Gluten Free Friday!


With Robert’s autism diagnosis, we are attempting to cut out gluten and casein from his diet. I’ve read some compelling research that suggests cutting out gluten can help with some autism symptoms. Don’t think I am going all Jenny McCarthy here, though. The research isn’t conclusive and it doesn’t work for everyone. We are just trying it out to see if it makes a difference for Robert. Since I am already gluten-free, it’s not an enormous leap for me to start cooking gluten free for him. What IS a challenge is the fact that Robert loves simple carbs. He’s happiest with a waffle for breakfast, macaroni and cheese for lunch, and pizza for dinner. Ouch. So, I am trying out some gluten-free alternatives to see if they will satisfy his taste buds and diet. And I am sharing my super scientific food findings with you!

This week, we tried the¬†Namaste brand pizza crust mix. As gluten-free mixes go, this is by far one of the easiest for me to use. I don’t eat eggs and most mixes require me to find an egg-substitute. That can be an enormous pain because a lot of the mixes rely on the egg not only for binding, but for a little added flavor. Chia seeds just don’t cut it for that. But, this crust only needed water and a pinch of oil. Super easy!

Also, when it says the dough will be like cake batter, they aren’t kidding. You really do have to spread it out like a cake. (Kiss the dream of using your pizza pan with the holes in the bottom goodbye for this stuff!)

But, the crust bakes up like a dream! I added homemade sauce and a shredded cheese substitute (it’s really not that bad) to the pizza and it came out beautifully!

1011278_10100616514976247_1796851460_n 1187110_10100616512206797_1042638565_nThe crust was crispy and flavorful. When eaten right from the oven, no one could tell that this was a gluten-free crust.

Oh, but if you leave it in the pan for more than five minutes after removing from the oven, look out. It turns in to super glue. It’s delicious glue, but it will never come out of your pan. Ever.

1011278_10100616514976247_1796851460_nOfficial verdict:

Mom rating: I would give this crust top marks for taste with a slight deduction for degree of difficulty in cooking and removing from the baking pan. 8.5 out of 10.

Robert rating: Robert did not notice it was not a wheat crust. Top points for sneakiness. He didn’t want seconds, but I think that was because of the cheese. I caught him later sneaking pieces of the crust to nibble on. Non-dairy cheese doesn’t sneak by as well as the non-wheat crust. (I used Daiya shreds. I think they are delicious but, I also prefer soy bacon to the real stuff so, apparently my judgement isn’t so great.) So, I will not deduct points for that. 10 out of 10.




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