For the past few years, it has seemed as if every couple of months a friend announces that they’re going gluten-free. Sometimes this would be the result of a doctor’s Celiac diagnosis, but most of the time it was just a *feeling* that gluten wasn’t suiting their system. I admit it, I usually rolled my eyes (on the inside) at the practice of self-diagnosis and felt as if gluten-free living had become a necessary lifestyle for some and a trend for many others. I mean, how do you live without bread?
In hindsight, I probably felt very threatened by the practice of gluten-free eating: baking with my kids is a huge part of our home life rhythm. We dance around with eggs and mixing bowls in the kitchen at least 3-4 times a week.
Fast forward: A few weeks ago I experienced a bout of intense fatigue and stomachaches. A friend of mine with a gluten intolerance hinted that perhaps I should avoid wheat for awhile. The thought of being at the mercy of expensive, fancy flours and xantham gum (a popular gluten-free baking ingredient), and eating funny-tasting, brittle baked goods broke my heart just a little, but I was committed to at least trying this lifestyle change.
While I’ve been yet to be diagnosed with a gluten allergy, the day I stopped consuming it the stomach pain went away. Psychosomatic? Possibly. I’ve joined the ranks of the gluten-averse-in-the-absence-of-an-actual-diagnosis but I’m OK with that. I strongly believe that our intuition is our first line of defense when it comes to taking care of our bodies. Right now, I’m taking a bread break and feel amazing. My love for corn, beans, oats (the jury on oats is still out in the gluten-free world as many brands process oats and wheat in the same environment), rice, and sweet potatoes has been re-sparked.
One of the benefits of this eating shift has been that my eldest daughter who is a pasta-fiend, has broadened her palate. Last night I made a casserole of tomatoes, corn, rice, beans, and cheese and although she was deeply suspicious and slightly offended I didn’t miss the blood sugar spikes and “cases of the munchies” that my previous wheat-heavy diet induced so I started to hunt for a great, simple, no-frills gluten-free bread recipe. And I found it!
This recipe comes from Gluten-Free Mommy and what I adore about it is that, save for the rice flour, you probably already have all of the ingredients!
I made one change: instead of 2-3 tablespoons of sugar, I added one. I wanted this to be a savory bread rather than a sweet one. I’m going to experiment with leaving out the refined sugar all together and use maple syrup or agave instead. I also add in a teaspoon of vanilla.
The Gluten Free Mommy: Gluten-Free Cornbread
The kids loved it!
This bread is great toasted with butter and honey the next day. It’s also surprisingly moist! I’d recommend this recipe to gluten-free mavens and the gluten-free curious. It’ll be a big hit.
Bunmi is a mother, writer, and social media entrepreneur living in Montréal, Canada (by way of California). She has two girls.
Cornbread Image: Ted Major
Originally published Oct 2011