Since I began working at the Savory Spice Shop I’ve heard quite a bit of information from folks eating gluten-free. Some out of necessity, as they have Celiac disease, others “going Paleo” and most as a new style of eating. I have heard many times that since cutting gluten out of ones diet a myriad of interesting health benefits seem to occur. From time to time with no apparent reason I get excruciating pain in my shoulder joints and hands. Now, this could just be an age or arthritis thing, but I started to wonder if taking gluten out of my diet would change anything. So I did!
I have not removed foods containing gluten 100% but I would say more like 80%-20%. Meaning, I eat gluten-free about 80% of the time and the other 20% I blow it off because I can. If you have celiac disease I can completely understand the need to be 100% gluten-free and I am thankful I do not suffer from it. This is an experiment that I am actually enjoying. The challenge of making foods gluten-free is one I’m embracing and the task of eating gluten-free when we eat out is fascinating. Taking a trip to the grocery store has taken on a new meaning, one of reading even more labels. Thank goodness for Whole Foods!
One product I’ve found particularly appealing is a gluten-free graham style crumb crust. I didn’t locate any gluten-free “graham” crackers but when I found this crust I was pretty pumped. I was really craving cheesecake but it had to have a “graham” crust. When I saw it on the shelf at WF I decided to give it a try. Let me tell you I may never go back to regular graham cracker crusts. It has ingredients like pea starch, brown rice flour, sweet rice flour, rice bran, and potato starch but if you didn’t tell, I doubt anyone would know it wasn’t a traditional graham cracker crust.
It comes out nice and crunchy and makes a perfect base for the mixture of cream cheese, ricotta, eggs, etc….all the yummy stuff that goes into a cheesecake.
Want to know how I feel eating gluten-free? Well mostly gluten-free. I feel good, my joints have not been flaring up, flatulence is almost nonexistent, (delightful) and I still love to eat. This test hasn’t messed up my eating habits much at all. The main things I notice missing are pasta and bread. I know there are alternatives for those too which I will cover in another post. But for now, I’ll share the cheesecake recipe and hope to hear your comments regarding gluten-free eating!
Crust 1 1/2 cups Kinnikinnick Graham Style crumbs
1/4 cup sugar
6 tablespoons melted butter
2 packages cream cheese, softened
1/4 cup sugar
2 tablespoons honey
3 tablespoons grated lemon peel
2/3 cup sour cream or plain yogurt
1/2 cup ricotta cheese
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 large eggs, room temperature
To make the crust combine crumbs, sugar and butter, mix well. Grease the base and sides of a 9″ springform pan. Press the mixture into the bottom and 2″ up the sides of the pan. Refrigerate while filling is being prepared.
To make the filling, preheat the oven to 350*F. Using an electric mixer beat the first 3 ingredients in a large bowl until smooth, do not over-beat. Add sour cream or yogurt, ricotta,lemon juice and vanilla, beat until combined. Add eggs, one at a time, beating until combined before adding next egg. Pour filling into chilled crust. Place pan on a baking sheet. Bake, uncovered in preheated oven for about 1 hour or until set. Remove and cool. Cover and refrigerate for 8 hours or over night. carefully run a knife around the edge of pan to loosen crust before serving.