Written By: Kathy Glow @ Kissing the Frog
The gluten free diet is currently one of the hottest and fastest growing fads in the dieting world. With celebrities such as Gwyneth Paltrow and Miley Cyrus attributing it to their amazing figures, as well as moms like Jenny McCarthy touting it as a treatment for Autism and ADHD, it’s hard to know what to believe.
First of all, what exactly is gluten? Gluten is a protein found in foods processed from wheat and other grains, including barley, rye, and some types of oats. Gluten can be found in everything from breads and pastas, taco seasoning and beer, and even ice cream and cosmetics.
A person who is sensitive to gluten may have abdominal pain and distension, bloating, constipation or diarrhea, nausea, and weight loss or weight gain. Celiac disease can exist with or without gluten sensitivity and is a condition in which an immune response to undigested gluten proteins damages and flattens the villi of the intestinal lining. This typically results in poor nutrient absorption and extreme weight loss.
How do you know if the gluten free lifestyle is right for you and your family? In my new monthly series, Your Gluten Free Family, I’m going to help you navigate this tricky slope and arm you with the information you need about this diet choice.
I am not a registered dietician or a medical doctor, but I am the wife to someone who suffers from Celiac Disease. My husband was diagnosed about six years ago. It was very difficult at first. Every product we tried tasted terrible. Every recipe I found was complicated and required several ingredients unknown to me.
But in the six years my husband has been following this diet, the products have improved, recipes have become simpler, more restaurants are offering gluten free options, and awareness has increased.
Each month I will discuss an aspect of gluten free living, provide a recipe, and offer product recommendations. I’m excited to talk to experts as well.
I found “experts” at the first gluten free fair I attended at my local grocery store. An elderly woman and her husband heard me talking about my husband’s new diagnosis. She began telling me how easy cooking for her husband, who developed Celiac Disease later in life, had been. She shared with me his favorite peanut butter cookie recipe that, as it turned out, was already gluten free! It’s super easy, and it’s the first recipe I want to share with you.
I have also seen this recipe in Parents Magazine and on various gluten free websites. Check out the comment stream of this blog post for ways to jazz up this simple, but yummy, recipe. Be sure to have a glass of milk handy!
3 Ingredient Peanut Butter Cookies (Gluten Free)
All you need:
1 cup of peanut butter (creamy or crunchy – your preference!)
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons white sugar
All you do:
Cream together the peanut butter and sugar. This is best done by hand. Beat the egg, then add it to the peanut butter and sugar. When the dough is sticky, use a melon baller or small ice cream scoop to scoop out balls of dough. Roll in additional sugar and place on a cookie sheet that has been lined with parchment paper. Bake at 350 degrees for about ten minutes.
I used a fork to lightly flatten each cookie until they crackled a bit at the edges. I used a melon baller, so this recipe yielded about 20 small cookies, which my family gobbled up in two days’ time.
All peanut butter should be gluten free. The major brands – Skippy, Smuckers, Jif – are. Super easy to make and tasty, the kids can even make these cookies with supervision.
So, tell me what you want to know about gluten, gluten free diets, gluten insensitivity, celiac disease, or the gluten free lifestyle. Ask your questions in the comment section below, and each month I will explore the answers.
For next time, my gluten free product recommendation is the Chex line of cereals. Of the eight varieties, six are gluten free (Wheat Chex and Multi Bran Chex are not). My family loves the Cinnamon, Chocolate, and Honey Nut varieties, and they make great party mixes! Check out this recipe for your next party. Your guests won’t even know it’s gluten free!
Watch for Corn Chex in next month’s recipe, and remember to write your questions in comment section below. Enjoy those peanut butter cookies!