Tuesday 28th October and 4th November (7-8:30pm) I'm going to be presenting an interactive gluten-free cooking workshop at the Healthy Spirit Hub Cafe where I will be sharing my recipes and ideas about gluten and how to make some delicious easy-to-make gluten-free breakfasts.
I'm very fortunate, that within my Pakistani/Indian heritage there are loads of gluten-free tried and tested recipes like flat breads made from corn, millet and lentils, delicious curries, rice-dishes and yummy dosas to choose from. You know that the recipes work and that they will taste good as people have been making them for years!
The challenge for me was adapting gluten-containing baked recipes for cakes and pastry for special occasions. Working with a ready mixed gluten-free flour for example was a new experience but fortunately there's a mine of information out there where like-minded people have shared their experience and know-how. One of my favourite websites for gluten-free baking is gluten-free girl
As I've been experimenting making gluten-free cakes and pastry, using a ready-mixed gluten-free flour of rice, potato, tapioca, maize and buckwheat flours.
I've learned that gluten-free pastry is more fragile and crumbly plus it needs to be chilled to make it easier to handle. Gluten-free pastry is so much easier to roll when chilled and placed between two pieces of baking parchment paper. There some nice surprises too like you don't need to be careful about over mixing gluten-free cake batters like you do with regular gluten containing flour but you do need to build in some extra moisture using something like apple puree or mashed banana.
From the perspective of health, gluten-free flours are less irritating to the digestive system but still have issues . For example, refined starchy-based gluten free flours like white rice, potato and tapioca starch can cause issues with blood sugar, tend to be low in minerals, B-vitamins and the types of fibre, which feed healthy gut bacteria. These type of flours are best avoided or eaten sparingly.
I would reserve the ready-mixed gluten-free flour for special treats rather than using it as part of the everyday diet. Plus I would also avoid ready-made gluten-free products as much as possible as they tend to be highly processed and expensive too. Opt for freshly prepared meals made from scratch, which incorporate some gluten-free grains in their whole form but are correctly prepared using techniques like soaking, sprouting and fermenting.