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help - wheat free, gluten free diet

post #1 of 42
Thread Starter 
to all the great bakers and chefs on the board - i need help. i've finally discovered that i'm intolerant to wheat and boy, does it bite. means no pasta, wheat bread. many cereals, vinegar and lord knows what else - seems like wheat is in everything. my whole diet must change (And my 16 yr. old son - try telling him no squishy white bread!) so i need help on this very challenging diet. thankfully my background is what it is - i don't know how i would cope if i didn't know how to boil water.
so i'm looking for all kinds of substitutions, i've found a few on other boards - but everything tastes like ____. there must be some way to make things more palatable.
thanks in advance,
post #2 of 42
Kat, so sorry!!! Barooooo!:(

You are going to be looking at fresh vegies, lots of salads (no crutons ;-), and whole protiens. I'll dig up some recipes for you. I hope you like cheese! B
Life is a banquet, and most poor suckers are starving to death! Auntie Mame
Life is a banquet, and most poor suckers are starving to death! Auntie Mame
post #3 of 42
I feel your pain,

In addition to a gluten intolerance, I also am lactose intolerant.
I tried to stay off all those foods and made it for about 5 months.
Then one night I was out and a basket of fresh bread landed on
the bar where my wife and I were eating and I just lost control.
I almost ate the basket. Then I found out Bourbon was off limits.
I just couldn't live like that. I have a glass of bourbon every evening
and half and half in my coffee in the morning. I also consume any and
everything with flour. Just plan for a little more time in the bathroom
every morning. I find it helps to eat as little as possible in the daytime
hours and eat only one big meal, in the middle of the evening. Beware
of Possible problems with your colon. You'll find colonoscopies less and
less painful as time goes by. The nicest most attractive nurses cleaned
my clock last time. Just get one every five years to be safe. Good luck.
post #4 of 42
My cousin recently found out she has celiac disease, and now that she knows what it was that was making her so sick, she's getting along with it very well. There are a lot of things she can't eat, but there are still a lot of things she can. And the same goes for you. :D

Remember, too, that you don't have to impose your restrictions on everyone in the family. If your son wants that squishy "bread" -- well, he can still have it, but now you have a good reason to not eat it yourself. ;) Shouldn't take much will power to pass it by. :lol:

If you Google on "celiac" you get a lot of information. can tell you about the disease, and has diet suggestions.

And for a start, has gluten-free mixes that I'll bet are better than the average stuff -- look here in the Baker's Catalogue for what they've got.

Dietary restrictions are a bummer, but feeling sick is worse! Hope this info helps.
"Notorious stickler" -- The New York Times, January 4, 2004
"Notorious stickler" -- The New York Times, January 4, 2004
post #5 of 42
Thread Starter 
thanks for the replies, i've found a lot of recipes thru the celiacs website, i'm just having problems making them tasty. who knew that wheat taste was so good?!!!!
my son probably has it too, that's why i mentioned him, possibly my older son also. seems it' s a lovely genetic gift i've given them along with other food and drug allergies. they really love me :lol: youngest should get his biopsy results on monday.
so to add to the list of no-nos: sulfites in wine or 'shrooms, seafood, shellfish and soy, possibly oats also. seems if you have this disease you may have other food allergies or intolerances. the fish and wine allergies are the kind you stop breathing with. i do like breathing.:D
post #6 of 42

Dealing with gluten-free

Your problem is really incredibly common. I've had som many gluten-free requirements from guests at my restaurant the I decided to go through the whole menu and determine what is and is not gluten free, and then I wrote a menu specific to those needs. I've already got vegan dishes on the menu for both lunch and dinner, so this was just another step in a different direction. My understanding is that soy is questionable, but depends on the manufacturer, but obviously I wouldn't encourage you to take an unknown risk.
If no one will follow you, you can't be the leader.
If no one will follow you, you can't be the leader.
post #7 of 42
Thread Starter 
found a good supplier of nearly white bread - tapioca loaf is good and they sell some stuff in bulk - 5# bags being bulk
gluten free flours
still searching for pasta that tastes like pasta. i guess 1'll be fooling around with the corn flour i just received.
post #8 of 42
There's a long, front-page article in today's Wall Street Journal on Celiac: "Belatedly, an Illness Of the Intestines Gets Notice in U.S."

You probably know everything in it already, but it was an eye-opener for me.

Don't know if if it's on their free website at


Nope- it's subscribers only. :(
travelling gourmand
travelling gourmand
post #9 of 42
Thread Starter 
this morning i found out that you can take everything you thought you knew about the science of baking and throw it out the _________ window. chemical reactions are entirely different. if not for the addition of xanthan gum, your baked goods are very dry. the all-purpose flour from bobs red mill is not pleasing to my taste as it contains bean flours, so there goes a dz. muffins and 2 quiche shells.:cry: never mind that w/o gluten pie dough really is a different thing.
trying to access that article through my public library. thanks mike - i really don't know much about this disease, but i feel like i'm on a real fast learning curve.
post #10 of 42

Gluten-free website

This might be of interest had a customer come in a give me a card with that website's name, and a list of a call today asking me to go over what would be feasible for my New Year's Eve menu for gluten allergic clientele...they get my time, I want the business.
If no one will follow you, you can't be the leader.
If no one will follow you, you can't be the leader.
post #11 of 42
Hi Kathee,

I stumbled upon this board. It looks quite interesting. I know this thread is old, but it might help others that are browsing.

Have you tried Bi-Aglut or Tinkyada Rice Pasta? They are some of the best pasta in the GF world.

The BiAglut is probably the closest tasting to "real pasta". However, if you are new to the diet, you might still remember what wheat based items still taste like. My non-gluten free wife loves to bake and has replaced just about all my gluten polluted ;) faves with GF ones. I know when she has perfected something [tastes like the glutened version per her taste buds], it has a slight bitter taste to me.

Hope this helps! Good luck in your GF Journey!
post #12 of 42
Thread Starter 
yup, tried the tinkyada. it's not bad. holds up fairly well. hate the corn stuff that's out there it kind of disappears into sauces. found a few good breads - notably the kinnickinkick(sp?) brand - actually tastes like the real stuff, best when toasted. i've found some brown rice wraps also. the biggest problem is the prices!! gasp!! for an ailment that is actually more common than people think a lot of the prices are nuts. many mainstream cereals would be great if they just left out the barley malt!! no one would probably notice the difference in taste.
and i had bookmarked your sight before. there seems to be a lot of info out there, it's just trying to find what's right for my son and i. that and finally regaining my health and hopefully more of my energy. i figure it will take at least a year before verything is pretty much normal again considering how far the disease had progressed.
thank you for your input, every little bit helps,
post #13 of 42
Hi Kathee,

Most of the Kinnikinnick products are pretty good. If you find a bread made with some Montina Flour, I think you'll find the taste pretty close. Plus it adds good texture too.

We have gone to baking our own bread. My wife makes a great quinoa bread (actually she just makes me buns instead of a loaf). It's a adaptation of a Bette Hagman recipe. No toasting needed - a quick trip to the microwave to unthaw it from the freezer - it's as good as right out of the oven :)

Ahhh yes...the joys of a GF diet LOL!! Getting a handle on it will take some time. Hang in there, it does get easier. The health issues should resolve in time as well.
post #14 of 42
Thread Starter 
so.... after a year of no gluten.... i've found that any dessert made with gluten free flour can always be helped with a large scoop of premium ice cream. seriously.
it has been hard to remove all gluten from my family's diet. but i feel so much better and my son's skin rash is gone. husband lost 8 lbs. (we're not positive his side carries the gene, but with his mom's health history, we're pretty sure).
and it really is a good thing i can boil water and then some, as other wise i'd be totally broke and even skinnier as most GF food tastes like ____. my kid says i should open a GF bakery, but i just don't have the stamina any more. i guess i figured out what was wrong a little too late. it took over 15 yrs. of drs. telling me there was nothing wrong with me and it was all in my head. (well the brain fog that can come along as a symptom sure was - glad that's gone)
if any one would like more info. on some of the tips i've come up with, feel free to ask.
post #15 of 42
Hi Kathee,

I am glad to hear that you are feeling better! I suspect as more time passes, you will notice more changes. Depending on how much damage has been done, it can take up to 2 years for full intestinal healing. It's possible there may be other food intolerances or you may be getting some hidden gluten [meds, old pots & pans, cutting boards - that stuff is everywhere!]. There is a simple genetic test that hubby can do to see if he's at risk.

Can you clarify that a bit? If you're talking about prepackaged GF food, I would agree there is some nasty stuff they try to sell us. But as for made from scratch GF food - there's no reason it can't be just as tasty. Certainly someone with your culinary skills [or anyone in your profession] would be able to make a piece of cardboard tasty. :)

We'd love it if you stop by our board and share some of your knowledge and expertise. I would venture to guess, you might pickup a few things along the way too :)

Take care. Keep up the good work!!
post #16 of 42

Spelt flour

Do try exploring uses of spelt flour - you might be one of the lucky intolerants who is intolerant to wheat but not to spelt (I'm sure you already know, but spelt is an ancient variety of grain very similar to wheat, whose gluten is different from modern wheats and for a lot of people does not cause reactions).

I regularly make wholemeal spelt bread loaves for my ma and aunt, both of whom are intolerant of wheat gluten. It's also brilliant for wholemeal scones. It makes a much moister, very flavourful loaf - and takes about half the time of regular wholemeal flour to rise. Do give it a try --
post #17 of 42
Unfortunately spelt is not gluten free and needs to be avoided for all those on a gluten free diet.

From the National Foundation of Celiac Awareness site:
post #18 of 42
Wheat free and gluten are not the same thing. Gluten is found in wheat, barley, rye & oats...and yes spelt & kamut.
post #19 of 42
Post #14 so I can post some informational links
post #20 of 42
Post #15. I am not a spammer, I just want correct information to be disseminated .
post #21 of 42
Now that I can post some informational links...

Here are the acceptable grains & flours for those that must remain gluten free:
post #22 of 42
Thread Starter 
to clarify - i'm definitely talking about some of the packaged goods out there - some i think have the same taste and composition of cardboard. yuck!! it was pretty hard at the beginning as i was mis-diagnosed for so long, and was very run down,i had a hard time doing anything physical. never mind the panic attacks and depression that came from it.
i have turned the whole house gluten-free, i'm the cook - so if they don't like it - too bad ;)
i have also lost the cravings i had in the beginning for various wheat products - such as a warm loaf of italian bread - sort of like an addict going thru withdrawal. :)
post #23 of 42
Good for you!!!! :)

Very common and very normal. You are indeed correct - withdrawal is exactly what you are experiencing. Gluten has an opiate effect on your body, so when it is removed, you do go thru withdrawal. :(
post #24 of 42
I'm gluten free too! I've been going to Al's forum - celiacforums for quite a while, but mostly lurking there. Hi Al!

I'm also on another message board - glutenfreeforum . com .

These may not be up to standard as far as chef quality foods, but as a home cook, they're wonderful.

Pamela's Wheat Free Bread Mix - a must try. It smells like wheat bread, tastes as close as I can remember, and even BENDS. Soft and yummy.

Pamela's Baking and Pancake Mix - great pancakes.

Ener-G Wheat Free Crackers - Reminds me of Carr's Water Crackers.

Gluten-Free Pantry (GFP) 's - Perfect pie crust. I made the pumpkin pie for my non-celiac family Thanksgiving and it turned out great.

GFP's Angel Food Cake - I was stunned at how close this was to the real thing. Same loft. Same texture. Incredible.

I've also been converting old family christmas cookie recipes to gluten free. I've had wonderful success with Annalise Robert's flour mix from her book Gluten-Free Baking Classics, page 6. (Not sure if it's okay to post the recipe for the flour mix?)

I was able to use Annalise's flour mix as a direct 1:1 replacement for regular flour, adding 1/4 tsp xanthan gum per cup of flour mix, for roll and cut cookies, mexican wedding cake type cookies, and even Norwegian Krumkake. If you're familiar with krumkake, I was even able to roll them into tubes and have them keep their shape.

The roll and cut cookies take some extra effort, but they turn out great and are well worth the effort. You have to refrigerate the dough, then roll it out between sheets of waxed paper, back to the fridge, back out to cut, then back to the fridge if needed to get the cookies to the cookie sheet in one piece. But when your only other option is no cut-out cookies for the rest of your life, it's worth the time. :)

Hope that helps, and hope to see you around the celiac world as well.

Loving my gluten-free life.
Loving my gluten-free life.
post #25 of 42
I've had some luck with xanthan gum (you will also find it referred to on the web as Zanthan Gum and Xanthan Gun) using rice flour in various recipes. The amount of ingredients does not mirror ingredients in published recipes but once you learn how to use substitute ingredients and how much of one type of flour (i.e. rice) needs to be substituted for wheat flour on a comparative basis you will get pretty good at creating some pretty good meals. A friend of mine with Celiac disease connects with a number of web sites where victims of the disease share recipes and cooking experiences. You might find those quite helpful as support groups.
My failures in life are few. The most blatant of these is my attempts at retirement. I've studied the process carefully but cannot begin to understand how it is done.
My failures in life are few. The most blatant of these is my attempts at retirement. I've studied the process carefully but cannot begin to understand how it is done.
post #26 of 42
katbalou, how did you learn about your family's gluten sensitivity?
post #27 of 42
Thread Starter 
found out about the sensitivity by ruling out everything else. i had been "sick" for at least 5 yrs.(probably more like 15 actually) - sick being constantly fatigued, always catching every virus, walking around in a brain fog, unable to concentrate, with anxiety attacks and depression thrown in just for fun. I finally did a web search on my symptoms thinking i had chronic fatigue syndrome - that web page directed me to a celiac page and when i went down the symptom list, i had them all. i went to the dr. and had a simple vitamin deficiency test done and it showed that i was not absorbing them correctly - which was all the proof i needed. i immediately withdrew all the gluten from my diet and have felt much better since.
my son's sensitivity showed up in the rash form of dermatitis herpetiformis - a rash with itchy blisters. when i pulled the gluten from his diet it went away. and the bonus was that his acne cleared up also.
sometimes the xanthan gum and guar gum can do some great stuff to your intestinal track!!!!:eek:
i have tried some of pamela's pre-made cookies and have found them a little lacking, so i was leary to try her mixes. maybe they're better. and some of ener-g's stuff like bread - ick, so i haven't tried any thing else in their line.
i've got a pretty good pie crust recipe down, i use some teff flour in the mix, and i like anna's bread mix with the montina flour in it also. i'm currently trying to tweak a rice flour, tapioca starch, corn starch and potato starch mix for a flour sub. goya puts out a fine grind rice flour that runs about .69/lb. which is much cheaper than bob's red mill.
post #28 of 42
Excellent point. But I think you'd have to over-do it to cause a severe attack on that "end"; unless of course you're hyper sensitive to that ingredient also.
The itchy blisters that your son suffers from can be very nasty and my heart goes out to him in his discomfort when those develop. A friend of mine is so sensitive to gluten that if she uses a measuring spoon that has traces of wheat flour on it to measure ingredients, no matter how large or small, for a recipe she breaks out in those itchy blisters and they last for days at a time. Best of luck to you in controlling your disease.
My failures in life are few. The most blatant of these is my attempts at retirement. I've studied the process carefully but cannot begin to understand how it is done.
My failures in life are few. The most blatant of these is my attempts at retirement. I've studied the process carefully but cannot begin to understand how it is done.
post #29 of 42

Yeah, some people do have "issues" with gums. :( If you tweak each recipe enough using a variety of different flours, you can get by without using them. Something like a peanut butter cookie, you could get by without any gums. There's enough protein to get things to hold together.

Combining several different flours when GF baking is always a good idea. You get a much better product. I guessing you've seen all the different mix ratios from Bette Hagman?

This chart (it's from New Zeland) discusses the combinations of various GF flours and binders. Just scroll down till you see the chart in the link below.
post #30 of 42
Hi all, my menu extensively caters for coeliacs and people with other intolerances. I’ll concentrate here on my experiences on providing a gluten free menu.

There is a BIG difference between being gluten intolerant and coeliac. A person intolerant can still consume small amounts, sometimes even flours like spelt may be appropriate without too much of a problem. I play it safe and omit all gluten from GF dishes.

Soy is definitely out, contains wheat. I use Tamari, a Japanese type of soy that’s wheat free.

I’ve yet to find or create an edible pasta substitute. Gnocchi (with just a touch of gluten free flour to help bind) is a good choice to still enjoy the sauces with. Rice noodles are good for Asian style dishes.

Bread is often not very tasty. It does make good acceptable croutons though. I have my baker make it twice a week. He explains that the reason it turns out more expensive commercially is that it is often made in the same bakeries that produce normal baked goods and much time is taken up sterilizing the equipment as well as the need to bake the bread first thing before any other products can be started.

GF flour/rice flour can easily and successfully be used in roux for sauces, soups etc without any taste difference.

I find different types of mash and pilaf’s a saviour when it comes to adding variety. Experiment! I prefer not to try to recreate gluten dishes but instead to create new ones. Easiest to adapt though are recipes that contain not much flour. Choc Brownies are a good example. In cakes ingredients such as almond and walnut meal can successfully be substituted.

My current most popular gluten free dishes are:

Chicken Breast, Asparagus and Snow Pea’s in a garlic cream sauce with sweet potato and caramelized onion mash.

Seared Scallops on Rosti.

Pesto Prawns with Greek Salad.

Hope this helps :)
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