Thursday, July 5, 2012

Going on a GFCF Diet -- Can He Still Enjoy Life ?!

Simple Plain Pancakes

When my son was advised to follow a gluten free and casein free diet, I was faced with a BIG challenge! I love baking for my loved ones. Looking at them enjoying homemade cakes and many more is the greatest joy of my life.

So now what!? No wheat, no dairy product... how am I going to continue baking?

Luckily, my son isn't a picky eater. First, I switched dairy milk to rice milk and soya milk. Thank goodness he was fine with those :). Then comes the headache.. no bread , no cakes.... so what's for breakfast? GFCF(gluten free and casein  free) products are not easily available here in Singapore and they are definitely VERY much more expensive as compared to western countries. A loaf of GFCF frozen bread costs about $10 compared to a mere $1-$2 normal bread.

I started off with using Orgran Pancake Mix and Bread Mix. At the same time I surfed the net and read many books to learn how to bake GFCF, which isn't as easy as normal baking. Sometimes I wish I have somebody around me who can bake GFCF so I could pick up the skill faster. It took me a few months to come up with something 'edible and reasonably good' and up till now I am still 'experimenting and learning'.

five in a stack

The most important thing to learn about GFCF baking is the different types of flour substitutes. The brand that I am using is Bob's Red Mill. Having a packet of All Purpose GF flour at home is useful but I have also learnt to mix my own so that my son can have the goodness of all types of GF flour, which mainly are made from nutritious grains and beans. 

steam or toast?

Usually I will make a batch of 5-7 pancakes and keep them in the fridge on the second day. If they are not consumed within 3 days, I will keep them in the freezer for freshness. I heat it in the toaster if my son wants a more crispy pancake or steam it if he wants something moist and soft.

jam, peanut butter, kaya or honey?

Pancakes are served with jam, peanut butter or kaya. No butter... because butter is dairy product. Instead of syrup, I give my son honey.

Son's Recess Snack

Pancake is also a bread substitute because after experimenting baking yeast free bread for umpteen times, I still prefer pancakes. There is no way ( may be there is but I have not found it) a slice of yeast free bread  can taste like a normal one.

Recipe for 
Simple Plain Pancakes
(makes 5)
GF all purpose flour 1 cup
sugar 1 tbsp
salt a pinch
guar gum 1/4 tsp
GF baking soda 1/2 tsp
GF baking powder 1/2 tsp

egg 1
oil 1 tbsp
milk substitute 1/2 cup
apple cider vinegar 1 tsp


  1. Combine Ingredients (A) well.
  2. Use a hand whisk and mix well Ingredients (B).
  3. Slowly add wet mixture (B) to dry mixture (A) and stir until they are well combined.
  4. Prepare a non-stick pan on the stove.
  5. Pour some batter on the pan when it is medium hot. Cover pan with a lid.
  6. Cook for about 3 min or when the top surface almost sets and the bottom slightly brown.
  7. Flip the pancake and cook for another (about) 10 sec.
  8. Continue until all batter is used up.

Looks easy, right? So let's try it soon!

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