I’ve been trying to avoid gluten these past few months. I’d heard it can interfere with thyroid function and as I have this beastly little thyroid that has been playing tricks on my metabolism, sleeping habits and general well being for the past six years I thought I’d give it a go. I’m not sure what I did to piss my thyroid off but it’s may as well have upped and left for all the good it’s doing. Thus far it hasn’t seem to make a difference how much goodness I put into my body my paltry little thyroid gland sits all high and mighty refusing to work on its own. Well, of course he’s quite happy for me to shell out at the drug store month after month to keep him ticking over but I’m trying to kick his little habit. I’ve called him Fred, because clearly his lack of pro-activeness warrants him male status. I thought perhaps if I starved useless Fred of gluten that he just may start behaving himself again. It’s worked on Don, why not on a lazy thyroid gland?
Okay, so I’ve never attempted to starve my husband but whilst I’ve been working in West Virginia these past few months he has lost quite a few pounds. Point proven.
Anyway, starving Fred of gluten hasn’t had the desired response I was after. Clearly I need to give him a much more severe beating, the softly softly approach is not going to win him over.
But whilst gluten-free living hasn’t given my proper thyroid functioning it has opened me up to a whole new world of grains and flours. Quinoa flour, chickpea flour, brown rice flour, coconut flour (!) who knew! All of which, I might add have enjoyed a pleasantly smooth trip through my digestive system without the usual halt in proceedings for a midnight bloating party.
I’ve also been surprisingly pleased with how easy it is to bake without gluten- sure the flavour and the texture is different- but isn’t that what we foodies are always after, something different? I’m sold. This is the kind of shortbread I want to stick a slab of cheddar on and call lunch. But lets be honest, Fred would take that chunk of cheese and find a nice little place for it to nestle down for eternity in my backside. Cheers, Fred- you useless old git.
Gluten Free shortbread
If you don’t have this variety of flours you can use 250g of all purpose gluten free flour and if you’re not gluten free then you can use 175g plain flour and 75g cornmeal.
Makes 12 squares
Diet Facts: gluten free does not mean fat free!
175g/ 6 oz unsalted butter, softened
75g/ 1/3 cup sugar
85g/ 1/2 cup plus 2 Tbsp quinoa flour
85g/ 1/2 cup plus 2 Tbsp brown rice flour
85g/ 1/2 cup plus 2 Tbsp coconut flour
1/2 tsp kosher salt
1/ Heat the oven to 180C/ 350F/ Gas 4. Beat your butter in the bowl of a kitchen aid with the paddle attachment or by hand until very soft and smooth. Beat in the sugar until just combined.
2/ In a separate bowl whisk together the flours and salt and then add to the butter mixture, mixing on a very low speed. Once it comes together into a ball remove from the bowl and press into a 23cm x 23 (9 inch x 9 inch) cake tin. Bake for 25 minutes or until lightly golden. Leave to cool before cutting.