Gluten is a general term used for one of the proteins found in wheat, rye, and barley as well as grains related to wheat.
Reducing your intake of gluten can provide you with potential health benefits, while expanding your tastes and adding welcome variety to your meals.
More and more gluten-free products are available on store shelves—and for good reason.
As healthcare researchers refine their approach to diagnosing celiac disease, they are finding that the immune disorder may be more common than previously thought.
Many companies now create tasty gluten-free products. Look for specialty flours, pizza doughs, cereals, snack bars, baking mixes, breads, tortilla wraps, cookies, and crackers in your favorite natural foods store.
Try out this gluten-free flour recipe!
If you’re following a gluten-free diet, there are plenty of tasty substitutions for products that typically contain wheat and other glutinous ingredients. Rollover (or touch) the common items below to reveal some our favorite alternatives.
Sliced zucchini or sliced eggplant
Crushed gluten-free cookies and melted butter
Rice cakes, toasted corn tortillas, or lettuce leaves
Cornstarch, arrowroot, tapioca starch, or potato
Mashed potatoes with gluten-free flour
Risotto, polenta, or spaghetti squash
13 tips for a gluten-free kitchen!
1 Gluten-free condiments in squeeze bottles are a good choice, so no one else can dip into them.
2 Stock your kitchen with these gluten free flours: almond, brown rice, buckwheat, coconut, corn, chickpea, potato, quinoa, and sorghum.
3 Heavy-duty baking pans are better than aluminum ones for even cooking of gluten-free cakes and breads. Test pans with a magnet. If it sticks, it’s good to go.
4 Polenta, risotto, or spaghetti squash (roasted and pulled apart with a fork) are all great pasta substitutes.
5 Gluten-free thickeners like arrowroot, tapioca starch, or cornstarch are all good substitutes for wheat flour in gravies.
6 Prepare gluten-free items first on a freshly washed and dried working surface. After food preparation, clean gluten-free zones carefully with a separate sponge or cloth.
7 Wood surfaces can trap gluten, so replace wooden cutting boards, rolling pins, and spoons with new versions and store in their own drawer or container.
8 For a healthy couscous substitute, try quinoa or steamed and grated cauliflower.
9 Wash your hands thoroughly and often—they too can be a source of cross contamination.
10 Make a kitchen rule that there can be no double dipping of utensils that have been used on wheat bread or crackers into the gluten free condiments and nut butters!
11 To retain the freshness of gluten-free baked goods, freeze individual portions and defrost as needed.
12 Gluten-free pastry or cookie dough becomes easier to work with if it’s refrigerated for 30 minutes prior to use.
13 If you share your kitchen with people who eat gluten, buy an extra toaster designated for gluten free breads only.
From Meatless All Day by Dina Cheney ($19.95, The Taunton Press, 2014)
4 c 1-inch cubes baked gluten-free corn muffins or corn cakes
2 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
½ tsp ground cumin
½ tsp ancho chili powder
1 garlic clove
½ c low-fat mayonnaise
½ c fresh cilantro leaves
Heaping packed ¼ c coarsely chopped fresh chives
¼ c plus 1½ tsp fresh-squeezed, strained lime juice, divided
2 Tbsp olive oil
1 Tbsp honey
¾ tsp seeded, coarsely chopped jalapeño
1 tsp lime zest
1½ tsp coarse salt, divided
5 grinds black pepper
4 c coarsely chopped cored romaine heart leaves, washed and dry
½ lb sharp Cheddar or Monterey Jack, cubed
1 packed c fresh, raw corn kernels
1 c matchstick slices peeled jìcama
1 c halved cherry or grape tomatoes
¼ c plus 2 Tbsp thinly sliced radishes
2 ripe avocados, pitted and sliced
1. Heat oven to 400°. Place cornbread cubes onto a baking sheet with sides. In a small bowl, whisk oil with cumin and chili powder. Drizzle over cornbread and mix gently, but well, with your hands. Bake until golden brown and a bit crisp, 12 to 15 minutes.
2. Meanwhile, add garlic to the bowl of a food processor, and process until finely chopped, about 8 seconds. Add mayonnaise, cilantro, chives, 3 tablespoons of the lime juice, the oil, honey, jalapeño, lime zest, ¼ teaspoon of the salt, and the 5 grinds of pepper. Process until smooth, about 20 seconds (you should have about ¾ cup).
3. In a medium bowl, toss romaine with ¼ teaspoon of the salt. Transfer to center of a large white platter (make a pile). Arrange cheese cubes in a clump next to lettuce. In same bowl, toss together corn with ⅛ teaspoon salt; transfer to platter in another pile. In same bowl, toss together jìcama with ¼ teaspoon salt and 1½ teaspoons lime juice; transfer to platter in another pile. In same bowl, toss together tomatoes with ¼ teaspoon salt; transfer to platter in another clump. In same bowl, toss together radishes with ¾ teaspoon salt and transfer to platter in another pile.
4. Arrange avocado slices on platter in another pile. Drizzle remaining tablespoon of lime juice all over avocado slices, and sprinkle them evenly with ¼ teaspoon salt. (See photo for help arranging the ingredients. You don’t want any piles that are the same color next to each other.)
5. Serve at the table, with dressing alongside. Everyone should drizzle 2 to 3 tablespoons of dressing over their portion.Per serving: 515 Calories, 19 g Protein, 43 g Carbohydrates, 8 g Fiber, 32 g Total fat (8 g sat, 13 g mono, 6 g poly), 533 mg Sodium, Vitamin C, Folate, Phosphorus, Vitamin A, B3 (niacin), Calcium, Manganese, Potassium, Vitamin B1 (thiamine), B2 (riboflavin), B6, Vitamin E, Pantothenic acid, Copper, Iron, Magnesium, Selenium, Zinc