Sunday, June 10, 2012

Bulk Barn & Gluten-free Baking

OOOHH EEEMMM GGGEEEE was the first thing I said out loud when I first realized I could no longer have bread.  OH EM GEE!  But wait, what did I know about gluten? Umm....well...absolutely nothing.  So, after googling it for awhile, I found a definition.

Gluten: A protein consisting of a mixture of glutelin and gliadin, present in cereal grains, esp wheat.

That doesn't seem too bad, right?  I'll give you a few brief reasons why I don't include gluten products in my diet.
1) Gluten causes gut inflammation
2) The inflammation causes intestinal cells to die prematurely and causes oxidation on those cells
3) Gluten has a strong association with cancer

Now, back to that "OH EM GEE!"  Let's subtract that statement for a second.  After a little research, I found that I could substitute normal gluten products in baking with other types of flours, such as almond flour and coconut flour.  Great!

A friend of mine mentioned to me that Bulk Barn was a good source for gluten-free foods so I drove over there a few weeks ago and realized that she forgot to mention that it is ROYALLY AMAZING!  I have been to Bulk Barn 5 times in the past 2 weeks...obsessed?  Yeah, I would say so.  Not only do they have all the candies, teas, coffees, dog treats, cooking supplies, drinks etc that an average person would consume, they have a whole line of vitamins and supplements, as well as a whole wall of gluten-free products.
They carry a variety of gluten-free items such as soup stock, breads, crackers, cookies, chips, etc. and all of their bulk gluten-free product is labelled clearly on a red poster.

My favorite type of bread is banana bread so I was on a real adventure to find out how the hell I could make gluten-free banana bread that is delicious as usual.  With the help of Bulk Barn, google, and a few different trials of my favorite types of gluten-free flours, I now have a recipe that I can make on a regular basis.

Gluten-Free Banana Bread

-1 cup almond flour
-1/2 cup coconut flour
-1/4 cup flax seed meal
-1 1/2 tsp baking soda
-1 tsp salt
-4 eggs
-2 tbsp coconut oil (melted)
-1 tbsp maple syrup
-1 tsp vanilla extract
-1 large banana, mashed
-Handful chocolate chips or carob chips (I use carob chips because they are made from from a plant, have no sugar added and don't have the caffeine that regular chocolate does - but they do taste basically the same as regular chocolate chips)

1. Preheat oven to 350
2. Combine dry ingredients in a bowl
3. Combine wet ingredients in a bowl and whisk together
4. Pour wet into dry ingredients and mix together
5. Divide evenly into pans (I make them into muffins)
6. Bake for about 30-40 minutes, remove from oven and let cool

You can find coconut flour, almond flour, and flax seed meal at bulk barn.  It is way cheaper to get it from there than to buy it from a health food store.

And there you have it, Gluten-free Banana Bread.  Moist and sweet, like a regular banana bread.

Stay tuned for more adventures!

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