Gluten-Free Holiday How-Tos
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Take a Break from Holiday Stress
The holidays are a time for family, food, and the joy of bringing those together. There’s a certain level of stress and frenzy to be expected, but if you’re struggling with a sense of ‘humbug’ day after day, there could be more to that mood than meets the eye.
A recent study found that women with celiac disease on a gluten-free diet are at an increased risk for depression and disordered eating. It’s easy to see why. Celiac disease requires constant planning for meals, constant attention to food, and constant concern about whether that bit of indigestion is a glutening ready to rear its head. Even with that, about 60% of women with celiac disease report symptoms despite following a gluten-free diet, according to a Swedish study.
We do our best to get the nutrients we need, but balancing this, that and relearning how to cook while passing up another dinner invitation is no easy task. [Read more in Celiac and Mental Health: Part 2.]
I’ll be honest: My first gluten-free Thanksgiving was horrible. My family didn’t know much about it, and I wound up just feeling like a bother. That was a long time ago, and way before gluten-free food was as widely available as it is today. It got better. I got better. A LOT better.
As you’re preparing for the holidays, do a mental check-in. What are you looking forward to? What are you dreading? Whatever it is, focus on easing your stress rather than piling it on this holiday season. Here are some pointers:
Converting Your Child’s Favorite Recipes to Gluten-Free
By Tina Turbin
Just because your celiac child has gone gluten-free doesn’t mean it’s time to say goodbye to favorite recipes. On the contrary, you can make most of your child’s favorites gluten-free with a few simple tips.
There is a wide variety of gluten-free flour mixes available in stores and online. Many of these substitute wheat flour cup-for-cup. Some popular gluten-free flour companies are Bob’s Red Mill, which is great for making pizza dough, the Gluten Free Pantry, Pamela’s Products, and Dakota Prairie.
You can also make your own gluten-free flour. I make two easy-to-prepare mixtures, both of which can be substituted cup-for-cup for wheat flour in your recipes. The first mixture calls for ¼ cup soy flour, 14 cups tapioca flour, and ½ cup brown rice flour. The second one requires 6 cups of white rice flour, 2 cups potato starch, and 1 cup tapioca flour.
It’s important to add a teaspoon of xanthan gum to baked recipes such as breads, muffins, and cakes, to ensure that your goodies don’t crumble or fall apart. If you don’t have any xanthan gum, you can use ½ teaspoon of arrowroot powder for each cup of wheat flour required in a recipe.
Sometimes, you can get rid of the flour altogether. There are flourless recipes, such as Flourless Chocolate Cake, which your child will likely enjoy.
It will take some trial and error before perfecting gluten-free versions of your kids’ favorite recipes. For instance, you may find that you need extra water or oil to make foods moister or more baking powder may be required. Your child will enjoy spending time with you getting creative in the kitchen.
1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Grease and line an 8” pan.
2. Melt chocolate with the butter in a saucepan, stirring until smooth. Remove from the heat and whisk in the sugar. Add the eggs and whisk well.
3. Sift cocoa powder over the chocolate mixture and whisk until just combined.
4. Bake in the middle of the oven for 20 minutes or until a thin crust has formed.
5. Cool for 5 minutes in pan.
6. Refrigerate between servings. When you’re ready to eat it, warm each piece in the microwave for 15 seconds. Serve with whipped cream and berries.
Tina Turbin became extremely interested and involved in the subjects of celiac disease, gluten sensitivity and gluten issues a number of years ago, after being diagnosed as celiac after many years of unresolved troubles. Since then, she has engaged in diligent research and writing about these topics, weekly radio shows, developing gluten-free recipes and reviewing companies for celiac consumer safety.
Tina is an award-winning children’s book author (DannyTheDragon.com) and donates her current children’s audio book profits to the Celiac Disease Center at Columbia University Medical Center. To stay update to date on her projects, sign up for her newsletter at www.TinaTurbin.com.
Gluten-Free Thanksgiving Recipes
By Chef Oonagh Williams
It’s that time of the year again when hosts everywhere are frantically planning for Thanksgiving and Christmas amid everything else they have to do. The funny thing is that certain dishes have to be included since many family members, especially the children, insist on having them each year as it’s “tradition.” The problem now is recreating familiar favorites so they’re gluten-free but taste the same as the originals. Here are a few that won my family over:
Please remember that brands quoted were gluten-free at time of writing, but you must check each and every time you buy and be aware of your own sensitivities.
To see a video of this recipe, visit Gluten Free Cooking with Oonagh on Facebook.
SOUTHERN SWEET POTATO CASSEROLE
CORN BREAD (PLUS EGG-FREE VERSION)
About Chef Oonagh Williams
British-born award-winning chef Oonagh Williams has a culinary arts degree and was trained in London and Switzerland. Based in New Hampshire, Chef Oonagh began adapting meals to gluten-free versions after her son was diagnosed with gluten and lactose intolerance two years ago. Chef Oonagh gives presentations and classes on gluten-free cooking and living, consults and guides people in adapting to a gluten-free lifestyle. She appears most months on her local New Hampshire ABC station, WMUR, as the featured chef.
Last month, we introduced you to some of the mental and behavioral health issues associated with celiac disease. This month, we’re diving deeper into two conditions that are common both in the general population and among individuals with celiac disease: depression and anxiety.
Learn about the different types and signs of depression and anxiety, plus some of the research investigating how these conditions are linked to celiac disease. Find out what may put you at risk and what to do if you are struggling with depression or anxiety.
By Dan Kohler of Renegade Kitchen
Yeah. That’s how strongly I feel about stuffing. See, I don’t love turkey. Thanksgiving isn’t really my holiday, except for the stuffing. I used to load my plate with as much of the bready mass as possible and then top it with a slice of turkey to appease my mother. And then I stopped eating gluten, and then I stopped enjoying Thanksgiving.
The Dark Ages.
Well, now we have options. Our video sponsor, Rudi’s Gluten Free Bakery, provided loaves and loaves of their gluten-free bread for this tutorial on stuffing. If you don’t know this already, stuffing is anything you want. Seriously. Roasted garlic? Great. Fennel? Fantastic. Sausage and giblets and mushrooms and onions? Double duh. My obsession right now is a hazelnut sage stuffing bursting with mushrooms. Double the recipe. Make a giant batch. Eat it for breakfast for the next week.
Want the recipe? Find it on NFCA’s Gluten-Free Recipe of the Week next Monday, Nov. 7.
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