A gluten free diet is essential if you have gluten intolerance. There are dozens of symptoms which might weaken your health and take the pleasure out of life. All these will gradually disappear when you take gluten out of your diet.
At first, changing to gluten free food may seem to be restrictive – there are so many things you can’t eat, so many everyday foods you have to give up. You probably hate the thought of giving up bread. I did. So I looked around at the alternatives to wheat flour and found that there are lots of flours without gluten. Natural flours, not wheat flour with the gluten taken out.
I discovered buckwheat, rice flour, gram flour and others, each with their own distinctive taste. With these, you can enjoy the benefits of giving up bread, without giving up bread! I soon learnt how to make soda bread from these flours – no gluten, and no yeast either!
Actually, on a gluten free diet, you might eat a much wider range of foods than you did before.
Gluten intolerance can also make you very aware of just how much what you eat affects your health, both day-to-day and long-term.
So you’ll benefit three ways from going gluten free:
your health will improve when you’re no longer eating stuff your body can’t digest.
you’ll discover many healthy foods you didn’t know before.
your health will continue to get better as you become more aware of the effect of everything you eat.
So, what foods will you eat when you give up bread, biscuits, pasta, pastries, and pizza?
I’ve found some answers over the years, and put them in a gluten free recipe guide to help you solve this problem.
You can still eat bread, cookies, pasta, pastries, pizza – but gluten free versions. You can actually buy gluten free versions of all these, but mostly what you make yourself is much better – tastier, fresher, healthier.
Most people don’t make their own pasta. Pasta lovers on a gluten free diet can buy very good pastas made from buckwheat, corn or rice. Health food stores and some supermarkets stock these.
For breads, pastries and cookies, I have experimented with all sorts of different flours. As well as the corn, buckwheat and rice flours used to make pasta, you can buy or make flours from other grains, from nuts and seeds, from pulses – and from vegetables.
Potato flour is used a lot in commercial gluten free products, but this wasn’t an option for me, as I had to give up potato as well as wheat. Cassava is another vegetable used to make flour (Tapioca is made from this.) Kuzu is another, though as this is expensive it’s mainly used for thickening sauces.
Gram flour is an example of flour made from a pulse – it’s made from a type of garbanzo bean (chick pea). It’s used a lot in Indian cooking.
Each of these flours have their full complement of natural health vitamins Their different qualities make them suitable for making different dishes. Try this gluten-free version of Tabouleh salad.
It’s not just baked foods that you need to consider on a gluten free diet. Gluten from wheat, rye, barley and oats is found in all sorts of foods. Many processed foods use wheat flour as a thickener. Going gluten free means reading food labels very carefully, and being strict with yourself about sticking to the diet. You’ll read all about this in my gluten free cook book.
A gluten free diet doesn’t mean giving up delicious food – you’ll just have different, delicious food.