Gluten and a Muffin Recipe

Celiac Disease: an autoimmune disorder that makes my body attack itself when I eat Gluten.

Gluten: the protein found in wheat, barley, and rye that makes dough stretchy and bendy and chewy.

Cross-Contamination: the unintentional mixing or touching of ingredients that are naturally gluten free with those that have gluten (For example, the dried apricots from Costco – processed with wheat, don’t ask my why. Or mixing a batch of gluten free cookies with a mixer that has been used with wheat dough and has crevices for wheat to hide and sneak out and contaminate my cookies and make my stomach hurt.)

The problem: Any amount of gluten can trigger a ‘reaction’. Reactions can be anything from bloated general ickiness to puking to a couple days of unhappiness and lactose intolerance. Some people I know have gluten reactions that include anemia, headaches, and even depression. My reactions aren’t severe on the severeity spectrum (one girl I know landed in the hospital because she had a sandwich that she made on a countertop that her roommate had put gluten-y cookies on)  … so why not cheat? Well… any exposure to gluten can increase my risk of cancer, ulcers, and vitamin or mineral deficiencies. Fun, right? LOADS. My family is blessed with Celiac Disease in abundance. Me, two siblings, my dad, and my dad’s mom – are all confirmed Celiacs (or Silly Yaks as my blue friend in Mexico likes to tell me). For those who took a high school biology class – that would be Autosomal Dominant. AKA my child has a fairly good chance of also having issues with Gluten.

And the pain-in-the-butt part is that gluten is sneaky. Or I should say that food manufacturers are sneaky. Wheat and barley are cheap apparently and a lot of food manufacturers use it as filler or starch or something. For example – soy sauce most of the time has wheat in it. I know the brands that don’t use wheat, but still – SOY SAUCE. C’mon guys. And on ingredients lists – Malt or Malt Flavoring – made from barley always and is absolutely not gluten free. Sneaky sneaky.

AND the even more pain-in-the-butt part is that companies put WHEAT in COSMETICS. *Bangs Head on Wall*  And since cosmetic aren’t FDA regulated like food is – companies don’t have to list allergens…. Not that the FDA mandates that people list Gluten as an allergen in food even though 1 in 133 people in the country have an issue with Gluten….. but what ever, FDA, I know you’re busy or something.

I’ll be honest, I haven’t really delved too much into the gluten free cosmetic issue. I know some people are super excitable on the subject, but I just have kind of bought what I liked and asked questions later. Until a couple of days ago. When my stomach started to act all sorts of unhappy. And I realized I’ve been using this one C.O. Bigelow Sweet Almond Oil lip balm (it’s a brand sold at Bath and Body Works) that I found at the bottom of my purse and remembered that I liked. So when I was bored in the car I took at look at the ingredient list (I wasn’t driving). Sure enough – wheat germ oil. Uhhhhhhgggggg. I almost threw the stuff out the window on the freeway, just out of annoyance.

So, it made me realized that I should be more aware. Especially the lotions and such I’m going to be putting on my baby. If I’m going to put lotion on her and then kiss her little toes – I don’t really want to be sick later. I did look up Johnson and Johnson baby stuff and it’s all gluten free. PHEW. Internet = Helpful.

Enough with the complaining gluten vent-fest. Some of the benefits I have for eating gluten free: I eat healthy. I’ve had to really look at what kind of foods I was eating and be more aware of what exactly I’m putting in my body. It’s slightly more expensive, but I don’t eat a lot of the processed crap because I can’t – and my body has been much much happier for it. I dropped 15 lbs after going gluten free just because I wasn’t eating so many refined carbs (we’re not going to talk about after I got married and it all came back plus some AND then pregnancy happened…).

Thankfully Burt’s Bees doesn’t have any gluten (I <3 Burt’s Bees). And my make-up doesn’t have any gluten (I <3 Bare Escentuals). And thankfully I only have issues with Gluten. At least it’s not a corn allergy – Corn is literally in EVERYTHING.

I’m blessed to live in a new house with a new kitchen that has NEVER seen gluten. All of my kitchen supplies are 100% gluten free. My kitchen aid, food pro, pans, spoons, spatulas, dishes, and silverware are all Gluten Free. It’s a beautiful thing. I could lick my countertops if I wanted to.

So, since you all read that complaining-fest. Here is a recipe for Orange Cherry Muffins. It’s refined sugar free, too – it just calls for honey. And all my recipes are tested out on gluten eating people – so they don’t taste weird, promise.

These are sure to be a hit with everyone. The tangy orange combined with the flavorful cherries make a great breakfast, brunch, lunch, snack…

1 whole orange (washed)
1/2 cup orange juice or water
2 eggs
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1/2 cup honey
1 1/2 cups flour mix*
1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup dried cherries or craisins

Preheat your oven to 375. Puree the orange with the juice or water (i.e. cut the orange into wedges, remove the seeds, put into a food processor or magic bullet or blender and puree the whole thing, skin and all… trust me). Then, chop up the dried cherries (or craisins if that’s what you have) a bit. Mix the orange puree, egg, oil, and honey together (sometimes it helps to heat the honey in the microwave a bit). Mix the dry ingredients together. Slowly incorporate the dry ingredients into the wet with a wooden spoon, whisk, or stand mixer – whatever you prefer. Fold in the chopped dried cherries. Spoon batter into a muffin tin with paper liners, about 5/8 full in each . This should make 12 muffins. For an extra boost, sprinkle sugar or granulated honey on the tops of the muffins before you stick them in the oven, it just makes the top a little fancier.

Bake for about 20-30 minutes and the edges are golden brown and delicious, the middle will be set, but will be gooey. They come out very moist – it may be easier to handle them and take them out with paper liners. Enjoy!

*I use Pamela’s Baking and Pancake Mix and skip the baking powder, but you gluten-y people could use cheap regular white flour.

Enjoy the Muffins.


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4 comments to Gluten and a Muffin Recipe

  • Irene  says:

    Burt’s Bees = awesome

    FYI – advice you didn’t ask for, but as a parent with kids with sensitive skin, johnsons & johnsons can be VERY harsh on skin. doc recommended and we used cetaphil and aquaphor instead.

    • Fannie  says:

      Thanks! I’m planning on the little one having sensitive skin – Aquaphor and Cetaphil are on the list! 🙂

      • Irene  says:

        Knowing Dave (Hi Dave!) I thought you might be.

  • Marcia  says:

    Awesome! I can’t wait to try the muffins. I have been cooking/eating a lot more “naturally” lately. I even tried the Feingold diet on my kids (no artificial flavors, colors, or preservative) for a month. A LONG MONTH! Sadly, it didn’t cure their ADD like I had hoped, but after that month I decided to continue cooking/eating that way. I wouldn’t force them to not eat stuff at other places (“please don’t eat the treats at the primary activity! Please eat nothing at that birthday party” — did I mention it was a long month!). But inside our house I now try to have more quality food. So, I bought the Feingold book that is very helpful (FYI: $89 to join the organization and get the book). It tells ALL the brands in your area that they have found “acceptable.” (ie. no artificial flavors, colors, preservatives, and also some naturally occuring salicitates their diet discusses which some people are sensitive to). They also indicate if the brand is gluten free, cassein free, has corn syrup, and some other things. I’ve found it really helpful.