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Gluten free help please
Sun 23-Oct-11
5:13 am
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Sooliz
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Having done some fairly extensive research over the last week or two, I've come to the conclusion that I should try following a gluten, yeast and dairy free diet for a while.  For 4 or 5 years now, I've been aware that I have a bit of an intolerance to wheat - never been tested (GP was quite dismissive of the idea aargh) - self diagnosed on the basis of having terrible bloating/stomach cramps after eating bread, baked goods or wheat cereals.  So I began to exclude (as much as possible) wheat products for a couple of weeks at a time, and the symptoms subsided.  However, over the last few months I've been feeling decidedly under the weather - nothing I could put my finger on for definite, just off colour, with frequent stomach upsets and bloating figuring quite a lot.

It's now got to the stage over the last 2 or 3 weeks where not just wheat products, but pretty much anything I eat is making me feel ill.  The stomach cramps and bloating come on virtually straight after eating, I feel completely knackered all the time, all my joints ache as if I've run a marathon (oh if only I had the energy!!!).  And I've had oral thrush and a ghastly taste in my mouth for the past week, it's horrible. 

I've traced all this back to early spring, when I had flu, a cough and chest infection for several weeks, and had 3 consecutive courses of antibiotics, following which I had my first-ever bout of oral thrush (which the GP informed me was caused by the antibiotics - wish he'd have warned me of the possibility of it BEFORE repeating the a/b's!! yell).  I've had the oral thrush on and off ever since.  I have booked a doctor's appt - but it's in 2 weeks' time confused - our docs are really busy with flu jabs at the mo, and I want to see a particular doctor (not the one I saw previously tongue).

In the meantime, I'm wanting to see if eliminating certain food groups will help me feel any better.  So far I've cut out dairy - well, cows stuff, am using goats milk, cheese and butter instead - have tried soya milk and think it's disgusting!  I've also stopped eating bread, cakes and cereals.  And therein lies my problem......I so miss bread (and my husband misses the cakes as I haven't made any!!).

I know that some of you (Ruthie, Barbara and Michelle come to mind) avoid gluten, so would any of you have any good recipes for bread and cakes?  And, just to make things a little (or a lot!!) harder, I'm also thinking of avoiding yeast, just in case I have some sort of yeast infection which is causing the recurring thrush.

Thank you in advance, and apologies for the mega long post embarassed.

learning to love veg…..except celery :-O

Sun 23-Oct-11
9:51 am
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Hattie
Bucks/Oxon Border

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Sue, I am sorry you are suffering so much, it is a miserable state to be in, especially if you have been dealing with an unsympathetic doctor. Two weeks seems to be a long time to wait for an appointment with a doctor of your choice. Can you not get an emergency appointment by waiting at the surgery till the doctor is free (often patients just don't turn up on the day). 

I am not much good at gluten-free bread but I do have a great recipe for a cake both you & your husband can share. I used to make it all the time when I had my restaurant, as I had a lot of customers who were gluten intolerant.

 

http://www.nigella.com/recipes/view/clementine-cake-2559

 

You will have to get hold of some gluten-free baking powder. I used to cook the whole clementines in the microwave as 2hrs of boiling was a pain I did enough for lots of cakes as we sold so many of them (you can freeze it in suitable quantities for one cake). It is a really tasty treat as long as you are not allergic to nuts¦!!  I also have served it hot as a pudding. It is also very adaptable, you can substitute other nuts, you can use other citrus fruit. I also made up my own recipe to make a chocolate version, but I can't find the recipe at the moment as it is all packed up.

Once you have made the original one you will be able to figure out variations on the theme.

One warning though, it is a very damp cake & it needs to be kept in the fridge, esp in warm weather. 

Hope this helps a bit¦¦big_hug  big_hug  wave

 

"The beautiful is as useful as the useful...perhaps more so."

from Les Miserables

Sun 23-Oct-11
10:12 am
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veronica
France

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I've made that cake too! I have a few gluten free recipes on my blog, but not bread I'm afraid. There are quite a lot of gluten-free bloggers though, including Gluten Free Girl. She has a whole section on bread here.

On the milk front, I hate soy milk too. Foul stuff. But almond milk is nice. You can make your own if you can't find it in shops, but I'd have thought health food shops would stock it. 

Sun 23-Oct-11
10:40 am
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Toffeeapple
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Sue I'm sorry to hear that you are so unwell.  big_hug  When you see your doctor of choice, ask if you can be referred to a specialist.  Good luck my dear.

I'll try that again!

Sun 23-Oct-11
11:30 am
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KateUK
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Sue, I know the feeling- the antibiotics that I had repeatedly over the past two years to try to kill the sinus infection didn't achieve anything but to destroy my digestive system's happiness! I'm avoiding yeast and bread as they seem to make things kick off almost within minutes and cake isn't good either, but not in the same league as bread...I'm taking capsules of bacteria in the hope this might help build up some flora and fauna, but it is taking a long time, not helped by the times when I weaken and have some bread and everything leaves the premises...I miss bread too, but I'm just trying to wean myself off it for the time being,very hard when Sir makes toast and I do love making my own bread.I have an oat cake occasionally,tried making spelt bread, but it still made my insides go mental.

Two weeks- or more -is standard for our Doctor too- when I suggested to the receptionist that this was a pretty poor service she said hers was just as bad.I suggested that just because hers was bad it didn't mean that the practice she worked in should be rubbish too. I despair.

Kateuk makes things at http://www.etsy.com/shop/finkstuff and sometimes she does this too http://www54paintings.blogspot.com/ and also this http://finkstuff.weebly.com/

Sun 23-Oct-11
4:34 pm
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maggenpie
Cornwall, UK

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Sue, you sound exactly how I was when I started on this gluten free thing. I've never had any help from the doctor, sorry to say. When I explained I'd discovered certain foods made me ill I was literally laughed at and advised 'don't eat it then'. Some three years later I had a blood test for food allergy but having kept away from gluten for so long nothing showed up. I wish you better luck than I had, but be prepared to work it out yourself.

My favourite bread can be made with baking powder instead of yeast, although I haven't tried it. The idea is to spread it thin on a swiss roll tin and it only rises to the thickness of a slice of bread. The yeast version is fantastic and makes wonderful pizza bases. Read through the comments under the recipe for more ideas for adjusting the ingredients to suit special diets.

If you crave chocolate cake try Eating Well's Died and Gone to Heaven Chocolate Cake, just substitute Dove's or Asda's GF self raising flour. No one ever guesses it's gluten free when I bake it for sharing.

By the way, when it comes to cutting out problem foods, do it completely, even the tiniest amount is going to upset you for some time to come. It is worth the struggle though. big_hug

Never assume anything - except an occasional air of intelligence.

Sun 23-Oct-11
5:19 pm
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suzik
Cambridgeshire

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Most gluten free bread is not worth the bother. However, if you have a Lakeland near you, they sell Easy Bakers gluten free bread mixes. I used to find these the nearest thing to 'real' bread. Not sure if they contain yeast, though.
I used to make a flour mix that substituted for flour in most recipes other than bread. Equal parts, rice flour, glutinous rice flour and gram flour.
Gluten and dairy free pancakes can be made from equal parts gram flour and potato flour mixed with enough water to make a batter.

Sun 23-Oct-11
6:12 pm
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Sooliz
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Thank you all for your kind comments and most hlepful suggestions.  I'm having a really yucky day today and don't feel like doing anything, but will try out some of the ideas during the week when (if!!) I'm feeling a bit better.  I'm guessing that cutting out bread, dairy, etc., along with caffeine andsugar (I thought I might as well go the whole hog) for the past few days has contributed to me feeling so awful, wihtdrawal symptoms I presume.  Got an absolutely thumping headache just to cap it all aargh.  Well, the olny way is up from here

learning to love veg…..except celery :-O

Sun 23-Oct-11
7:07 pm
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Toffeeapple
North Bucks

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I hope you can sort yourself out soon Sue, it does sound like withdrawal symptoms so stick with it for a while longer. big_hugbig_hug

I'll try that again!

Sun 23-Oct-11
7:51 pm
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devongarden
Devon, UK

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Sue, that is really rotten! I am keeping off gluten again, and it is hard. I use soymilk in baking, and don't use any milk in tea or coffee on the rare occasions I drink them. I use fruit juice on cereal. I am told that almond milk is useable. I use soya yogurt to help settle the stomach. I make my own, buying one as a starter now and then, provamel seems quite sweet, but sojasun is better. You could probably make yogurt using any milk-substitute that has protein in it.

I got thoroughly fed up with not having any good bread recipes, and bought Seriously Good Gluten Free Baking by Phil Vickery. (I got it on Amazon.)The foccacia recipe in there is excellent, and the florentines are fantastic. I did the foccacia when Ruthie and Michelle and Dan were here for lunch, and it was good. I did it again on holiday this last week, and P really liked it! I made up the flour mix at home and took it with me.

I got some gluten-free oats while we were on holiday, and had taken some Doves Farm self-raising flour with me. P used those to make crumbles, and it worked well.

I have been checking out sources of gluten-free oats, and came across Glebe Farm.  I haven't tried any of their bread mixes. I like Doves Farm plain and self-raising GF flour, but not their bread flour, it made bread far too sweet and cake-like for me. I make GF pancake mix (using a standard recipe and Doves Farm GF flour, and keep what I don't use in the fridge till I use it all up) and make pancakes to use as wraps.

I made these brownies last week (I used plain chocolate, chopped, instead of chocolate chips, and used Doves Farm SR flour) and they were very good--P thoroughly approved of them.

I hope the symptoms disappear quickly!

Mon 24-Oct-11
8:20 am
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Sooliz
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Barbara, that's really useful info, thank you very much.

learning to love veg…..except celery :-O

Mon 24-Oct-11
11:08 am
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Sooliz
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I've noticed lots of GF recipes (been checking out mainly bread/cake ones) have xanthan gum as one of the ingredients.  I've googled it, but am still a bit mystified as to what its actual function is.  Can one of you knowledgeable GF ladies tell me what it does/why it's used, please?  And is it readily available.....i.e. in supermarkets or health food stores?

My stomach has settled down today and my mouth is a little less painful/revolting, so avoiding trigger foods is clearly starting to work.  Still got a throbbing headache though, and feel like i've been run over by a tractor.

Thanks again, you're all being so helpful and kind big_hug

learning to love veg…..except celery :-O

Mon 24-Oct-11
11:15 am
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Xahha
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Xanthan is a thickener that is cultured in vats, a bit like yeast is, - it is a protective gummy coating around certain Xanthomonas campestris bacterial cells that prevents them being dehydrated under extreme conditions. The gum is extracted from the culture and dried to a powder, where it is good for thickening.

 

I used it many times within my past career. Very useful product.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Xanthan_gum  will tell you more if you want to know

Martin

 Are we having fun yet? I am!

Mon 24-Oct-11
11:30 am
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Hattie
Bucks/Oxon Border

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Sue you can definitely buy Xanthan gum in Health food shops & online.  So far I haven't seen it in the large supermarkets.

 

http://www.healthysupplies.co.uk/xanthan-gum-glute.....doves.html

 

Glad you are feeling a little better but sorry about the headache......big_hug

 

wave

 

"The beautiful is as useful as the useful...perhaps more so."

from Les Miserables

Mon 24-Oct-11
11:31 am
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Sooliz
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Thanks for that Martin, but I'd like to know exactly why it's used particularly in GF breads?  It must be there for a specific reason, as I don't think I've seen it mentioned before in non-GF bread recipes.  I appreciate that you've had a scientific background and know exactly what you're talking about, but I'm not remotely technically minded and have absolutely no knowledge of things chemical.  And as I'm suffering from a head stuffed with cotton wool, as well as this splitting headache, simple things are the only things I can understand right now.  Sorry frown

learning to love veg…..except celery :-O

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