Friday, October 15, 2010

What about needing to go gluten-free?

On one of my posts quite a while ago (I think it was on my other blog, if memory serves) about rice and beans recipes, a comment was left about a commenter's family member needing to eat food that is gluten-free, and finding storage to meet that need. Lately I have been encountering a lot of people that need to have gluten-free diets, and thinking about what I would need to know/do if I needed to supply gluten-free food on a regular basis from my food storage.

Um, yeah. Unfortunately, right now, other than the rice and beans mentioned, I have next to no idea.

Thing is, from what I understand, needing to go gluten-free can happen at any time, and doesn't happen at any particular time. This could be a major problem if you are about 100 lbs. into your 400 lbs. of wheat in your food storage, and have stored little else. I don't claim to know a lot about this, (so please don't be unkind in the comments--I'm not purposely messing this up) but I can imagine that it would be difficult to cope with a total change in diet anytime, and even worse if there were other factors like a long-term emergency. So my question is, what do you store in your food storage in case something like this happens (or if you find yourself responsible for someone who can't eat gluten)? I have asked some people if they have recipes for the gluten-free food they have made, but mostly, if not all of the time, I have heard that they made the food from mixes. I would imagine that would be expensive, but I have not looked into it fully.

So, now the search begins. I imagine there are sites out on the internet that are full of gluten-free recipes, but I need the same kind of recipes that I look for even when gluten isn't a factor--pretty easy, (cuts down on emergency stress) fewer rather than more ingredients, and hey, hopefully, pretty tasty. If anyone has recipes/information to share, please do. Just another factor that might be a consideration when it comes to emergency food storage...


Catherine said...

We've had to do as-gluten-free-as-possible storage (my daughter ad I both react to gluten). The only mix I have to buy is Pamela's Pancake/baking mix. It's kinda like Bisquick. We use it for pancakes and pot pie crust.

Store lots of potatoes, and learn to use the potato starch to thicken dishes instead of flour. For example, when making scalloped potatoes, if you slice your potatoes ahead of time into the milk you are going to use in the recipe and let them soak for a few minutes, the starch in the potatoes will leach into the milk and thicken the sauce while it cooks. Voila, gluten-free scalloped potatoes.

Other than that, we eat lots of slow-cooker/solar-cooker meals: Minestrone with either rice pasta or just rice, chicken soup, chicken pot pie, chicken enchiladas (all from one chicken, I might add), risotto, polenta, cassoulet (a bean and pork/lamb/goat/whatever-meat-is-available stew), frittata, latkes (potato pancakes), Cuban beans, lot of squash dishes, posole, and lots of vegetable dishes.

When cooking gluten free, you pretty much have to ignore the standard American diet, because almost everything in it has gluten/HFCS/coal-tar-based colors (red40/yellow5&6/blue1)/other nasties. Think ethic foods and you'll do fine. Mexican food (minus the flour tortillas)is almost totally gluten-free.

Our food storage consists of lots of beans and rice, but it is also heavy on the potatoes. We stock lots of corn in several forms (corn on the cob for fresh, corn off the cob for soup, hulled and dried for hominy, ground for polenta). We have goats, so we use milk in many of our meals. We use eggs as our "meat dish" frequently. We eat 1 chicken per week (which I stretch to cover at least 4 meals) and use about a pound of bacon each week for flavoring.

Hope that helps.

vlad said...

I tried millet, amaranth, quinoa and oatmeal in my chili.
Oatmeal taste good, is very nutritious and a lot cheaper.
BTW I cannot find anyone who knows
if cleaned whole oats (oat groats) at the feed store are ok
for human consumption. (From what I read a lot of foods from
China n the grocery store are not suitable for human consumption)
Whole oats 50 lb $9.95 = 20 cents a lb.
Oatmeal 42 oz $2.49 = 95 cents a lb.

2 lb ground beef chuck
2 cups oatmeal (crimped oats)
15 oz can Ranch Style Beans
two tablespoons
one tablespoon
chili powder
yellow curry
two teaspoons

boil meat and oatmeal until done
add beans
put spices in half cup water,
shake well and stir into chili

Jenn said...

This is my life -- I started a blog to detail this - Hopefully, I'll find some free time to update it again someday. Still plenty of good info, though.

Marie said...

Catherine, Vlad, and Jenn--Thank you very much for your comments--as you probably already know, I made a post out of them because I love the information that they contain! I'm sure many, many people will find this info helpful--thanks again!

Ellen said...

I have celiac disease, and have found that Mexican and Indian foods are mostly gluten-free, and there are a number of other ethnic foods that also fit the bill, so to speak. It takes being a bit adventurous in your dining choices, but rice noodles, rice, potatoes, corn and corn meal/masa harina (corn flour) are good for storage options.

Just don't forget the xantham gum if you want to do any baking - even pancakes will fall to pieces without it. It replaces the stretchiness of the gluten in the wheat, rye and barley that are forbidden to those of us who react poorly to gluten.

Marie said...

Ellen--Thanks so much for the information! I did not know about the xantham gum, so I will have to look that up and research it some more. Thanks again for your comment!