Gluten-free lifestyle part 1: 7 Magic GLUTEN FREE Ingredients for Cakes and Breads

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More than 2 million people in the United States have been diagnosed with Celiac Disease, or about 1 in 133 people.

However, medical experts largely agree that there is a condition related to gluten other than celiac. In 2011 a panel of celiac experts convened in Oslo and settled on a medical term: non-celiac gluten sensitivity. The definition is less a diagnosis than a description — someone who does not have celiac, but whose health improves on a gluten-free diet and worsens again if gluten is eaten. There is no official number how many people would fall into this category, but it can be assumed we speak about 15 million people.

No wonder, that “Gluten-Free” became a “new trend” in the healthy food industry and beyond: from restaurant menus to supermarket shelves, more choices are available for people who are sensitive to gluten.  Still there are a lot of misunderstandings, please check out my blog:

Allergy, Sensitivity, Intolerance – what’s the difference?

In respect to the National Celiac Awareness this month, we chose ingredients in our raw recipes which can become basics in a gluten-free kitchen, if you have not yet watched the video featuring Diana Stobo and her creation of a delicious HONEY ALMOND BREAD, please check it out.gluten free almond bread

Here are our favorite gluten-free ingredients which will excite your taste buds and can substitute flour and starches:

  1. Almond Flour: Almond flour is made from raw skinless blanched almonds that have been finely ground. Almond flour is the most elegant gluten-free substitute in baking products such as cookies, cakes and pastries, and in other recipes that call for wheat flour. Almond flour is nutrient rich and well-suited for carbohydrate-restricted diets. A 1/4 cup serving of almond flour contains 160 calories, 6 grams of protein, 14 grams of fat (1 gram saturated fat) and 6 grams of carbohydrates, of which 3 grams are fiber. Also rich in: Vitamin E, Calcium, Magnesium and Copper.
  2. Chia Seeds: 
    Chia seeds are not only deliciously yummy in shakes, they are an excellent source of calcium, phosphorus, magnesium, potassium, iron, zinc, & copper. In fact, they contain 6 times more calcium, 11 times more phosphorus, and 4.6 times more potassium per 100g of edible portion than cows milk, and have 6 times more iron per 100g of edible portion than spinach and 2.4 times more iron than beef liver. To this, add a high quality vegan protein (like a nutmilk), and you have a very nourishing snack indeed!
    read more….
  3. Mesquite Flour:
    Mesquite trees are growing in the dry and desert areas of the US, Mexico and South America. Indigenous people have used leaves, pod, seed, bark for daily food, medicine and tools. Mesquite flour refers to the ground pod, which is sweet and nourishing, you can replace 1/3 of wheat flour with Mesquite in baked goods. Mesquite flour is not only delicious, but it is rich in galactomannans (soluble fibers) and is an excellent source of calcium and magnesium. Mesquite flour is naturally gluten free, and as a leguminous flour it is higher in protein than most conventional grain flours.mesquite
  4. Chufa, Tiger Nut flour:
    Traditionally used in Spanish Cuisine, Chufa or Tiger nut, also called “Earth almond” have become well established in Europe’s health food stores, they are high in protein, sweet and satisfying, they can be consumed by people with allergies, candida, diabetes, high cholesterol, and are a flour substitute in the gluten free diet. Chufa meal tastes very much like almonds or hazelnuts. According to the Regulating Council of Denomination of Origin “Chufa de Valencia”, they are high in unsaturated fatty acids, minerals and fiber. Tiger nuts are about 25% fat, 30% fiber, 7% protein, Vitamin E and Enzymes.
  5. Buckwheat:
    While many people think that buckwheat is a grain (no, it has nothing to do with wheat!), it is actually a fruit seed that is related to rhubarb and sorrel making it a substitute for grains for people who are sensitive to grains that contain protein gluten.  Buckwheat is a meal by itself: energizing and nutritious, and can be served as an alternative to rice or made into porridge. Buckwheat balances the blood sugar, and is also high in Manganese, Magnesium, Copper and what I love about it most: high in Tryptophan.
  6. Chestnut Flour: 
    Generally sourced in Italy, this all natural gluten-free chestnut flour is perfect for cooking or baking. Chestnut flour is a great alternative to wheat based flour in any recipe.  It is lighter than almond flour and great for people who need to avoid nuts. http://www.wisegeek.com/what-is-chestnut-flour.htm
  7. Cassava or Maniokcasabe
    Although cassava flour and tapioca flour are both made from the cassava plant, cassava flour is made from the root, while tapioca flour is made from the starch. Cassava is gluten-free and can be an appropriate baking ingredient for those with celiac disease. Cassava or Casabe, is traditionally daily bread in Venezuela, Colombia and Guyana — mostly the tropical areas and the amazon. The very thin crisp bread is traditionally baked on open fire into large wheels, feeding a complete family, is an amazing high fiber, very healthy alternative to western bread. You can find it in ethnic south american stores. Please check out this very easy home made recipe i found on youtube: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BwXAHgxYUh4

You might be interested to continue reading:

What to eat/what to avoid in the gluten free diet

Long term effects — what happens if gluten sensitivity is not recognized?

Links:

http://www.celiaccentral.org/

http://www.celiac.com

http://digestive.niddk.nih.gov/ddiseases/pubs/celiac/#what

http://well.blogs.nytimes.com/2011/06/01/guide-to-a-gluten-free-kitchen/

http://gut.bmj.com/content/62/1/43.full.pdf+html

http://www.glutenfreeliving.com/index.php

http://www.csaceliacs.info/celiac_awareness_day.jsp

Disclaimer: The statements made on this blog have not been evaluated by the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent disease. All information provided on this blog is not intended as a substitute for advice from your physician or other health care professional. You should not use the information on this blog for diagnosis or treatment of any health problem. Always consult with a healthcare professional before starting any new vitamins, supplements, diet, or exercise program, before taking any medication, or if you have or suspect you might have a health problem. 

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