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The Secrets of Gluten-Free Cooking….

One might wonder where in the world to even begin with gluten free cooking. There are so many things that “secretly” contain gluten. Scouring the web, I found site after site telling me conflicting information….making me beyond confused. There are some great sites that tell you what foods contain gluten, what brands make gluten free foods, and what words mean “contains gluten or wheat” when reading nutrition labels. They seem to have gotten better with the labeling though, as many nutrition labels now say contains wheat, soy, milk etc. at the bottom of the ingredients list. Nevertheless, this does not hold true for everything and companies are forever changing their products, so reading food labels is essential in living gluten free! There is a barcode scanner for smartphones that when you scan the barcode it tells you if the product is gluten free and if not what substitutes are! Again, this doesn’t always work! But it sure helps sometimes! Here are a couple of useful websites:

Foods that contain gluten and words to look for when reading nutrition labels that mean contains gluten: http://www.celiac.com/articles/182/1/Unsafe-Gluten-Free-Food-List-Unsafe-Ingredients/Page1.html

List of Brands and products that are gluten free: http://www.glutenfreeinfo.com/Diet/glutenfreeinfo.htm

Yes, there are many gluten free recipes out there. Many of them call for things that you’ve never heard of or can’t find locally at the store. Gluten free brands cost an arm and a leg and honestly don’t always taste so great! So…. the first thing you should know is that there is an easy way to this whole gluten free thing! There are a ton of different flours mixtures, some that you can make yourself and others that are pre-made. Gluten free flour does cost quite a bit more than regular wheat flour, so be prepared for the cost! It gets confusing having 10 different flour mixtures, one for each different kind of baking you’re doing. I’ve found is that you can use just one flour mixture for everything! This is a basic “all-purpose” flour mixture that works for everything and has amazing results! I like to make it in bulk so you don’t have to mix it up every time you want to bake something!

Bette Hagman’s Original formula for gluten free flour mix:

9 cups white rice flour (buy in bulk for a much cheaper price!)

3 cups potato starch (not potato flour)

1 1/2 cups tapioca flour

Just mix this up and you’re ready to go….you can substitute this for any flour in basically any recipe. There is one little catch though……unless you want a crumbly mess, xanthan gum (which I’ve been calling xanthum gum for the last year without realizing it until now!) is going to be your best friend. While spendy….it’s basically the glue that holds your gluten free flour together! The rule of thumb is to add 1/2 teaspoon for each cup of flour you use in your recipes. Some recipes don’t seem to need xanthan gum, but its kind of trial and error! So learn from my mistakes, and by using this handy little bit of info, you’ll be baking amazing things in no time and no one will even realize they ARE gluten free! Well this should help get you started….. now that I’ve covered the basics, I can finally start posting the goods! All of my “secret” recipes…… you know…..the ones you’veĀ  been bugging me for since you tasted what I made last! LOL! Good luck! šŸ™‚

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Living gluten-free……deliciously!

I’m just a girl….who loves to cook! I’m always trying new recipesĀ  & tweaking them into something better! A little over a year and a half ago, I was faced with the new challenge of living and cooking gluten and lactose free. Undaunted, it has been my goal to acquire andĀ convert as many recipes as possible into something that I can eat too! There are so many foods that I had to “give up” when I realized my intolerances. As more and more people face the realization of living gluten free….and knowing it can be a challenge at times, I’ve decided to share my tried and true gluten free recipes. Although there is quite the learning curve involved with cooking and baking gluten free…. I’ve slowly learned (usually the hard way!) the art of living gluten-free…..deliciously! Although I’m not an “expert” I hope some of you, regardless of how long you’ve been living gluten-free, can find something useful in my blog. I appreciate all of you out there who have shared your gluten free recipes and secrets. It greatly helped me when I was starting out! Many of these recipes are long-time favorites turned gluten-free, while other I post will be first time attempts! And remember, for you gluten lovers, you can always use gluten containing items to replace the gluten free ones they call for.Ā  Its been a long road to go down, but its a path I’ve had to take and its been quite the journey!

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