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Tricia Thompson, MS, RD is a nutrition consultant, author and speaker specializing in celiac disease and the gluten-free diet. She is the author of The Gluten-Free Nutrition Guide and has a MS degree in nutrition from Tufts University in Boston, Massachusetts and a BA degree in English Literature from Middlebury College in Vermont.

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Living Gluten-Free

 
by Tricia Thompson, MS, RD, The Gluten-Free Dietitian

 
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This week I would love to hear your thoughts regarding issues that I am curious about. Please feel free to leave comments on any (or all) questions. And just to be fair, I will give you my thoughts on each of these issues as well.

Obviously, there are no right or wrong answers!

1. When cooking gluten free do you prefer recipes that mimic (or try to mimic) the taste and texture of gluten-full foods regardless of ingredients (e.g., gums, starches, etc) or those that incorporate new tastes and textures by using gluten-free whole grains, such as amaranth, teff and buckwheat?

My thoughts: I have been on a gluten-free diet for so many years that I can’t even remember what most gluten-full foods taste like! But, as I’ve said before if someone knows of a gluten-free, egg-free, milk-free donut please let me know (and in this case, I don’t care what the other ingredients are!).

2. Have you tried cooking/baking with gluten-free grains and flours other than rice and corn (e.g., buckwheat, amaranth, quinoa, millet, teff, sorghum, wild rice)? If so, which grains are your favorites?

My thoughts: I have cooked/baked with most of the gluten-free “alternative” grains and flours. I have not used wild rice flour in anything yet. While they all have wonderful flavors and textures, my favorites are quinoa, teff, and wild rice.

3. Do you eat gluten-free oats? Have you tried baking with gluten-free oat flour?

My thoughts: I have not tried baking with gluten-free oat flour but plan to soon. I am in the process of developing recipes for a book I am writing on gluten-free vegetarian diets and would like to include recipes for cookies and bread that use oat flour. If you have any tips, please pass them along.

4. Have you used the EZ Gluten test strips to test foods for gluten? If so where (e.g., home, restaurants) and for what foods?

My thoughts: I have not used these test strips but will be researching and writing a blog about them soon.

5. Do you contact gluten-free food manufacturers to ask if they test their products for gluten? If they do and the gluten level is below 20 parts per million is this satisfactory to you?

My thoughts: I frequently contact companies to ask about their testing procedures, including what tests they use. I am satisfied with a gluten level below 20 parts per million but am happier when it is even lower.

6. After the FDA finalizes their gluten-free labeling rule, will you eat products labeled gluten free that contain wheat starch?

My thoughts: I don’t know. My ambivalence has a lot to do with nutritional quality. When there are so many great tasting nutritious gluten-free flours I don’t really see the need to eat a product based on wheat starch. However, if there is a wheat starch based donut...

Thanks in advance for sharing your thoughts!

Follow me on Twitter where I will be posting weekly links to my Living Gluten-Free blog!


Tricia Thompson, M.S., RD is a nutrition consultant, author and speaker specializing in celiac disease and the gluten-free diet. She is the author of The Gluten-Free Nutrition Guide (McGraw-Hill) and co-author of The Complete Idiot's Guide to Gluten-Free Eating (Penguin Group). For more information, visit www.glutenfreedietitian.com.

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For a copy of The Gluten-Free Nutrition Guide click here.





@ 10:02pm ET on June 23, 2009
where does one obtain wild rice flour?


@ 3:55pm ET on June 24, 2009
Hi,

You can order wild rice flour through Purcell Mountain Farms.

Tricia


@ 5:37pm ET on June 30, 2009
Hi Trisha,
To answer your questions:
1. I like whole grain heartiness and flavor and try to mimic these with gluten free whole grains and flours. I am not looking for a Wonder bread substitute.

2. I have used most of the gluten free grains and flours too. For grains my favorites are quinoa, buckwheat, corn meal, amaranth and teff. For flours my favoites are sorghum, corn flour (not corn starch), buckwheat, teff, and Montina (I like the 100% better than the blend).

3. I usually use rolled oats and another gluten free whole grain flour, not oat flour. The rolled oats provide good texture. Either crispy/crunchy in granola or fruit crisp toppings. Or structure and moistness in muffins and breads. Oat flour would work in many recipes, but with so many other choices, I just haven't tried it yet.

4. I haven't tried EZ strips and look forward to your post.

5. I call manufacturers and ask about their processes. I have learned much from you about gluten free testing, thanks.

6. To my mind, wheat starch ranks with Jello as far as nutrition. I'll try to avoid it because I'd prefer something more nutritious.

Linda Simon
http://blog.kitchentherapy.us


@ 10:19pm ET on July 1, 2009
air yeezy


@ 10:33pm ET on July 1, 2009
Nike Air Tailwind


@ 9:44am ET on July 29, 2009
1. I use few GF products, but prefer the sorghum based mixes and products. We like the sweetness and the chew. Pamelas Wheat Free Gluten Free Bread Mix and Trader Joes Ryeless Rye bread cover most of our needs. I use organic corn starch or arrowroot or any other flour I happen to have like sorghum, to thicken once in a great while.
2. Ive tried most of these flours and prefer the sorghum based ones.
3. Afraid to try GF oats. Our daughter cant do them.
4. Ive never used the strips. I use very little processed food to need to check..
5. I dont ask. I just ask if the product is gluten free. I use almost no processed food so the only time I need to know is in a social situation and usually that is on the weekend when the hot lines are down anyway. So I avoid the food.
6. No wheat starch.

Thanks for your good blogs.


@ 2:29pm ET on July 29, 2009
Hi Tricia,

1. This answers most of the rest of the questions. I do much better if I avoid starch and sugar, so yes, I try to find recipes that contain flours I can easily substitute with almond flour. I'm not on a strict SCD diet, although maybe I should be, but I do find that I'm much more comfortable avoiding those foods that bloat me and give me a nasty general malaise. Perhaps I'll be totally SCD once I've learned to negotiate the diet better. I'm not sure whether my discomfort is due to SIBO or yeast.

I subscribe to cooksillustrated.com which costs me $35 a year (in lieu of getting the wonderful mag hard copy). I find it gives me plenty of opportunities to explore good techniques in preparing meat and vegetable dishes and is a great resource on other products, from food to cookware to appliances.

I also use very little processed food, and avoid wheat starch. When I do cook for my family, foods I will avoid, I rarely use other gluten-free flours besides corn flour and corn starch. I made quinoa once, and found it delicious, though I am still avoiding it because of the starch situation.

I tend to call manufacturers if I'm in doubt on their labeling. Got used to doing that as a way to feel them out before the allergen labeling suggestions were put into force.

Thanks for your continued efforts in regard to helping us find delicious ways to feed ourselves.
Kit Kellison in St. Louis


@ 9:40am ET on August 17, 2009
Do you know why the dining cards say "allergy" on them, when we know celiac is not an allergy?

I did not see a contact place to ask you, so am sending it here.

Mildred


@ 11:47am ET on August 19, 2009
Hi Mildred,

Thanks for your question. It may be the case that the author of the card you are referring to thought that using the word "allergy" even though not accurate (as you know, celiac disease is an autoimmune disease and not an allergy like wheat allergy) was a quick and efficient way to get the message across to the server that this was an issue to take seriously.

Tricia

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