Three Ways to Have Fun and Avoid Weight-Gain on a Gluten-Free Diet
By Debbie A. Johnson
Once upon a time a woman who adored her cookies and cakes found out that she was much better off without them. How sad her life seemed as she looked for alternatives to gluten. The gluten-free cookies, cakes, and mixes were extremely high in carbohydrates like tapioca starch, bean flours, potato starch, and rice flour, the highest-glycemic level grain there is! You see, she was also border-line hypoglycemic and certainly didn’t want to become diabetic on top of everything else.
Oh what to do, what to do? She loved to bake and eat her sweets, so she used her creative imagination to come up with recipes made from almond meal flour before anyone (including her) had ever heard of it. She ground almonds in her blender and became braver and bolder each time she experimented with precious, food-stained recipes handed down from her mother. Her favorite was carrot cake and so she spent years perfecting it, including making a dairy-free “cream-cheese” icing recipe for her friends that could not handle the cow milk products.
Many years of experimenting brought her (meJ ) to a few successfully-slimming food conclusions:
1. For Flours – Lower the carbohydrate level by using almond meal flour and any seed or nut flours in all baking. Not that quinoa and amaranth are considered seeds, which is why they are higher in protein than other grains. Dry flours, like coconut flour and amaranth flour will absorb moisture from “wetter” flours like quinoa. Find the balance you need for the recipe.
2. For Sweetening – Lower the carbs and sugars even more by using just a little fruit (not fructose or fruit sugars, but real fruit, and avoid dates – much too sweet) and add as much whole-leaf Stevia (either the ground green leaf or the dark liquid extract for a happier pancreas) or whatever non-sugar sweetener you can handle.
3. For Flavor – Use the finest herbs, spices, and flavorings you can find. You are worth it! And keep the herbs and spices in the freezer. I keep them in the freezer door, easy to grab when I’m cooking. They stay fresh and delicious. Also, use plenty of good, healthy oils and fats. Clarified butter (can buy as ghee in international section of health stores) works wonders for flavor (chef’s secret!).
Happy Note: You can use any of the above ideas with pretty much any recipe. I did notice that for pie crusts I had to add an egg. For cookies, take them out. Who knew? Again, many years of experimenting.
Enjoy your experiments and viva la difference!
By Debbie Johnson, best-selling author of Think Yourself Thin as well as chef/author of top-selling gluten-free, low-glycemic cookbooks based on her GF/LG restaurant. See http://debbiejohnsonbooks.com Her newest is Gluten-Free, Low-Carb Desserts and Comfort Food You Will Love!
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