Amanda has been eating gluten-free for over 5 years. Her gluten sensitivity causes body-wide inflammation that settles in her joints.
My Gluten Story
Everyone has a different story to tell. I'm including mine here because it is slightly different than most. My gluten-sensitivity symptoms were not common and I hope that my story might help others realize that gluten is the cause of their suffering.
Generally, when I think of gluten sensitivity, digestive symptoms come to mind. I did not have digestive issues when I ate gluten. Instead, I experienced body-wide muscle aches and joint pain. The joint pain became acute in my wrists and I was unable to lift a gallon of milk, take something out of the oven, or turn off the water hydrant. My wrists felt broken, swollen, stiff, painful, and weak. I noticed similar pain in my knees, hips, and other joints, but my wrists were the worst.
I stopped eating gluten and in three days, my symptoms were totally gone and I felt normal again. I have repeated this test a few times, with the same results. I know it is gluten that causes my body-wide inflammation which settles in my joints. I had other symptoms such as fatigue, brain fog, and sluggish digestion as well. Since I do not have a severe allergy, I can get away with eating a little gluten every now and then without feeling too poorly. But for the most part, I have been gluten-free for over five years.
When I was having so much trouble with my wrists, my first thought was not that I might have a gluten sensitivity. I thought I might have rheumatoid arthritis or fibromyalgia. I was relieved to find that going gluten-free eliminated my symptoms. I wonder how many people have symptoms similar to mine and have been diagnosed with one disease or another when simply choosing a gluten-free diet may relieve their symptoms entirely. If you are feeling like I was feeling, try going gluten-free. It can't hurt, and eating gluten-free cookies is a great way to start.
These cookies are wonderfully comforting when served warm with a tall glass of milk and eaten in front of a wood stove. Pure maple syrup, walnuts, and chocolate chips give this recipe a unique flavor, and they're gluten-free!
- 1 cup butter, melted
- 1 cup pure maple syrup
- 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1 large egg
- 3 cups gluten-free flour (see flour variations below)
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1/4 teaspoon powdered ginger
- 1 cup mini chocolate chips
- 1 cup walnuts, chopped
- 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder (only if you are not using a baking mix; see flour variations for more info)
- Use a wire whisk to beat butter, syrup, vanilla extract, and egg until creamy.
- Combine flour, salt, spices, and baking powder (if necessary) in a separate bowl.
- Use a spoon or spatula to mix dry and wet ingredients together.
- Fold in nuts and chocolate chips.
- Spoon cookie dough onto baking sheets.
- Bake in 375°F oven for 10 minutes or until edges start to brown.
- This recipe makes 5 1/2 dozen (2 1/2-inch-sized) cookies.
Gluten-Free Flour Variations
In this recipe, I used Pamela's Gluten-Free Baking and Pancake Mix because it is what I had on hand. I have used this mix for years as a flour substitute in all sorts of recipes. It makes a soft, light, and fluffy cookie that is reminiscent of a biscuit or pancake.
If you do not have Pamela's, here are some gluten-free flour variations to use in this recipe. It is important to note that if you do not use a baking mix that contains baking powder, you will need to add 1 1/2 teaspoons of baking powder to the dry ingredients in the recipe.
- Use any gluten-free baking mix. Baking mixes are quick and easy to use. Check to see if your mix contains baking powder and add it if needed.
- Make your own flour mix. Oat flour and almond flour make excellent cookies. I have used a mix of spelt flour and oat flour in the past. Rice flour is a bit grainy but can be mixed with a softer flour to balance it out. I have not tried coconut flour, but I think it would taste great in this recipe. Feel free to use a mix of any of these flours. I recommend using 1/4 cup of tapioca or arrowroot flour in your mix to help it stick together. For example, 1 1/2 cups oat flour + 1 1/4 cups almond flour + 1/4 cup tapioca flour. Be sure to add the baking powder if you make your own flour mix.
How to Make Maple Syrup
- How to Make Maple Syrup the Old-Fashioned Way
Our family makes our own pure maple syrup, and you can learn how, too.
© 2019 Amanda Buck