The best way to eat chocolate chip cookie dough ice cream is out of the container, sorting through cream and chips and eating the cookie dough pieces until they are gone. I try to eat a bite or two of plain ice cream in between, and eat it all evenly.
But I can’t help myself. I just have to eat the cookie dough.
This rule applies no matter what kind of chocolate chip cookie dough ice cream you are eating. Classic, conventional cow dairy ice cream with wheat/gluten based cookie dough, OR the wonderful, fabulous coconut milk ice cream with gluten-free cookie dough.
Both are great, both have to be eaten this way, in my opinion.
But a question remains for me. How would I have felt about the coconut milk cookie dough ice cream before I was gluten and dairy free? Would it have still be as good, or is it only after not having for a year that I enjoy it so much?
In this particular case, with this ice cream, I’m pretty sure its darn good even if you eat dairy.
But that question can be an important one for someone comtemplating going gluten-free. Before we went gluten-free, I still tended to enjoy exploring different types of food and health-nutty type trends. But I was always annoyed when people tried to pass off a replacement as the exact thing as the original. It just amplifies the feeling that you are eating something less, not the “real thing”.
A dear naturopath friend of ours always did this, and I see it as a turn off. She told a mutual friend that tofu was like “cheese”. Uh… well, it is formed in similar ways in a sense, but we all know it ain’t nothing like cheese. The right seasonings and it could taste similar, but it doesn’t melt and it isn’t stretchy. Replacing an Indian dish like Mattar Paneer is the only instance I can think of that it is simiar to cheese in texture and usage. So of course, this mutual friend was very skeptical of everything else she said.
Once she told me that mashed avocado was just like butter on bread, only green. I disliked avocados and guacomole for years after that. Now I love them. But my view of them had been tainted by someone telling me they were supposed to taste like butter on bread. Maybe it’s like when you take a drink of your water glass and accidently pick up someone’s tea or coffee. It tastes terrible because you were expecting water and your brain was ready to process that. At least, that happens to me.
There may be an element of this at play when people try gluten-free replacements. On the one hand, I love advocating for how you can enjoy your food and life just as well gluten free as not, and on the other, I think you should talk about it honestly.
So people go gluten-free one of two ways: Relying on the replacements made with rice or corn or sorghum or teff flour to fulfilled those gluteny, carby cravings OR focusing on naturally gluten-free foods and letting their taste buds ‘forget’ for a few months, and the indulging in replacements. This same principal applies to dairy, by the way. I feel that alot of the food I have made is good in its own right, like cashew cream, often used in place of sour cream. But I’ve never told anyone “oh it’s JUST LIKE sour cream. You’ll love it!!” I think I just say it’s a dip made out of cashews.
All this being said, I was one of those that really relied on replacements. I bought tons of gluten-free breads and cookies and mixes in the beginning and that helped me transition to being happy focusing on vegetables, fruits and meats and little grains.
But I’ve known of other people, or read others’ posts in gluten-free forums, that hate the replacements and are so disappointed by replacements that it’s discouraging. We are all attached to things in different ways. I needed the habit of having toast with butter and jam (my true loves, the bread could have gluten or not!) for breakfast in the beginning. Others really want that bread to be what they expect, so they do better making a fruit smoothie or eating a baked sweet potato.
If you want to go straight to replacements, brands in the gluten free world make a huge difference. Udi’s is supposed to be the most like wheat bread. Sami’s Bakery out of Tampa Florida (health food stores carry them but they do mail order too) makes some awesome lavash bread and bagels and such too. Sami’s is a bit more wholesome in it’s ingredients, but unfortunately made in a wheat bakery. That matters to some, but not to others.
At the end of the day, I think we make awesome gluten-free goodies. I don’t know how others would feel about all of them that eat wheat. I see it like this though… when it comes to the sweets, cakes and cookies, fat and sugar make the cake. No one has ever really complained about a sugary gluten free cake I’ve made, and I don’t think that’s just because people are being polite.
But when it comes to things that rely on a bready texture, like bread or crossaints, hmm, those are harder to imitate. Still I’ve had some pretty satisfying stuff.
Just a little food for thought.