Have you been recently diagnosed with celiac disease? Does your doctor suspect you have gluten intolerance and has recommended gluten free recipes
to tamp down inflammation? Whatever the reason, if you are preparing to embark on a gluten free diet, you are not alone.
If you are worried that your taste buds will suffer on this new diet, set your mind at ease. You can enjoy a wide variety of delectable dishes that will become family favorites before you know it. Keep reading to learn all about gluten free cooking, its key benefits, and access five incredible gluten free recipes you will want to try right away.
What Is Gluten Free Cooking?
Before diving into our gluten free recipes, it is important to go over what gluten is so you can avoid any hidden sources of it in your diet. Gluten is a type of protein in grains like rye, barley, wheat, and triticale. Gluten is the “glue”, so to speak, that binds foods like pasta, bread, and cereal together and helps them keep their shape.
If you have celiac disease, you must stay away from gluten in all its forms. Individuals with gluten intolerance may not have as averse a reaction to gluten as celiacs, but might feel best eating gluten free recipes. Others choose gluten free recipes as a way to attain better health or achieve weight loss goals.
If you have not been ordered by your doctor to go on a gluten free diet for a preexisting medical condition, speak with your physician before cutting out gluten entirely. Adhering strictly to gluten free recipes if you do not have celiac disease or severe gluten intolerance could lead to a lack of fiber in your diet and nutritional deficiencies.
Gluten Free Diet Overview
With gluten free cooking, regular flours, starches, and whole grains are not allowed. This means the diet bans grains like rye, wheat, and barley. You should not eat breads, cereals, desserts, pies, pasta, and cakes with grains containing gluten.
There are many foods that could pose “hidden” sources of gluten, like certain candies, beer, soups, sauce mixes, and processed meats. You should avoid even malt derivatives and soy sauces.
This begs the question, what is allowed? Well, many of your favorite baked recipes can be substituted with gluten free grains. Rice, quinoa, millet, buckwheat, sorghum, and amaranth are all excellent choices. Nut flours are great options for baking, including pecan, hazelnut, coconut, and almond meal.
One thing to note about gluten free flours when baking is they must be mixed to attain a similar quality to that of regular flour. If you do not feel like mixing flours on your own to attain that binding consistency, consider purchasing gluten free flour mixes that do the work for you.
Do not limit yourself to gluten free substitutes alone. So many wonderful foods are naturally gluten free. Unprocessed eggs, fish, poultry, meat, fruits, and vegetables are all safe for gluten free recipes. Focusing on whole foods rich with vitamins and minerals will ensure you receive adequate nutrition on a gluten free diet.
Can A Gluten Free Diet Benefit You?
If you have been diagnosed with celiac disease, eating gluten free recipes is essential for your health and wellbeing. Studies have shown that 1 out of every 33 individuals in the U.S. have the disease. Celiac disease occurs when the body has an autoimmune reaction to gluten, instigating an attack on the sensitive lining of your small intestine.
When this occurs, your body cannot receive proper nutrition in the bloodstream, causing problems like stunted growth, weight loss, anemia, and other conditions. Individuals with celiac disease that ignore the diagnosis and continue to eat gluten may face additional complications down the line, like infertility, osteoporosis, and multiple sclerosis, to name a few.
The only method of treating celiac disease is a 100% gluten free diet. Besides this, if you are experiencing symptoms like digestive upset that often accompany celiac disease, notice a discernable improvement upon consistently implementing gluten free recipes.
Eating gluten free recipes has become increasingly popular in recent years among non-celiacs. This is probably caused by several factors. For one, the public sees eating gluten-free as a healthier choice that may ease digestive issues.
Another reason is because gluten free products are sold everywhere and are ready accessible. There are growing quantities of individuals who have been identified as having a gluten sensitivity. Whether self-diagnosed or upon the advice of a physician, reducing or eliminating gluten may ease symptoms considerably.
Gluten may alter gut microbiome and be linked to intestinal disorders like irritable bowel syndrome. Symptoms like headaches, foggy brain, fatigue, diarrhea, and gas are also commonly reported.
Even if you are not a celiac, cutting out gluten and switching to gluten free recipes could lessen or remove your symptoms. Speak with your doctor if you have questions to determine the dietary approach best for you.
5 Great Gluten Free Recipes
Tilapia With Parmesan Crust
The first of our gluten free recipes is quick and easy to make, and should take about 30 minutes from start to finish. It is perfect for a family dinner or you could make it at the beginning of the week to meal prep for work lunches.
Start by preheating your oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Spray a baking sheet with non-stick cooking spray until it is coated fully.
Next, put the tilapia on the baking sheet, laying them neatly so they do not touch. Sprinkle with lemon juice and bake for 10-15 minutes.
Mix the rest of your ingredients in a bowl. Once the fish has flaked slightly, take it out of the oven. Spoon the mixture from the bowl onto the fish and spread evenly.
Now, put the fish back in the oven and bake for 5 more minutes. You will know the fish is done when it is crispy and brown and flakes against a fork.
Cheesy Tuna Casserole
Next on our list of gluten free recipes is this delectable cheesy tuna casserole. If you were afraid that cheesy, pasta loaded goodness was off the menu with gluten free recipes, think again. This casserole will have you coming back for seconds and thirds.
Begin by preheating your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Cook the cream of celery soup and gluten-free pasta according to package instructions.
Sauté the chopped onion with butter in a pan until it becomes clear and translucent. Take a large bowl and pour the soup and milk in. Next, mix in the sautéed onion, cheese, and tuna.
Drain the gluten free pasta and stir it into the mixture. Make sure all ingredients are combined thoroughly. Pour the pasta mixture into a baking dish. Bake for 10 to 15 minutes until the cheese is bubbling and golden brown.
French Bread Pizza
Besides pasta, the other dish you might worry you will miss out on with gluten free recipes is pizza. Here we have a quick and easy French bread pizza with gluten free bread, containing all the cheese and dough your heart could desire.
Cook the lean ground beef on a skillet over medium heat until all the pink is gone. Mix in the sauce and oregano and allow the mixture to simmer for 5 minutes.
Slice the French bread in half length-wise, then slice in half again until you have open-faced slices of bread. Top each slice with the beef mixture, cheese, pepperoni, olives, and onion.
Wrap each individual slice in foil and grill for 5-10 minutes. You will know the open-faced pizzas are done when the cheese has melted and the bread is nice and toasted.
Whether it is a lazy Saturday or a slow weekday morning, no list of gluten free recipes would be complete without pancakes. Cook them for the whole family or have extra on hand to eat later. This recipe makes about 18 pancakes.
Mix all the dry ingredients in a bowl. Take a second bowl and whisk the wet ingredients together. Combine the wet and dry ingredients and blend fully with the whisk.
Next, spray a large skillet with non-stick spray and heat on medium. Pour 1/4 cup quantities of batter into the skillet. Once the pancakes bubble on one side, flip them over to cook on the other.
You will know each pancake is ready when both sides are a nice golden brown. Keep it simple and enjoy your pancakes with butter and syrup, or top with fruit, chocolate chips, or any other topping you prefer.
Blueberry Breakfast Cookie
The final selection we made for our gluten free recipes is a healthy breakfast cookie you can enjoy on the go. Using whole food ingredients like oats and coconut flakes, this recipe is as nutritious as it is tasty.
Start by preheating your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Take a baking sheet and line it with parchment paper.
In a large bowl, mix the gluten-free oat flour, gluten-free oats, coconut flakes, chia seeds, pecans, walnuts, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt.
Use a small bowl to make the flax eggs in. To make both eggs, take 2 tbsp of ground flax and combine with 6 tbsp of water. Stir the mixture until it thickens.
Next, add the vanilla extract, coconut oil, almond butter, and maple syrup to your flax eggs. Stir until everything is combined thoroughly.
Add the wet mixture to your dry flour mixture and combine with a spatula. Finally, mix in the dry blueberries.
Take handfuls of dough, shape into 1 1/2-inch balls, and lay on the lined baking sheet. Bake the breakfast cookies for 15-17 minutes. Allow them to cool before serving and eating.
Ready to roll up your sleeves and make these delicious gluten free recipes? With a little creativity and a few extra ingredients in your pantry's arsenal, gluten free cooking can be more gourmet and delicious than ever.