Being told you have to eat gluten free isn’t really the nicest feeling in the world. After all, it’s difficult picturing a world without freshly baked bread, cakes, cookies…and pretty much everything you consider holy in the food world. Is it really possible to make these drastic changes to your diet AND enjoy it? Let’s take a look at the world of eating gluten-free.
What does eating gluten-free mean?
Gluten is a substance present in cereal grains such as wheat, rye and barley. Gluten is responsible for the elastic texture of dough. While it’s quite obvious that a gluten free diet entails avoiding wheat, rye and barley, the challenge lies in avoiding the less obvious foods that might contain gluten. Some wheat products that you might not be aware of and must avoid are:
- Durum flour (used to make pastas)
- Graham flour (used to make bread and cookies)
Foods to avoid, unless labeled ‘gluten-free’:
- Soy sauce (sauces in general)
- Salad dressings
- Pastas, bread, cakes and cookies
What CAN you eat on a gluten free diet?
On a gluten-free diet, you’re allowed fresh eggs and meats, fruits and vegetables, beans, nuts and seeds along with most dairy products. Not bad at all, if you think about it. Among the starches and grains you’re allowed are:
- Corn and cornmeal
- Gluten-free flours (potato, bean, corn, soy, coconut, almond, rice)
So how do you enjoy your gluten free meals?
You might think that eating gluten free means saying goodbye to foods you once loved. You can still eat the foods you loved…just with different constituents. Besides, what makes a good dish? Innovation and creativity. And with the right ingredients, you can make just about anything you love eating.
Pizza? Not a problem! Nothing some gluten free substitutes can’t fix. In fact, a quick Google search will yield dozens of different gluten free pizza crust recipes. Some using tapioca and potato starch, along with sorghum and brown rice flour. Others using store bought gluten-free flour mixes. In fact, those on a diet can even make a low carb pizza crust using almond flour!
Bread, pasta, cakes and cookies? Most definitely! You can choose make your own gluten free bread (using xantham gum, tapioca flour, rice flour and other gluten free foods) or you could just buy it from online stores or from your local grocery. Make it to check the label to make sure it’s gluten free. Pasta, cakes and cookies can be store bought (if you’re hard pressed for time or just plain lazy!) or you can experiment with the recipes you find online.
Truth be told, eating gluten free takes some getting used to. But, the point is to find a recipe that works for you. Your initial results might not be what you expect, or they might far exceed your expectations. A little experimentation never hurt anybody!
Author Bio- Karen is a housewife who loves to clean, cook and keep the house in order. Ever since she found her child is exhibiting gluten sensitivity symptoms, she started researching for more information and possible treatment options. She has also gone through a number of research studies related gluten free products online. Karen shares her knowledge by writing about gluten free foods.