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Peruvian Heritage Grains Provide More Gluten-Free Options

Celiac.com 10/26/2009 - With the ever-increasing awareness of celiac disease comes an expanding market of gluten-free options.  The days of lengthy supermarket trips spent pouring over labels has given way to the tiny oasis of the “gluten-free” section is many grocery stores. 

While this section is still limited in many respects, the food production industry as a whole has become aware of the need to cater to the expanding gluten-free community.  Gluten-free snacks, prepackaged meals, and baking supplies are no longer elusive, and the variety is continually expanding.  While rice, potato, and corn flours are common strongholds in a Celiac’s kitchen, there is now a new wave of flavorful flours from Peru making their way into the United States.

Many Peruvian heritage grains, dating back to pre-Incan times, have been found to be naturally gluten-free and incredibly nutritious.  The first wave of these grains and flours to hit the U.S. market come to us from Zocalo Gourmet.  Marching to shelves are kaniwa, mesquite, purple corn, and sweet potato flours.  Each has a distinct flavor and “personality” that is sure to delight any gluten-free baker and reinvigorate their favorite recipes. 

Kaniwa is a species of goosefoot, closely related to quinoa.  This tiny grain is packed with protein and has an Earthy taste that lends itself well to breads, pancakes, and muffins.   

Mesquite is also protein rich and imparts a warm, sweet, slightly smoky taste on foods while enhancing the flavors of cinnamon, chocolate, caramel, and coffee.  Adding mesquite flour to your favorite recipes will transform their flavor and put a completely new spin on your old favorites.

Purple Corn can be used in any recipe calling for traditional corn meal or flour while providing an antioxidant boost. Although similar in nutrition to yellow corn, purple corn contains substantial amounts of phenolics and anthocyanins, among other phytochemicals, which gives the corn its vibrant color. Its main colorant is cianidin-3-b-glucosa which is a known antioxidant. The high anthocianin content does not degrade with heat exposure.
Sweet Potato is a velvety flour that holds moisture well, imparts a subtle sweetness on baked goods, and is incredibly versatile. 

With these flours come more complete flavor and nutritional profiles for the gluten intolerant.  To learn more about these flours and how they can be used check out:
http://www.zocalogourmet.com/products/floursgrains2.html
and
http://zocalogourmet.blogspot.com/ 

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6 Responses:

 
Chocolate Lover
Rating: ratingfullratingemptyratingemptyratingemptyratingempty Unrated
said this on
26 Oct 2009 9:32:10 PM PST
Maybe you should taste the flours before trying to describe them.

 
Heather
Rating: ratingfullratingfullratingfullratingfullratingfull Unrated
said this on
28 Oct 2009 2:58:54 PM PST
I have developed over 30 recipes with these grains, I'm not sure what gave you the impression that I haven't tried them.

 
Brenda
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said this on
02 Nov 2009 5:57:38 AM PST
I have just looked through these recipes, I cant wait to try something. Now I just have to find a place that sells all of these products. I live in Canada, not to sure if I can get them. I already buy amaranthe and quinoa, really love these grains.

 
Paul
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said this on
02 Nov 2009 5:20:37 AM PST
It is always great to hear about new gluten-free products so I went on the Zocalo site to make a purchase. They don't sell directly so I went to the distributor sites which had web sites listed and I couldn't find the products on the distributor sites! Looks like it's not going to be easy buying these flours - any suggestions?

 
Gluten Free Baker
Rating: ratingfullratingfullratingfullratingfullratingempty Unrated
said this on
02 Nov 2009 8:30:39 AM PST
How can we purchase these flours? The website you linked to doesn't seem to sell them directly to consumers.

 
Peter Felker
Rating: ratingfullratingfullratingfullratingfullratingempty Unrated
said this on
03 Nov 2009 7:25:37 PM PST
Yes indeed this is very interesting.




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