And How I Developed the All-Purpose PSL Flour Blend
This post has nothing to do with pumpkins, spices, or lattes. This website has always been centered around finding fulfillment in the simple pleasures of life since my battle with cancer and genetic and autoimmune diseases. Drastically altering my own lifestyle has always been my goal in an effort to recover from my own physical trials. However, this time it is part of a MAJOR SHIFT in our entire family’s “pumpkin spiced life.”
One of my children has developed a significant gluten or wheat sensitivity. They are still in the elimination diet phase. The testing is still in progress, but the signs and symptoms are all prevalent. I’m fortunate for my training as a certified gut health nutritionist and a licensed skincare therapist, because it has helped me to recognize the difference between an environmental irritant versus a significant internal reaction. The rashes follow a pattern on my child’s body which are indicative of a much more significant, internal issue.
This has been building for a very long time, and I had that instinct in my own gut approximately 8 months ago when I began preparing for this, but it recently took a major turn. No more excuses, no more half-the-family-eats-this and half-the-family-eats-that. Our entire family has made the full switch from wheat products to Gluten-Free Everything. I have a couple 5lb bags of wheat flour in my long-term emergency storage, but That Is All. Everything else has left the house. Nothing wheat-based in the pantry, fridge, or freezers.
I am sad only for my sourdough starter. For years I honed my skills in this realm. I adore a lovely loaf of homemade sourdough bread. Years ago, I developed nearly identical copy-cat recipes of Boudin’s San Francisco Sourdough and Poilaine’s Country Sourdough breads. My sister and her phenomenal bestie whom I adore bought Boudins loaves on more than one occasion for us to blind taste test side-by-side until I got it right. My husband ordered from overseas the divine miche loaf and various products for me to savor and replicate. I have kept my replica recipes close to my chest and have never shared the recipes with anyone, even family. (That’s nothing personal, they have just never asked and I have never volunteered.) Brunehilde, my precious, little sourdough family member (starter), who has traveled to many places with us, is older than the pandemic sourdough trends. After all this time, she will have to go into hibernation for a while. I have trays of carefully curated sourdough cultures drying in my kitchen right now so that she may come back into full glory in the future.
(Learn Ways to Preserve Your Sourdough Starter here.)
Hopefully, after my little sweetheart has overcome the significant health challenges they are going through, has healed all of the rashes and skin sores, calmed their gut, and strengthened their microbiome again, we can do some experimentation to learn how extensive their allergy goes. I know of a few cases where people suffering from celiac disease were able to eat sourdough bread without incident. I’m not going to take any chances quite yet, especially nothing before we get all the extensive medical testing done, but we remain hopeful.
None of this melancholy is about the loss of convenience. It’s not like I am fully committed to wheat just because that is how my training in baking began. Changing all of that is not a challenge to me. It is about the major life shifts my child will have to make in the outside world where people still don’t always understand the importance of food safety, allergies, etcetera. It is about the surprising amount of ignorance paired with intolerance that damages fragile hearts and minds. (I know how odd it is to read that sentence in a food and lifestyle blog when it is so relevant with other significant social issues throughout the world today.)
In the meantime, this is where I rise to the occasion! I am a recipe developer. Food science is something that I quite enjoy. I love altering heirloom recipes and other special recipes for various desired outcomes, ESPECIALLY if it helps maintain a person’s quality of life while still providing them the simple joys of their favorite comfort dishes.
Our goal is to eliminate processed foods altogether. I’m not saying we cannot enjoy things whenever we go out, but I’ve got to focus on healing guts and strengthening microflora here at home. We have always enjoyed a wide range fermented and cultured foods. I have strived to lean heavily on fresh produce, fruits, and vegetables in every meal possible. Now we are eliminating wheat products, and relying on unprocessed, whole grains and pseudo-cereals of many other varieties. While we are at it, I also got rid of our organic cane sugar, because it is not gut friendly, and I already have a lovely supply of sugar alternatives in regular rotation in the home.
(Read 6 Types of Natural Sugar Alternatives here.)
The Pumpkin Spiced Life (PSL) Flour Blend
As I have previously stated, this major life shift has been building for a while. I’ve been trying to make positive lifestyle changes for our entire family ever since I was diagnosed with cancer nearly 10 years ago. Accessibility to unique ingredients has delightfully improved throughout this time. Food science is always adapting and pushing boundaries. We are so fortunate!
With these advantages, I have been able to skip past the super starchy, nutritionally devoid flour substitutes (although we have tried many of them first), and I have created an all-purpose, low Glycemic Index flour blend which is rich in fiber and nutrients. I urge everyone to always double check the quality of ingredients you choose for your recipes. For Celiac, always be sure that you purchase Certified Gluten Free ingredients to ensure that they have not been cross-contaminated with machinery shared by other grains.
Always consult the advice of your doctor before making drastic dietary or lifestyle adjustments. And always listen to your gut, mentally and physically, and know that there are tons of us out here in the world who want to see you succeed in your health and wellbeing goals.
Buckwheat: GI 40 Buckwheat is not even a grain. It is considered a pseudo-cereal (can be eaten like cereal grains). Has anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties, is anti-cancer, and is beneficial for healthy cholesterol levels.
Sorghum: GI 32 Sorghum is an environmentally sustainable whole grain that is high in protein, fiber, B vitamins, and antioxidants.
Oat: GI 44 Oats are famous for their heart-healthy reputation. They are a cereal grain which are an important source of vitamins, minerals, fiber, and antioxidants. To ensure that they are gluten free, strive to purchase brands which have not shared machinery with wheat products.
Cassava: GI 46 Cassava is a root that is low in calories and has anti-cancer properties. It is a good source of insoluble fiber, which means it is an ally for healthy gut flora. It is also a good source of vitamins and is an anti-inflammatory food.
Konjac: GI 0 Also known as Glucomannan, Konjac is a root vegetable popular in Asia. It is known to to help reduce cholesterol, stabilize blood sugar, prevent blood sugar spikes, and is an anti-inflammatory, gut friendly food. It is also a lesser known alternative to xanthan and other gums which are commonly used for binding agents in baking.
PSL’s Healthy GF Flour Blend
- 1 jumbo bowl
- 1 2-gallon zip lock bag
- 1 whisk
- 2 lbs organic buckwheat flour
- 2 lbs organic, gluten free oat flour
- 2 lbs organic sorghum flour
- 4 lbs organic cassava flour
- 1 cup organic glucomannan powder also known as konjac root
- This is a jumbo recipe, which makes approximately 10 pounds of all-purpose gluten free flour. You need a giant bowl, or a 2 gallon zip top bag for mixing.
- Add all ingredients in your desired vessel. Whisk until everything is well-incorporated.
- Store in an airtight container at room temperature. Will stay fresh up to six months.