Saturday, June 28, 2014

"Mom's Island Bakens" Cookbook Shares a Simple Gluten-Free Flour Mix Recipe for People with Celiac Disease

his has been a fun week with the new release of Mom’s Island Bakens and it now being available on Amazon! One of the first people who bought my book, author Mamie Adkins, has emailed me and asked me if I would suggest this book for people with Celiac disease. Thank you, Mamie, because that is a great question and I think other people may wonder the same thing. Celiac is a disease in which eating gluten triggers an immune system reaction in the small intestines and overtime causes mal-absorption of some important nutrients. Following a gluten-free diet can help manage the symptoms and promote intestinal healing. While Mom’s Island Bakens is not written specifically for those with Celiac disease who are needing to become gluten-free, it does include in most of its recipes that use grains a substitute flour mix suggestion that is gluten-free. There are also a few delicious gluten free recipes using other gluten free grains than suggested in the gluten-free mix.

Likewise, the ingredients included in a few of the recipes in Mom's Island Bakens may have dairy products listed but usually also will include suggestions for non-dairy alternatives like almond or rice milk. I almost always use almond milk in all the recipes. And best of all, Mom’s Island Bakens takes a look at other important things to consider in your ingredient lists like how to make a recipe nutrient dense and have every bite packed with as much nutrition as possible. There are times that I select to forgo making a recipe absolutely dairy-free (even though most of my recipes include suggestions for doing so if you are allergic to dairy) because I want to make sure the nutrient density is as high as possible.

An example of allowing for milk products in a recipe to increase nutrient density is seen in the chocolate cream pie recipe on page 99 of Mom’s Island Bakens. I noticed tonight that for the chocolate pie recipe (I made one as a birthday gift for a family member) that I have listed as one ingredient a cup of almond milk thickened to kefir consistency using organic non-fat dried milk. The dried milk makes this recipe not absolutely dairy-free. However, you can make this recipe without using the non-fat dried milk and instead add two more tablespoons of cornstarch to thicken the almond milk. Since cornstarch has no nutritious value what-so-ever, I prefer to use dried milk as a thickener when possible. Of course, you would need to consider your own health needs to make this decision. I have cooked this pie both ways and it is delicious either way!

And yes, there are a number of recipes that are gluten free in Mom’s Island Baken’s. However, if you would like to simply have the gluten free baking mix recipe that I include in Mom’s Island Bakens, I am happy to give that out freely. Just use this mix to substitute 1 to 1 for wheat or other gluten flours in any of your favorite recipes and enjoy good health:
1 cup certified gluten free organic millet flour or certified gluten free oat flour
1/2 cup organic almond meal
1 cup potato starch
1 teaspoon xanthan gum

So back to the original question, is Mom’s Island Bakens a good cookbook for people with Celiac disease? My answer is yes, because it is written to help everyone consider how to make ingredient substitutions for good health. And if you would like to consider not just how to substitute ingredients to make your diet gluten-free, but also how to have your cooked food higher in nutrient density, lower on the glycemic index, using all heart healthy oils like olive oil, and more digestible as a more alkaline diet, then you would certainly find Mom’s Island Bakens helpful. I suggest Mom’s Island Bakens to anyone as a helpful guide in making an overall more healthy diet change through learning to alter recipes for gut and heart health. And surely, you will find a number of Mom’s tried and true recipes not only healthy for you but also very delicious. 


  1. Thanks for this knowledgeable approach to nutrition. No longer do we have to give up good taste for good nutrition and you have definitely advanced this concept. I may not be lactose intolerant but am a firm believer that gluten is a major cause of inflammation which contributes greatly to the increase in diseases which are on the rise such as diabetes and cancer. I may not be a doctor but I'd rather side with caution since I have had cancer and am a Type 2 diabetic as are all of my siblings - and at least 3 generations of Type 2's on my father's side.
    Thanks so much for the flour substitute - sandwiches will not become a thing of the past in my house!

  2. Linda, you are certainly welcome and thank you for being here with us. Hope you will come back to this blog and let us know how your experience using the gluten free flour mix works for you. Just to let you know, while finding the organic gluten-free millet flour is relatively easy, finding certified gluten free oat flour can be more difficult. ArrowHead Mills and also Golden Prairie do make it but I have not always been able to find it even at Whole Foods Stores. I stock up when I see it is in a store and buy an extra bag to save in my freezer.

  3. Hello Martha,

    Your cookbook has been so delightful to just read and remember the incredible muffins you baked for Doug and I while in Hawaii. Now we can enjoy them here at home anytime we choose which of course will be often.

    I also thank you for addressing the question I had about Celiac and Gluten since I have a few friends with this problem. It's a good thing people are becoming their own advocates in the world of medicine with the many risk if ignored. With responsible people such as yourself caring to find the recipes of a healthier nature, pleasures as bread and muffins don't have to be a thing of the past.

    I for one, plan to gift this book to many we care so much about.

    Thank you for this great gift of healthful information.


  4. So happy that you are enjoying "Mom's Island Bakens" and plan to use it in your own kitchen. It is my pleasure to make you healthy muffins anytime, so do return to Hawaii!

    Mamie, I do not know if I told you this, but I started learning to cook making ingredient substitutions and creating new recipes when I was a caregiver for a dear friend in the late 80s and then again in 2008. Learning to cook for their restricted diets also influenced me to change my own diet to be more healthy. When the people you love are health challenged and have to change their diets due to medical issues, the entire family makes changes too, and everyone benefits.

  5. Martha, I thoroughly enjoyed your article, but have also started to wonder about the many authors veering toward cooking. Perhaps the crafting of a piece of literature and that of a dish have much in common. My own cooking, although I wouldn't dream to write about it, is one hundred percent original creation or recreation of traditional recipes. Thank you for sharing!

  6. So good to see you here, Marta, and thank you for stopping by and commenting. You make a very interesting observation about the number of authors writing cookbooks these days. I just noticed yesterday that cookbooks are the largest single section in my own public library where I live in Waikiki. Yes, there are many people writing on cooking and food. There are most likely a number of reasons for this.

    I actually began writing "Mom's Island Bakens" for my children and close friends who wanted my recipes. I have never cooked using a recipe (other than a first glance) and had to watch myself cook for a few years, writing everything down, in order to have standard recipes I could share. So, I really did not write this cookbook because I like to write but because I needed to write in order to share something important to me. But then, that is also why I wrote "What's Behind Your Belly Button?" I needed to share my life's work in counseling and psychology and what my colleague and I found concerning gut feelings—writing a book was the best way to do that. Many authors say that they write because they love to write. But I am not one of them. I write when I have something that I feel needs to be said and shared. However, I cook because I love to cook, not just because everyone in my house is hungry.

    Your recipes are most valuable, Marta. Many people like ourselves cook recreations of traditional recipes and are looking for ways to make these dishes as healthy as possible without losing their wonderful flavors. You are welcome to share any of yours with us here on this blog!