Liv­ing the Gluten-Free Life

“Af­ter I was di­ag­nosed with Celiac dis­ease, I said yes to food, with great enthusiasm. I vowed to taste ev­ery­thing I could eat, rather than fo­cus­ing on what I could not.” –Shauna James Ah­ern

F&B World - - Trends 'N' Tools - HENY SI­SON owns and teaches at the Heny Si­son Culi­nary School. For In­quiries, call (02) 412–7792 or 726–5316.

When a per­son has been di­ag­nosed with Celiac dis­ease, the usual ques­tion they have is, what can I eat now? And what can I not eat? Do I have to buy spe­cial prod­ucts and put in ex­tra ef­fort just to pre­pare daily meals? It can be overwhelming, but in re­al­ity liv­ing a gluten-free life is both sim­ple and ex­cit­ing in so many ways. THE BA­SICS ON GLUTEN Gluten is a protein found in wheat flours and is there­fore a key com­po­nent in bak­ing. Ev­ery baker will tell you that with­out it, a baked prod­uct will not be able to hold to­gether. It is also re­spon­si­ble for tex­ture, ten­der­ness and elas­tic­ity of a baked prod­uct, be it a bread or cake.

Al­though gluten sen­si­tiv­ity, more com­monly known as Celiac dis­ease or the in­abil­ity to digest gluten, is more preva­lent among Euro­peans, there ap­pears to be a grow­ing sen­si­tiv­ity to gluten man­i­fest­ing it­self in other forms like skin rashes and al­ler­gies here. And like the son of one mother who re­quested for a gluten-free class, it is be­lieved that gluten and ca­sein-free di­ets help some chil­dren who are aca­dem­i­cally chal­lenged to fo­cus bet­ter. It is for this rea­son that Heny Si­son Culi­nary School has started of­fer­ing Gluten-Free and Ca­seinFree classes, to ad­dress the need for this spe­cific diet. GO­ING GLUTEN-FREE Our in house ex­pert on gluten-free cook­ing and bak­ing would be Chef Patty Loan­zon. Her ex­ten­sive re­search and kitchen-tested recipes have brought fla­vor and va­ri­ety to an other­wise bland and bor­ing reper­toire of food that can limit one's cre­ativ­ity and ap­petite, but not with Chef Patty's spe­cial­ties. It was a sur­prise for me to taste the gluten-free cook­ies and cakes of Chef Patty. And if I did not know they were gluten-free, you would not have sus­pected a dif­fer­ence.

Chef Patty made me taste the recipes she was test­ing for the new class she taught at my cook­ing school, Gluten, and Ca­sein-Free Cook­ing and Bak­ing held last Novem­ber 26. The de­vel­op­ment of the classes came about be­cause we got a re­quest from a mother, whose young child had been di­ag­nosed with autism. It re­quired that the child keep a gluten-free and ca­sein-free (Bovine milk prod­ucts) diet. Fol­low­ing that re­quest was an­other from a stu­dent who had signed up for Chef Patty’s

Bak­ing 101 class, in the hope of learn­ing to pre­pare her own food. She too had been re­cently di­ag­nosed with gluten sen­si­tiv­ity.

Ideally, most people who want to have a gluten-free diet in the Philip­pines find a great chal­lenge in find­ing a fit­ting cui­sine to match their ap­petite or to even sim­ply come across recipes and lo­cally avail­able in­gre­di­ents to fit their life­style. Chef Patty's class has made shop­ping and sourc­ing var­i­ous in­gre­di­ents lo­cally pos­si­ble.

Learn­ing how to make our usual fare with a dif­fer­ent ap­proach can be very chal­leng­ing, but stepby-step, liv­ing a gluten-free life pro­vides a lot of health ben­e­fits, that one can­not help but take a look and try it out yourself.

Waf­fles, car­rot loaf, al­mond madeleines, and snick­er­doo­dle­sall made gluten-free.

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