Meet The Gluten-Free Granny

My name is Molly, I am married to Mike (my chief taste tester and he’s not even gluten-free), I am a Mum and Granny of 3 amazing granddaughters. I have been a practising herbalist and nutritionist for 35 years, and prior to that, I was a nurse.  I have been gluten-free, along with yeast free, dairy free and cane sugar-free for the last 30 something years. I can still remember the taste of fresh bread and butter…..ah those were the days!!! But life happens and with the twists and turns of fate, here I am, gluten and allergy free. If you want you can read my health journey here and see how I came to be the Gluten Free Granny.

TGFG-twitter-profileSo here I am, and over the years I have developed some delicious recipes. I don’t know about you, but when I eat bread, or a cake, or bun, or pizza or a pie, I want it to taste as close to ‘normal’ as possible. I can’t stand these heavy loaves of bread that are like lumps of brick, or the loaves that are full of nuts and seeds. No resemblance at all to a good fresh loaf of bread. Nutty and full of nutritious goodies, but hard to eat, and you certainly can’t have a sandwich or a good old poached egg on toast. 

That is where my recipes book comes in. Having run the Allergy Prevention Clinic for over 30 years, and having had to avoid gluten, yeast, dairy and cane sugar myself for well over 30 years, I have developed some very tasty and simple gluten-free baking recipes.

Unfortunately, none of the wheat free or gluten free flours can act in baking as does wheat flour.  Nor can one blend of gluten-free flours be used for every recipe.  There are quite a variety of brands selling gluten-free self-raising flour or plain flour, the problem is that you can’t simply substitute a cup of the gluten-free flour mix for a cup of wheat flour, and this is where so many people get frustrated and simply give up on gluten-free baking, because it just doesn’t work for them. Each recipe has to be individualised with the proportions of each gluten-free flour.  Sounds complicated and way too time-consuming, and I agree, it can be. It has taken me many trials and errors to get the recipes balanced in taste and look.

The challenge for those of us that need to be gluten-free and allergy free, is to find which combination of flours that will work for each individual recipe, and provide an outcome that is as close a possible to regular wheat baking, that we are familiar with. This is what I have developed. Recipes that are delicious and that tick all the boxes.

It is easy to make main meals gluten and allergy free. Meats, fish, legumes and vegetables are plentiful and a good variety is easy to choose from.  But when it comes to finding biscuits, cakes, pastries or loaves of bread that are not only gluten free but suitable for multiple allergies, it is almost impossible to find something commercially available.

My bread is delicious. It’s light enough to enjoy a sandwich and it makes great toast. It is light and delicious.  And of course, it is full of those much-maligned carbs, but that’s ok.  All this low carb, low fat, sugar-free, paleo nonsense…… well that’s another story for another day! You need to consume sugars, yes simple sugars……. oh please feed those brain cells! And you need good old saturated fats and heavy starchy carbs, yes those good old-fashioned starchy carbs! It is only a problem if you eat the whole loaf of bread in one day, or the entire cupcake baking or biscotti baking in one go, and don’t eat anything else. Now, who would do that!!!!! These foods aren’t our enemy and they aren’t a problem, the only problem in the food industry is all the pre-made processed foods that contain all the additives, the preservatives, and of course the pesticides and herbicides added in our farming methods.  It’s the chemicals added to our foods that is the real issue, not the foods. Well, that’s another story for another day too!

I have run baking classes and taught many of my patients how to do allergy and gluten-free baking. It is tricky and there are rules to be followed that are nothing like the techniques used in wheat baking. 

There are lots of gluten-free products available commercially nowadays, but they are full of the usual commercial chemicals, enhancers, additives and sugars. Not really that healthy.  Convenient, but not really that tasty either. 

My recipes work. They taste really good and my dinner guests don’t even know they are eating gluten-free. That’s the test for a good product when they don’t know if it’s ‘normal’ or if it’s gluten-free. 

So join me, and learn the art of gluten-free baking.   My next book, Gluten Free Basics, will be available shortly, stay tuned.