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Old 12-15-2015, 10:11 AM
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Default Thread of DIETARY REQUIREMENTS

I offered one of my lecturers a brownie the other day, and he was all "well I'd like one, but I'm a coeliac". I've never had to bake for dietary requirements before, not even vegetarian. Is anyone here sensitive to particular ingredients? If I make a coeliac friendly cake in the same room as one with flour will I kill him? I'd like that not to happen. I don't know if this is like nut allergies where it's a hypersensitive thing.

Also, there seem to be numerous options for gluten free alternatives. I've been given gluten free flour (this is out of date, is this now totally unusable? or is it a store cupboard type off-but-can-be-used thing?) and maize flour, but I've seen almond as a popular substitute too. Is one better than the other? I don't know where to start tbh.

PS do you have any coeliac friendly brownie recipes?
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Old 12-15-2015, 10:17 AM
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Originally Posted by MooMoo View Post
I offered one of my lecturers a brownie the other day, and he was all "well I'd like one, but I'm a coeliac". I've never had to bake for dietary requirements before, not even vegetarian. Is anyone here sensitive to particular ingredients? If I make a coeliac friendly cake in the same room as one with flour will I kill him? I'd like that not to happen. I don't know if this is like nut allergies where it's a hypersensitive thing.
Lactose intolerant here. Was talking about this just yesterday on another thread. I think that these allergies/sensitivities get blown out of proportion sometimes, especially nut allergies. My kid's school makes this huge deal out of no one bringing any peanut products for lunch because some kid has a peanut allergy, and even being in the same cafeteria room with a PB&J will kill him, etc. etc. Yet there's a peanut field right across the street. How does that not kill him stone dead?

Re: flours, masa ("maize flour") is good stuff, although I've never thought of using it for sweet dishes like brownies, just savory stuff.
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Old 12-15-2015, 10:23 AM
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I don't know how much you know about Celiac disease (I'm an expert), but I'd honestly advise you not to bother. You say that you've never had to cook for dietary requirements before, and Celiac is starting out in hard mode. I have family members who still fucked it up due to oversights after doing it for years (my ex-wife was a Celiac). Preparing gluten-free food is a perilous minefield, and unless you're prepared to scrub down your kitchen and individually check/research every ingredient carefully (which might involve contacting manufacturers), you'd best not bother, as cross-contamination is very difficult to avoid and absolutely relevant. And even if you are willing to go to great lengths, there's a good chance that you'll be inconveniencing him, since, to his mind, it'll be likely that you've screwed up and he'll have to weigh that likelihood against rudeness.

As for how he'll react: no, you won't kill him. Every Celiac is different, but it's not as severe and immediate as, say, a nut allergy, although it can have a variety of unpleasant physical and neurological reactions. Mostly you'd just be f*cking up his intestinal villi, but you could also be giving him rashes, headaches, gut pain, or a bout of depression.

ETA:
Or he could be one of the many people who claim to be Celiac these days because avoiding gluten is trendy (not to be confused with gluten intolerance, which is distinct from Celiac but is absolutely a real thing), but I'd prefer to give him the benefit of the doubt.

Oh, and all of the above being said: my favourite gluten-free cakes were made with beans. I don't even like beans all that much, but my ex-wife's bean cakes were delicious (in fact, if anything, they were richer/moister than a normal cake), and I'd have never known that there was anything different about them if I hadn't seen her make them.
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Old 12-15-2015, 10:40 AM
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Oh right, see my coeliac friend sort of implied that it wasn't quite that drastic that I'd cause actual harm if I made my own stuff. The guy mentioned that his wife had a go at making him cake and stuff, so I didn't get the impression it was impossible. That said, I obviously don't want to take a risk, so I could always just buy him some sort of certified ready made cake. :/

Quote:
Re: flours, masa ("maize flour") is good stuff, although I've never thought of using it for sweet dishes like brownies, just savory stuff.
Got any recipe ideas for it? Savoury or otherwise, I'd like to branch out.
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Old 12-15-2015, 10:45 AM
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I could always just buy him some sort of certified ready made cake.
I don't know if things are different over there, but that's likely harder than you think. The only gluten-free baking I could ever find was from an actual Celiac who started up her own local baking business (FYI, her cupcakes are delicious). And even if you do find something on a shelf, it's likely to have a "not suitable for Celiacs" in the fine print, because there's gluten-free, and then there's gluten-free (the earlier is for trend dieters, and the latter is for Celiacs/intolerants). Even the certification thing is a bit muddy, as we have a few different kind of amateurish certification bodies (in North America, at least), and they all have different testing methods and standards that are the subject of some discussion.

I really know way too much about this, and it's never going to be useful to me. :-/
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Old 12-15-2015, 10:48 AM
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Got any recipe ideas for it? Savoury or otherwise, I'd like to branch out.
Tortillas, cornbread. Masa is good in chili or other heavy stews if you want them thicker and mo' tastier.

Re: sweet stuff, I just remembered atole and champurrado. Those are sweet Mexican drinks that I'm pretty sure have masa in them.

This is all assuming you have the really fine Mexican-style corn flour called "masa harina". American corn meal is more coarsely ground and does not make good tortillas. Makes good cornbread, though!
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Old 12-15-2015, 10:49 AM
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I'm certain my ex-wife did some baking with masa harina, but I'm drawing a blank as to what. I recall that she had to jump through some hoops to get it. I think I might even still have some in my cupboard.
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Old 12-15-2015, 10:52 AM
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Originally Posted by JBear View Post
I don't know if things are different over there, but that's likely harder than you think. The only gluten-free baking I could ever find was from an actual Celiac who started up her own local baking business (FYI, her cupcakes are delicious). And even if you do find something on a shelf, it's likely to have a "not suitable for Celiacs" in the fine print, because there's gluten-free, and then there's gluten-free (the earlier is for trend dieters, and the latter is for Celiacs/intolerants). Even the certification thing is a bit muddy, as we have a few different kind of amateurish certification bodies (in North America, at least), and they all have different testing methods and standards that are the subject of some discussion.
I haven't found it as hard as you're describing to find store-bought gluten free stuff, but then I'm also in a much bigger city than you are. Definitely, you want to buy only from a 100% gluten free bakery (ones that sell both are very hard to guard against contamination) and do some research to see if they really know what baking for celiacs / gluten intolerances means.
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Old 12-15-2015, 10:55 AM
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Oh, another drink with corn flour, this time Ecuadorean. Colada morada. It's really good! This appears to be an adapted recipe that leaves out the exotic tropical fruits like babaco that you can't get outside of parts of South America.

http://laylita.com/recipes/2011/10/18/colada-morada/
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Old 12-15-2015, 11:18 AM
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Originally Posted by JBear View Post
I don't know if things are different over there, but that's likely harder than you think. The only gluten-free baking I could ever find was from an actual Celiac who started up her own local baking business (FYI, her cupcakes are delicious). And even if you do find something on a shelf, it's likely to have a "not suitable for Celiacs" in the fine print, because there's gluten-free, and then there's gluten-free (the earlier is for trend dieters, and the latter is for Celiacs/intolerants). Even the certification thing is a bit muddy, as we have a few different kind of amateurish certification bodies (in North America, at least), and they all have different testing methods and standards that are the subject of some discussion.

I really know way too much about this, and it's never going to be useful to me. :-/
As you say, "gluten free" is a pretty big fad in the UK at the moment, but of course I'll read the fine print and such. I think I might just go for it, make him something, do my best to avoid contaminants, offer him them and if he think eating it might make him die he can give them away. That way I get the gesture of giving stuff still and he can decide himself. I see him in Starbucks a lot so I'm presuming with them having bread in the shop he's at least not sensitive to the point where he has to avoid wheat-containing environments.
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Old 12-15-2015, 12:02 PM
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Gluten/dairy allergic here. And vegan. I am everyone's favourite.

Once I am home I can share some recipes that I have tried.

Different people have different levels of tolerance. Cross-contamination is not a big deal for my allergies, it barely triggers them. Celiac often must be dedicated safe space for cooking/everything. I would check with your recipient how sensitive he is, that way you can gauge how careful you've got to be.
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Old 12-15-2015, 03:11 PM
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I'm basically gonna make them and make it VERY explicit that I DO NOT WANT HIM TO DIE so he is under no obligation to eat them.
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Old 12-18-2015, 10:29 AM
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I'm lactose intolerant, but only a little. It's weird. I can eat pretty much any dairy food all right in moderation (I still react if I eat a loooot of butter/cheese/ice cream/whatnot), but if I drink any regular milk? It's all over. End of the line. No bueno.

This is okay for me because I like lactose-free milks and can still have other dairy without much hassle.
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Old 12-18-2015, 10:38 AM
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After 2 years without dairy, I eagerly started eating cheese again, but I never did start drinking regular milk again, because I had no desire to. Milk sucks. Almond Breeze 4 lyfe.
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Old 12-18-2015, 10:50 AM
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Almond Breeze 4 lyfe.
Seriously. I was surprised at how much I liked the stuff when I started drinking it. Any thoughts on the various flavors? I've only ever tried Original-Unsweetened. I've never tried the vanilla-flavored one or the sweetened one.
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Old 12-18-2015, 11:02 AM
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It's not so very hard to do gluten-free baking. The level of isolation that JBear is describing is, I think, only necessary for a small minority of those afflicted. With most, if you bake using gluten free flour from any ol' supermarket or Trader Joe's (Bob's Red Mill has a GF flour), you're fine. There are a few ingredients you won't be used to using, like Xantham gum, but it's not that hard.

If you're looking to make a sweet dessert, almond flour is pretty great. It's not a straight swap for wheat flour, but it has a great flavour and crumbly texture that goes really well with a variety of dishes.

Sometimes swapping terminology works. My partner is allergic to cow whey (rather than lactose intolerant), so when we're looking for recipes that don't use cow milk it helps to look up Vegan recipes, because that's a more common requirement and there are a lot of recipes out there. If you want to go gluten-free, then searching for "Paleo" can help.
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Old 12-18-2015, 11:02 AM
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Any thoughts on the various flavors?
Depends on what I'm using it for. I prefer having sweetened vanilla with my cereal (very plain cereals, mind), and the original unsweetened for cooking. Just for drinking, I don't know that I've settled on a favourite, but I probably get the original unsweetened most often. The chocolate's nice on occasion just to mix things up, but it's probably my least favourite (for context, though, I don't really like chocolate milk either).
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Old 12-18-2015, 11:32 AM
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It's not so very hard to do gluten-free baking. The level of isolation that JBear is describing is, I think, only necessary for a small minority of those afflicted.
I'm going to try very hard to moderate myself here, because I can feel my ex-wife (who got banned from the Celiac.com message boards for being too combative) talking through me, and ugh, but a lot of even Celiacs don't take the proper level of care. Just because they're minimizing their intake to the point that they feel better doesn't mean that their gut flora are cool with it and that they're not doing long-term harm to themselves. Like, some Celiacs think it's fine to "cheat" and have a sandwich like they're on a friggin' weight-loss diet or something, which is just ridiculous (that's not to pass judgment on people who have a moment of weakness, as there's no question that it's a difficult diet, but rather criticism of the flippant disregard I sometimes see). Research is still ongoing, but most studies find that a Celiac needs to intake less than 100mg a day (80mg is about the highest I've seen, and 10mg the lowest) to avoid damaging their small intestine, and taken in aggregate over several meals a day, it doesn't take much to exceed that amount. There's been some debate over where the WHO should set their thresholds for a food to be considered gluten-free, but I think it's at < 20PPM ATM, which could still add up to almost 10mg taken over a full day's worth of food, and those are the foods which are certified, which anything prepared in a kitchen which hasn't been properly cleaned or something prepared in an environment where cross-contamination is likely would almost certainly not be.

All of that being said, the far greater concern in gluten-free baking is just screwing up due to an oversight and including an ingredient that explicitly contains gluten, because people don't realize how many things gluten is in.

John Pinette says it best:


It really is in everything.
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Old 12-18-2015, 12:17 PM
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The allergen-free bakery where I used to work made a gluten-free flour blend out of brown rice flour, white rice flour, tapioca starch, potato starch, and xanthan gum. The gum does the "make this shit stick together when I bake with it" job normally held by gluten proteins.

It was three pounds each of the rice flours, two pounds potato starch, a pound of tapioca starch, and four and a half tablespoons of Xanthan gum. That's a bulk recipe, obviously, scale as necessary. It does a sorta-okay job in replacing all-purpose flour in recipes, inasfar as there's no way to make normally-glutenous gluten-free cooking not taste like damp cardboard.

I've still got the recipes from the place, if anyone wants chocolate cake or pumpkin muffins or snickerdoodles or whatever.
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Old 12-18-2015, 09:28 PM
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I've tried cashew milk a couple times recently and have really enjoyed it. I always feel almond milk has a bit of a gritty taste to it, cashew is just creamy.
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Old 12-19-2015, 05:30 AM
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Good news! I made some brownies using ground almonds and not only did they taste better than my regular brownies but the person I baked them for seemed pretty pleased by them too. He didn't actually eat them in front of me so I've no evidence to suggest that he is not currently keeled over, but from what he was telling me the recipe would have been fine. I also sterilised the hell out of my surfaces and equipment, so they're probably the most sterile brownies in existence (yum -__-). We had a chat about gluten and the xantham gum stuff, so that was interesting.

The brownie texture wasn't very cakey with the lack of flour, it turned out more like a sort of pudding square, almost like torte filling or something. That's my only criticism, but it was still good.
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Old 02-09-2017, 01:03 PM
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Q: I looked on the back of my lactose free mature cheddar, and it says "most mature cheddar is naturally lactose free, but we double check" or something. As someone mentioned elsewhere, most hard cheeses are low or free from lactose, so am I being duped by buying lactose free mature cheddar when it would have been ok anyway?
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