Thursday, January 30, 2014

Gluten-Free Me

Marlena is not the only one in our Foodgasm crew who is making changes to her diet (see previous post).  I am as well.  And what I am avoiding is gluten. Or as I like to tell people, gluten and I are not friends.

This was a hard one for me. I like bread. I love bread. Rolls. Muffins. Pasta. Etc. So it was a big deal when I decided to find out what life was like without gluten.

Let me tell you, my intestinal tract was quite happy about this change in diet. But my mouth wasn’t!

In the beginning (about 6 months ago) I just avoided anything that was even similar to the glutinous products I used to consume.  But over time, I started to miss things I used to eat. Oh, that salmon benedict I used to make, served over an English muffin.

Surely there must be a substitute. A gluten-free English muffin. I’ll just go find it and be able to go about brunch as usual.

Well, first thing I learned is that much of the gluten-free bread products can only be found in the freezing compartment of the grocery store.  And not all stores will have what you are looking for, even if they have a gluten-free section. (And if you can find where they have stuck that section.)

I did locate an English muffin created sans gluten. Made by Kinnikinnick Foods. My first disappointment when I took it out of the package is that it didn't look like an English muffin.  It was thicker and looked more like a hamburger roll.

The second major disappointment came after I pulled it out of the toaster over and topped it with smoked salmon, steamed spinach, poached egg and hollandaise sauce.

Not only did the "muffin" not taste right--the texture also was lacking.

I didn't think much about what was in the English muffin until I hand a hankering for pizza. I know I could have pulled up chef Ashley's gluten-free pizza crust and made it from scratch, but I was in a hurry so I tracked down a frozen pizza crust.  Made by Glutino.

The crusts were rather small. Good for a personal pizza I guess.  I pulled a couple of out, loaded them up and baked away, anticipating the enjoyment of a well-made pizza.

A big let down! Just like the English muffin, I found that this gluten-free substitute neither tasted or felt right!  Another failure.  Then I bother to look at the ingredients, and I noticed something the two products had in common.

TAPIOCA!  For both of these tapioca flour (or tapioca starch as it may also be called, was a primary ingredient.  And I don't seem to like how tapioca tastes (or doesn't taste--it's
pretty bland).

Now, as I venture forth through the aisle of gluten freedom, I pick up the package and squint to study the list of ingredients.  If tapioca is near the top, I put it back.

What about you? Are you exploring gluten-free products? What do you link? What do you dislike?

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