/ Going gluten-free
There's usually at least one person on UKC with experience of something, so here we go with Sunday afternoon's question:
In going gluten-free (for medical reasons) what are the best cookbooks, flours, etc, you've found for making cakes and biscuits? We can get round most other things but cakes and biscuits are proving to be an area of concern.
The Coeliac Society website has some very useful resources, but people's experience tends to be very helpful too.
Not made it myself, but heard good things about it.
Oo, that looks good. Thank you!
For cakes when I've done them any of the packaged flours plus a bit of xanthan gum works fine. For bread, I've never managed to make it myself better than the shop bought stuff which is getting better and better as time goes on.
I use Dove's farm self-raising for cakes and have no problems with it. For biscuits I simply buy from the gluten free range at Tesco but then I don't eat many biscuits.
Use a bit more liquid than normal flour, though.
We had some Dove's Farm wholewheat gluten free pasta a while back and it was utterly gopping, but haven't tried the flours yet - I think there might be some in the cupboard (Mr TC is a flour hoarder).
I take it the xanthan gum makes it sticky in the way that gluten would in 'normal' flour?
Oh and as for cookbooks I simply swap in the flour on all the recipes I've ever used previously, or just google whatever it is you are after as there is loads out there.
Also they have recipes
These chocolate brownies are nicer than any I've tasted!
I'm not keen on the pasta either but Tesco's free from range is a bit better, I also prefer the free from bread as I find the others a little dry although genius is a close second.
I've heard good things about Genius bread... We don't eat a huge amount of pasta anyway but it's good to have it as an option.
That's good to hear!
Brilliant - thanks for that. Mr Sweet Tooth (aka Mr TC) will be very pleased :-)
Pretty sure I know the answer to this one but am I right in thinking there's no such thing as gluten-free real ale?
Not sure about real ale but there are beer looking things available, I went for the easy option and switched to cider though.
Now all this talk and thought of cakerage has made me peckish so I think it's time for tiffin! :)
Ooh - a lot of other Nick Stafford Hambleton ales are very good so that one in particular could be good too! Thanks for that :-)
And the people producing Belgian-style beers are just down the road from us. I think this might Mr TC a very happy man.
I eat truck loads of these things http://www.naturalbalancefoods.co.uk/nakd-fruit-and-nut-bars/ you can buy at a few supermarkets too .
Coffee Mocha is the current fave they are all okay apart from the Rhubarb & Custard which tastes a little like I'd imagine babies barf might taste ( not pleasant ) .
This is a good book too http://www.cygnus-books.co.uk/cooking-without-barbara-cousins.html
Happy Kitchen ( Hackney/Buy online ) Do some really good brownies too always try and take a few of them when I'm climbing .
You can also make lots of wonderful things using hemp seed ( including powder & oil ) Its expensive but you don't need much and its really good for you . When I'm bored I like to liven it up a little with some special dutch hemp like powder , it works wonders for my arthritic hands and joints ;o) . Not recommended for when you are actually climbing or operating heavy machinery ( Cars for example ) though .
Since I knocked gluten & dairy on the head I feel heaps better . Watch out as they have a tendency to hide it in allsorts the crafty blighters .
Thanks for these suggestions - very helpful.
It's Mr TC who'll have to go gluten-free and in a lot of ways it's easier if, at home at least, I join in. I'll be interested to see what effect it has on me...
To an extent, yes. Doesn't do the bubbles in the same way, but it works OK in cake.
Happy to help , there is a non veggie version of the book I linked to which is better still . Was being a bit lazy that was the first UK link I saw . Grass fed bison is preferable to other moo cows as well not entirely sure why though , but its far healthier I reckon .
I didn't realise Greens beers were gluten free , that'll be me getting messy next opportunity then . . Bonus !
Its a little awkward initially but he'll soon get used to it and its worth the effort .
Most supermarkets sell a couple of the GF beers. Estrella Damm Daura (not normal Estrella Damm) is another one. I think they're all quite nice, though the taste isn't 100% identical to "normal" beer.
I can get away with a night on the lager (not bitter, there's more gluten in it!) with a couple of antihistamines and a couple of ibuprofens, but that's not amazingly good practice and is probably really bad for a celiac...
Yeh I tried a few of them but not E D Daura or the Greens though will grab some of those and give them a go , I don't drink much but its nice to have some more options when I do , getting frightfully bored of cider its too sweet for starters .
Don't think I'd risk a night on standard lager to be honest not keen on mainstream ones , but antihistamines is a good shout for emergencies . Cheers for the tip Neil .
There are times I could positively murder a nice cold guiness too .
Worth mentioning that I don't believe I'm coeliac (though I was tested some time after giving up gluten so it's entirely possible that the test was a false negative). It might be ill advised for a coeliac to take that risk.
But indeed, over the counter antihistamines (get rid of the itchiness), ibuprofens (reduce inflammation) and (if necessary) Imodium (work out yourself what that's for :) ) do help to calm things down if I inadvertently slip up and eat gluten and if I do it deliberately for any reason :)
Noted , thanks Neil .
Yes indeedy I'm a right fussy bastardo and a right chuffing nuisance . . .
Hopefully I won't offend anyone with this, but I seem to be increasingly known as "the wheat-tard"...
Or having coeliac disease as we're thinking of it in this household... Mr TC is the world's least fussy eater (there's a Fray Bentos pie-in-a-can in the cupboard, ffs) so this is a pretty horrendous turn of events but might just put paid to 20 years of stomach problems.
And apparently there are more & more of fussy eaters being diagnosed everyday ;
I'm intolerant to gluten, the gf beers still effect me. They still contain really small amounts of gluten, when you have been gluten free for a while you only need tiny exposure for nasty reactions. Just something to keep in mind.
A lot of the gf flours rely heavily on corn/maize which contains a different type of gluten that a lot of coeliacs can still react to. I totally grain free now and feel a lot better for it. You can still bake with stuff like almond flour, coconut flour, arrowroot powder. Arrowroot powder can be used as a direct replacement in any recipes which use corn starch.
Check out this website for loads of ideas
Thank you for this. I think he's vaguely hoping that if he doesn't go entirely gluten-free then he'll still be able to have the odd beer, but everything I've read suggests that the less gluten you have, the more sensitive to it you become.
This book is good. It has some recipes in it, but also explains how to adapt normal recipes to make them work for all sorts of allergies.
> Ooh - a lot of other Nick Stafford Hambleton ales are very good so that one in particular could be good too! Thanks for that :-)
They've stopped selling them in Tesco Skipton for some reason. Still in Booths in Settle though...
Excellent - I'm in Settle pretty regularly.
I am not a gluten-free person, but I did once (about 6 years ago) accidentally buy some Doves Farm gluten-free flour. I think it was self-raising. I used it to make a sponge pudding type thing, and it was fine - I didn't realise until my friend spotted the bag of flour and asked about it. I think the rest of the bag of flour behaved well too.
That's good to hear. I think Mr TC's been avoiding the Dove's Farm flour after my excessive ranting about the vileness of their wholewheat pasta. Like an utter moron I somehow thought it might taste as nice as Seeds of Change spinach pasta, which is about as nice as dried pasta gets. It didn't.
Cake and biscuits seem to be my issue too and my solution is just not to eat them. Polenta makes great cakes (cookery books currently packed for the move though) and the better gluten free cakes are the none-spongey ones like carrot and heavy chocolate cake.
Re. pasta - although it's obviously never as good as wholewheat, tesco and sainsbury's own brand gluten free pasta tastes like normal white pasta (but bungs you up a bit according to an acquaintance but I don't seem to have a problem), although the spaghetti is a bad idea as it just falls apart. Morrissons own brand one is AWFUL - ruined two meals last week using it.
Sadly, gluten free oatcakes (I took 9 boxes on holiday) are rather pricey so might be worth learning to bake them.
The 'free from' aisles in supermarkets are handy but can be a bit depressing!
I'm about as fussy with food as your other half (draw the line at frey bentos in a tin though) but despite my general annoyance with 'fussy eaters', I do feel better not eating wheat (find the 'wheat free' evangelists online a bit annoying though).
Mr TC might recognise that my most awkward thing has been race food but I've found things that work for me now and will send a lovely energy bar recipe your way
Thanks for this :-) I had to lead him away from the FreeFrom bit in Morrisons yesterday as he looked utterly crushed by it.
> That's good to hear. I think Mr TC's been avoiding the Dove's Farm flour after my excessive ranting about the vileness of their wholewheat pasta. Like an utter moron I somehow thought it might taste as nice as Seeds of Change spinach pasta, which is about as nice as dried pasta gets. It didn't.
Sadly, nothing gluten free tastes as nice as that spinach pasta... sorry.
> Thanks for this :-) I had to lead him away from the FreeFrom bit in Morrisons yesterday as he looked utterly crushed by it.
We've been working on potential business ideas on this - surely it can be done better?!
Most definitely! The Morrisons one is drearier than the Tesco one, though. But we don't really shop in Tesco 'cos it's grim and has a limited range of mushrooms. The healthfood shop in Skipton is pretty good if I remember rightly so we'll be investigating that more thoroughly now Mr TC has special (dietary) needs...
Oh and (sorry everyone else) he might be about to rope you into his ''stag do' Ironman in a weekend' idea - just to give you a bit of advance warning.
From my Mum's experience:
For cakes/biscuits, using a gluten-free recipe tends to work better than trying to adapt a 'normal' recipe. For some reason, the exception seems to be muffins, which do work well with a simple flour substitution. She still says she always finds gluten-free baked goods dry and gritty though, so she tends to make more in the way of things like cheesecakes, millionaires shortbread and pecan pie where it's only really the base that's a problem.
Different brands of flour seem to be much of a muchness. Try different brands of pasta and bread though, some are terrible but some are edible. Mum reckons there is only one brand of bread that she will eat without toasting - I can't remember what it is right now but I could probably find out.
Genius brand is the best I've had.
Mistress Teffers is gluten intolerant and a keen baker. She's got a couple of gluten free baking books and notes on gluten free recipes from some of her other books. I'll ask her for info later and get back to you.
If you bake these they are like little cakes. I find that for frying they are a little bland though you could put some tasty berries with them.
For more pancake like pancakes there is
or a very simple throw together recipe
Just remember that because of the fruit that the burn point is lower than normal pancakes.
I personally don't eat bread or pasta and try to avoid other high carb food as it just doesn't settle right in my stomach.
I don't use substitute look-a-likey for the most part as they usually taste discusting. There are so many really good meals that can be eaten without bread or pasta.
One of my favorites is Fahitas, instead of a wrap use a large letuice leaf (not iceberg as that snaps when folded). It gives a nicer fresher taste than with a wrap and is still filling.
Have a look at recipies that say they are Paleo as most should be gluten free.
> Genius brand is the best I've had.
That's ringing a bell - although knowing my Mum it could also be because she's had a rant about it :o) I guess these things are pretty much subjective anyway.
On that note, my Mum is exceedingly sensitive to gluten and has a lot of trouble maintaining her weight so I don't know if this will work for everyone, but she managed to persuade her GP to prescribe whichever brand of bread it was that she likes. That means that she gets it slightly cheaper than supermarket prices, but more importantly, it means that she can usually get it from a pharmacy if she can't find it in the supermarket which has proven very useful on occasion.
> But we don't really shop in Tesco 'cos it's grim and has a limited range of mushrooms.
Bloody middle classes!
The other thing to note is that you need to look at the ingredients of just about everything - gluten seems to crop up in some very unexpected places in any processed food.
Mrs Crimble cakes are nice.
'Gluten free baking' by Phil Vickery and 'The gluten free baker' by Hannah Miles are good books for recipes. Mistress teffers uses a rice flour, potato flour and tapioca flour blend for self raising, and a brown rice flour, fine polenta and corn flour blend for a plain flour substitute. You'll also need xanthun gum. Potato flour for baking goes by the name farina. She's got some recipes for lemon polenta cake and a few other cakes that aren't in the books above, fb message me and I'll sort out copying them to you if you want them.
Also, check out a company called Glutafin, www.Glutafin.co.uk, they're the company behindDS products. They've got an expo sort of thing on 13th July in Wakefield but you'll need to book.
Thank you very much for this - will mail via FB :-)
we discovered that cakes made with ground almonds and/ or polenta were a great alternative to 'normal' glutinous cakes - and they don't crumble the way most GF stuff does :-)
River Cafe have an excellent lemon polenta cake - PM me if you want a scan of the recipe. it's delicious, very moist.
> River Cafe have an excellent lemon polenta cake - PM me if you want a scan of the recipe. it's delicious, very moist.
That sounds positively delectable Inboard any chance sil vous plait ? ( a wee bit cheeky possibly but I loves a bit of Lemon cake ) .
Some really good tips and advice on here already. As a coeliac for past 10 years I recommend getting some food on prescription unless you're minted - I get bread (tried so many types and am convinced Warburtons GF bread is currently the best, better than genius) and pasta ( choices a bit limited on prescription but still some good stuff available) and pizza bases all available on prescription - adult male allowed 18 units per month, and if you buy a 3 month prescription this can save you many útens per month. Clearly you need a medical diagnosis supported by various blood and sadly,endoscopy, tests - but maybe you or your relative has already done this.
Despite the advice in my post i would also say that it is perfectly possible to not buy any GF designed food and live a v healthy diet on rice, veg, millet, quinoa (spelling?), pulses, fish meat eggs etc and many other Naturally GF free foods. And this is s much cheaper and less faff than prescriptions etc!
Have been doing this for years , happy to help via PM if your relative/partner wants more info.
> Clearly you need a medical diagnosis supported by various blood and sadly,endoscopy, tests - but maybe you or your relative has already done this.
That's how we know he's Coeliac - as far as I know there's no other way of finding out definitively.
> Despite the advice in my post i would also say that it is perfectly possible to not buy any GF designed food and live a v healthy diet on rice, veg, millet, quinoa (spelling?), pulses, fish meat eggs etc and many other Naturally GF free foods. And this is s much cheaper and less faff than prescriptions etc!
That's what we'll be most likely to do, but Mr TC is a big cake fan so knowing about substitutes in home baking is very helpful.
> Have been doing this for years , happy to help via PM if your relative/partner wants more info.
Thanks for this.
Lady Blue is coeliac, and has been diagnosed for over a decade, and as its easier to cook for two rather than one, both she and I have been eating gluten free for c8 years, so we have such a vast amount of information I don't know where to start!
She also is a very keen recreational baker - i.e. pretty much slings a cake together if she's got nothing to do for the next 15 mins - and they vary from excellent to superb.
I am not the person to ask here, but I understand Dove's farm flour is so good its more or less a direct substitution.
Never quite got bread to work, but thankfully Genius bread is so good we don't bother these days. Asda are doing a very good gluten free bread as well now.
> Pretty sure I know the answer to this one but am I right in thinking there's no such thing as gluten-free real ale?
Yes, there is, but its rare. Sainsbury's sell it IIRC.
Already answered further up the thread - one of Nick Stafford's Hambleton Ales.
Your friend's mum is an ignorant shite - do feel free to tell her for me.
Mr TC's daughter *is* a fussy eater - and as she'll be getting checked out for Coeliac, I suspect things might take a turn for the worse for her...
When i go hiking i make a gluten free "breakfast bar" .. using gf oats, seeds, dried fruit, butter and condensed milk.. and a pinch of cinammon and cumin. It is yummy - and is a super high energy bar.
You can find the recipe along with a load of others tips in gluten free cookery by phil vickery.
> Mr TC's daughter *is* a fussy eater - and as she'll be getting checked out for Coeliac, I suspect things might take a turn for the worse for her...
Sorry, twas annoyed:-), hence snappish. Lady Blue spent many years very poorly indeed (this was back in the days when coeliac disease was unknown) until diagnosed. Basically all the villi died and she couldn't absorb any nutrients, so spent a lot of time (years) at 6 stone (she's 5'8") with no energy unable to get out of bed. Describing gluten free folk as fussy eaters is not a way to make friends round here:-). Unless you want to make friends with a garden fork incoming at head hight:-)
Back on the subject, I just checked our rack of cookbooks, there's not many specifically gluten free ones. Indian food is generally gluten free anyway, and chinese is very easy to cook gluten free. Most fish meals are fine. Things to be careful of are pre-made sauces.
One tip. beanfeast used to be gluten-free and they then changed the recipe so it wasn't. It looks like its been changed back again.
I find the GF pasta OK, but I'll admit its about 8 years since I had anything else. *checks pantry* We use the DS-gluten-free stuff.
Crimbles are pretty good too.
Hope that helps.
Oh, and while I'm at it, you *can* get GF dark soy sauce but I've not found a GF light soy yet. You can get GF ho-sin sauce from the west country spice company.
> Mr TC's daughter *is* a fussy eater - and as she'll be getting checked out for Coeliac, I suspect things might take a turn for the worse for her...
Interestingly, my Mum was an undiagnosed coeliac for many years (similar situation to what John_Hat has described for Lady Blue) and during most of that time a "fussy eater" was an accurate description of her. With hindsight, she was being picky about foods that made her feel bad; she just couldn't put her finger on which foods they were or why so she never managed to be particularly articulate about it. It's entirely possible that if Mr TC's daughter is also an undiagnosed coeliac that that at least contributes to her fussiness...
> Oh, and while I'm at it, you *can* get GF dark soy sauce but I've not found a GF light soy yet. You can get GF ho-sin sauce from the west country spice company.
I'm pretty sure Mum has found a GF light soy sauce...I'll try to find out.
Nope, this isn't linked to 'triggery' foods - she's just a fussy eater. She'll like something one day and not the next.
> Nope, this isn't linked to 'triggery' foods - she's just a fussy eater. She'll like something one day and not the next.
Fair enough, probably just general childhood fussiness then :o)
Yes. There's a likelihood she could be coeliac too, but as I pointed out to Mr TC, if she gets tested for that it'll reduce the amount of food she'll eat to the sum total of not far off bugger all.
> I'm pretty sure Mum has found a GF light soy sauce...I'll try to find out.
Many thanks - I know there's one that you can get shipped from the states, but that appears a little extreme... :-)
Replace normal flour quantities for a cake recipe with 50% doves farm G/F flour and 50% ground almonds
I'm after specifically light soy sauce, not just a generic soy sauce (and some would argue that tamari isn't really soy sauce at all, its tamari - or one of the six (seven) varients os Japanese soy).
Chinese soy, IIRC, can be either brewed (light) or blended (dark). The brewed stuff almost always contains wheat...
> Many thanks - I know there's one that you can get shipped from the states, but that appears a little extreme... :-)
Sadly, that's where Mum gets hers from, via family friends who live in Canada. Sorry I can't be more helpful :o(
No worries, you were a beacon of hope for a little while! :-)
> Replace normal flour quantities for a cake recipe with 50% doves farm G/F flour and 50% ground almonds
My GF uses ground almonds in quite a few recipes.
Clare, make sure that Mr TC hasn't got a nut allergy!!
He definitely hasn't. He's like a hoover for food.
I was diagnosed as being coeliac in 2000, was really ill for a few years before that.
I am now far more sensitive to gluten than I was. I recently got violently ill after eating a large packet of crisps that I forgot to check and that contained gluten :(
Some random thoughts. I don't think anti-histamines will make any difference. I don't think it works that way, it not being strictly speaking an allergic reaction.
Getting bread and pasta on prescription makes a big difference to the budget. My current fave is Glutafin sliced bread. Here in the People's Republic of Scoltand prescriptions are free. Down in Enger-Land it may be worth taking an annual pre-payment prescription, if that is still available.
I found the change in going gluten free took a few weeks to kick in, but when it did, the difference was awesome. I went from struggling to find the energy to get dressed to being able to go on big expeditions. I also started putting on the pounds pretty quickly :(
There is no substitute for obsessively reading labels. On everything. Be very wary of other people's assurances that it will be fine. I have had a few occasions where people have said there is nothing in the casserole except meat and vegetables, then when I specifically ask if they used a stock cube they say yes. I find this really wearing, and I fear being rude, and it is awkward, but it is far better than waking up in the middle of the night with D&V.
Phil Vickery's book is good. and of course there is the good old internet.
Tell Mr TC he can e-mail me if he wants to talk over stuff. Or you can email me yourself if you want.
For me, it is a real nuisance. But that is all it is. I don't need to take nasty drugs to control the disease. no surgery. Just control my diet and I'm fine.
That's really helpful, thanks. I think he's really concerned about suddenly being 'difficult' and having to check everything, but as he says, if it means an end to twenty years of stomach problems then it'll be worth it.
With regard to anti-histamines, it's possible just to be allergic to gluten, rather than coeliac (you can be allergic to pretty much any protein). In such a case (which must be my situation) anti-histamines do provide some help.
> That's really helpful, thanks. I think he's really concerned about suddenly being 'difficult' and having to check everything, but as he says, if it means an end to twenty years of stomach problems then it'll be worth it.
There's no getting away from it - until your friends get the picture, the first few times you go out with them for something to eat can be a real nuisance, very awkward, making a fuss - I still dont like it.
However, if your friends are good friends (and some of mine are - All Hail The Mighty Judith) then they will be very supportive. It is just the learning curve when you visit someone for the first time after you have been diagnosed. I hate to do it, but even so it is easier to speak to people beforehand just to make sure they don't make you ill. Most people would be mortified to realise they had made you ill by mistake. As for those (and they are out there) who just think you are hitching a ride on a bandwagon and so it doesn't really matter if they give you a bit of flour - <rest of words deleted to allow post get through moderation>
> With regard to anti-histamines, it's possible just to be allergic to gluten, rather than coeliac (you can be allergic to pretty much any protein). In such a case (which must be my situation) anti-histamines do provide some help.
Nights out/Takeaways can be a pain, but Pizza Express now does a GF range, which I'm told are very nice indeed. And the Chinese Takeaway in Skipton 50 yards from Ermystead's Grammar claims to only use GF flour.
So does Domino's and Pizza Hut at the less classy end of the market! But I have had reactions from Domino's GF pizza in the early days, probably cross contamination from the cutters. They now don't cut GF pizzas presumably for that reason.
Which one - Kongs (the one on the roundabout) or the HK one? The HK one is the better of the two, I reckon. That's good to know!
Pizza Express is coming to Skipton isn't it?
> Nights out/Takeaways can be a pain, but Pizza Express now does a GF range, which I'm told are very nice indeed.
Dominos do a GF pizza too. The guy in the shop was pretty clued up on the toppings too when we ordered one the other night. He warned us that the pepperoni wasn't GF.
> Which one - Kongs (the one on the roundabout) or the HK one? The HK one is the better of the two, I reckon. That's good to know!
> Pizza Express is coming to Skipton isn't it?
Kong's - worth checking with them though. I do every time I order.
Yep, we're getting a Pizza Express. Ilkley one is nice too. They have a server who looks like a cross between Noel Gallagher and Bradley Wiggins
I'll pay that seeing as nobody else has yet :p
Interesting, as according to the Web the only toppings containing gluten are Cumberland sausage, pork meatballs, crispy onions and ground beef.
> Interesting, as according to the Web the only toppings containing gluten are Cumberland sausage, pork meatballs, crispy onions and ground beef.
Come to think of it, it might have been the ground beef. I was just impressed that the guy in the shop was on the ball and pointed out that there was gluten in some of the toppings that you might not expect to find it in.
Indeed. It isn't consistent between companies, either - the ground beef at Pizza Hut doesn't contain gluten (as indeed it shouldn't, because bulking mince out with breadcrumbs is just downright cheap).
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