GF Foods Taste Different, but That’s Not Bad + GF Lemon Tea Cake

Do you remember Dr. Seuss’s “Green Eggs and Ham” ? I had this rhyming story of two people discussing when to eat green eggs and ham first read to me by my kindergarten teacher, Ms. Lacy. Afterward, we shared green eggs and ham (which consisted of scrambled eggs dyed green, with pieces of ham mixed in.)

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I remember thinking it was the most disgusting thing, and didn’t want to eat it, even though I loved scrambled eggs and ham–when they were their normal color. Why is it that when a food changes color, our palette no longer accepts the food?

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While I was in high school, Heinz put out a new kind of ketchup. The ingredients were the same, but the color was different. It was GREEN! I, like many others, couldn’t get over the color. Even when I tried it at a friend’s house on a burger, I couldn’t stop gagging, thinking about my food smothered with the green condiment.

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This style of food marketing  has also been occurring in the food allergy world. Anything labeled gluten-free, vegan, or anything different from what our normal diet can be seen as inedible by those who don’t eat that way. Recently, a friend shared her dislike of vegan food, until she had it from a particular restaurant–who just so happened to sell her product. I couldn’t help but wonder if part of her attitude change was because she knew who made the food? Or maybe it was because she didn’t know it was vegan until after she ate it?

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Unlike the ketchup, gluten-free foods actually do taste different than foods with gluten in them. Let me rephrase–gf breads, pastries, and anything else that usually contains gluten and now doesn’t, tastes different. So, don’t try to make the gluten-free bread taste like the one with gluten, or make the vegan pudding resemble one that isn’t vegan. Eat foods that are meant for your diet, but don’t demand that it should taste anything like what you are used to, because it’s not the same.

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And when it comes to green food, don’t eat foods whose colors have been manipulated just so the company can make a buck. There are enough fruits and vegetables to fill the rainbow.

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GF Lemon Tea Cake
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
My grandmother, Gay Lee, would make this lemon cake in a bundt pan with a simple icing on top once the cake was out of the oven. Her icing is a bit different than mine. For Grandmother's icing: ⅓ C orange juice, 2 Tbsp, water, 2 Tbsp butter, 2 C. confectioners sugar ( for corn free: 1 tsp cream of tartar to 1 C. sugar, blend in a food processor). This cake is so good, it might only last a few minutes!
Recipe type: Dessert
Serves: 10 pieces
  • 1 C butter
  • 2 C sugar (place ½ C to the side)
  • 4 eggs at room temperature
  • 3 C GF flour (bob's red mill all purpose is my favorite--just make sure to look at the ingredients)
  • ½ tsp baking powder
  • ½ tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • ¾ C lemon juice (separate ½ C and put to the side)
  • ¾ C buttermilk
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Oil/flour a loaf pan (make sure it's gf that you use)
  2. Cream the butter and the sugar together
  3. Whisk in the eggs, one at a time
  4. Add the lemon juice, zest, vanilla. Mix
  5. In a separate bowl, combine all the dry ingredients
  6. Alternate mixing in the flour and the milk into the batter
  7. Bake in the oven on the middle rack
  8. While baking, mix the remaining lemon juice (1/2 C) and sugar (1/2 C) in a saucepan over med/high heat.
  9. Mix together until sugar is dissolved
  10. Put aside the syrup
  11. Once the cake is ready, remove from the oven and allow to slightly cool. Cover the cake with the syrup.
  12. Top the cake with the glaze from the summary or fresh berries.


About the Author:

A native Texan who, after being diagnosed with food allergies and Celiac Disease in her mid-twenties, wanted to help others who drastically had to change their diets later in life. She now lives in Los Angeles with her husband, where she operates Mary Lee Kitchen.

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