The evil Gluten!

Posted by Robin Abel on

Gluten is not a word I heard growing up.  It's one of those new things that is changing the way we eat and for those of us who don't struggle with such issues, we're not really sure why.  On the other hand, for people who are new to understanding they live with gluten issues, being able to identify and manage their diet is such a game changer.

So what's the big problem with gluten and why is it effecting so many people? Having no scientific or health background, I have to research and ask experts what's the big deal.  Here's a link from a gluten free bakery that doesn't use big words.  For those of you that clicking to another site is not going to happen, here's a very brief summary.  Today's wheat is being produced in a different way (shocking) than ever before and our bodies aren't set up to deal with this.  Not only are we not digesting it well, we're eating more and more wheat products than every before and our bodies aren't happy.  Another issue is that we are cleaning and antibacterializing everything.  Our bodies, that are set up to fight bad stuff, are now fighting things that are good for us and our immune systems are getting a bit wonky (that's a good non scientific word).

The good news is that gluten free is really becoming mainstream and there are lots of products out there.  We have a few gluten free products at the store and people get very excited about them.  And, by the way, the more local you can buy your food, the better and healthier the products are.  The pasta sauces we carry are all gluten free, not because they are jumping on the bandwagon but because they are made with local, fresh ingredients.  Our flour mixes are ground in mills that have been around for a 100 years.  Local products are just better for you no matter what diet you are on.

Now I'm not gluten free but many of my friends are. We invited some gluten free friends over for dinner the other night and I wanted to serve a meal that everyone could eat.  I thought about basic food groups, proteins and veggies and figured mexican was a good choice.  The big challenge for me was cornbread... how does that work without gluten?  Figuring much of it is actually cornmeal, I stood a good chance of not messing it up too much.  I looked online and found Jamie Olivers Gluten Free Cornbread recipe and was pretty excited.  I picked up Brown Rice Flour from Frankferd Farms, our Zanella milled corn meal, added local honey, and really was feeling like I had a handle on this gluten/local concept!  My 11 year old chef in training helped me out, made a video, and watched to see how it would turn out.  

We were surprised at how great it was.  It rose up nice and high, had a beautiful crust on top, and a perfect corn bread flavor.  I liked it better than my usual recipe so I might make it this way every time.  

Here's the link to his recipe.  Now, I love Jamie Oliver and and super excited to try more of his gluten free recipes.

Do you have a good recipe to share?  I'd love to hear how you are using local products to make your family healthier.


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