Today I am asking, have I been too hard on highly processed food additives like Guar Gum and Xanthan Gum and Modified Food Starch?
Bob's Red Mill is an excellent manufacturer of all manner of wonderful flours and grains. I buy a couple different things from them, flaxseed meal, organic polenta, etc. If my miller at the farmer's market doesn't have something that I am looking for I like to buy Bob's products.
The other day though I was looking for almond flour or coconut flour (yes, to my friend who lives abroad--I was attempting to make the recipes you sent me) and I noticed in the corner a couple of small bags of guar gum and xanthan gum and textured vegetable protein. I have to say that I was surprised to see a fine purveyor making wonderful healthful goods along with items I also considered highly processed and bordering on non-food. These highly processed food stuffs all help fake food look and act more real. But they also, more innocently, help gluten free breads keep their shape, among other things.
I have read in several sources recently that being a vegetarian or flexitarian is really the best diet for your long term health. I have considered going vegetarian for health reasons. But I know I wouldn't eat enough protein and I need a good amount of protein to stay healthy and maintain my energy. If I could get 50-60g of protein a day from beans and veggies I probably would give up meat. But the kids don't really eat beans (not yet!!), nor does DH. If I went vegetarian I would probably have to turn to TVP and other highly processed soy products that come ready made in order to get the protein I need. I have known so many vegetarians that have gone down that route. But this I feel would be against the point of doing it in the first place.
A month or so ago I purchased Vital Wheat Gluten Flour from Bob's Red Mill so that my whole wheat muffins would hold together better. Two tablespoons of the Vital Gluten Flour to two cups of organic whole wheat flour certainly helped me to eat healthier but making 100% whole wheat muffins and get more of the muffin in my mouth, but did I cross the line by essentially adding a binder to my muffins?
What do you think? (I really don't know, so I am asking for your comments please...)