The Gluten-Free Exchange
Whether you have celiac disease, a gluten sensitivity, or a wheat allergy, the key to alleviating your symptoms lies in gluten-free foods. Gluten-free foods typically carry a label that reads:
- Free of gluten
- Without gluten
- No gluten
All of these labels mean that the amount of gluten in the product is less than 20 ppm (parts per million), though it may be lower. Evidence shows that gluten in trace amounts of 20 ppm or less does not have an adverse health effect on those with celiac or other gluten sensitivities.
Naturally Gluten-Free Foods
There are plenty of naturally gluten-free foods, such as fruits and vegetables, meats, and beans. Sugars, cooking oils, and eggs are gluten-free foods, too. And if you love grains, you’ll be happy to know that rice, corn, and quinoa are gluten-free and can be exchanged in many recipes that call for wheat, rye, or barley.
Knowing that you need to eat gluten-free foods and actually making the change can be difficult. After all, this means giving up some of your favourite comfort foods such as pasta, bread, cake, muffins, and more. Or does it?
The Baked Goods Exchange
Baked goods are made with wheat-based flours. All conventional flours contain gluten, including:
- All-purpose flour
- Cake flour
- Bread flour
- Semolina flour
- Pastry flour
This means that gluten-free foods made with these products should be avoided. Luckily, there are many gluten-free flours available today that can be used as a substitution for wheat based flours. Some of these flours include:
You can also find gluten-free baking mixes for cakes, cookies, and muffins. If you love baked goods, these products make it a cinch to eat what you like and remain gluten-free.
Perfecting Gluten-Free Pasta
When it comes to pasta, wheat gluten is the main ingredient that holds it together while cooking. People have discovered, however, that pasta can be made from other non-wheat and gluten-free grains that hold together nicely. Brown rice pasta, corn, and buckwheat are lovely substitutions that taste just as good. This means you can eat your favourite spag bol without worrying about the effects of gluten. Cooking times can vary with different grains, so be sure to follow the package directions.
Changing over to gluten-free foods can be tricky, but once you learn how to substitute the foods you love, you’ll be chuffed at what you can accomplish.