How can it be gluten free?

Seems that I’m always trying to explain where I’ve been.  It has been awhile since I posted.  I often use the excuse of time got away from me or some other such nonsense.  How about I haven’t been creating or modifying recipes as much but have been using 2 amazing cookbooks I have found.

In April my post was titled Gluten Free with Crunch.  In that post I shared success with making crispy, crunchy pork chops.  This summer I have made other delicious delicacies from The How Can It Be Gluten Free Cookbook and The How Can It Be Gluten Free Cookbook Volume 2.  These books are by Americas Test Kitchen.  My aim is not to post all the recipes from the books but to prepare many and make reviews.  To share what I learned, what I failed to do and if the recipe worked for me.

In 2010 after suffering with some physical symptoms for years, I made the decision to go gluten-free to see if any of my ailments were related to eating gluten.  Well after about 3 weeks a number of my symptoms went away and after 6 months I felt better and had better reports from the doctor.  Shortly after going gluten free I began blogging about modifying recipes and cooking gluten-free.  This was after many kitchen disasters. The bread that crumbled because I failed to add the Xanthan Gum.  The biscuits that were dry and crumbly and failed to rise.  The muffins I couldn’t choke down because they tasted like sawdust.  Get the idea?

Well gluten-free cooking has come a long way.  Back in 2010 there were few gluten-free products readily available and the ones that were available often times were substandard.  Attempts were made to modify glutinous recipes by only substituting gluten-free ingredients.  While this works some of the time it isn’t always successful.  Take fried chicken for example.  Ever tried switching out the glutinous flour for a gluten-free blend only to find that it doesn’t brown, it doesn’t cling and what you have is a blob of cooked chicken without the coating?

Gluten free has come a long way.  With these 2 books I have learned a lot and have enjoyed a much wider array of cooking success.  No, I won’t post recipes word from word.  There is so much more to cooking with gluten-free ingredients than a mere recipe.  It requires patience and some very specific techniques.  Americas Test Kitchen has spent some time testing and putting together these books.  I would like to share with you my success with making these recipes.  What I’ve learned as well as what didn’t go quite right for me.  I would also encourage anyone cooking gluten-free to purchase thee 2 books.  With an investment of less than $40 you can once again enjoy cooking at its best.

This morning I made 10-Minute Steel-Cut Oatmeal found on page 62 of The How Can It Be Gluten Free Cookbook.  The recipe includes not only the basic directions for making the oats but various options.  Americas Test Kitchen (ATK) also provided tips for purchasing gluten-free oats.  Oats are naturally gluten-free; however, frequently are processed on equipment that is also used for processing of wheat.

Last night I put 1/2 cup of steel-cut oats in boiling water, covered and allowed it to sit overnight.  This morning I added the milk and cooked as directed.  I found that the oats weren’t quite as thick and creamy as I wanted.  After turning off the heat, I covered the pan and allowed the oats to sit for a few minutes.  Please note that I cook with an electric cook top.  Even after turning off the burner the oats will continue to cook for a time on the hot burner.  This process produced the creamy result I was looking for.  Hubby and I enjoyed them topped with a drizzle of pure maple syrup., chopped walnuts and sliced bananas.  This is a hearty breakfast that provides the benefits of whole grain oats.


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