Sunday, September 23, 2012

Alternative Flours and Mixes Angst

One perk for me going gluten-free is that, because of relatively limited finances, I don’t have the option to buy those expensive flours, flour blends, and mixes. Oh right. That’s not a “perk” per se, but the eating healthier because of it definitely is! I’m forced now to eat a lot more in the way of whole foods than I ever had before.

But every now and then I just get this craving for a brownie. I REALLY miss brownies.  I made these and they’re delicious, but they just aren’t the same (and almond flour or meal costs an arm and a leg).  This has resulted in me not eating brownies (my favorite food group --and yes, they qualify as a food group all on their own) for several months.

I reached my breaking point yesterday and decided to buy a gluten-free brownie mix when I was out grocery-shopping. Can I just say this: “WHAT THE HELL IS UP WITH THE PRICES?” OK. Maybe a little bit of an over-reaction. I know that gluten-free alternatives are expensive. But really. Nine dollars for a cake or brownie mix? OK, so your flour mix works miracles, but if I can’t afford to buy it, let alone use it on a regular basis, it is useless to me.

In a haze of chocolate desperation, I broke down and dished out the $5 for the cheapest gluten-free brownie mix available and I tried it last night. But I’m not happy. I know that there are a lot of reasons that these items are so costly. Phrases like niche market, supply and demand, come to mind. I can afford to buy a couple extra cans of chickpeas. I cannot afford to buy Better Batter flour mixes. OK. I said it. I was really upset over the cost of Better Batter flour blend. Especially after hearing so much amazing stuff about it.

My go-to for treats is actually usually a Pinterest search for “paleo desserts”. I know the paleo diet gets a lot of flack, but they are definitely some of the best (and generally most affordable) recipes I’ve found out there for gluten-free desserts and treats. Especially when compared to the flour alternatives we’re working with now. If you follow my gluten-free board on Pinterest, you will see “paleo” recipes pop up on a regular basis. I’ve found several cookie and cake recipes that work really well by searching for paleo options. And I don’t have to pay an arm and a leg to get the ingredients either.

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