Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Pumpkin Bread Tease

Nothing takes the chill off a damp fall morning in the good ole Pacific Northwest like a giant cup of tea (Yogi's teas are gluten free except for the handful clearly labeled as containing barley malt) and some fresh baked cinnamon pumpkin bread.  The puppy curled up at my feet also helps.  Life is good.

Breakfast wasn't always this painless though.  When I first suspected I had a problem with wheat and gluten, breakfasts and desserts suddenly became a lot more complicated.  Then when I started taking eggs and dairy out of my diet, even I was at a loss.  There were a lot of nearly inedible experiments in bread making where I attempted to veganize a gluten free bread recipe by doing nothing more than using the EnerG egg replacer and dairy free milk in place of the real things.  It was not pretty. 

Luckily I soon stumbled upon the Whole Life Nutrition Kitchen website  where there is a profusion of gluten free recipes, many of which are vegan or have suggestions for making the recipes vegan.  Suddenly I had breakfast ideas to last me for months.  So I ordered their Whole Life Nutrition Cookbook and life got even better.  This amazing vegan and gluten free pumpkin bread comes from that book, along with the rice flour pancakes the fella and I make every Sunday and never get tired of.

It also has instructions and recipe ideas for the best elimination diet ever (as in not one that involves enemas or only eating water and one weird ingredient like lemon or maple syrup for 30 days).  I've used the diet several times when I suspect there is something in my kitchen or lifestyle that is making me ill.  You start out drinking very healthy and tasty green smoothies for a couple days to get your digestive tract back to normal.  Then eat a very simple diet of allergen free whole and organic foods for a couple weeks.  After getting all the nasty things out of your life like sugar, caffeine, and alcohol that are so much fun but do not great things to the body over time, you will feel like a brand new person.  Now you can add in foods families one at a time to find out what's been making you sick.  It takes a lot of discipline but is well worth the results.

Moral of this story is: The Whole Life Nutrition Cookbook is the first book I would suggest to someone going gluten free especially if they were also leaning towards a vegan lifestyle.  The recipes are healthy and tasty but also very simple.  About a third of the book is also helpful suggestions on cooking various ingredients like millet or aduki beans most of us don't have much experience with.  I use it as a reference a couple times a week and couldn't cook without it at this point.  Not to mention I'm not spilling the secret of the best pumpkin bread ever so you have to go buy the book.

This post is also for all the people that keep asking me, "Elimination diet? Say what now?"  Not that I talk about food constantly in every day life or anything.  Hopefully now my sometimes strange eating habits make more sense.  As always if anyone has more questions about this or anything else I mention or has a suggestion for a post that might be helpful, feel free to send me an e-mail.

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