GlutenfreeNot literally. But sort of.

I had never heard of gluten-free diets until I went to New Zealand, where all of a sudden I saw cafes, restaurants, eateries, and totally hole-in-the-wall take-outs offering gluten-free options. Now, I’d heard of all kinds of diets, from vegetarians to strawberries and cucumbers to anchovies and eggs. But gluten? Not being able to have “normal” bread, and pizza, and brownies and cookies and muffins? Seriously?

I did my research, and of course found that gluten-free diets were a) perfectly prevalent, and b) not necessarily just a random fad. Dude, if you’re allergic to the protein, then you’re allergic. Period.

When I came back to Canada, I saw gluten-free everywhere. I think it’s a combination of two things, that my eyes were opened, and that it has gained much more exposure and validity as an alternative diet, whether by choice or necessity. I also discovered Gluten-Free Girl on the internet, who writes beautifully, and whose personal story, quite frankly, sounds better than most romance novels – because it’s real.

And of course, the natural extension was to start trying my hand at recipes. A lot of them are quite simple, mainly just substituting other flours (like rice or almond) for wheat. I’d been making regular brownies for work, but then one workmate popped up as vegan, and two others as gluten-free, so I said Fine! I’ll make gluten-free vegan brownies, and then dare to refuse the chocolate deliciousness.

I haven’t gotten to the vegan part yet, but my GF brownies turned out A-okay (stolen from the internet, but for the life of me I can’t find it. It’s pretty simple though – substitute rice flour for normal flour and you’re set). Next stop are the vegan brownies, which apparently involve apple sauce, coconut cream and bananas. Hum.

Are you gluten-free, or have you cooked for that diet? Any recipes you’d like to share?

– Jean AAR