First steps to going gluten-free
by Alinda Boyd, Naturopath
Flannerys Organic & Wholefood Market, Robina
So you’ve just been diagnosed with gluten intolerance, coeliac disease or have simply chosen gluten-free for health reasons – what now, what’s the next step? It can seem daunting and overwhelming when first beginning on your gluten-free journey, but rest assured there’s an ever growing variety of gluten-free options for all your breakfast, lunch and dinners, and everything in between.
Become a label super-sleuth
While most people associate gluten with bread and pasta, it is actually a sneaky little protein molecule, turning up in sauces, soups, salad dressings, beer and even ice cream. By learning to read food labels and spotting gluten-containing ingredients, you’ll be on your first steps to enjoying a gluten-free diet and its associated health benefits. Gluten is found in the grains wheat, spelt, kamut, rye, barley, and triticale, but may be a hidden ingredient in a wide variety of foods. For a comprehensive list of gluten-containing foods chat with your local Flannerys staff.
One of the most common questions encountered when people are starting a gluten-free diet is “can I still eat bread?” Yes you can – but it’s probably not the bread that you are used to. Stick to those breads labelled gluten-free or paleo (paleo breads are gluten-free but always check the label). Some of our favourite gluten-free breads at Flannerys include the Venerdi paleo range (they do a delicious paleo gluten-free banana bread too), Britt’s Bakery’s gluten-free range, Vitality Bakehouse, and a new addition to selected Flannerys – Almond Road Bakery gluten-free and paleo ranges.
With Easter just around the corner you’ll be happy to know there’s a wide range of gluten-free hot cross buns now available in store.
Pasta, Rice and other alternatives
So traditional wheat pasta is out on a gluten-free diet – but what is allowed? The list of gluten-free alternatives is (almost) endless with brands such as Casalare, Orgran and Explore Cuisine providing a huge range of gluten-free pasta alternatives. People are often happy to learn that rice is gluten-free, and there exists a huge variety of rices including brown, black, red and green rice – check out the Forbidden Foods range for some ideas. Other gluten-free meal accompaniments include quinoa, kelp noodles, millet, amaranth, zoodles (zucchini noodles) and cauliflower rice.
Look for paleo-based snacks such as the Blue Dinosaur bar range – they are both gluten and grain free. Don’t forget nature’s humble snacks – nuts, seeds, fruit and veggie sticks – all simple and healthy gluten-free snacks.
Sauces and condiments
Sauces and condiments such as soy sauce, gravies, curry and stir fry sauces often contain gluten. Tamari and coconut aminos are delicious gluten-free soy sauce alternatives. Brands such as Ozganics and Yackandandah cover all your gluten-free curry and stir fry sauce needs.
Gluten-containing grains are prevalent in breakfast cereals – stick to ones clearly labelled gluten-free or paleo. We love the Paleo Hero and Brookfarm ranges of gluten-free mueslis and granolas.
Gluten-free baking can involve a lot of trial and error, but an ever-expanding range of gluten-free baking brands can help keep things simple and successful in the kitchen. Our favourites include Bobs Red Mill, Food to Nourish, Monica’s Mixes and The Monday Food Co – how do gluten-free lavender chocolate cupcakes from The Monday Food Co sound? Gluten-free flour blends, cake mixes, bread mixes, pizza base mixes, waffle mixes, and pancakes batters can all be found at your local Flannerys store.
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