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Gluten-Free Baking Classics
By Annalise Roberts
GLUTEN-FREE BAKING CLASSICS PROVIDES A
Why would someone want to restrict gluten in their diet? Although human beings have lived on the planet for about 100,000 years, wheat has only recently come to play such an important role in filling our bellies. Our ancestors spent most of their time hunting, fishing and gathering nuts, fruit, herbs, and roots. Unless your ancestors lived in Southwest Asia, wheat was not a part of their diet. In fact, Southwest Asian farmers brought wheat to the Mediterranean, Europe, and Africa less than five thousand years ago. Moreover, it was only within the last century that wheat with a super-high gluten content was human-engineered for improved commercial bread-baking. But our bodies have not adapted quickly enough to easily digest the gluten protein found in wheat. Wheat is, in fact, making many of us sick. Gluten intolerance or not, if you think about it, there might be a reason other than weight loss to explain why people feel so good when they start the Atkins and other low-carb diets: they are restricting their intake of wheat! We probably should not be eating all those wheat-based breads, muffins, pastas, cakes and snacks, or the processed foods that contain wheat (wheat is the second largest additive to processed food, after sugar). Our bodies cannot tolerate it.
What can eating gluten do to our bodies? Some individuals develop full-blown celiac disease from eating gluten; in fact, one in 100 people has celiac. Many will develop one or more of its many symptoms: stomach aches, intestinal maladies of all kinds, bloating, headaches, fatigue, learning problems, ADHD, ADD, depression, anxiety, seizures, joint pain, arthritis, osteoporosis, skin rashes, autoimmune diseases, thyroid disease, female infertility, recurrent fetal loss, short stature in children, and peripheral neuropathy (numbness). Almost 30 percent will have no apparent symptoms. A gluten-free diet is the only possible cure for those with celiac. For others, a gluten-free diet may help to reduce the severity of or even eliminate health-related problems. (For example, autism is emerging as a syndrome that may improve with a gluten-free diet).
Why is this cookbook special? Annalise Roberts was diagnosed with celiac three years ago after she had already begun work on the Food Philosopher® concept with her sister, Claudia Pillow. They collaborate to produce compelling food-related lore in a variety of media that speaks to today's hunger for improving how we eat and live. Increasingly, Americans are grappling with eating challenges that involve social, psychological, and nutritional considerations, and Roberts and Pillow can see that the need to restrict wheat and gluten, while only one of many challenges, is big and getting bigger. The sisters have seamlessly integrated gluten-free baking into the Food Philosopher's® realm, Roberts with her praise winning recipes and Pillow, as a Ph.D. candidate, with a research project focusing on quality of life issues for children with celiac. As awareness of celiac and gluten-sensitivity grows, this collection of fabulous, well-tested recipes for classic gluten-free baked goods will become even more important.
Gluten-Free Baking Classics provides a foundation for a gluten-free baking repertoire that the reader can personalize and update for years to come. It builds on the Food Philosopher's® already growing reputation as a source for delicious gluten-free baking of the highest quality and standards. Like Marcella Hazan's The Classic Italian Cookbook or Julia Child's Mastering the Art of French Cooking, Gluten-Free Baking Classics was written to be the standard by which all other gluten-free baking cookbooks will be measured.
Published by Surrey Books, March 2006
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©2005 by Claudia Pillow and Annalise Roberts