The Gluten Free Experiment

As someone who is constantly making substitutions for allergies beyond my cows milk intolerance I thought it was time I try gluten free and see how I feel and what I can come up with!

Gluten intolerance (celiacs disease) or gluten sensitivities are an ever growing diagnosis for people who would have been diagnosed with IBS (Irritable Bowel Syndrome) in the past. I first learned of it about 10 years ago when my uncle, a marathon runner, became increasingly ill with no diagnosis in sight. He was hospitalized before they realized that he had Celiacs Disease. Celiacs is a highly dangerous autoimmune disease in which a person can’t tolerate gluten, a protein found in wheat, rye and barley. It can stop the absorption off all nutrients to your body as it damages the lining of your small intestine. Not everyone who has a problem with gluten has Celiacs, some have a gluten sensitivity as I have with cows milk, meaning that it doesn’t do your body serious medical harm but can make you very ill. On that note, I decided to give gluten up for a month and see how I felt. This was partly to be able to really identify with some of my followers on this blog who suffer from a gluten intolerance and partly due to my mother’s nagging that I too, may have a problem with it.

So began my search for delicious things that were gluten and dairy free. With an abundance of zucchini in our farm share I decided to make zucchini carrot muffins with almond and brown rice flour. I experimented with grape seed oil in one batch and applesauce in the other for a healthier option. Both versions turned out amazingly delicious. The ones with the oil held together better whereas the applesauce batch were more moist and stuck to the paper a little more. I decided not to use any refined sugar as I was already tackling all of the other allergins so hey, why not! I used a really good canadian maple syrup courtesy of my roommate Katy with the promise of making her waffles in the morning (posts to come!) and a tofu cream cheese mixed with a little local honey as a frosting.

The maple syrup made the muffins very sweet, not in an overpowering way, but was balanced out really nicely with the frosting. The taste of it was somewhere between a carrot cake and a zucchini bread. I could even see doubling this recipe and pouring it into a loaf pan or cake pan and just increasing the baking time and having a wonderful treat. These are delicious, and healthy and all allergen free (except nuts). If I was eating baked goods like this all the time, I don’t think it would be quite as hard to go gluten free as I thought.

*For more information on Celiacs or gluten sensitivities a very helpful website is Celiac.com.