Wheat reigns supreme in our Western world with wheat flour a staple in so many of our foods. Besides wheat’s nutritional properties, it is valued for the versatility of wheat gluten. Gluten is the special rubbery kind of protein that makes elastic dough rise, double in size, hold its shape, support fruit, and even enclose moist foods and liquids.
In following up Debbie Salopek’s recent request for flour-free recipes, I assumed her friend’s problem is with wheat flour, which is not surprising. Since the mid-1990s, wheat has been considered the major allergy-provoking substance in our Western diet. This sensitivity is not easy to diagnose.
Basic points to note:
Plain, simple foods are always the safest.
Read product labels carefully.
The term “gluten-free” does not always indicate that a product is wheat-free.
Things we may not associate as containing wheat may contain wheat flour as a thickener, or wheat starch which is used to make Monosodium Glutamate (MSG, a flavor enhancer). Any processed food
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