This week has been pretty busy with Sista Sandwich visiting, SDA Officer Applications and CAL DAY! All in all, please enjoy this very fun, very exciting recap! (Fruitful Minds Symposium coming up later today too!)
On Tuesday (4/16), Laura from Sista Sandwich came to share her story with glutenX, the Gluten Free Alliance on campus. Sista Sandwich makes grab’n’go sandwiches made with gluten-free ingredients in a gluten-free facility. They have recently started distributing on and around campus, now available in Boalt, Haas, Berkeley Student Food Collective, both Berkeley Bowls, and the Shattuck Market. Their mission of bringing more gluten-free options to people with gluten sensitivity or Celiac Disease really hits home with the glutenX members, and made me realize that I still have much to learn about the various allergens and how people have to adjust around them. Especially with the popularity of bread and other wheat products in the U.S., it’s hard to avoid gluten when there is so much cross-contamination.
Recently, many people are trying the gluten-free diet, which can sometimes be expensive when the manufacturers have to develop their own formulas (and wheat is a much, much cheaper grain). This Times article points out the unnecessary(?) expense of this “fad diet,” while the AND website and this article provides more perspective into why you should or shouldn’t try the gluten-free diet. After not eating gluten, you may feel better because you DO have a slight gluten sensitivity AND/OR you’ve avoided a lot of the processed gluten products (white bread, etc.)! Thus, going gluten-free does not magically mean weight loss or better energy levels; it may merely mean that you unintentionally avoid a large amount of gluten desserts or pastries. In particular, sugar messes with your blood glucose levels, which can also affect your mood. (Ever heard of sugar/caffeine crash?) When some people say that those without gluten sensitivity shouldn’t cut back on gluten, they mean that you are also reducing your protein intake (gluten=a protein). Protein intake may not be the biggest issue, but people may develop an unbalanced diet if they do not make the right choices. Avoiding gluten will also limit your options for eating out, and comes with the time and pressure to prepare your own food/snack to bring with you. (Hence, how Sista Sandwich started their business!)
Of course, to people with gluten allergy or Celiac, eating gluten-free is not a choice, but it ensures that they stay healthy and do not ingest something that is “poisonous” to them.
Their spirit to create gluten-free variety on campus sort of inspired me to make this–GINGER BURST GRANOLA! Okay, I was going for a oatmeal-bar sorta thing, but then obviously that didn’t come into fruition… Clearly, this snack is no where near the proper gluten-free standard (since the tables, mixing bowls, and other utensils have been in contact with wheat flour at some point in time), but it’s the ingredients that matter! (THEN AGAIN…. I’m not 100% sure if the candied ginger is 100% gluten-free.)
Regardless, this was a wonderful granola with awesome flavors! Slightly cooking the candied ginger with the fluids really helped bring out the ginger flavor. I think there was a bit too much liquid though, so if you want to reduce baking time, you can consider reducing amount of fluid. (Such as soaking flaxseed and cranberries in the same bowl… not sure how that will turn out though!)
1 cup (0.59 lb) candied ginger, diced finely
1/4 cup olive oil
2 1/2 tbsp honey
1/2 cup water
1 cup (0.22 lb) cranberries
1/4 cup water
1 cup (0.21 lb) dried apples rings, diced
2 1/4 cup (0.69 lb) old-fashioned oats
pinch of salt
- Preheat the oven to 350F.
- Mix the flax seed in water for about 20 minutes, or until the mixture becomes viscous.
- Soak the cranberries in the lemon juice and water mixture for about 10 minutes.
- Into a small pot, add the finely chopped candied ginger, 1 tbsp of diced dried apple rings and olive oil. Pour in the flax seed mixture and cranberry-lemon water and mix.
- Bring the mixture up to a simmer while mixing and turn off the heat.
- Mix in the rest of the diced dried apple rings to the hot fluids.
- In a large bowl, toss the oatmeal, cranberries, (chopped almonds) and hot mixture together.
- Place a baking paper or aluminum foil on a baking sheet, and flatten the oatmeal mixture on it.
- Bake the granola, mixing every 10 minutes, for 60 minutes, or until the oatmeal is browned and crisp. Sprinkle in a bit of salt.
Picture to the left features the Peanut Butter Chocolate Cookie that Divya made for the meeting a few days ago! She also made banana cake! Both were so good!
The Fruitful Minds Symposium occurs 1-4PM (later today (4/21)) at 102 Wurster Hall. Join us to listen to some of prominent nutrition figures! Admission is only $5! (http://www.berkeley.edu/map/3dmap/3dmap.shtml?wurster)
In addition, Chef Daniel from Clark Kerr is holding another cooking class on basil this Wednesday, 6PM. (https://www.facebook.com/events/526253307417789/)Looking forward to all the deliciousness!