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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.

We were talking about Astoria Mills enriched gluten free baking mixes and how the resistant starch in the form of Hi-maize  ® contained in them is a significant help for the digestive system.

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 :)

Chocolate-Chip-CookiesChocolate Chunk Gluten Free Cookies

1 cup butter
1/2 cup sugar
3/4 cup brown sugar
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
3 eggs
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,

Trina

Astoria 7 Set Line up

Enriched Gluten free flours available in the USA and Canada. Overseas orders by special request.

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Slice of gluten free Red Velvet Cake

I've always loved the thought of Red Velvet Chocolate cake, it summons up images of deliciousness. Of course it has to be gluten free for my family, so here is my recipe. It was delicious we enjoyed every bite!

Next time I make this I will bake the cake in two layers as slicing it created on layer that was larger than the other. Yummy with the frosting between as well as surrounding the cake.

Red Velvet Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting
By: Trina Astor-Stewart

Prepare ingredients ahead in 3 groups.
1.    Blend together the following Liquids
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 peeled beat grated
1 cup orange juice or milk
zest from 1 orange
2 tblsp. White vinegar
1 tablespoon red food coloring

2.    Blend the following dry ingredients together:
1 tablespoon psyllium husk powder (optional)
2 1/4 cups Astoria Mills Pastry Flour - Mix #2
2 tablespoons baking powder
¼ Teaspoon Baking soda
½  cup cocoa sifted
dash salt
Stir the above together to blend well then add
¾ cup shortening or soft butter – blending to a fine mixture.

3.    Whisk or beat until fluffy:
5 eggs
1 cup sugar

4.     Now add all together beating to form a smooth pourable batter.
Pour batter into a round 8 or 9 inch greased springform cake tin. Bake at 350F for about 40 minutes or until tester comes out clean. Remove cake from tin, cool completely.  Slice in half through the middle with a sharp knife or thread. Fill layer in the middle with frosting, place second cake layer on top and frost with Cream Cheese Frosting.

Cream Cheese Frosting:

1 pound cream cheese, softened
4 cups sifted confectioners' sugar
2 sticks unsalted butter (1 cup), softened
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Mix the cream cheese, sugar, and butter together on low speed until incorporated. Increase the speed to high, and mix until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes. Add the vanilla, raise the speed to high and mix briefly until fluffy. Spread icing on middle layer, place second layer on top and ice cake with the remaining frosting, saving a little to add red food coloring to as a decorative design.

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Blueberry Scones by Astoria Mills gluten free

Buttery and delicious!

Gluten Free Scones or Biscuits Recipe

By: Trina Astor-Stewart

  1. Place in a bowl:

2 cups Astoria Mills Pastry Flour Mix #2 - (plus about ¼ cup for dusting see below)
Pinch of salt
1 ½  tablespoons baking powder
½  teaspoon baking soda
¼ cup vanilla sugar  (this is my secret ingredient, I keep a large bottle of sugar handy which I have 2 vanilla beans in to add flavor*)
1 tablespoon Xanthan Gum

  1. Blend above together and then add

1 cup butter
Crumble mixture together with pastry blender until course and butter is in small pieces.

  1.  In a separate bowl whisk together until frothy:

1 egg
1 cup whole milk
1 tablespoon white vinegar

Add wet ingredients to dry, and blend gently until dough just comes together. (If adding dried fruit such as raisins or dried blueberries, do so at this point ¾ cup).
Place dough on lightly floured surface with, Astoria Mills Pastry - Flour Mix # 2. www.astoriamills.ca

Lightly flour the top of the dough with Mix #2 and roll out the dough into a rectangle about 1 inch thick. Use a bench scraper to keep edges even. Lightly sift Pastry Flour Mix #2 on top. Fold the dough in thirds, like a business letter. Lightly sift Pastry Flour Mix #2 on top again. Add just enough Mix #2 to make workable, don’t add too much. Roll dough into a rectangle about 1 ½ inch thick.

With a sharp knife, cut rectangle into two halves. Cut triangle shaped scones out of rectangles. Place scones on a parchment paper lined cookie sheet. Place in fridge for 15 minutes or overnight. Pre-heat oven to 400F. Place scones on middle rack- bake scones about 20 minutes, until tops are slightly golden, tops are firm when touched. Do not over-bake.  Place scones on a linen towel covered cooling rack to cool. Makes about 9 to 12 scones. Recipe can be doubled and scones frozen and baked as needed. Baking time will increase slightly.

When I froze scones to be baked later, I found a better result occurred when scones were let to defrost a little prior to baking, but still remaining cold. Baking frozen, did not rise quite as much but were still good.

Scones with dried fruit: Add ¾ cup of dried fruit such as dried blueberries, raisins, cranberries or cherries to dry mixture before gently kneading and rolling out dough.

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Sliced gluten free loaf made with Astoria Mills - Mix #6

There is nothing like having some fresh bread right out of the oven and so this morning I decided to make a loaf. It is easy with one of my favorite Astoria Mills mixes.
Brown Bread - Mix #6 (sprouted, because it contains sprouted flax, sprouted chia seeds). Often I add a little Aztec Harvest Blend - Mix #4 as it is a mixture of protein rich naturally gluten free seed grains like Teff and Quinoa. But this morning, I was in a hurry so just right out of the package it was.

For a large loaf in a tin you need a little more than the 2 cups usually called for on the package. 2 cups makes a nice artisan loaf or rolls though. And as I was planning on sliced bread, I wanted to give this just a little more oomph, so I added 4 eggs instead of the regular 2. Eggs also add lots of nutrition also.

Here is the Recipe for Gluten Free Sprouted Bread:
I placed,
4 eggs in a large bowl, added 1 1/2 cups of lukewarm water (no oil) and whisked them up until a little frothy about 30 seconds.

Next I added
3 cups of Astoria Mills Brown Bread - Mix #6 ( enriched with vitamins, minerals and resistant starch, as well as containing ground chia seeds, sweet potato flour and sprouted flax and sprouted chia)

Mix6 1 Dough after just mixing liquids and dry mix together.

Stirred the whole thing up and let it sit and proof for a half hour.

Shaping the dough with a little Mix #3

Next I placed a little Astoria Mills Fine Flour - Mix #3 on my counter top and scraping all the dough out onto the counter, I lightly mixed in a little of the #3 dusting mix. Just a couple of tablespoons in all I guesstimate. It doesn't need a lot of kneading, just enough to shape it and get it ready for the loaf pan. I find doing this gets more height and looks more like real bread than just scraping the dough into the loaf pan. Mix #3 helps it do its thing.

Here is the dough, rolled and shaped into a loaf ready to go into the bread pan.

Without working it too much, the dough is now nicely shaped and ready to go into the bread pan which I have coated with a little Pam gf cooking spray ( make sure you use the original that does not have added flour) You can grease the pan as you like. Usually I either pat the loaf with a little water, oil, or egg wash, but today as I was in a rush to go do other things, I just gave it a spray of Pam as well.

Gluten Free Sprouted dough in bread pan

Now to let the dough proof (or rise) for about 2 hours so that the yeast has a chance to go all through the loaf and make it rise properly. In summer, room temperature is ok. Ideal temperature for proofing is around 90 degrees F.  But it is winter and so I am making a little makeshift proofer to help things a long a little. Some cozy place is good, some people microwave a cup of water and put the loaf in there to rise. Here, I am adding boiling water to two little ramekins placed beside the dough in the pan and covering it over with a large bowl.

Boiling water in Ramekins to help proof the bread dough
Bowl inverted over dough to keep warmth in.

It is not shown here, but I also put a towel on top of the inverted bowl to help keep in the warmth. Then I went and did something else, answered emails, talked on the phone and stuff and just let it proof for two hours.

Score the top with a sharp knife.

Before placing the dough into the pre-heated to 350F oven, I took a sharp knife and scored the top of the dough. On rising, the dough will split open. I think it is prettier if you give it a place to split along one side rather than the middle. You can score it any way you like.

Voila, the fresh gluten free loaf comes out of the oven

After 40 minutes in the oven, I reached in and tapped the loaf, it sounded hollow, you get the hang of it. I let it bake another 5 minutes just to be really sure. Here is the lovely loaf, still in the pan. It is best to remove the bread from the pan right away and let it cool on a counter or rack so that the steam can escape on all sides and keep the bread from becoming soggy on the bottom.

The Loaf of Bread cooling before slicing.

Now just look at that delicious loaf of bread. You will want to slice into it right away and have a taste. But be patient if you can and let it cool some. Just to warm is all I could stand the wait for. Then I sliced it all as I planned to freeze it and use it as needed. Putting it in the freezer also keeps me from eating too much as a go. So I take a couple of slices out for toast in the mornings, if we are going out and need a lunch, I can make the sandwiches while the bread is still frozen and wrap. They keep well and will thaw by the time we eat them. You don't have to freeze this bread if you are going to eat it within a week, just keep it refrigerated. Wrap in plastic wrap or baggie. Makes awesome toast too.

The bread slices reasonably thinly without crumbling, it is soft on the inside, a little springy with a soft not too thick crust. Just right, I think. Hope you enjoy making some sprouted breads or buns using Astoria Mills Brown Bread - Mix #6

Delicious and healthy.

Sliced gluten free sandwich loaf

This loaf made 18 wonderful slices of gluten free bread counting the end slices.
This is a good value. One 2.2 lbs. bag of mix  at 14.49  makes about 3 loaves depending on size, so under $5.00 a loaf.

Fresh out of the oven, made with your own loving hands... priceless!

For more Astoria Mills enriched gluten free mixes and to find out more information
click here.

Each mix makes lots of recipes. See free e-cookbook

Additional information: The next day I removed the frozen sliced bread from the freezer and took a few slices to see how it was. It was easy to break apart pieces of bread in single slices to toast and also thaw and make a sandwich. The bread didn't crumble and it was soft and nice when made into a jelly sandwich. Here are some photographs from the next day.

Slice of frozen bread thawing on counter.
Apricot jam sandwich made on thawed slices of bread
Toast made from frozen slices of gluten free bread

The frozen slice of bread photo was taken at my kitchen window, the light is cooler there. The sandwiches and toast, I took out onto the porch, a little more light there and the walls are yellow. This accounts for the difference in the look of the breads.

This bread was yummy and nice to have in the freezer to take out a slice or two at a time. Some of the best tasting gluten free bread, if I do say so myself. You never get bored with Mix #6 as since it is a dough, not a batter, you can have any shapes you like. Add a little Aztec Harvest Blend - Mix #4 and it is different again. Hope you have fun baking and eating fresh bread from your oven.

For more Astoria Mills enriched gluten free mixes and to find out more information
click here.

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Gluten Free Butter Tart
Butter Tart - Gluten Free

'Best Before' Date Stamp Correction:

Some Astoria Mills gluten free mixes have a best-by sticker overlay. Please note that the expiry date on a run of mixes was unintentionally stamped incorrectly at the factory. 

We apologize for any inconvenience. 

Since Astoria Mills mixes are non-perishable dry food blends meant to be long storage staple food items in their unopened state the usual implications of 'best before' dates used for food items like cheeses, eggs, dairy or fresh vegetables does not apply.

Plain flour mixes #1, 2 and 3 will last even after opening for 3 to 5 years stored in a cool dry place. Mix #4 and Mix #6 are best kept in the freezer after opening in order to maintain the fresh taste of the sprouted chia and sprouted flax. Mix #5 and Mix #7 have a shelf life of 3 to 5 years when unopened and stored in a cool dry place. Room temperature is fine even after opening and re-sealing.  If you live in a hot humid climate we suggest storing in the freezer. Storing in the refrigerator after opening can be too humid and cause clumping.


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In a gluten free kitchen there are always new things you discover to make your cooking and baking even better and my kitchen is also an ever evolving round of new ideas.

I am sort of one of those free cooks who uses a pinch of this and that, and when asked how did you do that, well… in formulating mixes for Astoria Mills, I have had to get really scientific as well as creative. After all, cooking and especially baking are both a science and an art!

So I am creating this Special 'Update' Page where I will post new things that work better, things I discover along the way, answers to questions and sharing feedback from home bakers and commercial bakeries using Astoria Mills gluten free mixes.

Tip 1. When you get your mixes, it is best to start with easy recipes first. Because each bag of mix holds quite a bit, use a recipe with a smaller amount on your first try. For instance with breads, start by making a 2 cup batch first, that way you have 2 more batches before you run out.

Tip about the first rise for breads. I am finding that as yeast is a living organism and temperature really matters, that sometimes you don't need the whole rise of 2 hours. Sometimes it is better to give the yeast an initial time to wake up of only a half hour to an hour and then shape and give the buns etc. more time to rise after being shaped. If the dough rises too much initially, it won't have the umpf to rise as much the second time after being shaped. Or if you are working in a really warm kitchen, the dough could over proof. Every kitchen is different and you can even get different results on different days due to the barometric pressure. So go easy, it all tastes good anyway!

Pastry tip: I've been making my pastry recipe for years with my Astoria Mills Pastry Mix #2 and often now don't even have to look at the recipe, I just can feel when it is right. Recently I made a larger batch of pastry to freeze, some for pies, some for tarts. I do this so I can just add the fillings later, it saves me time. Well, I was at the cottage and ran out of Mix #2 as I was working the dough. So I just grabbed some All Purpose Flour - Mix #1 (alone the pastry would be too hard) and finished it by adding about a handful or so. Well, my husband raved about this pastry, he liked the butter tarts better, he said the pastry had a better texture. Like the wheat tarts I suppose him mom used to make. So, you can still follow the recipe exactly as it is in my e-cookbook or go ahead and add a couple of tablespoons of Mix #1 and see what you think.

Walnut Bagels:

Like many of you, if we are going on a day trip or outing, I have to plan on something to take along to eat. Recently, we were going on a trip for a couple of days and I was not sure if we would be able to find  restaurants along the way, or even have time to stop. So I made a batch of bagels to take along. I am always trying to add more nutrition and some extra protein rather that having all starch for snacks or lunch. So in this case, I made a batch of Astoria Mills Pizza & Bagel - Mix #5 adding about 1/4 cup of Astoria Mills Aztec Harvest Blend - Mix #4 for added whole grain goodness and feeling good about the Teff and Quinoa as well as sprouted seeds and chia in there. Then I threw in some walnut pieces too. Well, they were delicious and very welcome lunch and snacks on our trip. You might want to try that too. Also, I just shaped them like bagels, and baked them, not worrying about the water bath step of 'real' bagels, they worked out fine and took less time.

Storing Astoria Mills mixes and shelf life.  Un-opened Astoria Mills mixes have a shelf life of 24 months when stored in proper conditions. Average home temperatures of about 70 degrees. You can store mixes in the freezer or refrigerator wrapped in a plastic zip lock style freezer bag to protect from additional moisture. Bread mixes contain yeast which becomes activated on contact with moisture so keeping mixes dry is important. Aztec Harvest Blend and Brown Bread - Mix #6 contain sprouted seeds which should be kept in a cool place or freezer after opening.

I am always happy to answer questions about baking and the mixes via email  -see contact info at www.astoriamills.ca

It is all about being creative, having fun and enjoying a delicious and healthy gluten free diet.

 

Plate of Gluten Free Waffles by Astoria Mills
Waffles made with Astoria Mills All Purpose Flour - Mix #1

Waffles are always a treat and so easy to make with Astoria Mills
All Purpose Flour - Mix #1

 

 

 

Founding Principles - Astoria Mills, a desire to feed people on a gluten free diet better foods, a commitment to quality, a spirit of innovation and a willingness to expand, even if it means taking a few risks.

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So how do you decide which gluten free flour mix is right for you? If you do a search online for gluten free flour mixes you will come up with pages and pages of different gf mix recipes. For someone just starting a gluten free diet this can be overwhelming.

Strawberry Custard Tarts made with Astoria Mills Pastry Flour - Mix #2

Recently I talked with a woman who went out and bought about 10 different gluten free flours to start baking with. Since different combinations work differently and also taste different, she very quickly got very discouraged with her new diet.

Now if this dietary change had been a choice she would not have been so devastated, but you see, for her, wheat or gluten containing flours for baking were now out of the question as eating even a crumb caused her agony.

Just as there are different grades of wheat based flours, such as all purpose, pastry and cake flours as well as hard wheat and whole wheat, you need different gluten free flour mixtures to achieve varied results.

I faced this situation about 20 years ago, trying out this combination or that one, finding that many recipes just did not turn out the way my wheat baking had done. Nor did the taste satisfy me, not to mention that there was less nutrition in many gluten free flour blends.  It was always a crap shoot mixing my own mixes due to the difference in grinds available most of the time. Sometimes I would end up with a gritty batch which was not as palatable. I wanted to be able to bake and share with guests and have them not only, not taste a lot of difference to what they were used to on a wheat diet, but want seconds!

Also even naturally gluten free whole grains are hard to source in an un-cross contaminated state at less than 20ppm. Which is said to be safe, but is not tolerated by some of us who are extra sensitive. I bought 25 lbs of buckwheat flour one time, only to discover it had been cross contaminated. The same thing happened another time with wild rice, and these had actually been marked 'gluten free'.

Grades of the same flour also differ. Brown rice and sorghum flour are only two of which that can be radically different depending on the manufacturer and lot.

Raising a family on a gluten free diet, I came up with my own blends that worked in various situations, tasted good and everyone liked. However; it would take me quite a bit of shopping around to find all the various items sometimes, too much time. Sometimes a particular ingredient would not be available. Sometimes the level of gluten free or ppm would vary. Since there are very sensitive people at our house, this meant discarding a batch every now and then due to the family member getting a slight gluten buzz.

I'm sure many people on a gluten free diet can relate. After years of juggling my gluten free flours, I came up with some pretty fool proof blends. I started writing down my recipes using my blends. I would take foods to church suppers to share, I only have a gluten free kitchen, so this arrangement made sure we had something we could eat and others could try. It is amazing that everywhere you go, you meet someone who needs to eat gluten free.

People tasted and marveled and pretty soon I was getting a lot of requests. Since me and my little kitchen couldn't produce my mixes efficiently, I decided to see about producing them in a dedicated factory. It was a dream come true and I could help feed others. I don't know why I love sharing food so much, maybe it came down from my great Aunt Sally who lived in a small town in Oklahoma during the depression. When someone came into town with nothing, they would send them to Aunt Sally's house for a good meal. Always room for one more!

I put in all my wish lists I had wanted over the years into Astoria Mills gluten free mixes. Nutrition! I had a formula of vitamins and minerals created by a food lab especially to augment a gluten free diet, awesome! I learned about the benefits of resistant starch and after experimenting for weeks, was able to figure out just the right amount to be beneficial and still make foods that rival wheat.

It was a big labor of love, a family endeavor, and investing 'the farm' to finally see the new gluten free mixes manufactured at a pharmaceutical grade gluten free facility, but well worth it I think.

Just recently I did a taste testing and brought some of my gluten free scones. One woman who tried them, closed her eyes in delight, and said, "Now that is a scone". I took some in to my hairdressers, Headliners in Niagara Falls NY, and they passed them out saying, OMG they are good! They are all wheat eaters normally. One woman took a couple home to her niece to try who is celiac.

Remembering the early stages of healing when starting a gluten free diet,  I also wanted to take into consideration making flour mixes that would be safe for anyone to begin with, yet work well enough and taste good enough so that they would be great for every stage in a gluten free diet.

Because many in the early stages of a gluten free diet can't tolerate beans that are more nutritious, or even some of the other whole grain gluten free options, I decided to create an additive system. These can be added as tolerated.

So if you are new to a gluten free diet (or not) and looking for an enriched healthy blend of gluten free flours that are lab tested below 5ppm that can make baked goods that rival wheat and taste most like the traditional foods you are used to, then you need to buy Astoria Mills gluten free baking mixes. With a set of Astoria Mills mixes in your kitchen cupboard and my free with purchase e-Cookbook containing 343 recipes, you will always be able to make something good to eat.

Astoria Mills Gluten Free Baking Mixes Recipe e-Cookbook Cover

 

Egg Salad Sandwich on White Bread - Mix #7

I have taste tested on wheat eaters for the past five years and always come out with raves. I always say, "You can get someone to take a bite out of politeness, but you can't get them to finish the whole piece or ask for another if they don't like it! "

Astoria Mills produces three flour blends plus bread, pizza and bun mixes, to make having delicious freshly baked breads and buns easy again. If you compare, pound for pound, you will find the cost of Astoria Mills is very competitive even though these mixes offer more nutrition than most.

For lots more information go to Astoria Mills website.

Astoria Mills gluten free flour mixes weigh 2.2 lbs. and are a good value since they are enriched. You can actually save money in the long run since an entire set makes so much.  The cost of raw flours for mixes are much more expensive than those containing gluten due to the fact that they must be processed to avoid cross contamination. If naturally gluten free flours were all processed to maintain their gf nature, we would see prices go down eventually, but that is in a perfect world. Here is a link to a study on gluten free flour price comparisons.

I can attest to Teff and Quinoa being more expensive at under 5ppm, it is like 10 times more! These were the hardest to source and the most expensive ingredients in Astoria Mills Aztec Harvest Blend - Mix #4 a whole grain/seed  gluten free and corn free blend.

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Angel Food Cake - Gluten Free

Angels flutter around whispering, "Make a gluten free cake for your Mom this Mother's Day!"  Show her what an angel she has been for you.  This Angel Food Cake is easy and sure to delight.

All that fluffy white cloudy, sweet, melt in your mouth goodness!

You can make this cake a day or two ahead and it is still good.  If you are making it ahead, leave the whipped cream frosting until closer to serving time.

So if you are wanting to eat something just heavenly, try making this Angel Food Cake recipe. It is very easy to make! Angel Food Cake is fat free and dairy free (if you omit the whipped cream, that is).

Angle Food cake just by itself is a really good treat just about anytime! And you won't feel too guilty eating it knowing that Astoria Mills Fine Flour - Mix #3 is enriched with vitamins, minerals and resistant starch. Why resistant starch you ask? Check it out here.

Angel Food Cake with Strawberries and Whipped Cream Frosting

Assemble all ingredients ahead, Prepare an Angel Cake baking pan with GF cooking spray or butter. Sift Astoria Mills Fine Flour - Mix #3 over the pan and invert, tap to remove excess. Pre-heat oven to 350 F.

Step 1:

Mix in a separate bowl and set aside:
1  1/3 cup Astoria Mills Fine Flour -Mix #3
½ teaspoon Xanthan gum
¼ teaspoon Baking powder

Step 2:

In an electric mixer, beat until soft peaks form:
12 large room temperature egg whites (about 1 ¾  cups)
½ teaspoon salt
1 ½ teaspoons cream of tartar

Beat in a little at a time:
1 ½ cups granulated sugar

Beat until stiff peaks form. Then fold in gently,
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Step 3.
Sift in the flour mixture while mixer is on the lowest setting, to fold together until blended.

Step 4.
Spoon the cake batter into angel food cake pan. The batter will be thick and you may need to push the batter into the edges so that it will be firmly in place in the bottom of the pan. Bake at 325 F. for about 50 to 60 minutes or until cake springs back when lightly touched with fingertips.

Invert pan and cool completely. The cake will rise quite a bit and then settle somewhat, but still be reasonably high. Gently lift cake out of pan with the tube and loosen bottom. Remove from tube section and frost with whipped cream and strawberries as shown or eat plain or with fruit on the side.

Angel Food Cake

Ok, go ahead and enjoy your Angel Food Cake and wow anyone you serve it to, no one will know it is gluten free unless you tell them!

 

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More people are becoming aware that perhaps the beloved hamburger bun may actually be contributing to their health problems,

the gluten in it, that is.

Up until recently it was thought that only a small segment of the population could not digest gluten since they had celiac disease. However, due to a recent study, those with celiac disease may be just a small segment of those who must follow a gluten free diet for health reasons. Gluten Sensitivity is actually a separate condition which many more people suffer from unknowingly.

"The prevailing problem is that many Americans simply may not realize they are gluten intolerant/sensitive, or they may be ignoring signs and symptoms," David Browne, senior analyst at Mintel, said in a press release. "While food companies may be overdoing it unnecessarily with gluten-free label claims that are appearing on everything from tomato sauce to scallops, the message is getting out and it's likely that many more consumers will engage in the sector, both for foods eaten at home and at restaurants."

Slices of gluten free brown bread
Bread made from Astoria Mills Brown Bread - Mix #6

 See the Brown Bread Baking Class Video here

As someone who has a family of gluten sensitive and celiac people, I don't think food companies are over doing it at all.

I like to know if something is gluten free.

One of the stores I shop at make a point of having their store brands say gluten free or have an allergen free label for other areas like dairy. It makes shopping a lot easier, I always pick the one with the gluten free label  on it even though it is right beside a similar product with the same ingredients. It just gives me more peace of mind. Reading the labels is one thing, but sometimes that can have little effect on cross contamination.

While sourcing ingredients for one of our blends containing all naturally gluten free seeds and grains for Astoria Mills gluten free mixes; I thought that would be easy. But due to our desire to keep mixes under 5ppm this particular mix was the hardest to source ingredients for due to many current milling operations which don't take gluten sensitivity into consideration enough to avoid cross contamination issues.

According to recent reports by Amy C. Brown of the Department of Complementary and Alternative Medicine, John A. Burns School of Medicine, University of Hawaii and Dr. Alessio Fasano, Professor of Pediatrics, Medical Director, Center for Celiac Research, University of Maryland Medical Center; Gluten Sensitivity (or Intolerance) has been recently found to be a separate condition from Celiac Disease, which is an Autoimmune disorder or Wheat Allergy.

Studies at the University of Hawaii are endeavoring to shed more light on what people with unexplained symptoms are experiencing. Since gluten sensitivity can mimic so many other health issues and people are sometimes not being able to obtain a clear diagnosis it is important that more health professionals and individuals themselves become aware of what might be causing their problems. This is not to say that everyone should be on a gluten free diet, it is not something we would wish on anyone. But when a gluten free diet is the only help, thank goodness there are more food choices becoming available, and food companies who are listening.

Since no clear diagnosis testing is currently available for Gluten Sensitivity, like what is available for Celiac Disease, many people have been confused about what was actually making them feel ill. Because so much information has been more recently available about the role of gluten in the diet, many people  have taken themselves off gluten in what is called "A Gluten Challenge" in the hopes that unexplained symptoms would be alleviated. Many times, they feel better. They are on a road to recovery that can take anywhere from six months to a couple of years, depending on the severity of symptoms and the level of gluten freedom exercised.

Doctors up until recently, according to Dr. Fasano, thought celiac or those having adverse reactions to gluten fit the profile of someone who looks emaciated.  Now it is realized that even seemingly obese, just plump, or normal weight people may be gluten sensitive so doctors are more often advising the elimination of gluten to see if this could be the cause of unexplained symptoms.

Patients with gluten sensitivity have unfortunately experience delayed diagnosis, since for them, consuming gluten often mimics other conditions. Maybe they are just bloated, or sleepy or feeling bad, any of which can be ignored or attributed to something else until symptoms worsen when continuing to consume gluten.

For anyone who has 'been there', cutting out gluten for a short time is not bad, a lifetime, can be more difficult and demands an entire lifestyle change. Fortunately there is good news since there are more and more food choices that are gluten free.

According to Amy C. Brown, "This emerging medical problem may involve human genetics,
plant genetic modifications, gluten as a food additive, environmental toxins, hormonal influences, intestinal infections and autoimmune diseases".

Listening to a talk given by Dr. Fasano in September 2011 at the Buffalo Gluten Freedom Day, he mentioned that, "The medical community is searching for answers and as yet no clear cause has been found."

Whatever the 'cause' the treatment at present is a gluten-free diet.

As Dr. Fasano also stated during his talk, "People with gluten sensitivity or celiac disease are actually some of the lucky ones, they don't need medications, just a change in diet."

Here is what I like to focus on, all of the good foods we can eat! Feeling good and enjoying cooking and baking with family.

Would you like to know how to make my favorite Artisan Brown Bread, (some slices pictured above) full of fiber, nutritious sprouted flax seeds, sprouted chia seeds and sweet potato flour?

See the Brown Bread Baking Class Video here

Yummy… Slices of bread and butter, now that is a little bit of heaven.

Life is good on a gluten free diet!