Questions and Answers

About Oats
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
Susan asked:
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 with success.

About Corn
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.

About vinegar
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.

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