Clean Cooking: More Than 100 Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free, and Sugar-Free Recipes - Elisabeth Johansson (2016)

CLEAN COOKING

Clean cooking is my own personal take on clean food, a concept that has taken hold in the United States, as well as the rest of the world. To eat “clean” means to consume pure, nutritious food, while avoiding processed, nutrition-deficient food products. It means choosing natural, organic food with few or no additives (this is entirely up to you, according to your level of commitment). In my personal life, I have found a way of living, cooking, and eating that’s easy to follow; indeed, you can make simple choices for each meal without needlessly complicating things.

You won’t find dairy products within the pages of Clean Cooking; however, you will encounter mustard, vinegar, and cellophane noodles. Opt for clean ingredients, fruits, vegetables, and sensible portions of meat, fish, and poultry. Deli meats are not included here, as all of them are processed and are thus too salty or too smoked.

“Raw rood” refers to ingredients that have not been heated beyond the temperature of 107.6°F–113°F (42°C–45°C). I love including raw food in my diet, either as one of the ingredients in a cooked dish or as an entire meal that is composed of only raw foods. I like preparing raw food desserts and raw food treats, where I can steer clear of refined white sugar. I usually carry a piece of fruit or some nuts in my bag when the occasional craving for sweets arises between meals, but another option is to mix your own snack pack, with nuts and dried berries like goji or mulberries, and carry it around with you. It’s not a bad idea to include a small piece of dark chocolate, too.

We’re all unique individuals, and so we react to food and health issues in a myriad of ways. It can take time to understand your own body’s cues, and I have learned to listen to mine with a keen ear. Four years ago, I began to rethink my diet because my kidneys were kicking up a fuss and my stomach wasn’t working like it should. I tried different tactics, one of which was to stop using dairy products little by little. I continued to eat cheese for a while, but after a few years I put an end to that as well.

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I have also drastically reduced my intake of foods containing gluten, especially since cereals and products with gluten typically contain a lot of starch, which turns into sugar when digested by the body. What has allowed me to keep on eating bread is my homemade gluten-free rustic bread, the recipe for which you’ll find on page 62. It is super tasty and very satisfying, making it perfect for starting the day. It’s excellent for digestion; plus, it’s easy to make! Sometimes, for breakfast, I’ll drink freshly squeezed juice with a boost of something from the superfood list on page 15. Or, I’ll tuck into some chia pudding, which I’ll have prepared the night before. I also think that eggs and oatmeal are a great way to begin the day. I make the oatmeal by cooking flaxseed or other seeds, which I then top with sliced banana or blueberries, grated apple, cinnamon, and oat milk. For lunch and dinner, I’ll have vegetables, root vegetables, meat, fish, poultry, and lentils—just like in the recipes of this book.

You gain so much when you find health through food and your stomach. Your disposition is sunnier when you feel good, you’re able to manage more in your daily life, and you’ll have more energy overall. Your immune system grows stronger, inflammations are stopped in their tracks, and your skin looks healthier and clearer.

Eating clean food has become a lifestyle that feels right for me, and it’s really quite easy to follow. I also love the way clean food is prepared, where each ingredient has a chance to shine by showing off its particular flavor, color, and character on the plate. The food is simple and uncomplicated. I avoid all simple carbohydrates such as pasta, couscous, rice, potatoes, and cereal-based breads, and turn to quinoa, brown rice, buckwheat, oat groats, root vegetables, and lentils instead, which keep blood sugar more level.

I hope you’ll feel inspired by this book and that it will help lead the way to your greatest health and well-being!

Live well—feel good! Good luck!

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GLUTEN-FREE BAKING

FLOURS AND GRAINS

BUCKWHEAT

Buckwheat flour looks similar to wheat flour, but it comes from an herbaceous plant that is related to rhubarb and sorrel and is naturally gluten-free. Its seed is finely ground into flour.

Because buckwheat flour lacks gluten, the texture of baked goods made with it tends to be dense, more like sponge cake rather than sourdough bread.

Buckwheat works well in recipes for scones, muffins, and pancakes.

Buckwheat is a rich source of nutrients; it contains minerals, essential amino acids, potassium, magnesium, phosphorus, iron, and vitamin B. You can find buckwheat in the form of groats as well as crushed buckwheat and rolled buckwheat, where whole seeds are processed by sending them through heavy rollers.

CORN FLOUR

This particular flour is made from sweet corn, which is a member of the grass family. Corn flour is milled from dried whole corn kernels. The flour is light yellow, and it contains antioxidants, essential fatty acids, and minerals such as magnesium, iron, potassium, zinc, and vitamin B.

CORNSTARCH

Cornstarch is extracted from the corn kernel’s endosperm. It’s commonly used as a binder and texture enhancer and is a good option for thickening gluten-free sauces. Make sure to dissolve the cornstarch in some cold water before adding it to warm liquids, or else it can become lumpy.

Cornstarch is also known as maizena.

POTATO FLOUR

Potato starch is extracted from the liquid used to soak grated potatoes. The starch sinks to the bottom of the container, after which it is collected and dried. Potato flour—or starch—can be used in the same way as cornstarch.

ROLLED OATS

Oat flour is naturally gluten-free, but it’s best to be careful with it since oats are often processed in the same machines and manufacturing plants as other flours. Double-check that the label on the package states “pure oats.”

Rolled oats are made from oat groats that are steamed and then crushed between heavy rollers into flakes.

Oats contain large amounts of thiamine, iron, fibers, and antioxidants.

FIBER FLOURS

POTATO FLAKES

Potato flakes are a type of starch that is extracted from potatoes. The starch is dried and processed with heavy rollers to produce flakes. These flakes absorb a lot of liquid by binding to it, which keeps bread moist.

They are also rich in fiber, which helps to slow down digestion. This in turn keeps blood glucose levels lower and more stable.

PSYLLIUM SEED FLOUR

This flour is made from ground psyllium husks. The seeds contain a gel-like substance that increases in volume and binds to moisture. This type of flour makes the dough more workable and pliable, which produces a more moist and less crumbly bread. Ground psyllium husk works well in breads, coffee cakes, and cookies.

“Fiber husk” and “psyllium” are two product names for psyllium seed flour.

NUT AND ALMOND FLOURS

ALMOND FLOUR

Almond flour is made from finely ground sweet almonds. It’s a rich source of omega-6 fatty acids (which could bring on an inflammatory response in those who have a sensitivity to it), and it oxidizes when heated. This is why almond flour is best suited for no-bake goods, such as raw food balls and bars.

HAZELNUT (FILBERT) FLOUR

Hazelnut flour is made from finely ground hazelnuts. It works particularly well in granola, cookies, and pie dough. Hazelnut flour has a nutty taste and is very rich in fiber.

COCONUT FLOUR

Coconut flour is made from dried and ground coconut flesh. It is extremely rich in fiber and absorbs a lot of moisture. Coconut flour is great to use in cookies and pancakes.