A few days ago I made the announcement that I had big things in store for Monday, September 13, which happens to be Celiac Awareness day….well, here it is!
In addition to finalizing a Facebook page dedicated to simply delicious Gluten Free & Dairy Free ideas, I have moved my blog to the easier to remember dedicated domain: www.andloveittoo.com. I hope this makes it easier for my friends and family to find and share the information available here.
My exposure to Celiac and what that word means has grown significantly over the years. The first time I recall hearing what Celiac meant was when my best friend, Desiree, was undergoing testing for this strange disorder. She explained to me what the process was like and what her life would be like, but it didn’t really click what all she meant. A few years later, I became friends with the mother of one of my son’s classmates and learned that her son, my son’s friend, had Celiac. I mentioned in an earlier post that my initial reaction to her explanation was to think of all the things this little man could not have…in the year since my diagnosis, I have learned a lot, not just about what Celiac is, how it feels, and what we can’t eat…I have learned a lot about what we CAN eat, how great it feels to be on the right eating plan (diet is a four-letter word in this household), and how delicious and nutritious Gluten Free food can be, when you know how to work with it.
Before moving on to today’s delectable dish, I want to share some basic highlights about Celiac and Gluten Free living, dispel some myths, and in respect to Celiac Awareness Day, maybe help some of those struggling to understand their own diagnosis find the words to describe what they have.*
Question: Why is September 13, Celiac Awareness Day?
Answer: The Doctor who is credited with being the first person to find a link between celiac disease and diet, Samuel Gee, was born on September 13, 1839. While his findings were published in 1888, it was not until the early 1950’s when the gluten free diet was formally established by Dr. Willem-Karel Dicke. By 1952, Dicke clearly identified the disease is triggered by ingestion of wheat proteins (gluten) not carbohydrates. Interestingly enough, it was a young mother’s statement linking her celiac child’s rash (also known as Dermatitis Herpetiformis, DH for short) with bread that brought his attention to the gluten connection. (Mother’s, never fear bringing information to your doctor. This is solid evidence that our insight matters!)
Question: Do you have to be diagnosed with Celiac to benefit from a gluten free lifestyle?
Answer: No! At this moment, there is only about a 1 in 133 chance that you will be diagnosed with Celiac. This number increases to 1 in 22 if you have a relative who has been diagnosed. That being said, as many as 1 in 7 people are gluten intolerant and would equally benefit from a gluten free lifestyle. There is also significant evidence showing improvement in various auto-immune disorders for those who partake in a gluten free lifestyle. Additional research has shown that eliminating gluten can benefit children who have been diagnosed with Autism, as well as Down Syndrome. In fact, it has been shown that a larger percentage of individuals with Down Syndrome have Celiac than those in the general population.
Question: Isn’t Celiac just a fancy way to say you are allergic to gluten?
Answer: No! Celiac is an auto-immune disease which, as with many auto-immune disorders, is not always easy to diagnose, nor are the symptoms one-size fits all. As with anything, your best line of defense is education. Do your research, if you are unhappy with the answers you have received from your medical professionals, do not hesitate to seek answers elsewhere.
Question: It seems that all Wheat Free/Gluten Free flours and recipes are high in starch and carbohydrates with very little fiber or sustainable nutrition involved. Is this true?
Answer: Most definitely not! While I will occasionally bring you recipes that are purely for decadence (see my C is for Cookie post from last week), there is a vast amount of information available regarding gluten free flours and recipes that are not only delicious, but are nutritious as well. Moreover, as it is with anything in life, moderation is key. As wonderful as they are, one cannot expect to inhale a box of Pamela’s Cookies every night and live a healthy and sustainable lifestyle. Blog sites like: Elana’s Pantry, Adventures of a Gluten Free Mom, and mine offer information on healthy high fiber, high protein flours that will make you happy to be living a wonderfully gluten free lifestyle.
Which brings me to today’s post.
Today is special not only because it is Celiac Awareness Day, today is special simply because it is Monday! Mondays in our house mean family time. As soon as the children finish their homework and chores, we begin our weekly lesson, game or movie. The activities may change, but one thing is certain…no matter what we are doing, we like to end with a treat! Today we will be indulging in the Strawberry Covered “Sour Cream” Pound Cake pictured below. Why is “Sour Cream” in quotations you ask? Because there is no sour cream in this cake at all…from the texture and taste, you would never know!
This recipe is the perfect solution for that plain goats cheese that has been sitting in your fridge just one day too long…it is not bad, but its flavor is no longer as smooth as it was…it is sour. You know what? Perfect! Make use of it as quickly as you can! The almond flour ensures wonderful taste and texture as well as bringing an increased level of protein and fiber to the recipe. Agave nectar has a lower glycemic index than sugar, is wonderfully delicious and a pleasure to work with. All in all, this may be dessert, but it is not one that will create a sugar high right before bed.
“Sour Cream” Pound Cake
3 c Blanched Almond Flour
1 Tsp Baking Soda
2 c Agave Nectar
1 c Coconut Oil
1 c Plain Goats Cheese (sour works best)
1 tsp Lemon Juice
Ensure all ingredients are room temperature before starting. Preheat oven to 350f. Grease and flour large cast iron pan or two 8-inch cake pans (use Almond flour to keep recipe gluten free). In large bowl, mix together Almond flour and baking soda. Set aside. In large bowl, whisk eggs until slightly fluffy then add agave nectar, coconut oil, goats cheese and lemon juice. Mix well. Add wet ingredients to the dry ingredient bowl, stir thoroughly (as demonstrated by my youngest below :)).
Pour cake mix into the prepared dish and cook for: 45 min – 1 hour in large cast iron pan or 35-45 min in two 8-inch cake pans. (I used the cast iron dish for the cake pictured here). Cook until firm and a knife, when inserted, comes out clean.
This recipe turned out darker than I might have liked the outside to be, but the inside revealed such a golden hue and the entire cake was so rich and moist, I found no need to change things around.
1 lb Strawberries, sliced thin
¼ c Agave Nectar
Mix gently, layering strawberries in a petal pattern as pictured below (save extras for your own decadence!). Enjoy!
*For additional information, please refer to the links throughout this blog. For medical advice, please seek help from a medical professional.