Today I was talking with someone about digestive health on a gluten free diet. Getting enough fiber, eating the right carbs, feeling good, gluten free cookies, that sort of thing. (see gluten free chocolate chip/chunk recipe below)
The conversation came around to the usual story of digestive details best left to whispers and not in polite conversation. However, if you are someone with Celiac Disease or Gluten Sensitivity you are probably not shy of telling all about your last episode of unintentional glutening and its accompanying digestive symptoms. The hours of agony, days of fog and being unwell from a single morsel of the offending gluten.
The last time for me was in a coffee shop advertising “TRY OUR NEW GLUTEN FREE COOKIES” After being assured up an down that the cookies were indeed gluten free I decided to go ahead and have three tiny little cookies with my coffee. I had asked about the ppm (20 parts per million is the upper limit of supposed gluten safety for those intolerant to gluten), of their gluten free flours, to which I received a sort of blank unknowing stare. This alone should have alerted me. However; the prospect of enjoying some cookies after a long walk really got the better of me.
I did enjoy the cookies, a little too sweet like many gluten free goodies I have found that rely on sugar for taste. So apart from the sugar rush, a half hour later the dreaded first symptoms started to make their appearance. It was a week before I was myself again!
This morning’s conversation eventually left the gritty details and what to do about the pains of being glutened and came around to why it is important to assure the gluten free foods you are eating contribute not just to feeding yourself, but also to your ongoing digestive health.
One of the things that Hi-maize ® resistant starch promotes in the intestines is that it feeds the friendly bacteria so necessary to gut health. It helps produce more of a short-chain fatty acid called Butyrate which is the primary fuel source for healthy colon cells.
So what is Butyrate you ask? Butyrate is a part of the colonic mucus layer protecting the lining of the intestinal epithelium. Butyrate is produced during the fermentation of dietary fibers and plays a key role in colonic health.
So why not make even your cookies into a healthier snack with Astoria Mills enriched with vitamins, minerals and Hi-maize ® resistant starch. Gluten Free treats can be healthier too.
Here is a recipe for some gluten free chocolate chip cookies that will make your mouth water and your taste buds do a happy dance
1 cup butter
1/2 cup sugar
3/4 cup brown sugar
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
Pinch of salt
In a separate bowl mix together:
2 1/2 cups Astoria Mills All Purpose Mix #1 (for even more nutrition exchange 1/2 cup Aztec Harvest Blend – Mix #4 for whole gluten free grain/seed deliciousness)
½ scant teaspoon Xanthan Gum
1 teaspoon baking powder
Turn mixer lower and blend the dry ingredients in with the butter and egg mixture. Whip well.
Now stir in by hand:
2 cups GF chocolate chips or chunks
(You can make your own with good quality, pure dark chocolate.
1 cup of chopped walnuts, optional
Spoon a heaping tablespoon full at a time onto a well greased baking sheet or one lined with parchment paper.
Leave room to spread, flatten each cookie with the tines of a fork.
Bake in a 375 F oven for about 10 -12 minutes until just turning golden around the edges. Makes a little more than 2 dozen cookies depending on the size.
If you don’t want to bake them all right away, save some dough in the fridge, or in the freezer, rolled up like an ‘ice-box cookie, ready to slice and bake.
Happy Baking, Happy Eating, Happy Feeling Good,
All the best,