What Does It Mean To Be Gluten Free

We have some friends who are gluten free.  At first I thought this was kind of weird.  It just sounds strange.  Gluten Free. It wasn’t the first time I had heard of it but to know an entire family that is gluten free is a rarity.  So they invited us over to dinner. I was a little nervous because I wondered if they would be eating rice flour and some strange unheard of foods. I warned the kids to have good manners no matter what they served.  I was so excited to be their guest but wondered what this term would look like in real life?

What I found was they made fresh, healthy, and delicious food. It even had a Mexican theme to it and that is my most favorite type of food.  There was amazing salsa, chips galore that were organic and gluten free and we had steak and fresh veggies.  The kids loved it and didn’t even know it was gluten free.  It really got me thinking.  As I learned more about why they made this choice it really was a necessity.  My friend had food allergies and had been ill and the change in food had made a dramatic difference in how she felt inside and out.  It had also helped her twin daughters.

I learned so much that night about food and how it can affect you.  For dessert they served us cookies.  I didn’t think you could eat cookies being gluten free.  I went on to ask them to clarify just what was gluten.  I learned it is when there is no wheat, rye, barley, or oat gluten present. And yet they still made these amazing cookies.

It was a learning experience.  Later that year I learned my daughter’s friend also was gluten free.  She had lost her grandpa and we wanted to do something special for them. So we made a gluten free gift basket.  What did we put in the gluten free gift basket?  We put those amazing cookies wrapped with love and pretty bows. It was so much fun knowing we were helping someone else and being sensitive to their needs.  I was learning so much.

Later, they told us how much the gluten free gift basket meant.  Not many people know what gluten free is.  I am only beginning to understand.  I do know this; food allergies affect almost 18% of kids.  That is huge.  And so I look forward to learning more……………..in the mean time here is that recipie for those amazing cookies they made that night.  Gluten free or not you will absolutely love them. You can see the recipie here or go to About.com as well.

A classic gluten-free chocolate chip cookie recipe with a refreshing mint flavor. If you love classic Nestle Toll House cookies (and who doesn’t?!) and you like the flavor of chocolate mint, you’ll love these cookies.

Make this a classic chocolate chip cookie recipe by omitting the peppermint extract and adding one teaspoon of vanilla extract.

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 11 minutes

Total Time: 26 minutes


  • 1 1/8 cup light buckwheat flour (see note)
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon natural peppermint extract
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 cup (6 ounces) gluten-free chocolate chips
  • 1/2 cup chopped nuts (optional)


Preheat oven to 375° F / 190° C

Line 2 large baking sheets with parchment paper or lightly oil

Combine dry ingredients in a medium bowl and whisk to combine. In a large mixing bowl, combine egg and sugar and beat with an electric mixer on high until light and fluffy. Add butter and beat on high until combined. Add extract and beat briefly. Add dry ingredients and mix until combined. Stir in chocolate chips and nuts (optional).

For 1 dozen large cookies use a 2 tablespoon (1/8 cup) ice cream scoop or drop heaping tablespoons of dough on prepared baking sheets. 

For 2 dozen small cookies use a 1 tablespoon ice cream scoop or a rounded tablespoon.

Bake in preheated oven for 9-11 minutes or until cookies are crisp on edges and slightly soft in the middle. Cool on baking sheet.

Try it. You will love them and they may make you feel healthier and better too. I know we did.

Source by Gretchen Bell