If there is currently a food villain, then it would be gluten. Simply mentioning gluten will get you looks of fear and horror from health nuts (and those truly allergic to gluten). Women want their man cooking gluten free, but few people actually understand why. What is gluten and why is it the current supervillain du jour for the culinary world?
What is Gluten Anyway?
Is gluten a cancer causing preservative? Is it a rare African herb known to cause zombieism? No, gluten is two proteins and it’s pretty much everywhere. It’s found in wheat, oats, rye, etc. Pretty much, if it’s a carb, then there is gluten. While everyone’s taking pot shots at gluten, it’s only really dangerous for people who are sensitive to it such as those with Celiac disease. The body creates an immune system response to gluten and keeps you from absorbing needed nutrients.
Cooking Without Gluten
The good news is plenty of food out there doesn’t contain gluten. Fruits, vegetables and meats are all gluten free and open for cooking. Since gluten has become foodie enemy #1, companies have also begun creating gluten-free foods in an effort to help those who are sensitive to it. Along with breads, you should avoid beers, gravy, dressings and sauces. Gluten free grains such as rice and quinoa are good too.
Note: When cooking gluten-free for people with Celiac disease, make sure utensils and bakeware do not come into contact with gluten either. So, no sharing spoons or cutting boards.
Gluten-Free Chocolate Chip Cookies
You can create some amazing cookies by replacing traditional flour with rice flour.
- Melt 8 ounces of unsalted butter and put it into a mixing bowl.
- In a separate bowl, sift 2 cups of rice flour, ¼ cup of cornstarch, 2 tablespoons of tapioca flour, 1 teaspoon of xanthan gum, 1 teaspoon of salt and 1 teaspoon of baking soda.
- Put that bowl off to the side.
- In the butter filled mixing bowl, cream 1 ¼ cups of light brown sugar and ¼ cup of plain sugar, 1 whole egg, 1 egg yolk, 2 tablespoons of milk and 1 ½ teaspoons of vanilla extract.
- Slowly blend in the flour mixture until dough forms
- Add one package of chocolate chips.
- Chill for 1 hour
- Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
- Get out a baking sheet and line it with parchment.
- Shape dough balls and place them on the sheet.
- Bake for 14 minutes. Yum!
For more great recipes, explore dadsthatcook.com and find everything from recipes for meats to desserts.