What is Gluten?
Gluten is a type of protein that is normally found in grains like wheat and durum. It is one of the most controversial components of food. The first time gluten came into the limelight was when its adverse effects on people with Celiac disease came to be known.
Eventually it was discovered that most people are at the risk of developing health issues with regular consumption of gluten. While it is largely believed that gluten is only an issue for those who are gluten intolerant, recent research has revealed that gluten can be quite harmful even for those who are not.
Why is Gluten Harmful?
One of the biggest issues with gluten is the inflammation of the gut. There are some components in gluten that will trigger the immune response in your gastro intestinal tract. This causes inflammation even in the GI tract of those who are not gluten intolerant.
This inflammation leads to another issue called intestinal permeability. This means that the filtering mechanism of the intestine and the gut that only lets the nutrients from the digested food into the bloodstream is affected. That way several microorganisms can be released into the blood, causing an auto immune response. Basically, the body begins to fight itself.
There are several other issues related to the gut that can be caused by regular gluten consumption. In addition to all of this, gluten can also affect the brain. Because the autoimmune response is triggered by gluten, it leads to mental fatigue or brain fog. This can in turn increase the risk of diseases like Alzheimer’s in the long run.
Gluten can lead to itchy skin and inflammation of the skin as well. Going gluten free is also extremely beneficial. This is primarily because a diet free from gluten is quite restrictive. You cannot include several foods like bread, pasta or baked products in your diet. That eliminates the consumption of most junk food, automatically leading to heaps of weight loss.
That said, a gluten free diet does not have to be entirely boring. There are several tasty recipes that you can fix even after eliminating gluten from your diet.
Here are 7 Gluten Free Recipes that you should try :
Broccoli Bread: Bread is normally made from wheat flower. What if someone told you that you could replace the wheat with protein powder and vegetables to make a loaf of bread that is just as tasty and satisfying?
- Steamed Broccoli- ½ cup
- Unflavored Whey Protein: ½ cup
- Pea Protein Powder- ½ cup
- Salt: 1 teaspoon
- Egg Whites- ½ cup
- Whole Eggs- 2
- Seasoning of your Choice
- Preheat the oven to 320 degree F.
- Steam the broccoli
- In a bowl, mix the other ingredients together.
- Blend the mixture in a food processor to get a thin dough.
- Transfer this dough to a regular loaf pan and bake for about 40 minutes.
Mac and Cheese with Cauliflower: For anyone whose staple food is mac and cheese, going gluten free can be a nightmare. However, there is one simple way to get the same taste and texture without the issue of loading up on the calories.
- Cauliflower: 4 cups
- Unsweetened almond milk: ½ cup
- Nutritional yeast: 6 tablespoons
- Coconut oil: 1 teaspoon
- Ground mustard: ½ teaspoon
- Garlic powder: ¼ teaspoon
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Ground flaxseed: 1 tablespoon
- Cut the cauliflower florets into small pieces.
- Cook them in a pan till they turn translucent and transfer to a bowl.
- In another bowl mix the almond milk, coconut oil, yeast, mustard, salt and pepper and garlic powder together till they are well combined.
- Pour this mixture over the cauliflower.
- Pre-heat an oven to 350-degree F. Transfer the ingredients onto a large baking dish. Sprinkle some ground flax over it and bake for 15 minutes till the crust is crisp and golden.
Herb and Sweet Potato Meatloaf: It may not seem like meatloaf contains any gluten as it is largely made from meat. However, the breadcrumbs that are used to make this loaf can be a source of gluten. There is a simple way to transform this classic dinner recipe.
- Chopped onion: ½ cup
- Olive oil – 1 lb
- Ground beef- 1 lb
- Large eggs- 2
- Tomato paste- ¼ cup
- Unbalanced Almond Meal: 1 cup+ ¼ cup
- Thyme leaves: ¼ cup
- Chopped basil leaves: ½ cup
- Cinnamon: 2 teaspoons
- Allspice: 1 teaspoon
- Garlic powder: 1 teaspoon
- Salt: ½ teaspoon
- Pepper: ½ teaspoon
- Preheat the oven to 400 degree F
- Prepare a loaf pan by coating the bottom with ¼ cup of almond flour.
- Cook the diced onion in olive oil in a pan for about two minutes till they are translucent.
- Mix the onions and all the other ingredients together in a large bowl.
- Transfer them onto the pan and press it in.
- Wet the fingers and run them over the pressed loaf to prevent cracking.
- Bake for about 45 minutes till the internal temperature drops to 160 degree F.
- Allow it to cool and serve on a platter.
- Babaganoush with baked chicken
- You can make a nice piece of cooked chicken with a simple marinade with seasoning and olive oil. Add to that a tasty eggplant dip and you have a winner.
Babaganoush with Baked Chicken: You can make a nice piece of cooked chicken with a simple marinade with seasoning and olive oil. Add to that a tasty eggplant dip and you have a winner.
- Boneless chicken breast without skin: 4 oz each
- Babaganoush: ½ cup
- Paprika: ¼ teaspoon
- Chopped parsley: ¼ cup
- Preheat the oven to 400 degree F.
- Lay the chicken breast in a large baking dish. Pour the babaganoush over it and even it out with a spoon.
- Bake for half an hour and let it cook well.
- Serve with a garnishing of the remaining ingredients.
Garlic Mint and Pistachio Quinoa Pilaf: A good meat dish is usually a great gluten free option. However, what is challenging is what you serve on the side. With rice and pasta out of the picture, you need a great alternative that will go with the meat.
- Salted, roasted and shelled pistachio: ½ cup
- Olive oil- 2 tablespoon
- Finely chopped red onion- ¼ cup
- Minced garlic cloves: 3
- Pre rinsed quinoa: 1 ½ cups
- Water: 2 ¼ cups
- Chopped mint leaves: 1 ½ cups
- Toast the pistachios lightly in a skillet. When they are fragrant take them off the heat and pour them into the food processor.
- In a pan, heat olive oil and sauté the onions. Add garlic and quinoa when the onions are translucent. Just as the quinoa turns brown, add water and salt. Allow it to simmer for 15-20 minutes.
- When liquid is fully absorbed by the quinoa, remove it from the head. Cover it and allow it to sit.
- Pulse the food processor to chop the pistachio roughly. Then add the mint and continue to process.
- Mix this with the cooked quinoa and serve.
Chia Almond and Honey Granola: A great breakfast goes a long way! If you miss your wholesome bowl of wheat bran or your favorite cereal, here is a great recipe for you. It is power packed and completely gluten free. What’s more is that it doubles as a great dessert too.
- Rolled oats: 2 cups
- Chopped raw almonds: ¾ cup
- Chia Seeds : ½ cup
- Shredded, unsweetened coconut: ½ cup
- Honey: 1/3 cup
- Salt: ½ teaspoon
- Coconut oil: 1 tablespoon
- Vanilla extract: 1 teaspoon
- Egg white: 2 tablespoons
- Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and preheat your oven to 300 degree F.
- In a bowl, mix the chia seeds, almonds, shredded coconut, salt and rolled oats.
- In another bowl, blend in the shredded coconut, coconut oil, honey, vanilla extract and egg whites.
- Mix the wet and dry mixture and spread it out on the baking sheet.
- Bake for about half an hour.
Protein Cookies with Peanut Butter: Cookies are everyone’s go to snack. But, without flour, baking your favorite batch of cookies can be a challenge. However, you do have great gluten free options like this one that will help you get a good dose of nutrients and keep you healthy.
- All natural peanut butter: 1 cup
- Large egg: 1
- Egg white: 1
- Unsweetened applesauce: 2 tablespoons
- Vanilla whey protein: 1 scoop
- Rolled oats: 1 cup
- Baking stevia: ½ cup
- Baking soda: 1 teaspoon
- A pinch of salt
- Chocolate chips: 2 tablespoons
- Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or grease it with coconut oil lightly.
- Preheat the oven to 350 degree F.
- Beat the egg and the egg whites in a medium sized bowl and mix in the applesauce and peanut butter.
- In another bowl, mix the protein powder, rolled oats, baking soda, rolled oats and salt.
- Mix the wet and dry ingredients together.
- Pour in the chocolate chips and fold them in gently.
- Wet your hands and break the dough. Flatten each piece out on the baking sheet in the shape of a cookie.
- Bake for ten minutes. Allow the cookies to cool and then serve.
With these recipes, you not only have healthy alternatives but extremely tasty ones at that. It is sure to help you keep your healthy lifestyle up and reap the benefits in the long run.