Safe Grains and Flours

Flour, flour everywhere! Literally when I cook but that’s another story. I thought I would pass on some conversations I have been having with various people about flours suitable for the TGF diet and discuss a bit about cross contamination.

First. Anthony, who is pretty sensitive to all things gluten (I know we all are, but some of us show symptoms more than others, doesn’t mean the cellular damage isn’t going on, of course, even if you can’t feel it as much). However, he and I are about the most sensitive patients I have come across so far. So, who better to test flours to see if they are safe? A tough job, but someone’s got to do it.

I have to confess, I am chicken (not grain fed, of course) and have largely stuck to almond, coconut, chestnut and gram (chickpea) flours, plus tapioca for thickening, all of which have been fine. Anthony, meanwhile, has gone for it with the often cross-contaminated quinoa, amaranth and buckwheat, plus tapioca. Brave soul.

After he had tried some, and reacted, I asked him to let me know how he got on and to direct us to any safe ones he came across. Here is his report. He went back to the shop where he bought the quinoa he reacted to:

“I looked in the shop where I found the quinoas I couldn’t have and found on the shelves only Suma organic quinoa flakes and Suma organic fairtrade quinoa.  I think they previously had a Good Food quinoa though I couldn’t swear to this – as the shelves were a bit depleted when I looked.  The problem is that I’ve had several Suma organic fairtrade quinoas from a different shop and they’ve all been fine.  I suppose this must support your remark that it can be cross-contaminated.

As for the buckwheat I couldn’t have, this was Minton’s Good Food’s organically grown hulled buckwheat and Suma’s organic buckwheat. But I’ve discovered that Minton’s Good Food’s organically grown roasted buckwheat is O.K. after all – at least in the shop I buy it from.

The amaranth and the tapioca are always O.K.”

What a minefield. To summarise, most quinoas and buckwheats he has reacted to, although Good Food organic roasted buckwheat seems Ok, as do some packets of Suma’s fairtrade quinoa, although that seems a bit hit and miss. Amaranth, tapioca, almond, coconut, chestnut and gram flours seem safe so far.

Second. Michelle at Foods Matter blogged about ordering a load of flours from Pure Nature in Germany. As far as I know, they have suffered no reactions. However, I note that many of the flours sold are by individual suppliers – Pure Nature is a service selling many brands. I asked them if they could give any info about the likelihood of cross contamination of what they were selling and, not unexpectedly, they said we would have to query each supplier direct, which is a bit tough cos half the sites I went to were in foreign languages! We will just have to go on reports of any symptom issues.

Note, Michelle mentions ordering Teff flour in her blog but later realised it is a gluten grain so watch that!

My advice so far then is to try to stay with the grains not likely to be cross-contaminated. Use the TGF safe/unsafe grains list in the ebook.

Meantime, Anthony has asked if anyone knows where to get sago: “I used to have it as a kid but nobody seems to sell it these days.  That’s made from the sago palm and should be fine.” I have no idea. Do you?

5 Replies to “Safe Grains and Flours”

  1. Hi Micki – Re the Pure Nature flours – my taster/tester has not reported any and effects from the flours that we have used so far – chestnut, walnut (both seriously yummy), quinoa and amaranth. Yet to try the tigernut….. and silly me – had completely forgotten about buckwheat….. Get stuck into those blinis!!
    Incidentally we have also used the Doves Farm Gram flour without incident.

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