MomsMenu.com offers a variety of information in our Kitchen Update Newsletter!
From family recipes to kid's in the kitchen, what's new this week and holidays, we have recipes, tips and fun food ideas to get you cooking!
So, click here to start getting the best of MomsMenu.com in your mailbox every week!
Gluten Free Pizza
photo by Terry Burns Photography
by Carol Fenster, Ph.D
Imagine the disappointment if your child can't attend a pizza party because pizza makes him sick. Unfortunately, this scenario is increasingly common as more and more children react to wheat, pizza's main ingredient.
Most of us are aware that children can be allergic to a particular food such as wheat, but many of us are unaware of an autoimmune condition called celiac disease where wheat is also the culprit. The National Institutes of Health (NIH) recently announced that celiac disease is 10 times more common than previously estimated. It currently affects nearly 3 million Americans and is the most common genetically transmitted condition in the United States.
Celiac children cannot eat wheat because a protein called gluten prevents the absorption of nutrients from food. Typical symptoms include chronic diarrhea and bloating, yet 65 percent of celiacs don't exhibit these symptoms. Failure to absorb nutrients can lead to small stature, failure to thrive, and malnutrition in children. Untreated, it can result in anemia, osteoporosis, cancer and ultimately, death.
There is no pill, vaccine, or surgery to cure celiac disease. The only treatment is a gluten-free diet for life, which would ordinarily rule out many all-American kid foods like pizza (and cookies, brownies, or macaroni and cheese, for that matter).
just want to fit in with their friends, yet this special diet can set them apart.
The good news is that pizza can be made without wheat, as the following recipe shows, and your child doesn't have to miss any pizza parties due to diet. It makes one 12-inch pizza or two 6-inch pizzas. You can make the crust ahead of time, bake it for the first 10 minutes and then cool it thoroughly. Wrapped tightly in heavy-duty aluminum foil, it can be frozen for up to three months. At the next pizza party, add toppings that are safe for your child's diet. You will have a happy child who can enjoy pizza along with everyone else and can still eat differently without seeming different.
1 tablespoon active dry yeast
3/4 cup warm milk (110°) or non-dairy liquid
1/2 teaspoon sugar
2/3 cup brown rice flour* or garbanzo/fava bean flour*
1/2 cup tapioca flour
2 teaspoons xanthan gum*
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon unflavored gelatin powder (Knox)
1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
1 teaspoon olive oil
1 teaspoon cider vinegar
Extra rice flour for sprinkling
*Available at health food stores.
8 ounces tomato sauce
2 teaspoons Italian seasoning
1/4 teaspoon fennel seeds
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
2 teaspoons sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
Toppings of your choice
Combine all ingredients in small saucepan and bring to boil over medium heat. Reduce heat to low and simmer for 15 minutes, while Pizza Crust is being assembled.
Makes 1 cup.
1. Preheat oven to 425°F. In small bowl, combine yeast, warm milk, and sugar and let foam for 5 minutes.
2. In food processor fitted with knife blade, blend the yeast mixture with remaining ingredients (flour through vinegar) until thoroughly mixed. Dough will be much softer than regular pizza dough.
3. Put pizza dough on greased 12-inch pizza pan. Liberally sprinkle rice flour on dough, then press dough into pan, continuing to sprinkle dough with flour to prevent sticking to hands. Make edges thicker to hold toppings.
4. Bake pizza crust 10 minutes. Remove from oven. Spread Pizza Crust with sauce and add preferred toppings. Bake another 20-25 minutes or until top is nicely browned. Serves 6 (1 slice each in 12-inch pizza). Serves 2 (two slices each in 6-inch pizza).
"This isn't only a cookbook, it's a complete resource for anyone who requires a gluten-free cookbook. If you are one of the millions of people with celiac sprue or other sensitivity to grains, this book will serve you well. The author has a very good understanding of the problems of avoiding wheat and gluten. She lists the commercial ingredients such as modified food starch, hydrolyzed vegetable protein that may be wheat in origin. She tells you how to read labels, and gives advice such as avoiding oatmeal which, though it has no gluten, may be processed in wheat facilities or have been grown with wheat and thus somewhat contaminated. The section on alternative grains like amaranth, quinoa, rice, wild rice, milo and sorghum is comprehensive.
The recipes are for everything from pizza, breadsticks, foccacia to cakes, cookies, and other foods. The breadstick recipe tells you how to extrude the breadsticks from a hole in a plastic bag--a novel method easier than rolling dough for those tasty, crunchy snacks. The recipes frequently call for a flour mix recipe included in the book that substitutes for wheat flour. Even bread machines are covered.
The book is well-written and an excellent resource for people with wheat and grain dietary restrictions. Highly recommended."
(review courtesy of Amazon.com)
About the Author:
Carol Fenster, Ph.D., author of the cookbook Gluten-Free 101 and the newly released Cooking Free,
is a gluten-free chef who wants all children to be able to enjoy pizza. For a step-by-step photo
tutorial on how to make pizza, go to www.SavoryPalate.com. She develops gluten-free
products for manufacturers and can be reached at Savory Palate, Inc., 8174 South Holly, #404, Centennial, CO 80122 (800) 741 5418
Let's Get Cooking!
While there are many reasons for teaching kids to cook -- less expensive than eating out, preserves family heritage, etc, the most important
reason is that by teaching your child to cook, you're giving him a better chance to be a healthy grown-up. Enabling your child with the ability
to appreciate freshness and to transform ingredients into tasty foods opens their eyes to making wiser choices about what to eat...