Making Sweet Potato & Cheddar Savouries
For years my husband has suffered from severe IBS type symptoms. These symptoms can range from a mild stomach upset to severe cramps and episodes of acute intestinal pain and bleeding. He has been seen by numerous doctors, he’s not a Coeliac but more than that? They couldn’t say. He has been told repeatedly that he just has to live with the discomfort.
Thankfully, MrN knew enough about food intolerances to strongly suspect that there were certain things he couldn’t eat. Gluten is one of those things. He also can’t eat yoghurt, milk or ice cream, but can tolerate limited cheese and butter.
MrN’s gluten intolerance is a giant pain in the ass (pun intended)! Obviously I know he can’t help it, but it does make things more difficult when we’re planning meals, especially when we are trying to economise. Gluten-free products are outrageously expensive and food manufacturers tend to replace the gluten with sugar and other crappy refined flours.
Having said that, MrN’s gluten intolerance has forced me to experiment with alternative flours, often with surprising (not always successful) results.
I don’t use white refined flour in our general cooking, mainly because I try to eat clean most of the time and I don’t believe that bleached white flour, sprayed with artificial vitamins provides much, if any, real nutritional value.
My usual ‘go to’ flour is wholemeal wheat flour, but not only can MrN not eat this, it is also not suited to certain types of dishes. It makes a pretty awful white sauce for example, and it doesn’t lend itself to baking anything with a light texture. You can buy gluten-free flours that do work, but they are usually highly refined and stripped of any nutritional content.
A healthy solution
Then I picked up a bag of KTC gram flour from my local ASDA.
Gram flour (also known as Besan flour) is made of ground chickpeas. It is rich in fibre so it helps to keep you full. It is also rich in iron, zinc and folate. It has a low glycemic index so is suitable for diabetics, and it is naturally gluten free – woo hoo!
I was sceptical the first few times I used gram flour in my cooking, but I am now a convert. It thickens a white sauce just as well as plain wheat flour – it does add a slightly nutty flavour to the sauce which I love (and so do my children). And you can use it in savoury baking!
Normally, I hate all forms of gluten-free baking; I really miss the texture that gluten gives to bread, cakes and biscuits. But the cheese savouries that I made this morning are perfect! No one is more surprised than I am! They are crispy on the outside, cheesy and fluffy on the inside. I promise, you won’t miss gluten in these beauties. As an added bonus, because they are made with sweet potato, gram flour and cheese, they provide slow-release energy to keep you going.
See here for the full recipe: Sweet Potato & Cheddar Savouries