I get a lot of questions at work on alternatives to gluten and I want to touch on this topic here. Gluten is a protein found in wheat, rye and barley, which acts as a “glue” to help food keep its shape. It is found in the obvious foods such as bread, crackers, pastas, pastries, baked goods and it is also hidden in a lot of processed foods.
In deciding to go gluten-free (which I highly recommend), it is important to do your meal planning before heading to the grocery store. Planning meals for the week ahead makes it a lot easier to keep gluten out of your daily regimen. It may feel like a huge task and sacrifice at first but I can honestly say that once it becomes your new way of eating, it isn’t hard at all. For me, there is one exception…cake. What is it with girls and cake anyway? I am thankful for my new friend, Caitlin Golden and her Buff Cakes company as all her products are gluten-free and taste amazing!
First of all, fresh meat, vegetables and fruit are ALL gluten-free! Keep in mind, that not all spices are gluten free (Cowhorn Pepper Company carries great spices that are gluten-free and originated in Nebraska by a good friend of mine) so buy your meat without spices and add your own! If you love to bake, there are many flours to choose from, one of my favorites is Bob’s Red Mill gluten-free baking flour, it is a blend of different flours and I find it more cost effective than buying a couple of different kinds. Almond flour, Rice flour, Coconut flour, buckwheat flour and chickpea flour are all good options. I think the key is experimentation. I love the taste of coconut so that is usually my “go-to”.
When it comes to gluten-free bread, I usually stick to Udi’s. I don’t remember the last time I ate bread so I wouldn’t take the time to make my own, but if you eat it regularly, I encourage you to make it at home. If anyone has a good gluten-free recipe that you would like to share, please do!! Keep in mind that gluten helps food take on its shape so you will find Udi’s bread in the freezer section. I also don’t usually advise eating gluten-free bread without toasting it as it falls apart easier and has a grainier texture. Toast it lightly, spread with a little coconut butter or soy-free Vegannaise, avocado slices and a little Cowhorn Chef’s Blend spice (or whatever gluten-free spice you love) and another breakfast or lunch option is created! Another one of my favorites is the following recipe for pancakes. If you are short on time, Pamela’s gluten-free pancake mix is also awesome.
• ½ gluten free flour (I use Bob’s Red Mill)
• ¼ tsp xantham gum
• ½ cup gluten-free oats
• 1 Tbsp raw sugar
• 1 tsp baking powder
• ½ tsp baking soda
• ½ tsp salt
• ¾ cup coconut or rice milk
• 1 tsp vanilla extract
• 2 Tbsp grapeseed or coconut oil (liquid)
• 1 egg
Blend all ingredients in a food processor!
Keep in mind that a trip down the gluten-free grocery isle can be the equivalent of cruising down the boxed cereal isle. Many of these food options are still highly processed and can still be inflammatory for our body. Keep these to a minimum, special occasions, etc. Real food creates healthy bodies!
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Hi, I'm Dr. Heidi!
A mom of 3, pediatric chiropractor, natural remedy guru and wellness educator.
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