Going gluten free doesn’t have to mean giving up sandwiches or wraps. Thanks to brands like Food For Life, gluten free-ers are able to buy loaves of bread and other baked goods at the grocery store.
There are also countless recipes available for making breads using rice, tapioca, arrow root and other gluten free flours. While I personally haven’t tried to bake any of them (a lot call for xanthum gum and I have no idea where to buy it!) here are some websites I found with some recipes. If you try them let me know hot it goes!
- http://allrecipes.com/recipes/healthy-recipes/gluten-free/ (also lots of recipes on muffins, cookies, etc.)
The problem most people have with gluten free bread, is that it is generally heavier. This is because gluten proteins play a large role in giving bread its fluffy texture. Gluten provides elasticity to breads, which helps baked goods to maintain their shape and contributes to the volume of the product. (Philips, 2000; Kieffer, n.d.) Therefore, without gluten it is difficult to make a fluffy product.
Most baked goods that are gluten free will use a variety of the other types of flours available. Each flour has different qualities and tastes, so using a mixture will provide a good combination and hopefully a tasty product (Allen & Kearny, 2004). This is why most recipes you’ll find will include several types of flours.
Now, if you’re like me and baking isn’t high on your priority list then you are probably interested in the breads you can buy. There is a large variety available. A lot of health food stores will make bread in house or carry a wide selection of bread types. Large chain grocery stores aren’t always as good at providing gluten-free products, although they are becoming better. Most Zehrs Markets have a well-stocked health food section and carry various gluten-free brands. The most common brand seen is Food for Life, and they make various types of gluten free breads. Most gluten free breads are sold frozen, so take a look in the freezer if you’re having trouble finding them.
My favorite type of Food for Life bread is the Rice and Almond. It comes frozen, and is best toasted (I prefer most gluten free breads to be toasted). This bread is slightly sweet, but goes well for sandwiches or with spreads. My absolute favorite way to eat this type of bread is with almond butter and some honey or jam. So yummy!
Food for Life also makes many other bread flavours, mainly rice flour based. See http://www.foodforlife.com/product-catalog/gluten-free-and-wheat-free/gluten-and-wheat-free/breads for details about this bread. They also make tortillas, great for fajitas or wraps! Just be careful with these as they tend to rip a bit easier than wheat tortillas.
There is a line called Ezekiel 4:9 which is created using sprouted grains. In my opinion, the breads in this line mimic wheat bread the best. Again, I prefer it to be toasted. The bread is made from organic sources and apparently is a complete protein. Their website description of the bread states “We discovered when these six grains and legumes are sprouted and combined, an amazing thing happens. A complete protein is created that closely parallels the protein found in milk and eggs. In fact, the protein quality is so high, that it is 84.3% as efficient as the highest recognized source of protein, containing all 9 essential amino acids. There are 18 amino acids present in this unique bread – from all vegetable sources – naturally balanced in nature.” Sprouting the grains changes it’s effects on digestibility. According to Food for Life’s website, sprouting neutralizes phytic acid which normally would inhibit absorption of nutrients. Also, the enzymes that are produced during sprouting causes protein bonds to breakdown, thus increasing digestibility of the grain. This type of bread was recommended my a naturopath to my mom who is wheat-free, but I haven’t been able to find evidence as to whether this bread is okay for gluten free diets. It blogs it is discussed as controversial, with several people doing trial-and-error to see if it would be okay for them. There was mixed results. Therefore, before trying out this line of breads check with your health professional. ( http://www.foodforlife.com/our-products/sprouted-grain)
What’s you’re favorite type of gluten-free bread? Don’t have one? Try out a recipe at home, or check out Food for Life!
Allen, D. & Kearney, R. (2004). Healthy Gluten-Free Eating. London, United Kingdom: Kyle Cathie Limited.
Food for Life. (n.d.) Food For Life Retrieved November 8, 2011 from: http://www.foodforlife.com/
Kieffer, R. (n.d.). The Role of Gluten Elasticity in the Baking Quality of Wheat Retrieved November 8, 2011 from: http://www.muehlenchemie.de/downloads-future-of…/FoF_Kap_14.pdf
Philips, S. (2000). How Baking Works. Retrieved November 8, 2011 from: http://baking911.com/quick-guide/how-baking-works