The Holy Grail: A Good Gluten Free Loaf
May flowers are not the only things to celebrate this month. May is also Food Allergy Awareness Month and Celiac Disease Awareness Month! This is exciting as many of us are touched by someone who has a food allergy or intolerance. According to current statistics, food allergies affect three to four percent of adults and five to six percent of children in Canada. Celiac disease affects approximately one percent of Canadians.
Health Canada has a top ten list of substances/priority food allergens that are most frequently associated with food allergies and allergic-type reactions. The list consists of eggs, milk, mustard, peanuts, seafood (including fish, crustaceans and shellfish), sulphites (not a food per se but an additive to many foods, which explains why the word substance has been added in to outline this list), sesame, soy, tree nuts, wheat and other cereal grains containing gluten. Health Canada doesn’t list these other grains on its website, however, we can infer that it’s referring to barley, rye and oats that are contaminated with gluten, as those are the grains most commonly associated with gluten.
In celebration of Food Allergy and Celiac Disease Awareness Month, let us break bread!
The term “gluten-free bread,” yields more than 83.6 million pages on Google, making it one of the top searched terms in the gluten-free category; that’s a lot of people searching for allergy-friendly bread!
Over the years I have tried countless bread recipes and store-bought breads. I’ve discovered that bread that is free of grains and common food allergens and tastes good is tough to come by, let alone good for our health. Adrian Russell, a friend of our family who has type-2 diabetes experimented with his own lower glycemic and grain-free bread recipe. It’s unique, delicious and has received rave reviews, particularly for those who need to eat grain-free, lower glycemic and/or diabetes-friendly. This bread is free of common food allergens, high in fibre, contains protein, and is made with very wholesome ingredients. If you are among the millions searching for a great allergy-friendly bread recipe, this could be the one!
Focaccia-Style Grain-Free Bread
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
3/4 cup flax seed meal
3/4 cup chia seed meal
3/4 cup almond meal
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoon sea salt
1 tablespoon organic coconut sugar or the equivalent of another natural sweetener (e.g. honey or pure Stevia liquid)
5 beaten organic eggs or egg replacers (an electric beater or hand blender, when used, helps make fluffier bread but is not essential)
1/2 cup water
1/4 cup organic coconut oil
1. Preheat oven (or convection oven if you have one) to 350°F.
2. Line pan (a cookie sheet or pan with edges works best) with parchment paper or silicone mat.
3. Mix dry ingredients well; a whisk works well.
4. Add wet ingredients to dry ingredients and combine well. Don’t let the batter sit in the bowl as it will become too hard to spread.
5. Pour batter onto pan. Spread evenly, leaving a margin around the edge of the pan; it will be too thin if you spread batter right to the edges.
6. Bake for about 30 minutes. If you touch the top it should be firm and spring back.
7. Allow to cool and cut into slices. Makes eight slices. If desired for sandwiches, cut each slice carefully through the middle to make two slices.
Lisa Cantkier is a holistic nutritionist and lifelong celiac specializing in special diets and food allergies. For more information, visit LisaCantkier.com