Locals learn to bake gluten-free goodies

By Shelby Harrell Staff Writer | Jan 15, 2014
Photo by: Shelby Harrell Jacqueline Stackhouse, left, and Nancy Gilligan enjoy tasting homemade gluten free desserts made by Linda Arnold.

A dozen local women’s mouths were watering last week as they watched gluten-free food stylist and caterer Linda Arnold make several gluten-free treats.

The women attended the baking demonstration,"Cooking with Linda Arnold," which is hosted by the Haywood County Public Library and Senior Resource Center. At the demonstration, Arnold taught attendants how to bake gluten free foods and shared her personal tasty recipes.

Each woman who attended were interested in gluten-free cooking for different reasons; some wanted to learn to cook gluten free for a friend, daughter or grandchildren; some suffered from illnesses, such as Celiac disease, that prevented them from being able to eat gluten; and others just wanted to live a healthier lifestyle.

Arnold has gluten sensitivities herself, which prompted her to learn to bake gluten free. In her demonstration, she showcased her gluten-free multigrain bread, biscuit and pie crust recipes with ease.

Arnold also showed visitors different gluten free items that could be bought at local grocery stores, such as Udis bread. However she recommends purchasing gluten free flours online to save money.

“It has become easier to find these products in Waynesville than it use to be,” Arnold said.

The basis of most of Arnolds baking begins with her multipurpose flour, which consists of 6 cups of brown rice flour, 2 cups of potato starch and 1 cup of tapioca flour.

“You don’t just use one flour, you have to mix it up,” Arnold told the ladies. “We’re substituting the protein, and it will not substitute with just one flour so you mix.”

Arnold handed out recipes and a list of gluten free flours to all the attendants so they could follow along.

For Mary Gregg of Clyde, being able to enjoy yellow cake was a real indulgence. She said the class had inspired her to “make more treats.”

Gregg suffers from osteoarthritis and has been gluten free for about one year. She has been tempted to eat gluten foods on occasion just to see how they affects her, but she always regrets it, she said.

“The other day I went to McDonald’s and ordered a McRib and I ate the whole thing,” Gregg said. “Then on Sunday morning I woke up and every one of my joints hurt. I was so sick, I felt foggy in my brain, and fatigue and I was achy. I knew then I couldn’t tolerate gluten.”

Michelle Sanderback of Waynesville said she came to the demonstration to lean more about gluten free foods since she has gluten sensitivities.

“I always thought gluten free stuff was heavy and tasted like cardboard, but it’s easy to do once you get the primary ingredients,” Sanderback said. “Those who think they have to sacrifice and suffering without cookies and cake, they don’t have to.”

Sanderback enjoyed Arnold’s chocolate pie and chocolate snowball cookies the most, and was looking forward to make them herself.

She said gluten free foods were much healthier since most foods today are genetically modified.

“Gluten free is wonderful tasting and so much better for your body,” Sanderback said. “We’ll all be sensitive (to gluten) one day.”

The next Cooking with Linda Arnold demonstration will take place at 2 p.m. on Wednesday Feb. 12 at the Senior Resource Center. The theme will be "Cooking with Winter Squash."




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