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Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Gluten Free meatloaf....

The sun is shining, the birds are chirping and I'm in the best mood I have been in for weeks. Seems like spring has sprung and there is a lightness in the air.

Sunday is family day here, and everyone was coming for dinner. I had no idea what I was going to make for the main course.. Gluten free cupcakes and brownies were a given, as my family has really adjusted to these treats and actually look forward to them now,  but the main course was my dilemma. I needed something that would stretch, not cost a arm and a leg, that was  going to be delicious enough for family, and still gluten free for myself.

As I was checking one of my customers through my register while  at work, she mentioned she was making meatloaf for dinner that night, and the light bulb went off in my head! I haven't made meatloaf in quite some time and the sound of it actually made my mouth water.

Now how was I going to make it safe for myself and delicious enough for my family to enjoy? I remembered a few years back...yes, I can actually remember that far back....I'm not totally comatose yet, and I recalled seeing several recipes on the web that used oats in the recipe instead of bread crumbs, so my search began.

The following recipe is one I found and used, with a little tweaking on my part. My family really enjoyed the dish and would have never have known there were oats in it if I hadn't shared the recipe when asked. I hope you will enjoy it as much as we did. The recipe makes two 1 1/2 pound meatloaves. If you are serving less then by all means cut the recipe in half. Better yet make the full recipe and pop the second meatloaf in the freezer to bake in the future...

Gluten Free meatloaf:     

3 pounds lean ground beef
3/4 cup diced green pepper
2 stalks celery, diced
1 small onion, diced
1 1/2 cups uncooked gluten free quick oats ( I used Bob's Red Mill gluten free oats)
3/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
3 large eggs
1 1/2 cup ketchup
Salt & Pepper to taste

In a large bowl mix all ingredients by hand until the green pepper, celery and onion are evenly distributed. Shape into 2 separate 1 1/2 pound meat loaves and place evenly spaced apart in a lightly sprayed 13x9 inch baker.
Bake in a 350 degree oven, covered with foil for approximately 60 minutes. Uncover and bake for 10 minutes more until lightly browned. This was great served with mashed potatoes and green beans as side dishes.



Thursday, February 19, 2015

Gluten Free flours...

Today I wanted to share a gluten free comparison flour chart with you. When you are  mixing your own flour blends together for gluten free recipes, this is a handy tool to have. It helps you decide which flours will work best for your own personal diet needs. The chart basically tells you which flours are the "healthiest' to use based on carb count, fiber, proteins, and calories. The flours highlighted in RED are NOT gluten free but are on the chart only to give you a example of their properties in comparison to the gluten free flours....

Although the top flours on the chart would indeed be the healthiest to use, we must be logical  in  the knowledge that when baking gluten free no single flour will work  as well alone as it does when mixed with other flours and starches.

I personally love using oat flour. It has a mild, sweet taste that I am use to. I also like to use Millet, as it is easily digestible and contains fiber, which can be missing in many baked goods. It gives the finished product  a somewhat nutty taste. However, use this flour sparingly because it can be overbearing and some people won't like the taste of your baked goods as well. Sorghum is also one that you will sometimes find in my mixes. Although it is not as easily digested, it does add structure and a nice taste to baked goods. Rice flour is always in my pantry as well. I avoid bean flours, as they and I just do not agree with one another. I have not had as good of luck with coconut flour, but love to use coconut oil in place of the oil and shortening in my recipes. Its loaded with fiber, healthy,  and gives baked goods a great taste. ( you can order coconut oil to the right of this site)

 Don't forget your starches....Although they do carry their weight in carbs and calories they also add texture, browning power, and lightness to your desserts. I personally like using arrowroot powder, tapioca starch , and potato starch  in  my baked goods. Arrowroot basically has no flavor so it doesn't take away from the finished products taste. Tapioca helps your baked goods brown nicely, and a blend of all three in my mixes really gives my desserts the taste and texture they need.

 I hope the chart helps.  So mix away, and Good luck! Also drop me a line and tell me what  flours you use in your favorite mix, and why you believe it works for you...