris, this is such an awesome series!! I am so behind on all of my blog commenting and here I come and find such sweet words about me. I cannot tell you how much I appreciate your kudos. What a special treat to come and read this article and find my name in here! Now I am off to catch up on the rest of the posts of the series. And...thanks again! It really means a lot to me! ;)


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