I like flour, I mean I REALLY like flour, boiled, fried, baked, whatever. I thought flour and I were in a good relationship, mutual love and feelings, but one day, out of the blue, flour started abusing me.
Ok I lie, it really wasn't out of the blue, but you know how it is, people in abusive relationships can't always see it, it's always people outside who see it first. Like the doctor who told me "you need to stop eating wheat. But what did he know, I mean he only went to medial school, he didn't know about our love.
But here we are. I literally went through the 5 stages of grief.
Gluten issues affect everyone differently so it's not like a stuffy nose which could mean a cold or allergies. Looking at my relationship with food over the years, it's really easy to link different ailments to gluten. So it's not so much that I was a sickly child, just that all the issues were really just the symptoms of one thing, and no one really put them together. The reaction time has gotten quicker over the years and depending on how much I ingest.. and sometimes I don't actually need to eat it... reactions range from hives and dry patches on my skin, breakouts and well the throwing up etc etc.
I like cake, I am that fat kid who loves cake. cake is life.
Two weeks ago, I attended an event, there on the table were beautiful sweet treats made by one of the few people whose baked goodies I risk my health for. Check out JinJin Sweet Tooth. I never complain when I intentionally gluten myself, just when it happens because of restaurant carelessness or when I generally don't know there's gluten in something. Gluten is in practically everything, I've learnt to be very careful. I'm not complaining about two weeks ago, just trying to explain to people who don't have gluten related issues what it's like for us. I didn't eat the cupcake at the event, I took it home, (well it was a cupcake, cake pop and cookie). I knew exactly what would happen when I ate the things and I didn't want to take the focus away from who we were celebrating by being sick all over the place, also the festivities were fun. I got home and scoffed the delectable treats.... within moments (my reaction time is almost instantaneous now) I was sprinting to the bathroom, kneeling in front of the toilet, imitating a mother bird feeding her babies. Fun times. The after effects are just as pleasant. You know when you have a dry cough that makes your throat feel raw? That's how my tummy feels the day after. It's a gluten hangover.
But I like cake. Baking while gluten free is challenging, and a very expensive experiment, especially when you live on this island. I have settled down with the Bob's Red Mill brand, they work best for me, by all means use what works for you. I've also settled on coconut flour for cakes, I don't like it for cookies, but it gives cakes a nice texture. Also, please read labels, you absolutely need to get a gluten free baking powder. I learnt that the hard way, you shouldn't have to. Gluten free baking is tricky, if you find a recipe, it means someone went through all the drama, and you should really stick to it until you're comfortable enough with the flours to modify.
A few years ago I put on some weight, more weight that I've ever been used to... SIDEBAR: if you've known me from school days, please stop meeting and greeting me with "you got so skinny" I've never been big, I used to have a bottom, but that traitor left me when I banished gluten from my life, that was about it. K thanks bye. END OF SIDEBAR...and I decided I needed to change the way I ate and do some actual exercise, so I cut back on sugar and dairy (we know cheese is my downfall), I cut back on cake. The thing is I like cake, and I am not the person who can just give up on sweet tasty things, I can cut back, and by the way, there's no rush or competition, cut back at your on pace.
While visiting my sister in Walter White country (New Mexico for those unfamiliar with the TV show Breaking Bad) I happened upon microwave mug cakes. For anyone who is trying to cut back on sweets or trying to drop some weight, but still craves sweet now and then, these mug cakes are a one person deal and pretty tasty, and there are many varieties, just like regular cakes. Yours don't need to be gluten free. I also became a master of the one person/two people desserts. I literally have no problem sitting in front of a normal sized cake and going to town, I need boundaries. I don't know about you guys, but a two people dessert feeds one..me.
There are gluten free versions, I've made a bunch of them, chocolate, spiced, plain,etc etc. The only thing I generally change is swapping out the oil for butter and creaming it with sugar as you would a normal cake. I also bake it in an oven instead of cooking in a microwave. My next experiment will be trying to make a coconut sweetbread type thing. One word of caution, most gluten free flours are made from starches, starch breaks down as sugar in our systems..you have gluten issues, you really don't need to add more, don't overdo the baking.
some of my experiments: