Gluten Free Tips and Tricks Starter Guide

Gluten free Gluten Free Starter Guide and Tips

It is extremely important when first starting to eat Gluten Free (staying away from anything that contains Wheat, Barley or Rye)  and heal your body try to stay away from processed GF prepackaged foods. There are some good ones out there, but be aware, Some of them maybe GF ingredients but they could be processed on the same lines as gluten containing ingredients. Some of them just out and out lie and slap that GF label on the package just to make money. It is illegal and several of them have been caught, but another one pops up all the time. So until you find the products that you can trust at first it is just safer to eat as clean as possible to begin with.

Fresh fruits and vegetables, Non- processed meats, etc.

Always wash fruits and vegetables with a white vinegar and warm water mixture, then rinse well.

Plain Milk and Dairy is Gluten Free, ( although some do have reactions to them, it may just take time to figure out what you react to.)

Be aware of Ice creams not all Ice cream is GF. You have to read labels.

Eggs are Gluten Free, ( I know some of this seems like a no brainer, but I have had people ask me these questions, and some people do react to eggs, my Mom is one of them, but it’s not because there is gluten in the eggs. We use Duck eggs and have no problems with them.)

 Always, Always!!! READ LABELS!!! I don’t care if you’ve purchased that same brand or product before and it was GF. Food companies change ingredients all the time! I have found this out the hard way.

Be very aware of Cross Contamination! If you use the same pans, bowls, and cooking utensils to cook gluten foods then use them to cook GF foods. You WILL cross contaminate yourself. Stainless steel is great, because it can be washed in the dishwasher and clean it thoroughly. Plastic, rubber, and wooden bowls can have scratches or cuts in them which will hold on to gluten.

Toasters are a big source of Cross Contamination! If your household is not going totally GF, then you need to have a separate toaster only for GF foods.

Hand towels, hot pad holders, anything with a soft or porous surface will hold gluten. I usually use paper towels to dry my hands. Just in case someone comes in with Gluten on their hands and doesn’t get it all off, then wipes it on the towel.

Also be aware of Soaps, Shampoos, Toothpaste, Shaving lotions, etc. Some of them do contain gluten.  

Oh and this is something that you just don’t think about until it happens to you. Someone else driving your car and eating gluten then getting it on your steering wheel.  People just don’t think about it. So I’m constantly cleaning my steering wheel, since we have teenage drivers around now.

Be aware of Spices, some of them are the real deal and only contain the spice that’s in the jar. Some of them are not, they add fillers. There are some brands that are pure spices.

Be aware of cellulose. Not all cellulose is GF. Some of it is made from Wheat and Barley Straw which does contain gluten.     

Jan’s Dill Pickles

Dill Pickles

My Cucumbers are done for the summer, but my pantry is almost full so we are happy!

Jan’s Dill Pickles

45- 50 Cucumbers ( I like Straight 8, for pickling, about 4-5 inches long)

Soak Cucumbers in an Ice water Bath for 30- 40 minutes before packing into jars.   (I use an Ice Chest to do this)

12 Cups Well water ( or non- chlorinated water)

6  1/2 Cups White 5% Vinegar

1 – 6.5oz. Package Kosher Dill Pickle Spice Mix (Make sure it is Kosher, and does not have any gluten ingredients. I use Mrs. Wages or Ball)

3 Teaspoons Alum

1/2  Cup Canning Salt

1 Tablespoon Minced Garlic

3 Teaspoons Dry Dill Weed

Before packing sterilized jars, Then add 2 small Cloves of Garlic to each jar ( I like to use wild garlic)

And 1 Flower stem of fresh Dill Seed ( just as it is going dry) to each jar.

Bring all ingredients ( except the garlic cloves and Dill Seed) to a boil. Pack cucumbers into sterilized wide mouth quart Jars and pour boiling brine over cumbers. With in 1/2 inch to the top of jars. Cover each jar with a sterilized cap and ring. ( be sure to add the garlic cloves and dill seed before sealing) Place filled jars into boiling water canner and process for 10 minutes in boiling water bath.     ( this is per my canning book) This should make 10 – 12 Quarts, depending on how tightly you pack the jars.

When processing time is up, remove from water and let each jar cool and seal. If a jar doesn’t seal, be sure and refrigerate that jar. Before I open a jar of pickles, I like to refrigerate it for about an hour to make sure the pickles get crisp.     

Grilled Skillet Apple Cobbler

Skillet Apple Cobbler

My Mom’s apple trees have a lot of apples this year, and we love Apple anything! This cobbler is so easy and making it on the grill adds to the flavor and keeps from heating up the house with the oven.

Grilled Skillet Apple Cobbler

Crust:

2 Cups Gluten Free Biscuit Mix

2/3 Cup White Granulated Sugar

1 Cup Water

1 Large Egg (beaten)

Filling:

4 Cups peeled and sliced Fresh Apples ( I used green cooking apples, sliced about 1/4 inch thick)

1 Tablespoon Ground Cinnamon

1/2 Cup packed Brown Sugar

1/4 Cup (1/2 Stick) Cold Butter sliced very thin ( or butter substitute)

Finish Topping:

1 Teaspoon Ground Cinnamon

1 Teaspoon White Granulated Sugar

Preheat Grill to 375 – 400* ( only use the outside burners)

In large bowl whisk together all ingredients for crust and pour about a third of the mixture into bottom of a greased 10 inch cast iron skillet. Just enough to cover bottom completely. Set aside the rest of the batter.

Then in another mixing bowl combine apples, cinnamon, and sugar. Then pour into skillet on top of the bottom crust. Then top apples with cold butter slices, spacing evenly over apples. When this is done pour the rest of the batter on top of butter and apples.

Place in the center of the top rack of grill and close lid. Remember to leave the center burners off and only use the end burners. Bake for 35 – 40 minutes or until crust is browned around the edges and a knife inserted into apples are soft.

 10 minutes before removing from grill sprinkle top with remaining Cinnamon and Sugar. Enjoy!

Jan’s Gluten Free Salsa

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These aren’t the prettiest Tomatoes we have ever raised, but with all of the rain we’ve had, I’m happy just to get them!

Jan’s Salsa (Medium Heat)
(For HOT salsa add 1 or 2 Habanero peppers)

6 – cups chopped onions ( about 3 large onions)
2/3- cups minced garlic (if you use fresh garlic it’s about 18 cloves chopped)
5-6 jalapeno peppers chopped ( use 8- 10 if they are small peppers 1 to 1 1/2 inches long)
( I leave the seeds & veins in, it gives them more heat)
6 chili peppers chopped ( or 2 tspns. Chili powder not chili seasoning)
1 large or 2 small seeded & chopped bell pepper
2 table spoons paprika
2 table spoons salt
2 table spoons garlic powder
2 teaspoons cilantro
1 table spoon white vinegar ( make sure it is not malt vinegar)
1 gallon peeled & chopped tomatoes

In large sauce pan on medium to low heat cook and stir garlic, onions, peppers, vinegar, & spices until onions turn clear. Then add tomatoes, turning up heat & stirring constantly, bringing it all to a boil. Cook at a rolling boil ( stirring continually) for about 20 min. to desired thickness.
(If you would rather have smooth salsa, put onions, garlic, & peppers in blender & blend to liquefy before cooking. Do the same to the tomatoes, before pouring them into sauce pan)
This should make 5 – 6 quarts, process in boiling water bath for 35 min.

Please note: if you live in a higher altitude you must refer to a canning chart for processing times. They will be different than the times I use here in Oklahoma.

Easter Egg Cake Pops!

Gluten Free Easter Egg Cake Pops

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Easter Egg Cake Pops ( only without the stick)

1/2 Cup Plain GF Greek Yogurt ( or 4oz. cream cheese)

1 Cup Sugar

3 eggs

1 Cup All-purpose Gluten free Flour  (I use Better Batter or Tom Sawyer Gluten Free/Betty Crocker GF Flour Mix  ½ & ½ mix)

1 Teaspoon Gluten Free (Clabber Girl) Baking powder

1 Teaspoon pure Vanilla

Cream yogurt, sugar & eggs. Add remaining ingredients & mix well on high speed until blended. Let dough set in fridge for about 30 min.  When ready to bake preheat oven to 350*F. Butter both sides of non-stick cake pop pan and fill bottom half of pan with batter. (without the holes). Place top on, and lock together. Place in oven and bake for 9 minutes, then turn pan over and bake another 9 minutes. (18 minutes total). Remove from oven and let cool 5 minutes before removing top.  If batter comes through holes in the top be sure and remove those little bits before cooling. After 5 minutes remove from pan and lay them out to cool on the seam side down. This causes them to have more of an egg shape.( It may be necessary to trim the seam side of pops) When cool dip in melted GF almond bark and decorate. This is a fun decorating project for the kids!

Please note: Butter is the only thing I’ve found that will keep the pops from sticking. Also, its important to use the yogurt or cream cheese in the batter. Even if you choose to use a cake mix, replace the butter called for with yogurt or cream cheese.

This will make 2 dozen cake pops.