Gluten free cooking: overcoming intimidation factor

So, you may or may not know that one of the foci of Tai Shan Farms is that we happen to be gluten free. (I know, don't freak out.) I figure that there must be those of you out there that want to be gluten free and feel the same way I did initially, intimidated. What?! I have to learn to cook a whole new way? Ok. Well, since Kevin has to be GF for health reasons, I have real motivation to learn. And learn I have. I have been reading and reading over the past year and a half and now feel that I can cook GF effectively because I still want to eat tempura. I want to eat pancakes. I want to eat fried chicken. I want PASTA! I can make these things now and I am going to share how to make them with you. I’ve found lots of little tips to help me be gluten free without too much sacrifice in extra prep time and absolutely no sacrifice in taste. I have taste buds for a reason.

Here is the other side of this. I feel better when I eat gluten free. When I give in and eat something glutinous, I have achy joints, I have mental fog and sluggishness not to mention the generalized “ugh” feeling I have after enjoying the treat initially. It isn’t worth it. And now, if I want to, I can make the things I have been missing for me and Kevin and feel great! Day before yesterday I finally broke down and bought all the “weird” stuff to substitute for gluten: psyllium husk powder, guar gum, brown rice flower, white rice flower, potato starch, tapioca starch and some other stuff I’m sure I forgot. See, gluten is really important in baking and does lots of amazing things. It makes dough stretchy. It gives bread that chewy goodness that melts me. This is why so many ingredients are needed to achieve the desired finished result. The replacements are easy enough to find. It was quite liberating. I got up yesterday and made three gluten free baked goods: English Muffins, Lemon Pound Cake and Cheesecake. It was really fun. Everything was edible. I will make the recipes again and they will be even better. The cheesecake was delicious. It’s cheesecake. The english muffins and cheesecake didn't look that great but the lemon pound cake did. Thus the picture. Hope this was interesting and a bit informative. Happy eating ☺ Esther

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