FeaturesDec/Jan 2013 Issue

Healing with Sourdough

Gluten-free, allergy-friendly baked goods nourish and delight.

[Updated May 18, 2015]

Several years ago, my special dietary requirements—no gluten, dairy, eggs, soy, plus sensitivities to commercial yeast and most sweeteners—prompted me to experiment with old-fashioned sourdough techniques, using gluten-free flours. It took me one year to produce a successful loaf and a few more years to develop variations on that recipe.

Why sourdough? When I began working to heal my body from the damage done from ingesting gluten, I learned that fermented foods are loaded with live lactobacillus (friendly bacteria and yeast). Eaten regularly, small amounts of these beneficial “bugs” repopulate the gut and strengthen and repair the digestive system.

A healthier digestive system helps heal a damaged immune system—and mine was deeply damaged. For many years, I’d struggled with strange and uncomfortable symptoms, recurring illnesses, complete exhaustion and many misdiagnoses.

Introducing fermented foods into my diet had an almost immediate positive effect. I began with lacto-fermented sauerkraut and felt my energy increase. Then I tried lacto-fermented drinks, like kombucha tea and water kefir (a component used to make sourdough), and experienced another boost. Making gluten-free, allergy-friendly sourdough bread seemed like the natural next step.

Next: A Good Soak

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