Monday, November 10, 2014

The Gluten Free Garage at Wychwood Barns - Event

Wychwood Barns
There seems to be a trend for a lot of people to be switching to Gluten Free foods lately when they aren't even gluten intolerant.  Why? Well because they have heard that people lose weight when they go gluten free.   Well this is true when you are diagnosed with celiac disease and you give up gluten free food then you will lose weight but there is no real proof that it's beneficial to you to go gluten free if you don't have any related health issues.   While I do believe we aren't eating what we did over 30 years ago when it comes to wheat based products because of the new farming technologies that have stripped the land of the soil benefits that would produce a full healthful benefit in the wheat we used to grow that doesn't seem to exist anymore unless you are getting it from a small organic farm.
Joy McCarthy Joyous Health
I have a friend that has been gluten free for years but this by no means makes her more healthy it just means she gets really sick when she eats wheat products.   I have another baker friend who was advised by her nutritionist to eliminate gluten products and she has seen results in weight loss and feeling better when she doesn't consume gluten products.  And there is a third friend who has diabetes and wants to switch to a higher protein and low sugar based bread and eliminate more white based foods that spike his blood sugar.  He is on a mission to find a bread that he can eat every day.   We made an attempt to make a recipe found in the Wheat Belly book but it was a horrible substitute for bread.  He said it was better when toasted but if I had to eat it I would give up bread altogether.   I myself don't have a gluten intolerance but I know that it's in my best interest to investigate healthy and tasty products and I feel like it's information that might be helpful to the people that read this blog.   While I am not a certified nutritionist or healthcare provider I did work in a hospital for 14 years and saw a lot of the effects of what happens to people that struggle with pain and health issues.  I learned a lot while working in the hospital because at the time I decided to lose weight by going to weight watchers and used the information available at the hospital to learn some things and then over the years I have been open to learning about diet related issues from either books or from some of the documentaries I have watched.

In the never ending quest to find better foods and to see if I could find products that would help my friends I decided to go to the GLUTEN FREE GARAGE event that was held at Wychwood Barns this past sunday.   I brought my friend who is in search for bread with me to see if he could find some things.  

We tried many samples but unfortunately there weren't any samples of bread for him to try but there were a lot of crackers.  It's easy to make a cracker taste good because you can use flax seeds and dried herbs to make a crispy cracker.  It's a lot harder to make a light and tasty bread that rises without the gluten.   He did find a vendor that sold various flours and had a multi grain bread mix which my friend bought to try out.  He paid $5 for the package and will get 2 loaves from that.  We will see how they turn out as soon as he tries it.

The other thing that I have tried in the past that was never very good was Pasta.  I'm a purist and just prefer the taste of regular pasta, but I must say that I was impressed with the taste of Ital Pasta's penne in tomato sauce that they sampled at the event.  It just tasted good.  A pleasant surprise.  They were also sampling polenta which I suppose a lot of people use to instead of some other things.  That was tasty as well.

There were many bakery products but I didn't try much of them,  I only tried the samples.

One thing I must say is that there are companies trying to cash in on the gluten free trend where they really shouldn't be marketing it that way because the products have probably always been gluten free like the use of corn in products and say a tomato sauce that doesn't have a flour or cornstarch thickener.

You need to be careful still when buying some products because they may increase the fats or sugars to make the products taste better when they take out the gluten.   It's the same as yoghurt, when it says zero fat it has increased the sugar content for flavour.

At the event there was also Tonica Kombucha which I have written about before and there were other Kombucha and smoothie drinks.  There were dips and spreads, and falafels which are probably normally gluten free as well.  

But I have to say that most of the food I sampled tasted very good.   There was only a couple of things that I tried that I didn't love but I suppose there are people that get used to some of the products when it's the only thing they can eat.

I sat in on one demo with the owner of Bunner's Bakery which just opened a location in Kensington Market.   She made a really tasty granola and a breakfast waffle that would be a great breakfast substitute item.  She had a beautiful cookbook on display and a large booth where my other friend tried a cinnamon bun and said you couldn't tell that it wasn't gluten free.

So all in all I would say the event was very successful and I am sure it helped a lot of people find products in one place instead of searching all over town.  It enabled them to sample before buying a lot of the products so it would save them a lot of time and money which is always a good thing these days.

And for me I learned a few new products that I can recommend to my gluten struggling friends and I know that if I have a dinner party that there are options out there that will accommodate people's ever changing diets.

for more info about the show and the vendors check out the website

1 comment:

  1. In my case, when I went gluten-free, I did not lose any weight. I lost water. The gluten from wheat is an inflammatory so it contributes to water retention in your body. Gluten-free products are high carb (potato flour, rice flour, tapioca starch) so if you eat them daily and a lot of it, no weight loss will occur. It's always a good idea to cut back on too much wheat consumption, regardless of whether you have a sensitivity or not, as eating too many wheat products contributes to a slower metabolism and sluggish digestion. I thought I'd miss all my favourite foods, like pizza, cookies, crackers, bread, but I don't. A trip to my local health food store provides me with everything in gluten-free versions.


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