Well, our family's life has changed quite a bit since we've discovered the Gluten Intolerance with Osiyyah. Slowly several of the other kids in my family decided to cut wheat/gluten out of their diets to see if they would feel any better. And sure enough, it's solved a lot of problems! So, since over half the family seems to have some kind of gluten sensitivity or intolerance, we've just decided to all go gluten free. It'll make life much easier, that way we don't have to cook separate meals all the time.
The guys all seem to enjoy the change with the food. I've heard multiple times, "Ever since we went Gluten Free the food is so much better." Haha! It's because we're making everything from scratch now. My 17 year-old brother is extremely sensitive to gluten (even the smallest amounts), so we've had to cut out a ton of stuff. Even foods that say "processed in a facility that processes wheat."
So, we've been back to making mayonnaise from scratch, making all salad dressings from scratch, making dishes with potatoes (baked, fried, mashed, etc) and rice (different flavors and uses), eating more salad (which is a must because we have TONS of lettuce from our garden :)), using the crock pots a lot more, eating more meat, etc.
Although the above may sound daunting to some, it really has not been too difficult to adjust to. We have continued to make all kinds of baked goods as well (cookies, biscuits, cakes, etc) and they have all turned out fabulous. We've come to realize that living gluten free isn't too tough after all :).
There's a variety of gluten free flours that can be used. The flours we mainly use are white rice flour, brown rice flour, sorghum flour and potatoe starch. I hope to experiment some with tapioca flour and millet flour at some point here too. Garbanzo bean flour can be used too and amazingly it doesn't give things a "beany" flavor at all.
Sourghum flour is really good and really strong. You only need a small amount in a recipe to get the rich, sweet flavor of Sorghum. I used one cup sorghum flour in a recipe that had 8 cups of flour and you could still taste the Sorghum. Yummy :).
Brown and white rice flours are what we typically use as the base flours of a recipe. Potatoe starch helps with texture in recipes, because it's very smooth. You only have to use about 2 tablespoons potatoe starch to 1 cup of rice flour and the texture of whatever you make will be very smooth. Some may not notice a texture difference, but if you pay close enough attention it can be noticed.
Xanthan Gum is also very important to baked goods. You don't have to use very much per recipe. 1/4-1/2 teaspoon per cup of flour.
I'll try to post a recipe here and there of gluten free foods that we use regularly. First up will be gluten free biscuits. They are so yummy and almost better than the gluten-filled version :).
Gluten-Free Baking Powder Biscuits
Yield: 14 Biscuits
2 cups gluten free flour mix (see below)
3 teaspoons baking powder
½ teaspoon salt
½ cup shortening (or butter or lard, depending on what you prefer ;))
¾-1 cup milk (normally 1 cup is what will make it the right consistency)
1. Heat oven to 450 Degrees. In a large bowl, combine flour, baking powder and salt; mix well. With fork, cut in shortening until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Stirring with fork, add enough milk until dough leaves the sides of the bowl and forms a soft, moist dough.
2. Roll into small balls, then flatten to about ½” thickness. The biscuit should be about 4” in diameter.
3. Bake at 450 for 8-12 minutes or until golden brown.
*The potato starch is vital to the flour mix. If you only use rice flour (mixture of brown & white or just white), the texture of the biscuits will be a bit grainy. The potato starch helps keep them smooth with a nice texture.*