Friday, February 6, 2015

When One Door Closes...

Two years ago I gave up gluten. I did it in hopes of alleviating my achy-breaky joints that make me creak around like an old women in the morning. It helped. A lot. So, I've kept at it and it has gotten easier and easier. I no longer crave glutenous french bread, or brownies, or chocolate chip cookies. (Actually, that is not entirely true. I do occasionally crave chocolate chip cookie dough; I just don't act on it.)

In my mind, the door on wheat flour is slammed shut. I'm okay with that. But when that door closed, another two opened. Going gluten-free has opened a new way of thinking about what I put in my body and how it makes me feel. It has also greatly expanded the foods I'm willing to get to know and experiment with.

The shelf in my pantry that used to hold two kinds of flour (all-purpose white and whole wheat) has exploded. It now holds buckwheat, white sweet sorghum, almond, brown rice, oat, teff, tapioca, white rice, and garbanzo bean flour, as well as an all-purpose gluten-free flour mix. (Note, if you wanted to try to go gluten-free you could get started with just the all-purpose gluten-free flour.)

The next shelf up, holds new grains including buckwheat groats, millet, quinoa, tapioca, three kinds of corn meal and seven different rices.

The one up from that holds an assortment of nuts and seeds, many that I never considered stocking on a regular basis: pumpkin, sunflower, flax and chia seeds, raw cashews, almonds, pecans, pistachios, walnuts, and hazelnuts.

I'm always on the lookout for new recipes to try. This week I ran across one entitled: The Life-Changing Loaf of Bread. I was intrigued. I was doubly intrigued when I realized that my pantry already held all but one ingredient: Psyllium Seed Husk, which is often used in gluten-free baking to hold ingredients together. I picked up a bottle at Kroger and I was all set to experiment.

Yesterday, I baked a loaf. I'm not sure I would agree that it is life changing, but I will say that it is quite nice to have a slice toasted and slathered in butter and honey. In fact, it is far nicer than a piece of store-bought bread that I suspect would now taste to me like cardboard. I'm not even sure that I would call this bread,  I think nut-and-seed cake does it more justice.

I'm going to try to freeze some slices so that next time Ed has a piece of toast with his poached egg, I can have one too. Who knows, he might even choose my toast over his wheatberry sliced bread from Kroger.


Ed likes to remind me of this cartoon from The New Yorker, April 25, 2014:

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