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Time To Get Creative...
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Once again I found myself at the Hispanic market (I bounce between Asian, Indian, and Hispanic). I've been craving a sandwich of some kind, and commercial gluten free bread found in the freezer section of the supermarket just won't do it any longer. Okay, I've had bagels and white bread for 56 years, time to explore new territory. I've been making fresh corn tortillas and they are really good. Not at all like the mass produced leathery ones. Now I found out about arepas, a Venezuelan and Columbian staple made with masarepa corn flour (not masa harina!). I will get my dietary fiber and a bit of protein, according to the package. They are thicker, started on the griddle and finished in the oven. They look easy, and can be cut open and stuffed with all sorts of things such as eggs, meat, cheese, beans, a veggie stew, etc. Last night I made carnitas, a Mexican shredded pork dish served with corn tortillas which would be great in an arepa. I'll let you know how they turn out!

The point of my post is this: The first month I dwelled on what I couldn't eat and was actually hungry. Now, I am taking this gluten free thing to new levels and being my old creative self again with the bonus of feeding my family even better than before. After finding that vegetable shredding gadget, my husband prefers zucchini linguini over pasta! Again, take your kitchen to the next step and let's stop feeling sorry for ourselves. I still have my moments, but hey.....

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Good for you! It's such a liberating feeling once you focus on what you CAN have rather than what you cannot. It took me awhile, too. Creative gourmet cooking is what I do best so I know what you are saying about getting excited about trying new things. I always have but now do it differently! Ethnic food shops are A M A Z I N G. We have none here but several in the city three hours away so we stock up like mad! We regularly make carnitas, too. Soooo delicious. Have you tried injera (teff)? It is an Ethiopian bread - some like it, some do not but it is fun to try if you have not done so. I continue to make focaccia, pizza crust, flat bread, sandwich bread, crackers, bagels (believe it or not they CAN be done gluten-free), soft pretzels, English muffins and even Naan...

We love zucchini pasta, too. We also do the same with carrots. We call them ribbons at our house. I love to experiment with my cool kitchen equipment and often use my mortar and pestles, mandoline, spice grinder, etc. It just doesn't end! :P

Great to hear your enthusiasm. Hope to see more of you on the board! :)

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First of all, I LOVE your attitude. Welcome to the board!

Please share the recipe with us for arepas.

Where can we find masarepa corn flour?

More bread choices are what I'm looking for because I don't use yeast.

I volunteered to help bake gluten-free yeast free bread at the upcoming gluten-free EXPO in Indiana in early Oct. in order to learn more about this type of bread. From your post, I assumed you didn't use yeast in this recipe. Hope not, but others who do use yeast would then love to try your arepas :)

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Goya sells masarepa flour by the bag. At our local hispanic market, there were several other brands. Please check youtube for your very own private cooking lessons, and search arepas. I haven't had the time yet to play around with the ingredients which are still on my counter looking back at me.

I have tried two recipes for gluten free yeast bread with horrid results! Good luck to you! I love to bake, but lost my enthusiasm when going gluten-free.

For those who can have oats, I discovered crockpot oatmeal great for dessert or breakfast::

1 cup oats (rolled or steel cut)

4 1/2 cups water

dried fruit of your choice

nuts

pat of butter

pinch of cinnamon

Cook on low for 8 hours; a little milk/cream and touch of brown sugar: yields two large servings. If you only have a large crockpot, put all ingredients in an oven proof bowl in the crockpot filled halfway with water.

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I've been looking for a safe masarepa (or precooked cornmeal for arepas) but have yet to find one. The most popular, P.A.N., states that it may contain trace amounts of wheat and oats. The other popular one (mentioned above) is by Goya. When I emailed them about their product "Masarepa Blanca" I received the following response:

"Thank you for contacting Goya Foods, Inc.

In regards to your questions, our Masarepa is not Gluten free. Masarepa is susceptible to cross contamination. Masarepa shared equipment with some other products produce on the same plant. Products that contained wheat and soy and even though we inspect and clean our machinery we always make our consumers aware of a possible contamination."

So does anyone know of a safe masarepa to use? I am still in my first your of being diagnosed with Celiac and don't feel comfortable using any product that has cross contamination issues.

Thanks.

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i have 'maseca' - is that the same thing? made by azteca milling out of texas. on the bag it has "corn: a gluten-free food" with the little 'no wheat' symbol. and also it is labeled kosher. lol - i bought it in new mexico when i was visiting my daughter but when i got home, i noticed they sell it at kroger :lol:

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Goya is not safe...We have used P.A..N for ten years & never had any problems....hth

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Goya is not safe...We have used P.A..N for ten years & never had any problems....hth

Just bought their baking powder. Is it safe? It says gluten free on the label.

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i have 'maseca' - is that the same thing? made by azteca milling out of texas. on the bag it has "corn: a gluten-free food" with the little 'no wheat' symbol. and also it is labeled kosher. lol - i bought it in new mexico when i was visiting my daughter but when i got home, i noticed they sell it at kroger :lol:

Maseca works for corn tortillas, but not arepas. I've tried the recipe on their website for arepas, but they were way too dry. Nothing like arepas made from PAN (which I ate before discovering the possible gluten traces).

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Goya is not safe...We have used P.A..N for ten years & never had any problems....hth

Hi, I am new here. I just bought a bag of P.A.N. and it states 'very low gluten', but not gluten-free. Do you still use P.A.N. or did you find another gluten-free masarepa? 

Thanks.

Mike

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P.A.N. brand (at least the one in my pantry) says something about "in a facility with" or "may contain" or something like that. I forget exactly how it was worded. But a local gluten free bakery uses the brand to make arepas for sandwiches and they routinely test it for gluten with some sort of test you can buy to do yourself. They have never (as of the last time I was in the bakery) had it test positive. I use it comfortably. Also, I've never seen another brand of masarepa and have a veritable plethora of hispanic markets in my area due to the large hispanic population here. As I'm sure you're already aware, there is not a substitute for masarepa, and it is not the same as masa harina.

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