Inside The Gluten Free Kitchen

April 7, 2010

TomatoesHope you had a Happy Easter (and didn’t over indulge too much).

A gluten free diet obviously has various restrictions. That doesn’t mean you have to waste away. Here is a guide for nutritious, safe food preparation and eating:

Vegetables

Vegetables are completely safe. They do not contain gluten. Vegetables are a great natural source of vitamins and minerals. Fresh is always preferable. Also, organically grown vegetables can contain up to six times more vitamins, minerals and antioxidants than conventionally grown produce.

*Note: when buying frozen and tinned vegetables always check the label to ensure gluten has not been added to the processing.

Embrace an array of:

Leafy green vegetables: broccoli, cabbage, endive, kale, bok choy, spinach, spring greens, romaine lettuce and watercress.
Yellow vegetables: carrots, pumpkin, sweet potatoes and squash.
Pulses: chick peas, broad beans and cannelloni beans.
Root vegetables: potatoes, swede and beetroot.
Other vegetables: asparagus, aubergine, green and red peppers, brussels sprouts, cabbage, courgette, cucumbers, mushrooms, okra, onions, radishes and tomatoes.

Grains

People with Celiac Disease often struggle to gain the benefits of whole grains, without compromising their gluten free diet. Here is a list of grain substitutes:

  • Almonds (finely ground)

- Made from blanched, ground almonds

- Used in cakes, desserts and sweat breads

  • Amaranth

- Combine with other flours for added nutrition

- In granular form, add to soups or cook for hot cereal

  • Besan (chickpea/gram flour)

- Popular in middle eastern cooking

- Used as a coating on many deep-fried Indian recipes

- Available in most health food stores

  • Broad Bean Flour

- Not readily available outside of USA

- (May be able to buy online)

  • Buckwheat Flour

- Despite name doesn’t contain wheat

- Unique taste

- Substitute for other types of flours

  • Buckwheat Groats

- Buckwheat seeds that can be steamed (like rice), or a hot cereal

- Can also be milled into flour

  • Buckwheat roasted (kasha)

- Kernels that are good for side dishes and cereals

  • Corn Flour (masa)

- Used in many tortilla recipes

- Buy processed corn flour

- Alternatively use your blender

  • Flaxseed (ground)

- High in fibre, fat and nutrients

- Add small quantities for a nutty flavour

  • Millet

- Purchasable as a seed, dry puffed cereal or flour

- Seeds can be cooked as hot cereal or as a side dish

- Additive to bread for extra crunch

- Available in most health food stores

  • Potato Flour

- Use in bread and pancake recipes

- Thickener for gravies, soups and sauces

  • Quinoa

- Substitute for half of the all-purpose flour in many recipes

- Replace wheat flour in cake and biscuit recipes (and some breads)

- High protein, calcium and iron

  • Rice

- Also available as a flour (white and brown)

- Primary ingredient in gluten-free bread recipes

- Gluten free puffed rice is available

  • Soya Flour

- Made from ground soyabeans

- Slight nutty flavour

- Use in combination with other wheat-flour substitutes

- Used to condition bread dough

- Add 1tbs per 140g of flour for a lighter loaf

  • Tapioca flour

- Starchy, slightly sweet, white flour

- Use to sweeten breads

- Use up to 75g per recipe

  • Teff

- Very fine Ethiopian grain

- Cook to make farina-like cereal

- Ground into flour to make injera: a traditional spongy flat bread

As you can see there are many flavourful and readily available substitutes for gluten free dieters. Not only can you get the nutrition you need from wheat alternatives, but you can broaden your  culinary palette and discover new flavours.

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{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

1 cat@surgical stainless steel cookware June 18, 2010 at 4:25 am

I realized I was allergic to gluten about 3 years ago. It took me over a year to stop eating bread (which I totally love). I’m talking serious bread withdrawls here. But the longer I went without eating any gluten products the better I realized I felt. And the worse I felt when I’d relapse back into eating gluten products. I’m so glad I figured out what was wrong, cuz I had pretty much resigned myself to having constant headaches and being utterly tired all the time.

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