So we've all had vegan and gluten-free brownies and cookies. They generally tend to have a leathery texture, well-meaning flavor but they usually end up tasting absolutely heinous. I mean, who are we kidding here? I for one, don't want to eat a brownie that tastes like a protein bar. Well, thank the sweet Lord that Jaimie was born; her gluten-free/vegan treats are like no other! I had the wonderful opportunity to spend some time with Jaimie and find out her magical ways in the kitchen. You can currently find her products at all Old School Frozen Custard locations in Seattle. Jaimie's story is very real and very inspiring, I hope it will help a lot of you who are questioning the validity of the so-called trend of gluten-free living.
What prompted you to begin baking gluten free desserts?
I had a grand mal seizure September 28th 2009. After EKG & MRI testing came back normal I had asked my neurologist had put me on an anti-seizure med called Topamax. I had also asked her for suggestions on supplements to keep my brain healthy, she referred me to Seattle Integrative Medicine - a naturopathic clinic that specialized in neurology & cancer treatments. The Topamax caused extreme depression and suicidal thoughts. If I hadn't asked the question about supplements I would not have met Dr. Chris Holder, and I would not be alive today. He tested my hair for toxins & blood for IgG & IgE food allergies.
IgE = anaphylaxis reactions
IgG = delayed reaction (inflammation)
I took this from a testing site explaining it:
IgG (immunoglobulin G) testing is a useful guide for structuring elimination diets in many chronic conditions. Individuals with neurological, gastrointestinal, and movement disorders often suffer from IgG food allergies. These people may continue to eat offending foods unaware of their potential effects. IgG antibodies provide long term resistance to infections and have a much longer half life than the traditional IgE allergy. Symptoms may occur hours or days after the offending food has been eaten. The IgG Food Allergy Tests can identify problem food so it can be eliminated from the patient’s diet. This elimination of IgG positive foods can improve symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome, autism, AD(H)D, cystic fibrosis, rheumatoid arthritis, and epilepsy according to numerous clinical studies.
I didn't have any IgE allergies. But My IgG tests were highly reactive to Dairy, Eggs, Wheat, Gluten, Yeast (bakers & brewers) & cane sugar. My body was incredibly inflamed. I know that is why I had a seizure. I immediately changed my diet. I definitely starved for a few months...eating mostly sweet potatoes & zucchini. It's really surreal finding out that your body is rejecting the foods you love to eat. I learned to love vegetables. I lost a lot of weight - 70lbs just from changing my diet. I was able to quickly ween off Topamax. For the first time in my life I had energy. I was awake. I used to sleep 16hours a day. I never want to be that zombie again.
I did feel left out though when it came to desserts. There were a few places locally that had items I could eat, some were good but would have something in it. (ie:-cane sugar that I wasn't supposed to consume) It is still a rarity to find gluten free & vegan treats. Lots of vegan. Lots of gluten free. I developed this passion for creating recipes of my favorite treats that were safe for me to eat. I've eaten a lot of cookies, brownies & cake in my life. I know what the real thing tastes like. I would test them out on people who don't have sensitivities, are currently unaware or in denial of them. 'Former fat girl here... try these gluten free vegan brownies. Trust me. Amazing.'
Do you plan on opening a storefront?
I would definitely love to have a place of my own. Bakery/cafe by day, bar/restaurant at night. Preferably in Ballard.
When will your top secret recipes be revealed?! Too many of my friends have tried your cookies and they are asking!
I want to do a book. I have some really great ideas on what I want it to be like. It'll be different than any other cookbook I've seen in the genre. There are so many gorgeous books out there that have inspired me and helped me on my journey. I intend to share my story & recipes in a way that will help & inspire others to make similar life changes easily.
When you aren't baking delicious treats- what are some of your interests and hobbies?
Now that I have energy to move I'm trying different activities. I love yoga. I haven't been practicing lately, I intend to get back into that. Hiking! Washington is the most beautiful place. I want to hike all over! Biking! I bought a road bike last year, and my dear friend Katie taught me how to bike in the city. I love the trails though. We have a great bike trail system! So much fun! I want to conquer some hills this summer. Hills are hard! So basically when I'm not working or baking (working)...I am figuring out what my body can do. I do have my moments where I can binge on TV shows and I love movies.
Follow Uten Gluten's Facebook page here and make sure to check out her stuff at Old School Frozen Custard!
You can also email Jaimie here: firstname.lastname@example.org