Saturday, August 17, 2013

I made something I've never made before. I'm slowly starting to learn about gluten free foods, as I try to listen to what my body is telling me, how my body feels and what I might need to cut from my diet.

I'm not for sure if I have a gluten intolerance, but I do have major stomach problems. I decided one day I'd like to make gluten-free muffins. After weeks of searching online for gluten-free blueberry muffin recipes, I kept encountering recipe repertoires that consisted of long lists of ingredients that made me sigh in exasperation and I felt defeated. I didn't want to make muffins anymore.

I grew up baking and cooking with my mom and sister Sara (, making mouth-watering Italian dishes and American cookies that delighted even our pickiest-of-eaters friends. I'm thankful to my mom who taught me how to sautee, steam, roast vegetables, how to chiffonade, and how to execute recipes well. I also learned how to survive on my own as I moved out of the house because I had been cooking for years. I often created my own recipes, blowing my taste buds into new dimensions.

My mom learned how to cook from her father, a full Sicilian, who, to this day, still drinks Scotch and has two cups of coffee a day; my awesome grandpa who comments like we all have in our family when a cook hasn't prepared food to our expectations: "Eh ... I could've made this better at home."

But I finally found a recipe on that listed most of the ingredients I had. I no longer sighed in exasperation and defeat. I finally found a recipe that I was looking forward to baking. The recipe called for 2/3 a cup of rice milk; I had coconut milk, so I used that instead.

 I mixed all the dry ingredients together, and then added the wet ingredients - canola oil, coconut milk (my choice), vanilla extract and maple syrup (my choice to use in lieu of agave nectar). The last thing I added were blueberries, which I washed beforehand.

I was excited when I remembered I had these re-usable silicone muffin pan liners my sister Jenny bought me about two years ago for Christmas. I am so excited I never have to buy muffin liners again!

This picture above is of the mix right before I put the pan in the oven. But the most important thing is .... the end result! After letting the muffins cool in the pan, and then on the rack, I tried one and they were't bad. For gluten-free, it was actually good. It wasn't sweet at all. But it was good. 

I'm young, but I'm starting to realize our bodies change and I wasn't in as good of shape as I used to be in. I have to be extra careful about what I eat, even though I've always been healthy. I have to be healthier. I've cut a few things out of my diet as I'm trying to lose a little weight. 

Gluten-free baking and gluten-free food in general can have a lot of calories. I've noticed this more and more, and I think it's because other things are added to gluten-free products to make them taste better. But as long as I eat smaller quantities and things in moderation (gluten-free or not), I'll be fine. And now I have weekend snacks! 

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