By Jeanne Foels, Marketing & Outreach Coordinator
You've probably heard the term gluten-free, but what exactly does it mean?
Gluten is a protein naturally found in wheat, barley and rye. It is also used as a food additive to flavor, stabilize or thicken many processed foods.
A gluten-free diet is a necessity for people with celiac disease, in which gluten causes inflammation of the small intestines. In addition, many people these days find themselves intolerant or allergic to gluten to some extent, and so reduce the amount they consume. Going gluten-free is also something of a trend for people without an allergy or even physical intolerance.
As a result of increased demand, gluten-free products are more diverse and easier to find these days. Gluten-free beer, cereal, pizza and pasta are now on the market. Even bread and other baked goods can be made gluten-free with a variety of alternative flours made from sources like almonds, buckwheat, rice and chickpeas.
The following pancake recipe from Open Arms Chef and Baker Rita Panton calls on tapioca flour (which can be found at your local co-op) and corn to replace traditional white flour.
Gluten-Free Blueberry Pancakes
Adapted from a recipe by Mary Ann Wenniger
(Yields 12 pancakes)
1/2 cup tapioca flour
1/2 cup cornmeal
1/2 cup cornstarch
1/4 cup honey or sugar
1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. cinnamon
1 1/2 cup buttermilk
2 eggs, separated
2 tbsp. yogurt
3 tbsp. butter, melted
1 cup blueberries
1. Mix all dry ingredients in a large bowl.
2. In a second bowl, combine egg yolks, buttermilk, yogurt and melted butter and whisk until blended.
3. Add the bowl of wet ingredients to the bowl of dry ingredients and stir until just mixed.
4. Beat the egg whites until stiff and fold into the batter. Add blueberries.
5. Lightly coat a skillet with butter or oil. Heat over medium heat. For each pancake, pour 1/4 cup of pancake batter into the pan. Flip after two minutes or when bubbles form in the batter.