Emeril Lagasse Leading the Way in Gluten-Free Cooking

By Bridget

Although many are fed up with all of the gluten-free celebrity hype that has been taking over the headlines of gluten-free news, a recent headline may catch some attention. Emeril Lagasse, the famed restaurateur, chef, and TV personality, best known for catchphrases from “Bam!” to “Kick it up a notch!”, has been a supporter of the gluten-free community for over ten years for reasons very close to his heart – his two daughters. Both daughters were diagnosed with gluten intolerances back in 2001 and 2004, one of whom has full blown Celiac disease.

The women have been working together, along with the support of their dad, to write a gluten-free cookbook that brings all their favorite gluten-free meals and recipes in one book. In their new book, “The Gluten-Free Table: The Lagasse Girls Share Their Favorite Meals,” both Lagasse women have made it their mission to find gluten-free recipes that aren’t flavor-free or laced with a funky aftertaste. By using natural gluten-free flours – from almond flour for flourless Continue reading “Emeril Lagasse Leading the Way in Gluten-Free Cooking”

Understanding Gluten’s Role and Achieving the Same Results Without it

By Bridget

One of the most frustrating aspects of being gluten-free is the fact that wheat-free flours just don’t behave like their gluten-laden counterparts. A cake made with oat flour often seems to sink, have too high a moisture content, and never truly brown in the same manner a gluten-filled cake would. But why is this? What is it about wheat that gives baked goods a property unachievable by any other grain?

In terms of gluten as an aspect of food science, it is the protein portion of wheat flour with elastic characteristics necessary for the structure of most baked goods (this is why different recipes will call for more or less flour – depending on if you want bread with a lot of structure, or a sauce with just a small amount of added viscosity). Interestingly, from a culinary standpoint, gluten is not present in plain old flour! In order to form gluten from flour, the product must be hydrated (with water or milk) and be manipulated (with stirring, kneading, mixing, or mashing)!

When it comes to gluten-free grains, like uncontaminated oats, rice, and corn, the lack of gluten protein actually inhibits gas retention and the structure building properties that are natural to wheat grain. This prevents our baked goods from having any leavening power, due to a different protein content.

Continue reading “Understanding Gluten’s Role and Achieving the Same Results Without it”