Contributing Author: Article By Katherine Oosthuis
Have you been advised or decided that you should eat a gluten free diet? It’s not an impossible task! With a little knowledge and an open mind to the gluten free foods available, living gluten free can be enjoyable and rewarding.
It has become increasingly common to meet people that avoid or totally eliminated gluten from their diets. Many of them experience a sensitivity to gluten or suffer from coeliac disease. If they do eat food that contains gluten, they can suffer from a variety of symptoms that include bloating, weight gain or loss, stomach problems, stomach pain and nausea. The only way to get rid of these symptoms or cure the problem, is to totally remove gluten from their diets. A “gluten detox” so to speak.
Remember that a sensitivity to gluten or any other substance may have an effect on the body, but it doesn’t necessarily need medical treatment or become life-threatening. A food intolerance however, may lead to severe reactions or effects that require medical attention.
Gluten is one of the proteins found in varying levels in wheat, rye, barley and some other grains. It gives a doughy or elastic consistency to flours that are made from grains containing gluten. This traps air in the product and allows it to rise. As a result, we use these grains extensively in breads and other baked goods. It is also used in many processed or manufactured foods, where flour is often added as a thickening agent or filler. So your first step to living gluten-free is to start reading product labels! Get to know which ingredients contain gluten so you can avoid them.
Going “gluten free” or “life without gluten” can be quite a lifestyle change so here are a few tips to help you.
Instead of focusing on what you can’t eat, focus on what you can eat such as naturally gluten-free foods like meats, vegetables, fruits, nuts and pulses.
Many health stores, supermarkets and large pharmacies now stock gluten-free products including ready mixed bread, cakes, pancakes and muffins. Gluten-free flours and pastas also easier to find nowadays.
Good health stores should also stock gluten-free self raising flour, gluten substitutes and xanthan gum. The last two products are used to imitate and substitute gluten in baking, making the end result less crumbly.
Some processed and specially manufactured premixed gluten-free products like bread mixes can become quite expensive, so rather find a store where you can buy the products and make up your own bread mixes.
For gluten-free recipes, find a good gluten-free cookbook or search the Internet, there are many gluten-free websites and excellent food websites that provide gluten-free recipes these can also give you ideas to help you develop your own style of gluten-free cooking.
You will learn tricks like when baking, flour is often substituted with polenta, ground almonds, mashed potato or even mashed sweet potatoes.
The key is not to become obsessed with what you’re missing out on, but rather to focus on all the new food and interesting flavours you can explore and add to diet.
Some people who struggle to lose weight may benefit from a gluten free diet and limiting gluten in your diet is something that could benefit many of us. The total removal of gluten from your diet could lead to deficiencies in certain micro-nutrients, so consult a doctor if you are experiencing any symptoms that you think may be caused by gluten intolerance. It is also recommended that you see a dietitian before embarking on a total gluten free diet and lifestyle.
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For more information on health related matters visit Detox For Life. It was born out of a woman’s concern for her family’s well-being and health. You are invited to enjoy and benefit from the wealth of articles and information on all aspect of health managed and updated here by Katherine Oosthuis.
One of the challenges when eating gluten free is having enough food choices that make eating pleasurable.
Potatoes are a wonderfully flexible food to include in a GF diet. Yes, potatoes are gluten free, but you must be cautious.
3 Reasons Potatoes Are a Great Choice for GF Diets + Why You Should Be Cautious
1. Ease of Preparation
Potatoes are simple to prepare, unlike other GF starchy carbohydrate sources which often require special preparation to create a pleasing taste.
Simply peel the potatoes, if you like, then slice them up if appropriate and cook them in the way that you like: boil, steam, bake, slow cook, fry, microwave, sous-vide, BBQ… potatoes can be delicious when cooked in every way imaginable.
2. Highly Digestible
The skin of a potato is the only part that commonly causes digestive distress.
While the skin has trace nutrients and fiber, the majority of the nutrient content in a potato is in the flesh, so don’t worry about discarding the skin, you can get your fiber in other ways.
Given that people with gluten issues often have a problem with digestion in one way or another, the more easily digestible a food is, the better.
Potatoes contain decent amounts of minerals, easily digested carbohydrate and complete protein. Yes, complete! That means that, unlike most plant foods, potatoes contain the 9 essential amino acids that the body needs.
The protein level is not high per potato, but it can still be a positive contribution to daily protein intake, particularly if potatoes are favored over other carbohydrate sources that don’t contain complete protein.
Potatoes in their whole form are gluten free, but watch out with processed foods that are potato based, including potato chips. Be sure to check labels for gluten ingredients and any warnings about possible cross-contamination with gluten foods in the factory they are processed in. Write/call manufacturers if in doubt, and also be careful when buying prepared potato dishes from delis and restaurants. Always ask to verify that a dish is truly gluten free.
Finding ideas for yummy gluten free snacks can be a bit of a task, especially when you are new to the gluten free lifestyle. Or, perhaps you’ve got into your rhythm of gluten free snacks and meals and now looking for some new ideas?
Either way, here is a list below of seventeen gluten free snack ideas you can add to your culinary repertoire:
1. Fruche (Most varieties)
2. Le Rice (Most varieties)
3. Cheese and Rice crackers*
4. Fresh fruit
5. Gluten free muesli bar
6. Beef jerky (home-made)
7. Small can of baked beans* (check label)
8. Small tin of tuna in spring water (most flavoured varieties contain wheat flour)
9. Rice cakes* with cream cheese and jam; peanut butter; butter & honey
10. Gluten free muffin – home-made and freeze: defrosts in a minute! Many stores now provide gluten free muffins.
11. Sushi – without the soy sauce. Avoid the teriyaki chicken, crab sticks (imitation, and contain wheat flour) and marinated meats. Go for salmon, tuna, avocado, egg.
12. Small dip* (check label. Many varieties are gluten free) with rice crackers*
13. Hard-boiled egg
14. Vegetable crudités with cottage cheese
15. Plain nacho chips* with salsa*
16. Fresh fruit smoothie
17. Banana milkshake, try adding mango, plain yoghurt or vanilla ice cream*
‘*’ denotes beware; check the ingredients label
• Rice crackers are not necessarily gluten free. Many contain wheat or barley in the flavouring. Be sure to read the ingredients label. If in doubt, search for the packets which state “Gluten Free”.
• Try the flavoured (gluten free) rice crackers for dips
• The ‘sea salt’ and ‘cracked pepper’ (SA-KA-TA) are delicious with cheese
• Rice cakes may contain gluten within the product, such as barley or may be made on shared equipment with other foods containing gluten. Check the label.
• There are many varieties of nacho chips on the market. Guaranteed that most of the flavourings will contain gluten (unless specified ‘gluten free’) Go for plain nacho chips or corn chips.
• Many varieties of ice cream are gluten free. If in doubt go for plain. ALWAYS check the ingredients label. Note: sorbet’s can often contain wheat.
DISCLAIMER: The information and advice contained on this post is intended as a general guide to a wheat and gluten free diet and are not specific to the individuals or their particular circumstances. Neither the author nor the publisher can be held responsible for claims arising from the inappropriate use or misuse of the recommendations in the publication or the failure to obtain or take appropriate medical advice.
Coming into the holidays, it is often a bit of a baffle for family and friends to know what to prepare or cook for their loved ones who are gluten intolerant.
Heck, it’s often a bit baffling and confusing to the gluten intolerant also, especially if you are newly diagnosed with coeliac disease or gluten intolerance, and just now making the shift to a gluten free diet lifestyle.
So to help you, we’ve listed some gluten free party food ideas for you to serve up at home, with friends, at a party, or even as snacks or light meals.
Cheese* and fruit platter with rice crackers*
Antipasto platter – mixed marinated vegetables, olives (beware of some varieties of stuffed olives), dolminades
Vegetable crudités and plain nacho chips* with a salsa dip* – Pour 200g Dorritos salsa premix into a small bowl. Add a good dollop of light sour cream, some finely diced avocado and small finely diced spring onions. Delicious!
Garlic Banana or King Prawns (with garlic and butter) on the BBQ hot plate*
Mini baked jacket potatoes eg. with sour cream and chives; or cheese, bacon and sun-dried tomatoes.
Kebabs – beef, red onion and capsicum; mixed vegetables; chicken and lime wedges
Mini frittatas – use gluten free flour and make in patty pan tins.
Mini rice cake* pizzas
Nachos* – spread with cheddar cheese, sour cream, avocado, tomato, red onion and spring onions
Fruit kebabs – chunks of watermelon, rockmelon, honey dew melon, strawberries and pineapple
Mini pavlovas* – dressed with cream, fresh fruit and drizzled with passion fruit pulp or syrup
Rice cakes may contain gluten within the product, such as barley or may be made on shared equipment with other foods containing gluten. Check the label.
Cheese is usually gluten free. Please check the label as some varieties, particularly creamed cheeses with added ingredients can possibly contain gluten.
Check the hotplate is clean and free of marinade. If in doubt, cover BBQ hotplate with alfoil or hotplate food cover to protect against cross-contamination
Rice crackers are not necessarily gluten free. Many contain wheat or barley in the flavouring. Be sure to read the ingredients label. If in doubt, search for the packets which state “Gluten Free”. My preferred brand is SA-KA-TA.
Try the flavoured rice crackers for dips
The ‘sea salt’ and ‘cracked pepper’ (SA-KA-TA) are delicious with cheese
There are many varieties of nacho and corn chips on the market. Go for plain, unless the packet specifies “Gluten Free”.
Check the packet label for pre-purchased pavlovas. Beware of icing mixture/sugar. Use PURE 100% icing sugar or gluten free icing mixture
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DISCLAIMER: The information and advice contained in this article for gluten free party food ideas is intended as a general guide to a wheat and gluten free diet and are not specific to the individuals or their particular circumstances.
Neither the author nor the publisher can be held responsible for claims arising from the inappropriate use or misuse of the recommendations in the publication or the failure to obtain or take appropriate medical advice.
Please always read product ingredient labels and consult with your medical adviser before consuming any food suggested within this article.