May 15, 2016 at 1:24 pm #35686
My daughter has been having stomach problems for three months. We’re exhausted from all of the tests and screenings she has done (she’s NOT allergic to gluten, lactose, eggs, tomatoes or fish) so the investigation into her condition (stomach distended and chronically full of air) continues.
Her pediatrician suspects Ada might be “intolerant” to a food group – so we’ve already done 2 weeks lactose-free (nothing). Starting a few days ago Ada is going gluten-free for 30 days. I decided to do this for the whole family to simplify making meals and also not let my daughter feeling left-out.
We have a pantry-full of gluten-free this and gluten-free that, now. Saturday I took my daughter to a special store and she was so excited that instead of me telling her what she couldn’t have, that she could choose anything she wanted in the store. She was sooo excited!
I’m amazed at the products that are available for the gluten-free but I don’t necessarily think the answer is to use rice, potato and cornstarch in place of flour. On the surface, something more processed does not seem “healthier” to me! Also, none of these ready-made products are “whole anything .”
So I’ve been experimenting with corn flour (making the polenta cake gluten-free) and a big bag an buckwheat flour. I did buy these “flour” mixes they sell and I’m trying my old-standby weekly focaccia recipe using the mix in place of white flour and buckwheat flour instead of whole wheat – we’ll know in a few hours how that turns out!
I also have all the fixn’s to maker Ada homemade pudding to bring to schools for snacks (I will freeze it so it’s still cool by the time snack time comes around) in addition to fruit. Thank goodness she loves tapioca, too! Also, lots of naturally gluten free potato, rice, quinoa and millet dishes on the menu for the week.
We also tried a gluten-free pasta – not bad at all (as you can imagine there are tons of brands in Italy). I haven’t pressure cooked it yet, though! (eeek!!!)
If Ada’s problems seem improved in 30 days then I’ll have to think of long-term solutions to keep the whole family happy and healthy.
In the meantime, any advice and suggestions on how to get through these 30 days are appreciated!!!
P.S. My son Vittorio wanted to learn how to make risotto (he’s in the sushi video) so he could make a gluten-free dinner for his sister. Everyone’s on board and THAT alone makes it so much easier!!May 15, 2016 at 5:36 pm #35689
No advice, but encouragement. Hang in there. Thirty days is not that long. Though it seems so at the beginning.
I do wonder if it is a good idea to use gluten free substitutes. Though I know many do. To my mind it is easier to remove the products rather than keep the product in an altered form. I know when we dabbled with the Paleo diet, we found it was easier to remove rice rather than do “cauliflower rice” which seems to be the standard substitute in that diet.
When we cut out wheat and oats, our standard breakfast became eggs (scrambled or fried with bacon, or an omelet) with salad rather than our old standard porridge. While we have gone back to many of our old ways that remains our usual breakfast these days. It is delicious. And we don’t miss the toast at all.May 16, 2016 at 6:12 am #35699
I know, Greg. When I got home and started reading the ingredients on the “flour replacement” I thought… “what have I done?!?” That stuff should really be a last-ditch product. If we find we have to stick with this gluten-free diet I’m going to spend more time experimenting with nut, bean and quinoa flours. Lots of options – and I see it as a bit of an adventure, too. Well, I do now. When the pediatrician told me to have Ada go gluten-free for a month. I teared-up and sniffled a bit on the way home.
The focaccia turned out OK – it was pretty good once you get over the playdough consistency of it and the fact that it doesn’t stretch at all. You kind of have to press it into the shape you want. I also now realize that yeast and gluten free flour don’t play well together and with the remaining packs of this stuff I’m just going to go with baking powder – with a pinch of yeast for flavor.
I’m getting all excited about the buckwheat flour and grains – may even do a pressure cooker recipe or two using those. I didn’t realize how versatile an nutritious buckwheat is. For now I’m going to try my hand at making pizzoccheri. Even though I’m from Lombardy I’ve only ever gotten proficient at making polenta and risotto. Pizzoccheri sound like a delicious challenge that will satisfy our hankering for pasta! : )
LMay 16, 2016 at 4:07 pm #35705DonnerJackParticipant
It was already mentioned above, that any Paleo (and other similar diets) menu would work for you.
You might want to look up Otto’s cassava flour – I was able to use it for fresh pasta, and Naan.May 16, 2016 at 8:53 pm #35710
@Laura, I agree with Greg that it can be more rewarding to give up the dish and move on to new things than to try to emulate it well. And I see your point that the nutritional offering of GF substitutes leaves much to be desired.
That said, a good friend of mine is GF. She tells me when I cook for her to skip the GF pastas, but a few commercial GF breads are acceptable in toasted sandwiches. I’ve made a few casseroles topped with GF cheesy breadcrumbs, and that worked.
A few ideas: I have a southern cornbread recipe that uses no wheat flour by Cooks Illustrated filed away. Also, a kasha-beluga lentil-toasted almond-tomato-corn-roasted red pepper salad with lime-garlic-cumin dressing recipe. I’m pulling that out for summer. Let me know if interested.
A simple mushroom gravy over kasha can be quite nice in cooler weather. It’s a classic flavor combo that needs little fuss to be wonderful. Then there’s the Japanese buckwheat pasta, soba. Most buckwheat soba includes wheat flour as well, but the Japanese do make a 100% buckwheat soba which costs about 2-3 times more than regular dried pasta. I recall that using 100% buckwheat in pasta can be challenging and in Japan, only artisans do it. Do Italians manage it in pizzoccheri?
If you like, check out the Sneaky Cheesy Quinoa recipe at http://www.inharvest.com/recipes/whole-grains-and-pasta/
I haven’t tried it, but cheese makes most things taste good and it looks kid-friendly for someone missing Mac and Cheese. I enjoy making the Red Quinoa Potato Leek Chowder at the same link, also GF.
Good luck with your new adventure and with helping your daughter.May 17, 2016 at 9:39 am #35722
Here’s one more possibility. If GF in your household also means no oats, buckwheat groats make a nice, mild-tasting breakfast cereal. When I was experimenting with grains, I included some cooked teff grain in the cereal to kick up the flavor. Teff is a stronger-tasting, malt flavored tiny grain used in Ethiopia and Somalia that can be fun to experiment with. It’s a relative of quinoa, but tastes nothing like it. Just one more option, maybe.May 17, 2016 at 11:01 am #35724
I have a friend who is gluten free who I worked with in the summer. She would bring me the occasional slice of commercial GF bread (Udi’s usually) which tasted and had the texture of normal whole grain bread. (by normal I mean homemade in my bread machine, or store or bakery bought) Far better than some I tried the previous year.
And people do seem to be having no problems with pressure cooking GF pasta.
Your daughter is lucky you have the nutritional knowledge and the compassion to let her pick her own stuff. And for her family support group:)
Hopefully you find the cause.May 17, 2016 at 11:29 am #35726
My GF friend also prefers Udi’s bread. The texture seems bread-like. I found it to be mild-tasting and inoffensive, but, unsurprisingly, without any wheat flavor. My GF friend generally finds GF bread substitutes to be a lost cause, but she told me she will eat Udi’s bread because it does not have a strange flavor, it toasts well, and it opens up the possibility of sandwiches.
I have found that over time, my tastes will generally shift to whatever I’ve decided to eat habitually. There are exceptions. It helps if there are also new fun things to eat.May 17, 2016 at 11:43 am #35727
I routinely go ‘off’ things and then a year or so later they taste good again. MO idea why.
In the summer I usually see 100’s of GF people a day. Increasing far faster than any other food sensitivity. So it is good to see that GF products are becoming better and more affordable.May 17, 2016 at 2:02 pm #35731
Here’s an article that paints a brighter picture of the possibilities for GF bread: http://www.nytimes.com/2016/04/10/travel/paris-bakery-gluten-free.html
Of interest to me was the line, “they don’t use food-grade gums, starches and preservatives that are the norm in North American gluten-free products.”May 17, 2016 at 2:11 pm #35732May 17, 2016 at 2:16 pm #35733
The link got chewed up in translation when I put it on a separate line. It’s fixed now.May 17, 2016 at 3:28 pm #35735
Thanks ladies and gent, lots of interesting reading. Even if after 30 days we find out it’s NOT gluten – I’m really excited to explore all of these new flours.
Suzanne, that quote made me think – so they don’t use food-grade items?!? So I had to click to read the rest.
Italian pizzoccheri are not 100% buckwheat – it’s about 90% so I can do the rest with those “cheater” flour mixes. ; )
I also have the small fat pyramid-shaped buckwheat groats – they are a handsome “grain”. So I’ll finally get to test the cooking time for the chart and make a bunch of gruel for breakfast.
There are so many “alternative pastas” to explore with very little flour which are going to be fun to “translate.” There’s gnocchi – of course (with potato and/or pumpkin). I can finally put the Spaetzle maker I bought in Trento 15 years ago to use. And strangolapreti (choke the priests) which are a ricotta and spinach gnocchi which are lightly fried in sage butter before serving (soooo good – they totally inspire gluttony).
I also just got some white polenta, so I already plan to make “gnocchi alla romana” – usually made with semolina flour- and of course the polenta lasagna that you’ve all already seen in my book!
Tonight’s dinner was a Potato Gatto’ which was a bigger success than usual as I purchased “Prague Ham” by accident – which is lightly smoked. I topped it all off with some rice “bread” crumbs to get the gratin. We had that with pickled vegetables (sotto aceti).
I’ve decided to involve the herbalist (they are educated and certified in Italy and dispense nutritional supplements, herbs, teas, etc.) – since nothing from the pharmacy seems to be doing anything at all for Ada’s stomach ache. At first I thought the herbalist was kind of kooky but she’s done some amazing things for my husband’s prostate and my precocious menopause (my doctor complimented her on the regimen she designed for me – and I feel great again).
So the herbalist gave me some super-strong ferments and aloe juice and more strict dietary exclusions for the next week to keep the fiber at a minimum (no whole beans, no broccoli, etc.) to get Ada’s tummy in order.
Fingers crossed that she finally finds some relief! Thanks for all the great advice, ideas and support. : )
LMay 18, 2016 at 2:55 pm #35745
@Laura, your family is eating really well. I’m surprised you don’t mention frequent uninvited dinner guests. ;-)
Your big bag of buckwheat flour made me think as I was driving home yesterday, “Of course, Breton galettes!” Galettes use only buckwheat flour, so no need for cheater flour. I’ve filled them with Gruyere cheese, spinach and egg in the past. The ones I made years ago had a very basic crepe batter, but a recipe from my bread book also includes olive oil, fruit brandy, and buttermilk, so there are different possibilities. Here are some ideas for fillings I ran across: http://brittany-crepesandgalettes.com/menu/
The savory fillings on this web page make a good case for galettes being dinner fare.
In my bacon-eating days, I used to make this Lidia Bastianich pasta sauce:
In her book and cooking series where it first appeared, Bastianich used it to top fresh buckwheat pappardelle. I bet this sauce would fold up into a galette wonderfully, as well as your homemade buckwheat pasta. According to food writer Martha Schulman, crepes/galettes freeze well. This sauce keeps and freezes pretty well, too, and it cooks long enough that it might work in a PC. The more I think about it, the more I regret giving up bacon!
My bread book also has a recipe for buckwheat pancakes raised with yeast and a bit of baking soda. It would give you your bread/yeast fix. I haven’t tried this one — the recipe I use to make buckwheat pancakes with blueberries includes wheat flour and baking powder.
When I used that quote from the Paris bread article, I didn’t notice it comes across as something different than it is. Out of context, it IS a bit of a tabloid shocker!June 5, 2016 at 8:22 am #36001
On tonight’s local Masterchef, one of the contestants who is gluten intolerant made some GF noodles. They were highly rated by the judges and I immediately thought of your 30 day challenge.
So here is the link to the recipe:
http://tenplay.com.au/channel-ten/masterchef/recipes/abalone-mushrooms-and-green-tea-noodlesJune 5, 2016 at 11:42 am #36002
Thanks Greg! Our challenge ended early. On the one night where my son and I went on a Goshindo Stage I showed my husband three heat-and-serve gluten-free options to feed my daughter. He gave her a sandwich. I almost cut off something vital when I found out.
We’ll have to start over, but we’re going to do it after we visit the Pediatric Gastroenterologist in Rome – if they require it. However, she did do three good weeks on it and did not improve. We also did a course of antibiotics during this and that didn’t work either. We hope to have more answers on the air that is causing her stomach pain after we see the expert.
I found making the whole family gluten-free useful for fine-tuning our habits.We’ve decided to have rice and potatoes more often during the week and also I plan to keep playing with buckwheat. If we have to start over… I’m going to give making my own gluten-free pasta another shot. ; )
In the meantime, I’m looking forward to going back to our weekly homemade focaccia for the first time tonight!
LSeptember 6, 2016 at 10:32 am #37387
OK, so an update. The gluten elimination diet didn’t have any affect on my daughter but since then we’ve done more tests and analysis. She is intolerant to wheat, eggs, pears and melons. If you only knew how many frittata’s I made during that trial period!!! AAAGH!!!
Anyway, now we’re going to go wheat, egg, pear and melon free for four months so that my daughter’s intestinal inflammation can reduce.
I’ve already made a chocolate cake with rice flour and apple sauce (wow) and now I’ve got a bag of flax seeds and I have no idea what to do with them.
The experimentation continues and if I manage to make some useful recipes I will test them for the website as well. There is a treasure-trove of “gluten-free vegan ” recipes to try online, too.
Ideas, suggestions from fellow pressure cooks and recommendations welcome!!
P.S. We’ve had her on this new diet for a week and already her “pain number” (a scale from 1-10 we devised to compare pain from one day or hour to the other) has already gone done from 5-6 to 4-5 and no 8 or 9 spikes at all!September 6, 2016 at 1:32 pm #37388
What a relief it must be to find out what you are dealing with! And to see your daughter being more comfortable.
On flax seeds: Because they have a high omega-3 fatty acid content, flax seeds are extra-vulnerable to rancidity if heated, so I don’t bake with them as some do. I throw 2-3 tsp into my greens smoothie where the get pulverized (as they should be). They have a strong flavor, so caution is in order if you are new to them. Also it’s well to make sure they are not already going rancid when you open the package; take a whiff inside the package when you open it to make sure the seeds don’t smell like cardboard or old paint, which indicates rancidity.
Happily, eliminating both wheat and eggs happily hasn’t scuppered your choco cake skills! As you may already know, many gluten-free baked products that utilize commercial GF flour formulations end up being higher glycemic than conventionally baked products, so whole grain wheat-substitutes, if you can make them work, are better. (On the other hand, most of us don’t expect a desert to be especially nutritious — it’s more like just minimize the damage.) I’m not sure how well egg substitutes work, but my mind goes back to buckwheat blinis/crepes, which can be deserts or main dishes depending on the toppings you use. Maybe some Mexican cuisine, using polenta, easier to find there, instead of tortillas. Toasted and cooked millet also tastes somewhat like corn. Look for some taco and enchillada fillings and sauces on Rick Bayless’ website: http://www.rickbayless.com/tv-books/tv-show-recipes/
I’ve seen recipes for using teff flour to make pastry crusts. Teff products are available locally because there’s a large Somali population here. Flavorwise, teff is sort of malty, hazelnutty, more like buckwheat flour than wheat flour. I made teff pancakes with it for a while, and have been thinking of getting some for breakfast porridge to vary my morning oatmeal routine. It comes out the texture of semolina. Not inexpensive where I live, but has excellent flavor and nutrition. Maybe can cook in a PC, although like polenta it would scorch easily.
Just some thoughts. May they spark your creativity.September 6, 2016 at 3:20 pm #37389
Thanks, Suzanne! I’ve definitely upped the millet and quinoa rotation to my husband’s disappointment. He thinks that eating rice and potatoes everyday is the solution!
What do flax seeds taste like? What is their strong flavor like?
I forgot to mention that the Gluten Free pizzoccheri I tried to make before I knew eggs were off limit where a COMPLETE disaster! I think I accidentally came up with a new kind of super-strong cement. ; )
Is your buckwheat pancake recipe with flax seeds? Please share the recipe as we want to go out to brunch soon and I’ll bring Ada her own pancakes for the restaurant to re-heat so she doesn’t miss out!
LSeptember 6, 2016 at 5:06 pm #37391
It’s great to hear you are on track for a solution at last. But wheat and flour! Yikes. Pears and melon are easily avoidable. But those two… At least it’s not tomatoes and onion.
I ran across injera the other week. It is a Ethiopian sourdough flatbread traditionally made from teff flour. However most of the recipes I have found include wheat flour and/or raising agents. Here is one that eliminates the wheat flour at least. http://yumuniverse.com/authentic-ethiopian-injera-100-teff-flat-bread/ I think injera is delicious, but have yet to try making it myself.
Apart from Suzanne’s excellent suggestion of vegan and Mexican recipes, have a closer look at Indian cuisine. Lots of alternate flours there. And eggs do not figure largely either. This is one recipe I have made several times: Keralan Chicken CurrySeptember 6, 2016 at 6:35 pm #37394
Well, I’ve tried making injera.
I tried making 100% teff injera about 5 years ago. I chatted with some Somali restaurant cooks who were making teff+wheat injera. The thing about teff is that it has its own naturally occurring yeast, and the batter will start naturally bubbling on its own after a few hours on the counter. But it isn’t the nice yeasty smell European/U.S. bakers are used to. It’s a stinky smell. The more you let it sit, the stinkier it gets. I followed instructions and let some sit for several days, by which time it was just awful. And I’ve made sourdough cultures from scratch about 5 times, so I’ve held on to my nerve before stinky yeast cultures.
This injera batter became so scary bad I discarded it every time I tried. Later I had a chat with a local Somali business woman who phoned her mother. Her mother said nobody in our area, not even Somalis, make injera the traditional way without wheat because we don’t have the correct bacteria in our air. That is why the cooks in East African restaurants here add wheat and yeast. So I gave up on 100% teff injera. I settled on a modified version of it that includes wheat flour, yeast and beer. Making injera seems simple, but it may depend on whether the bacteria (rather than The Force) are with you.
@Laura, I wondered how that pizzoccheri would turn out — I think the Japanese chefs who make 100% buckwheat soba consider it to be an artisanal task that must be taught by masters. The wheat flour makes it more doable. Plucky you for giving it a shot!
Okay, so I just chewed a few flax seeds. They do taste just a bit nutty, but they also have a heavy, oily flavor that is not especially pleasant. Taste a bit from your bag and see what you think. If you are trying to transition your daughter to suitable foods as kindly as possible, I wouldn’t guess adding flax to her pancakes would help. I struggled to find a way to eat flax seeds. As is I only swallow them under the cover of fierce-tasting greens.
Down to recipes. I’ve included a couple. If you are like me, what you end up making may be a mix of several recipes/methods, depending on what ingredients and how much patience you have at the time. The pancake recipe I’ve made included both eggs and wheat flour and is the first one below–I thought the baking powder approach might be useful to know. The other two recipes, 100% buckwheat flour, I’ve not tried.
Quick Buckwheat Pancakes
1 C buckwheat flour
¾ C whole wheat flour
2 ½ tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
1 Tbsp molasses
2 egg yolks
1/3 C melted butter (I left out)
1 2/3 C milk or 1 ¼ C buttermilk
2 egg whites, beaten
Mix dry ingredients and combine with the mixed liquids. Fold in stiffly beaten whites last. Fry on greased griddle. Makes 8 pancakes. (I just tossed in the eggs whole without beating the whites and added fresh blueberries. Fresh berries make them much nicer)
1 envelope yeast
½ C lukewarm water
¾ C boiling water
2 C buckwheat flour
2 eggs, beaten
1 C milk, warmed
1 tsp salt
1 Tbsp molasses
4 Tbsp butter, melted
¼ tsp soda
¼ C boiling water
1 Tbsp molasses
Dissolve the yeast in the lukewarm water. Add the boiling water to the buckwheat flour and when lukewarm add the rest of the ingredients except the last three. Stir in the yeast and when mixed, wrap bowl well in 2 tea towels and set in a warm place to rise overnight. In the morning, dissolve the soda in the boiling water and add it and the molasses to the batter. Batter will be thin. Fry on hot, greased griddle.
2 C buckwheat flour
2 C warm milk
2 Tbsp light brown sugar
1 envelope yeast
3 large eggs, room temperature, separated
1 Tbsp salt
Begin the batter 4 hours before frying binis. Stir the milk, sugar and yeast into the flour. Set the bowl in a pan of warm water, cover with a tea town and let batter rise 2 hours. Stir in the yolks and set the pan again in warm water to rise another 2 hours. Stir in the salt and the stiffly beaten whites of the eggs. Fry cakes on medium hot griddle in mixture of oil and butter. When the top of the cake dries, it is done, as it is not to be turned. If the griddle is too hot, the bottom of the cakes will brown before the top is done. In that case, turn cake for only a second to prevent the top from being too moist. Any leftover batter can be refrigerated, well covered, and used later. Let it stand at room temperature so it can rise again before frying.
Recipes are from “Our Daily Bread,” by Stella Standard, 1970.
Enjoy!September 6, 2016 at 9:29 pm #37395
I am less than convinced by the “wrong bacteria in the air” argument. While it may hold true for teff, it has been pretty well debunked in the wider sourdough community. This from sourdoughhome.com:
The mythology of sourdough is that you are capturing yeast from the air. However, there are many reasons to believe that doesn’t happen very often. When people use sterilized flour and water to try to catch a culture, it fails much more often than not. When they don’t use sterilized ingredients, it almost always works. In short, the flour has wild yeast in it, and chances are you are providing the lactobacillus from your skin.
I have done the experiment myself and found it so.
It is possible that the teff has been sterilized as part of the import process though.September 6, 2016 at 11:49 pm #37396
@greg, I can’t say from experience where the yeast comes from, as the little beasts do not leave jet trails. The teff flour I have used definitely comes with its own distinctive spectrum of very lively yeast. It starts smelling of it within a couple of hours of being moistened.
My teff flour is grown in Idaho. It would not be surprising if it brought its own Idaho spectrum of yeast instead of Ethiopean yeast, and these upstart Idaho yeast leave their own untraditional stamp on injera batter. My limited querying suggested that, for whatever reason, when East African women immigrate here, 100% teff injera-making stops or is not very visible. The injera I’ve had in East African restaurants or seen for sale at the food co-op in the East African area of town doesn’t have much teff in it. Maybe it is just too expensive compared to wheat flour.
After my Ethiopean (not Somali — I misspoke above) businesswoman acquaintance told me her mother said you can’t make injera the traditional way here, I decided to be persistent about something else. By then I’d cooked some East African bean stews and found I preferred flavors from the North Mediterranean, which, incidentally, pair better with wheat bread or rice. It was the last straw to learn that even ex-pat Ethiopean women weren’t doing it, at least not here. I acceded to the wisdom of crowds.
But it could be a practical skill for someone needing to be wheat-free. Yeast permitting, that is.September 7, 2016 at 3:17 am #37397
We’ve probably hijacked Lauras thread quite enough now. I’ll just add that the wiki entry on injera indicates that other flours are substituted because of the expense/scarcity of teff.
You have tried it. I haven’t. I bow to your greater experience.
Interestingly, what got me started on looking into injera a few weeks ago was a visit to an Ethiopian restaurant. They served two types with the meal. One was creamy in colour. The other was a dirty brown. I now know the dirty brown one was closer to “authentic”. It tasted better but looked worse.September 7, 2016 at 7:59 am #37398
Depending how adventurous an eater your daughter is, you could try Dhokla. It’s a steam-raised bread (thus perfect for the PC!) from India which I discovered via the NYT:
I subbed chickpea flour (105g) for the semolina mentioned in the recipe, and the bread was delicious.
According to my notes, I “baked” it for 7 minutes on High, with natural release. Try it – you can also tone down the spices if your daughter’s palate is more conservative. (For example, I left out the curry leaves. And of course you can go easy on the chilis.)September 10, 2016 at 12:35 pm #37472
@Laura Nice you are back to it with more info. Also what I hear from my gluten free acquaintances is the odd lapse does no break the diet.
Glad she is feeling better.September 11, 2016 at 8:39 am #37486
While looking for something else, I came across these. They may be of some help. FOr the wheat anyway…September 12, 2016 at 3:42 am #37499
OK, I tasted the flax seeds and they tasted kind of grassy. So I read-up on them and I read you need to grind them into a meal. What a disaster trying to do that with my mini-chopper. I really need to get a coffee grinder thing for spices. The seeds kept sliding around and after 10 minutes on turbo they looked exactly the same. In desperation, I started shaking the chopper as I went (not the safest thing to do) but it somehow started to make progress – perhaps tossing the seeds against the blades.
Then this morning, as the kids are home for two more days before starting school, I decided to make this gluten-free, egg-free, sugar-free, dairy-free recipe. My husband joked that it’s probably fun-free, too.
WOW! These were really good – I made it exactly as stated except I used cow’s milk and half the cinnamon. I only had an issue with shaping and flipping the pancakes which I think was more user-error (it was probably the third time in my entire life that I’ve ever made pancakes).
I noticed that the “grassyness” of the flax seeds disappeared completely and they were nice and crispy on the outside and soft and bread-like on the inside. Another surprise – they were REALLY filling.
The kids want me to make them all the time now!!!
Now that I’ve got applesauce and flax seeds under my belt, I feel like I can make anything. Well.. almost anything!
Greg, that link is interesting – some of the flour mixes I buy that are better-quality include tapioca starch. I wonder if I could just blend my tapoica pearls and just use that!
P.S. Ada’s tummy pain level this week is down to 2-3 – it looks like wheat and eggs were really the thing that was filling up her tummy with air!September 12, 2016 at 4:43 am #37500
Re flax seeds: try and see if you can’t buy them coarsely ground – that’s what I do, and they are widely available here (it’s called “geschrotet” in German). I guess they spoil more easily in that form, so maybe keep them in the fridge (I use them in my muesli every day, so I don’t, but I always buy a fairly small bag).
Beats trying to grind them yourself, I would think.September 12, 2016 at 10:13 am #37501
@Laura, your spice/coffee grinder idea is on track–those seeds are really hard. That’s what I used for a while. Ideally, you can get one that is easy to wash thoroughly. Many cheaper ones are not, and if not washed out well, the fragile flax seed oil that remains goes rancid and stinks up the spice mill.
Because I didn’t like having to wash out my spice mill thoroughly, I eventually settled on grinding the seeds into smoothies. Annette’s suggestion of buying pre-ground will work, too, as long as you use it up quickly.
By the way, I figured out after my last response that the seeds I sampled for you were not very fresh. The more recent batch I had tasted better — more nutty, less oily. I can imagine the fresher flavor would enhance baked goods.
Chia seeds have a less assertive flavor, have omega-3 oils, are softer, and are easier to work with than flax, I think. You can also make fun and healthy puddings with them quite easily and quickly.
You may already be aware of this, but here’s another GF flour resource: https://www.cooksillustrated.com/recipes/7854-americas-test-kitchen-all-purpose-gluten-free-flour-blend
I have a bunch of quinoa I want to use up, and have been thinking grinding it into flour and mixing it with teff flour to use in biscuits to pack for lunch. Hopefully the nice flavor of the teff will offset the boring vegetal flavor of the quinoa. I haven’t used quinoa flour before, so it will be an adventure. Probably end up like hockey pucks, but by the time lunch rolls around, I’ll eat anything. If they are too puck-like, I’ll try again with a bit of wheat flour.
Good to hear that all your efforts and concern are improving Ada’s quality of life. It’s hard to get on with life when your stomach hurts.September 13, 2016 at 4:45 am #37511
How are you going to make quinoa, flour? Do you have no-rinse “grains”? Or are you going to cook it and dry it first?
LSeptember 13, 2016 at 10:05 am #37513
BTW, you can’t make flans with flax seeds – at least not pressure cooked ones. I had a pretty funny outcome where most of the ingredients were out of the ramekins and all over the pressure cooker (even at low pressure, even with natural release).
I’m giggling just at the thought of what I saw when I opened the pressure cooker. Heee… hee.. The kids were like… I’m NOT eating THAT!!!!
I’m going to move to cakes and see how that goes.
heeee heee snicker tee hee : D
LSeptember 13, 2016 at 10:39 am #37514
Wait, how do you make flan without eggs? Are the flax seeds supposed to be an egg substitute? Also (so many questions…) did you use your blenderized flax seeds and they still popped? Impressive.September 13, 2016 at 11:19 am #37515
Yes, I tried substituting the eggs in flan with flax seeds – I know it’s simplistic (because many suggest just doing a cold dessert for this) but I did wonder how it would react under pressure. It crossed my mind and since I had all of the ingredients and time I said… why not? I based it off the 3-ingredient flan in my book but added cocoa powder and used flax seed then just sugar and milk.
When I opened the pressure cooker only maybe 1/4th of the volume of the batter remained in the ramekin. The rest was sprayed evenly all over the inside of the base and lid.
Yes, I used the blenderized seeds.
It must have been the flax because I’ve pressure cooked all of the other ingredients before (even the milk in preparation for yogurt) and I’ve never had such a reaction!
Hahaha! Sorry. It was funny.
They probably do a better job inside a batter than floating in milk. ; )
LSeptember 13, 2016 at 12:07 pm #37518
Interesting – I hadn’t thought of flax seed as a thickening agent – it doesn’t do that in my muesli, I don’t think.
While we’re on the subject of pressure-cooking fails: mine was a braised-cabbage recipe from the Orangette blog. I learned: if you cook cabbage in the PC, it’s not braising, it’s boiling. And it’s awful (and smelly).
That one went straight from the pot to the trash.September 15, 2016 at 9:33 am #37527
I’ve read that quinoa flour can successfully be used in baking when ground in a blender. Since it will be wet from rinsing, I’ll try to whiz it up in the blender with whatever liquid is in the biscuit recipe. When the seeds have pulverized into the liquid, then add that to the dry ingredients, including other flours, that already have the fat cut in. That’s the plan, anyway.
If that doesn’t work, I’d have to spread out the quinoa to dry, then grind in my coffee/spice grinder. This plan B sounds like too much work. I might just bypass it by making a quinoa pilaf for lunch, which doesn’t sound appetizing, but, again, by lunch time it’s appeal will have risen.September 15, 2016 at 12:26 pm #37528
Annette, try my technique (and recipe if you like) for pressure cooker braised cabbage – they’re pretty fantastic (despite the cooking smell). Maybe it’s the initial brown that encourages a little caramelization.
When I was testing it out it was DEFINITELY the first time ever the kids ate cabbage, voluntarily! ; )
Suzanne, I googled how to make quinoa flour, it looks like you could rinse, toast and blend. But I like the idea of pressure cooking and blending it with the wet ingredients – probably have to adjust the moisture there.
Let me know how your experiments turn out!
LSeptember 15, 2016 at 2:39 pm #37530
Thank you for the reminder – I think I saw this at the time but then forgot about it again. Will try (as soon as the weather turns more cabbage-y) and report back!
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