Letter Re: Celiac Disease: The Gluten-Free Prepping Challenge

We are a family of survivalists and almost all of us are gluten free, some out of necessity and some by choice.  Here are some thoughts and resources for gluten free food.
 
Later this year, there is a Gluten Free Expo convention in Sandy, Utah starting October 12.  If you can’t attend, check out the vendors page (there are many) to identify other resources for gluten free food.
 
Augason Farms has #10 cans of food that are certified gluten free, including oats.   It’s a great company and easy to talk to them on the phone.  If you want to purchase without a credit card, they can help you calculate the total of an order you’d like to place and wait for you to send a check or money order.  Thus far I have tried the Buttermilk pancake mix and the Chocolate Morning Moo.  The pancake mix only requires the addition of water and makes nice, tasty pancakes, but I might add a Tablespoon of coconut or almond flour to next time to add fiber.  The Morning Moo is very tasty, doesn’t have as much calcium as a powdered milk, but makes up thicker like a milkshake. It also requires the addition of just water.  I will be stocking more of these in my pantry.  A family member reported to me that he tried the Gluten Free Chili and that he thought it was good, too.  They carry a French bread mix which I haven’t tried yet.  It requires only water, cider vinegar and yeast to be mixed with it.
 
Side note on buying the canned products:  One very important consideration when buying any food product, is to compare the serving size on the package to what you think is a serving size when you eat it.  I made the recipe on the Augason Farms Buttermilk Pancakes for my husband and I, and we think two servings is our serving size when making a breakfast of pancakes.  Try the foods you buy, then realistically assess what your storage needs are from your past experience with the food, rather than what the package says.  If it says 47 servings, it might really be about 23 servings per can. Plan accordingly.
 
There’s a newsletter for gluten free cooking from Mary Frances, who has bread/biscuits/doughnuts recipes and teaches on line how to cook gluten free. She tries to provide alternatives for other food intolerances, like dairy or soy so she may be a great resource for some. (many celiacs also have difficulty with dairy ingredients) Her bread recipes include ingredients such as brown rice flour and sorghum, and those can be stored in whole form and ground into flour later.  She does charge a fee for her lessons, but with what she’s investing in time to make this available, it is well worth it.  Some of her recipes are free and online, including her latest addition, the gluten free doughnut! 
 
I noted that in the article the author was storing pasta.  Why couldn’t quinoa be stored whole and ground later to make homemade pasta with a hand cranked pasta cutter? You would have longer term storage that way.  Here are links to some quinoa pasta recipes online: One and Two and Three.  It would be important to store the other ingredients like the arrowroot to do this.
 
For a new resource on gluten free diets, anyone with gluten issues should seriously consider a “paleolithic diet” and there are many new cookbooks on the market.  The Paleolithic diet is naturally gluten free, and based on foods our ancient ancestors ate.  Many of the ingredients are foods you can grow or hunt.  I received one of these books for Christmas, Paleo Comfort Foods: Homestyle Cooking for a Gluten-Free Kitchen by Julie and Charles Mayfield.   The paleolithic diet is having me rethink some of my food storage strategies.  The pumpkin pancakes are amazing with molasses.
 
This is only a partial list; some product names you can look for in the store or online also include: 
Bob’s Red Mill – many (but not all) are gluten free, bread mix, brownies, cornbread and more
Pamela’s – pancake mixes, cookies, etc
Udi’s- granola (and the best bread I’ve eaten gluten free, comes frozen)
Lundberg – they have a “couscous” made from brown rice;
Hodgson Mill – for pasta
Glutino – pasta, pie crust mix, cookies, many products
Quinoa corporation – pasta under the label Ancient Harvest
Ener-G – for bread crumbs
Amy’s – some of her burritos (frozen) are gluten free
 
While these foods are prepackaged, it is possible to extend the shelf life with freezing.  We have frozen flours to make them last longer and it worked quite well.  It’s important to rotate your prepackaged foods regardless of this, and know that when the power grid goes down then the clock starts ticking faster on the shelf life.  If you live in a cold climate, you may be able to continue the freezing process during the winter by moving your whole chest freezer to a bear proof outdoor structure like a garage or shed.
 
The convenience of these prepackaged foods will come in handy as we are busy defending our retreat or just tired to the bone from gardening.  When we run out of these, we will need to cook more from scratch. Fortunately, we do not really need to have these prepackaged foods to live and many of the processed gluten free foods lack fiber.  It is extremely important to find ways to increase the fiber in a gluten free diet.  A company called Coconut Secret makes a canned coconut flour that is 40% dietary fiber and also supplies protein.  Two tablespoons of the coconut flour adds 8 grams of fiber! We add this to many of our recipes, like pancakes and bread to add fiber back in.  Almonds and bean flours also add fiber to your recipe and you may be able to grow one or both of these to grind.   
 
Rice, corn, teff, buckwheat, nuts, quinoa and potatoes all provide carbohydrates, fiber and nutrients, and cooking from scratch with these in TEOTWAWKI will be a more natural way to stay gluten free.  While processed foods are a treat, leaving them behind will actually be healthier.  But for now, I am going to try the Mary Frances doughnut recipe. – Mrs. R.L.B.

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