The following is a weekly feature brought to us by Sumiko from Near to Nothing. I’ve asked her to share tips and tricks (and recipes!) that show us ways to replace the items we’d typically buy canned or frozen from scratch at home for less! You’ll find a new From Our Pantry post each week.
A few months ago, I went to a women’s event at my church where one of the ladies, Nicole, taught us about gluten-free cooking. To sum it up in one word—overwhelming! It’s not just a matter of replacing the wheat flour with another kind of flour; it’s about replacing the wheat flour with a mix of a bunch of other flours and adjusting the rest of the ingredients accordingly. Nicole brought her gluten-free flours and ingredients to show us: arrowroot, sorghum flour, tapioca flour, coconut flour, guar gum, flax meal, xanthan gum, and rice flour among others.
Afterward, I was talking to Nicole’s mom, who also cooks gluten-free. I was saying that I don’t think I could ever do gluten-free in my house because, first of all, no one in our house has a gluten sensitivity or allergy, and, secondly, it takes so much more time and costs a lot more than the way I cook right now. As it is, I spend an inordinate amount of time in the kitchen, feeding the six of us and blogging. And the grocery budget is already tight enough as it is (I will soon have to increase it as the twins are growing bigger).
But just because I’m not a completely gluten-free cook with fancy ingredients in my pantry doesn’t mean I can’t have a repertoire of low-cost gluten-free recipes at my fingertips. I want to expand my collection so I can feel comfortable about hosting people on gluten-free diets for dinner. I also like to send gluten-free treats to the kids’ school for special events so the gluten-free kids don’t feel left out. You do have to watch out for possible hidden gluten in ingredients like soy sauce, BBQ sauce, flavorings, food starch, bouillon, and others. (Check out a list found here.)
One of the easiest gluten-free recipes I use is peanut butter cookies. And let me tell you, they are absolutely delicious!! I’ve tried various gluten-free cookies that just weren’t worth the calories to me, but these are addicting! And most likely, you always have all the ingredients in your pantry and fridge.
Gluten-free Peanut Butter Cookies
- 1 c. peanut butter (creamy or chunky)
- 1 c. sugar (white or brown)
- 1 egg
- White sugar for dipping fork
Preheat oven to 350°. Mix all ingredients thoroughly, by hand or mixer.
Using a small cookie scoop (#60 disher; about 1 Tbsp.), scoop dough onto cookie sheet, leaving about 2 inches between cookies.
Alternatively, if you don’t have a scoop, you can roll the dough into balls with your hands. Press the back of a fork onto the surface of the dough to coat it with a little of the peanut oil then dip it into the extra sugar. Press fork into tops of cookies to create crisscross pattern, re-dipping fork after every cookie.
Bake about 11 minutes or until puffed, more or less depending on the size of your cookies. Cool a few minutes on the cookie sheet before moving to a wire rack to cool completely.
Nicole recommended the following resources for more gluten-free recipes and general information:
Blackbird Bakery Gluten-Free by Karen Morgan (www.blackbird-bakery.com)
The Gluten-Free Gourmet Bakes Bread by Bette Hagman