It is well known that gluten is a bit hard on the stomach for some people. Many people comment that their bloating and digestion improves after going gluten free. We also hear interesting feedback that some people feel they can think more clearly when off gluten. Gluten is a range of proteins in grains; wheat, rye, barley and oats. To be gluten-free it means not eating any of these grains.
For some the symptoms are strong enough that going gluten free is their long-term choice.
And of course there are people with coeliac disease (common symptoms being fatigue, digestive problems, iron deficiency) who need to avoid gluten altogether.
A third group is people who are cutting down on these common grains, realising that we can easily eat too much of the same foods day in and day out, and are looking to add variety and nutrition to their diets. Going gluten-free can mean eating more wholefoods like vegetables, fruits, nuts and seeds.
We are fortunate to have an awesome array of options for gluten free eating. Here are some of my current favourites:
Buckwheat kernel breakfast
Buy organic raw buckwheat. Place 1 cup of buckwheat in a saucepan. Add 2 cups water and soak overnight (or at least an hour). Add a tablespoon of chia seeds as an optional extra.
In the morning, top up with a little water and simmer buckwheat for 5 approximately minutes. Add some coconut milk for creaminess and honey or maple syrup if a touch of sweetness is desired.
Turn off heat, add fresh fruit to serve.
Nut meal cookies
Instead of wheat flour in baking recipes, ground almonds or other nuts, are a delicious gluten free option. Nut meal can be used in most recipes where you would normally use regular flour, whether it’s to crumb fish fillets, in baking cookies or to make a decadent flourless chocolate cake.
Many schools have a nut-free policy. This is where I look to ground sunflower seeds instead of nut meal. There is still buckwheat flour and rice flour in your gluten free repertoire too. You can make great gluten-free gingerbread men!
Not just any pizza, but one that took years of experimentation! Ardor Food Co.’s Vince Lotito has created gluten free pizza bases that are sold in freezer packs of 4 balls of dough. This means gluten-free fans can pull a ball of dough out of their fridge, stretch it over a pizza tray, load with herbs, tomato paste, vegetables and other toppings and enjoy an amazing gluten free pizza with ease. Ardor did an instore tasting at Aunt Maggies just recently and the response has been overwhelming from staff and customers, it was truly delicious.
One less hurdle to enjoy eating gluten free!