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GLUTEN CHALLENGED?

"With bread...all sorrows are less."
                        -Miguel de Cervantes

I drove two hours yesterday to attend a Wellness Event down around Cincinnati, Ohio.   I thought if I am going to plunge into this world of nutrition therapy, that it would be a good idea to get out and mingle with like minded people.  Unfortunately, I felt the event was a bust.  Just a few vendors set up in a room, passing out samples of their gluten-free products!  Where did this raging gluten-free phase come from?  It is huge right now.  The new buzz word, so it seems.  Please don't get me wrong....and hear me out as I express my opinion here...cuz we certainly know what they all say about opinions! 

I do know of a few that have suffered with a gluten challenge and now have found great relief by making adjustments to their diets.  But seriously, how can we all be so effected by gluten?  Bread is the new bad guy...come on, my grandmother would be broken hearted; she was a a skilled maker of bread, of which I have many fond memories!  

I know that some participate in this new way of thinking, just to be a part of the crowd.  Sad little gluten-free sheep following the flock.  I respect the vendors who have tried to create food substitutes for those who are afflicted with this gluten intolerance...or maybe they are just trying to capitalize on the newest fad?   I guess I need someone to tell me how we could all be so adversely effected by this?  I have always been a lover of bread.  During times in my life when I have been all alone, yeast bread rising on my kitchen counter was the only thing that was living and responsive in my household! 

I will need to research this more extensively.  For me, my preference for years has been to purchase unbleached flours....King Arthur Flour being my absolute fav.  Getting away from all preservatives and chemicals in my foods, has become my first priority.  Quite simply.... fresh and clean. 

In my way of thinking, all things in moderation.  Lets not tag the whole gluten world as a bad place to be.  Let's instead, try to reduce the amount of flours we use and replace them with more fibers instead...wheat, rye, rice and oat flours...just to name a few. 

Here is an excerpt which has some good facts regarding this new way of thinking:
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By MIKE STOBBE
AP Medical Writer

ATLANTA (AP) - It sounds like an unfolding epidemic: A decade ago, virtually no one in the U.S. seemed to have a problem eating gluten in bread and other foods. Now, millions do.
Gluten-free products are flying off grocery shelves, and restaurants are boasting of meals with no gluten. Celebrities on TV talk shows chat about the digestive discomfort they blame on the wheat protein they now shun. Some churches even offer gluten-free Communion wafers.
"I don't know whether there's more people getting this or that more people are noticing" they have a problem, said the Rev. Richard Allen, pastor at Mamaroneck United Methodist Church, north of New York City.
Or is it just another food fad?
Faddishness is a big part of it. Americans will spend an estimated $7 billion this year on foods labeled gluten-free, according to the market research firm Mintel. But the best estimates are that more than half the consumers buying these products - perhaps way more than half - don't have any clear-cut reaction to gluten.
They buy gluten-free because they think it will help them lose weight, or because they seem to feel better, or because they mistakenly believe they are sensitive to gluten.
"We have a lot of self-diagnosing going on out there," said Melissa Abbott, who tracks the gluten-free market for the Hartman Group, a Seattle-area market research organization.
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Here is a recipe for an organic bread we were served in Tijuana every morning with our breakfast.  It was called Organic Vida-Bread

22 oz rolled oats
30 oz whole wheat flour
21 oz "7 grain cereal"
18 oz rye flour
8 oz honey
2.5 oz rapid rise yeast
1.5 quarts water
13 oz raisins

Mix all ingredients together in your bread machine (or Kitchen Aid mixer) for 10 minutes. Place dough on counter dusted with flour.  Divide into 5 loaf pans and allow to rest for 10-15 minutes.  Bake at 375 degrees for 30-35 minutes.  To test bread for doneness, remove one loaf, turn upside down and tap the bottom.  If it sounds hollow and has a nice brown color then it is done.  If not, return to oven for another 5-10 minutes.     

Makes 5 - 2 lb. loaves....certainly you could cut the ingredients in half and try a smaller batch for starters!   Let me know what you think!!

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