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