Healing Delights

Then about 10 years ago, Fenster started noticing other flours, like sorghum, which has a consistency similar to that ofwhole-wheat flour, popping up in her grocery store. 'A whole new world opened up to me," she says. 'At first, we were told to use just one flour, but I experimented with blending sorghum, potato starch, and even tapioca flour, which gave my baked goods more body and shape."

It turned out, too, that these new options tasted pretty good. Experimenting with the new flours and taking lots of notes led Fenster to thousands of recipes that she and her whole family could enjoy together, even though she was the

-free goodness

OATS Rolled, steel cut, however you like your oats, this high-protein grain is wonderful for those on a gluten-free diet-as long as the package is marked "gluten free"; oat crops are often rotated with wheat crops and processed in the same facilities. Besides making a great hot cereal, oats can be used in baking.

QUINOA A buttery-tasting, versatile seed that comes in white and red varieties, quinoa (pronounced KEEN-wah or kee-NO-uh) is known for its high protein content. Cook whole as a hot cereal, use as a base for pilaf, or toss into salads. It can also be ground into flour.

RICE Arborio or basmati, short or long grain, brown or white-rice is gluten free. Brown rice is quite versatile and can be eaten as a side dish, hot cereal, or pudding.

SORGHUM Also known as milo, it's the third-most-prevalent food crop in the world. Whole sorghum is chewy and nutty, and it makes a great substitute for bulgur wheat in tabbouleh and other side dishes.

only one with a gluten intolerance. "Now, I actually prefer the taste of foods made with nongluten flours," she says.

Try it for yourself: Begin with your favorite recipes, replacing wheat with any of these alternatives or a homemade baking mix that Fenster recommends (see page 34). Go in knowing that the taste and texture will change. For example, pancakes might be a little hearty and have a slight sweetness even without fruit and syrup toppings. In many cases, gluten-free flours can actually improve baked goods such as cupcakes, which can toughen when a wheat-flour batter is mixed too much and overdevelops the gluten.

So whether you're curious about the effects of a gluten-free diet on your own body or simply want to have fun with flours that will stretch the imagination, it's good to have so many tasty alternatives to wheat. *

Karen Kelly is a freelance writer and author.

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