Clara Gluten Free


In fourth grade, I think I spent two months learning about cranberries. I thought it was a little strange at the time, and even weirder when I moved schools the next year and spent couple weeks on the subject in fifth grade. Of course, I'm from Boston so perhaps that explains it (and explains the four class field trips to Plymouth plantation between grades 3 and 8). And then, when I went to make this soup for lunch today, I forgot that cranberries float. So much for that.

I didn't make this soup with the primary intention to be gluten-free, so I can't say a whole lot of creative problem solving went into inventive substitutions, but I can say that a whole lot of things are gluten free. Like everything that went in this soup. Actually, exactly everything in this soup. It's worth remembering, when the whole GF thing gets overwhelming, that it's only wheat/barley/rye/oats that have gluten. Most foods really are gluten-free, just the processed foods need to be questioned. I know- it is a lot of work, but there are truly GF foods out there. 

Also: update on the caesin free stuff- I've been looking into caesin versus lactose intolerance symptoms. Here is what I have turned up, but I'm not medical professional, just someone who like to Google stuff and so it's by no means official. Anyway, apparently sensitivity to caesin is a true allergy, and lactose intolerance is the result of an insufficient quantity of lactase (the enzyme that breaks down lactose, a milk sugar), in your digestive system. Guess where the lactase is produced? In your small intestine, which is what is injured by the autoimmune response known as celiac disease. So people with celiac are often lactose intolerant as well. Lactose intolerance often has GI symptoms, while a caesin allergy manifests as a real allergy (hives, etc.). So I'm thinking I'll try Lactaid and see what happens. And then blog about it, of course. In the meantime- here is the GFCF recipe for the soup from today.

Cranberry-Sweet Potato Chicken Soup- makes 12 servings

6-8 cups of chicken broth + chicken pieces
3 bay leaves
1 medium onion
1 can of kidney beans
2 sweet potatoes
1 packages of cranberries, divided into thirds
4 stalks of celery
3 large carrots
1 bell pepper
1 jalapeno pepper
2 tbs grated fresh ginger
3 cloves of garlic
2 tsp dark blackstrap molasses

1- I make my own chicken broth from leftover roast chicken carcasses. Here's how: put the carcass in the pot  you want to make soup in. Cover with water. Add an onion (quartered is fine) and three bay leaves. Boil for 5 hours, stirring periodically and covering with more water when the bones start to poke through the top of the water. Strain the broth and return it to the top. Sort through all the stuff that you strained out- pull out the skin, bones and cartiledge. Return the meat to the pot. 

2- To make the soup- cube the sweet potatoes into 1 inch cubes (skin on), slice the celery, peel and slice the carrots, slice the bell pepper, crush the garlic and dice the jalepeno. Pour all this into the broth, add two thirds of the cranberries, and bring to a boil. In the meantime, grate the ginger and add it to the soup. Add half the molasses.

3- Boil for 45 minutes. Add the rest of the molasses and the rest of the cranberries. Boil for 15 more minutes. Pull off the heat and serve immediately. I added quinoa on the side. 

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