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The Cook’s Corner
I asked Eastchester-based gluten-free guru Nicole Hunn (www.glutenfreeonashoestring.com), author of the book series Gluten-Free on a Shoestring (including the latest, Gluten-Free on a Shoestring Bakes Bread), to bust some myths about gluten-free eating. Hunn left a career in law to bake and blog about living gluten-free after her son was diagnosed with celiac disease.
(A bit of edification: gluten is a substance present in cereal grains—most notably wheat—that is responsible for the elastic texture of dough; it causes illness in people with celiac disease.)
Debunking Gluten-Free Eating Myths with Nicole Hunn
Myth #1 All gluten-free food is healthy.â€¨
Don’t expect gluten-free food to be any healthier than its conventional counterpart. A gluten-free cake? Still cake. Enjoy it in moderation.
Myth #2 Gluten-free baked goods are dry.
If you’re eating a gluten-free muffin and it’s dry, it’s a bad muffin. If you wouldn’t accept it as a good muffin with gluten, don’t accept it as good without gluten.
Myth #3 You can only be gluten-free if you’ve been diagnosed with celiac disease.â€¨
As long as you’re not rudely demanding that others cook and bake gluten-free for you, eat however you like. If being gluten free makes you feel better, go for it!
Myth #4 Gluten-free bread is just never going to taste like “real” bread. â€¨
Bad gluten-free bread is unacceptable. Gluten-free baked goods have come too far to accept that gluten-free yeast bread should taste like cake, or dissolve in your mouth.
Myth #5 You can use any “regular” recipe for baking gluten free. Just replace the all purpose flour 1 for 1 with an all purpose gluten-free flour blend.â€¨
Good gluten-free baking requires good gluten-free recipes. There are a number of good all-purpose gluten-free flour blends on the market. They are not cup-for-cup replacements for wheat flour, regardless of the claims some make. It just doesn’t work. The ratios are different.