Questions and Answers
Jane asked: I just
received your cookbook yesterday and we have already made the Oatmeal
Muffins and the Banana Bread is in the oven. Needless to say, my house
smells great! There is one question I have. In the book you suggest
grinding your own oat flour using whole oats. Can I use steel cut oats or
are whole oats something different? Thank you for giving our family more "Mitch Friendly" food!
Emily answered: You can use any kind of oats you usually buy. I use
Quaker Old-Fashioned Oats, and have had really good success with them. If
you use quick oats, the flour has a little bit different texture and you
may feel like adjusting the amount of flour you use in some of the
recipes, but really any type of oats will work. I just fill my blender
about 2/3 to 3/4 full of oats, put the lid on, and hit any button.
Depending on your blender, you may want to turn it off and mix the flour
and run it again to get any oats that were missed in round one.
About Wheat and Oats
Lynda asked: Have you seen any signs of your child's wheat allergy
being less severe using oats? I'm hoping that is the case with my son. We are
having him retested in the spring. I'm just curious.
Emily answered: Sophie was about 1 year old when we started using oats
and she began eating oatmeal on a regular basis. Since we really didn't have a
long period of time before using oats, I don't know how to say if her wheat
allergy has been lessened by the use of oats. All of her allergies have
decreased in severity as she has gotten older, however.
About Flour Substitutions
Jane asked: Since my son is not allergic to wheat, can I use the
same amount of regular flour in the recipes that use oat flour?
Emily answered: If you are using whole wheat flour, a one-to-one
substitution will usually work. For white flour, I would cut back on flour a
little, using about 1 cup of white flour for each 1 1/8 to 1 1/4 cups oat flour.
Unfortunately, it is not an exact science--you'll need to experiment a little to
get the right ratio based on your altitude, humidity, and personal preferences.
About Sandwich Bread
My twin sister and I (and our kids!)
are allergic to gluten. We've been grinding up gluten free oats and making
wonderful cookies and muffins - thanks for the tip!!! Do you have a bread
recipe that uses oat flour instead of regular flour?
Thanks so much - your cookbook really helped our families.
Emily answered: The only oat flour breads that I have made so far
are those in my cookbook, Sophie Safe Cooking. Because oats do not contain
gluten, they do not hold the gas produced by yeast. This makes a yeast-raised
bread impossible (or at least impossible to me!).
About Shortening or Margarine
Natalie asked: I can't find any shortening that is dairy and soy free.
Do you have any suggestions?
Emily answered: I have tried both coconut
oil (available at many SuperWalmart stores) and Spectrum vegetable shortening
Dawn asked: My son has dairy, egg,
peanut, pea and corn allergies. I was wondering how many of your recipes contain
corn ingredients--corn is found in so many items!
Emily answered: I have a few (maybe 5) recipes in which I use corn starch
as a thickener, but you could easily replace it with any other flour or starch.
I also have 3 recipes in which I recommend corn tortillas. Finally, my chili
recipe calls for a can of corn, but you could just leave that out. My baked
goods are oat-based and I usually use potatoes and rice as starches.
Kelly asked: My daughter is
allergic to wheat, corn, apples and walnuts. I was wondering what I can use
instead of apple cider vinegar in your recipes?
Emily answered: The easiest substitution for apple cider vinegar
would probably be either another vinegar or lemon juice. The vinegar reacts with
baking soda in the recipes and causes the muffins, etc. to rise, so you need
another acid in place of the cider vinegar.
If you have a cooking question for Emily, please send it