Thursday, December 18, 2008

Gluten Free Brownies

When we went to the store to stock up on food before the impending snow storm that didn’t happen, I found Bob’s Red Mill Gluten Free Brownie Mix.  It’s made from sorghum flour, potato starch, and corn flour.  I figured, what the heck?  Snowed-in with some Silk Soy Nog and Gluten Free Brownies?  Awesome!  It was very gooey to mix and I had to use a spoon instead of a mixer.  I used a 9×9 pan instead of a 9×13 because it’s all I had, and I ended up with something almost entirely like a whole-grain chocolate cake. 

 While it was cooking I did some resarch on sorghum.  It’s a grass/grain like wheat, but it doesn’t contain gluten.  Awesome, right?  Since I have a history of Narcolepsy symptoms from grains, I ate this brownie cake with the understanding that it might not be the answer to my cake needs.  

So how was it? Heavenly! I didn’t get any Narcolepsy symptoms from it, but I could only eat once piece because it was pretty rich. Oh what a problem to have, right? We’ll see how I react to it over time, but I’d say if I didn’t fall down or crawl into bed by now, I should be ok. Cross your fingers! 

It’s been really difficult over the past few years to experiment with foods that trigger my own symptoms when I don’t really have established rules to work from. I’ve spent years trying to figure out what the basic rules of my food sensitivities are so I could better avoid offenders and find tasty new alternatives, but it was really hard. As a result, my diet’s been pretty simplistic and, at times, bland. 

Since I’ve discovered the gluten intolerance, I’ve felt quite a bit of freedom in trying new foods as long as they fit into the ‘gluten free’ model. It’s like, all I have to do is follow what everyone else has already discovered and I’ll be ok. This could be a misleading way of going about things, but there are times when this has worked remarkably well. Where once I thought I couldn’t eat ANY cookies ever again, I’ve found at least one gluten-free alternatives that works just fine without any consequences. I want to expand this to include other treats because I used to love baking and it would mean a lot to me to bake once again on a regular basis. 

I’m not going to limit my experimentation to baked goods, certainly, but it’s my current project. My son has a birthday coming up here pretty quick and it would mean a lot to me to be able to share his birthday cake with him, instead of just watching the family eat it and trying to not care. To think I could bring a safe treat into work for a meeting and actually eating it too instead of feeling angry and frustrated while I watch them munching away, well that would be heavenly. But the only way to find these safe treats is to eat them, right? 

There are those that would consider it unwise to go back to grains trying to find alternatives, but I say, if it doesn’t make me sick, sleepy, or paralyze me, it’s friggin awesome!! 

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