Monday, February 21, 2011

f is for flakes

it seems like every time i go to whole foods i pick up a box of this cereal and put it in the cart, only to put it back on the shelf because it is too expensive.  but yesterday?  yesterday it was on sale!

it wasn't until i got home that i noticed this little gem on the back of the box:

Spelt Flakes, "a Living Legendary Folk Cereal".  One of the first grains to be grown by early farmers as long ago as 5,000 BC, "nutty" flavored Spelt combines with fruit juice sweeteners in this whole grain organic cereal to offer you a good source of fiber and a low fat way to revitalize and energize your body.

living legendary folk cereal??!?  uh......what does that even mean??

all i know is that this cereal tastes almost exactly like wheaties.  and i love wheaties.

now if only i could have normal milk.....

Monday, February 7, 2011

a better butter?

butter, i love you.  you are such a lovely shade of the palest yellow.  you melt into happy little puddles on my toast.  you make baked goods taste like baked goods.  oh butter butter butter!

but lately i've been wondering about the butter i'm eating.  blood tests have shown that i have a very slight milk allergy (but mysteriously not to the lactose nor to the casein.....sigh....), so i've painfully eliminated all other dairy products from my diet.  no milk, no yogurt, no cheese (sob!)......but i haven't been willing or able to give up the butter.

to complicate matters, i'm also (supposedly) allergic to soy and corn, which are the primary ingredients in most margarines.  so i'm wondering, is it better to eat the butter, which usually has one or two ingredients (cream, salt) or margarine which has 12?

yes, yes, i KNOW!  the answer is to cut out both the butter and the margarine and use something else like coconut oil or petroleum......

Thursday, February 3, 2011

gluten tag

greetings from the frozen arctic!  okay, okay, i'm not really in the arctic, but with more than 2' of snow on the ground and snowbanks that tower above my head, it certainly feeeeels like the great snowy north. 

i suppose i should come clean right off the bat and warn you that this post is.....spelt free!  gasp!  i still think i can eat spelt (although these days i'm so confused about food that i really don't know), but i've realized that no matter what, i need more variety in my day-to-day diet.  overall, i think my diet is reasonably varied (possible wishful thinking....), but i tend to eat the same things over and over day after day until i get sick of them and move onto the next thing that i will eat over and over.  there is a theory out "there" that one way to resolve/prevent food intolerances is to adopt a rotational diet.  the general premise is that you can eat foods that you might otherwise be intolerant of if you space them out over many days.  since i don't seem to have any severe food allergies (other than to tree nuts- which i'm not even sure of anymore), it might mean that i can eat certain foods as long as i can muster up some discipline.  i'm still learning about it, so we'll see......

anyway! in the search for variety i have decided to explore some gluten-free baking.  i still love spelt (which is a good thing since i still have at least 15lbs of spelt flour.....), but eating a spelt-centric diet seems almost as bad as a wheat-centric one.  right?  time to let some other grains in on the fun!

one of my favorite blogs is gluten free girl.  even though i don't have celiac disease, i find her writing to be incredibly inspirational.  for gluten free baking she suggests a 70/30 ratio of grains to starches (see this post for more information).  following her suggestions i made my own mix using potato and arrowroot starches and brown rice and oat flours.  i don't have a kitchen scale (yet!) so i used this handy conversion chart to work out the amounts.

my mix was:

1/2 cup potato starch
1/4 cup arrowroot starch

1 1/4 cup brown rice flour
1 cup oat flour

which i used to make......

gluten free tollhouse cookies!  yum!  because honestly, what diet doesn't need MORE cookies?

update! (2/7)

i've been playing around with the various gluten-free flours and starches trying to come up with just the right combination of flavors and textures.  i made this same recipe using some of this mix:

2 cups king arthur ancient grains flour (which is 30% amaranth, 30% sorghum, 30% millet, 10% quinoa)

1 cup brown rice flour

1 cup white rice flour (used as a starch)

1 tablespoon arrowroot starch

the texture of the cookies was good- but the taste was off....kind of grassy?  i think it might be the amaranth or the quinoa that i don't like....

anyway- i'll keep trying!