Thursday, January 23, 2014

Perfect Fresh Hummus Recipe

This is my sister's perfect fresh hummus recipe. "The secret to great hummus for kids is to leave out the tahini!" she told me when she shared this recipe with me. Without the tahihi, hummus is mild and more appealing to kids. I prefer to soak dried chickpeas overnight and then boil them in water until they are soft. If you are in a rush and using canned chickpeas I would suggest Eden organic chickpeas, which are in BPA free cans.

  • 2 cans Eden organic chickpeas or  3 cups soaked/boiled chickpeas
  • 1 medium clove garlic
  • 1/2 teaspoon of crushed red pepper
  • juice of one whole lemon
  • 1/3 cup of olive oil
  • hot paprika or turmeric for garnish
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspooon black pepper or 15 turns of the pepper mill
  • In a large food processor, process garlic clove until finely minced.
  • Add red pepper flakes and chickpeas and blend until chickpeas are ground up, they should look like meal.
  • Add lemon juice blend a few seconds
  • Stream olive oil with processor on until puree is smooth and fluffy
  • Add salt pepper and process a few seconds
  • Sprinkle paprika over top and garnish with some more olive oil

Serve immediately or cover in glass bowl in fridge. Hummus keeps for a week or so in the fridge

Saturday, January 18, 2014

Gluten Free Pizza Dough Recipe

Gluten Free Pizza Dough Recipe

We are going to a pizza party a plane ride away in Burlington, Vermont, so I am packing up premade pizza "dough" mixes to take with me so we can enjoy gluten free pizza at the party after skiing! The first  photo above is of the "pizza dough mixes" I am taking. Although you can buy Udi's pizza dough--and it is pretty tasty once you put toppings on it--I prefer this chewy, flavorful homemade crust.

Whisk together the following dry ingredients in a plastic bag or glass container
  • 1 1/3  cup Authentic Foods brown rice flour
  • 1/3  cup tapioca flour
  • 1/3 cup potato starch flour
  • 1 3/4 teaspoons salt
  • 1 teaspoon xanthum gum
In a SEPARATE snack size ziplock put:
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 packet yeast.

  • 3/4 cup very warm water (100º F to 110º F) in a bowl.
Sprinkle the contents of the small ziplock
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 packet yeast
over the warm water and let yeast "proof" for 5 minutes till bubbly

Pour "pizza dough mix" into a large bowl.

  • proofed yeast
  • 2 large egg whites-at room temperature
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil

Mix all together until combined.
Divide in 4 pieces for individual pieces and press into 8 inch rounds. For a larger pizza, press and flatten on parchment on a baking tray with your finger tips and a little flour. Or you can roll if you prefer. When the pizza is flat (about 1/8 inch thick) with a slightly thicker crust, cover with a layer of saran wrap. Let rest for 30 minutes. Then bake in a 450º F oven for 10 minutes.

When pizza crust is done, remove and you can put toppings on and rebake with toppings another 10 minutes.

Sunday, January 5, 2014

Bob's Red Mill Xanthan Gum is Made with WHEAT Glucose!

WOW! Bob's Red Mill xanthan gum used to be made with corn--now the bacteria used to make xanthan gum are being fed WHEAT glucose. Wheat is not listed on the ingredient label because it is certified gluten free.

In 2007, when we went gluten free, according to the nutritionist at the Celiac Disease Center of Columbia, all xanthan gum made in the US was cultured on corn and safe for people with celiac. Although we did not have a problem with corn--or with xanthan gum--I knew that many people who could not eat gluten reacted to this additive. This month two different people told me that xanthan gum was a questionable ingredient for anyone on a gluten free diet--so I did some research on it.

It turns out, as of 2012, Bob's Red Milll uses xanthan gum that is cultured on WHEAT GLUCOSE--which seems totally crazy to me. I am sure there are other sources of glucose so why use wheat glucose for a product that is labeled gluten free and used frequently in gluten free baking?

According to the Bob's Red Mill website:
"6/11/12 UPDATE: Regarding corn in xanthan gum: The microorganism that produces xanthan gum is actually fed a glucose solution that is derived from wheat starch. Gluten is found in the protein part of the wheat kernel and no gluten is contained in the solution of glucose. Additionally, after the bacteria eats the glucose, there is no wheat to be found in the outer coating that it produces, which is what makes up xanthan gum. The short answer here is, there is no corn used at all in the making of xanthan gum."
I know that according to the scientific testing available this product is considered gluten free--but I also know we have gotten sick from products (like Rice Dream) which are made with gluten ingredients but labeled gluten free because supposedly, the gluten is not present in the final product. While it is reassuring for some people who are allergic to corn that "There is no corn used at all in the making of xanthan gum" this statement brings up many questions for people who are on a gluten free diet who are using this product.

Bob's Red Mill lists guar gum as and alternative for gluten free baking and has a handy chart here. Gluten Free Girl, an amazing resource for anyone who is gluten free has started baking with psyllium to avoid the gums altogether. 

Check out Gluten Free Girl's video "What is Psyllium Husk?" as an alternative to the gums.

Check out Gluten Free Gigi's post on xanthum gum for more information...

To read more about wheat glucose in xanthum gum go to Bob's Red Mill article on Guar Gum and Xanthum Gum.

1/6/14: When I did some investigating and called manufacturers to find out more about xanthan gum someone said "Sounds like Bob's Red Mill is buying xanthan gum from China." It is just a theory--but interesting to think about where ingredients are sourced.

Thank you to Serene from  Organically Serene Hair NYC and to Gail Dosik from One Tough Cookie for bringing this to my attention.