Sunday, February 1, 2015

BOO! I'm baack! (Plus a granola "recipe")

Why, yes, I am still alive...  I have toyed with several post ideas, including healthy gluten-free shopping at various places...   but self-promotion has obviously never been my big thing...  heh.   So I want to talk about the current state of affairs in being gluten-free, and in being healthy.  

I picked up America's Test Kitchen's gluten-free cookbook, which, while not doing everything I wanted it to (because I don't use flour blends) has helped me on my quest for a whole-grain gluten-free bread.     The secret is psyillium husk.  

For me, I need fiber in my diet, but it is one thing that most gluten-free baked goods lack.  There is too much sugar, fat, and tapioca flour in most gluten-free baked goods.    

Or they are HORRIBLE (certain gluten-free graham crackers come to mind).  And I am working on a recipe for those, too.

And that is what worries me about a tendency of doctors to tell people to "cut out gluten" to lose weight.  Doctors, if you suspect someone has a gluten issue, TEST them first.   They can always go off it, even if the test is negative, and see if it helps.  But if you do have a problem, and go off of it, you can't be tested unless you go back on.  

Now, yes, I know, I went off of it as an experiment.  But I kind of regret that.   I wish I had an official diagnosis, i really do.   But I refuse to go back on gluten and be sick (er).  

So I've been working on baking whole-grain bread, whole-grain treats, less stuff that comes in a bag or box...

I even made marshmallows the other day.   Yes, I know, not whole grain, or low sugar.  But easy.   And probably healthier than the junk in the grocery store, with dyes and whatnot.  

The thing is, being gluten-free does not mean you should not have treats.   But instead of the high-sugar, low-nutrient stuff from your grocer's freezer, play with your food.   Make granola.   Which is actually really easy, and you barely need a recipe, just a guideline.

Preheat oven to 350.

Take some butter and sugar, you can add honey as well...   heat it up until the sugar is melted, and it is all combined, but you don't want it caramelized.    You can add vanilla or almond extract if you want.

Put gluten-free oats (I buy mine from Trader Joes) in a big bowl, along with any additions you'd like.  Sometimes I use flaxseed, chia seed, sunflower seeds, any kind of nut, coconut...  you could add gluten-free oat bran or rice bran, up the fiber...   sometimes I'll even add cocoa powder or cacao nibs.    Pour the sugar syrup over the oat mixture, making sure to leave clumps as you mix.   Put on a cookie sheet and bake... until golden brown.  

Let cool, put into a jar or other container.  This is when you can add dried fruits, if you want, or chocolate chips...   enjoy on yogurt, with fruit, on ice cream....  

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