Living the Gluten-Free Life
Can You Live Gluten-Free?
More and more people today are making moves to get healthier by being careful of what they eat. For example, some people are focusing on what they eat and drink to help them deal with arthritis. One option that is gaining popularity is giving up gluten. It may seem like an impossible thing and while it can be a challenge at first to adjust to no gluten in your diet, there are many gluten-free alternatives that you can use in your cooking and baking so you can still have delicious foods to enjoy. If you are looking at making the move to gluten-free living, here are some gluten-free alternatives you will want to swap out right away!
Many foods commonly found on our plates have gluten in them. Pasta, semolina, bulgur, couscous, and more have gluten and can make you sick; but take heart! There are alternatives you can use that are delicious and healthier for you:
- Pasta – make sure you use rice, corn, buckwheat, or millet noodles
- Semolina – switch this out for some polenta
- Bulgur – substitute rice for a gluten-free option
- Couscous – go with the healthier option of quinoa
- Wheat bran – wheat has gluten so go with gluten-free oat bran
- Bread – today there are many options for gluten-free bread
- Cereal – this one is a little harder to switch but corn flakes are one option
- Granola – some companies are making gluten-free version of granola
- Ovaltine – pure organic cocoa powder
- Beer – make sure it is gluten-free beer
As you can see, there are plenty of gluten-free alternatives so you can start making the move to gluten-free living sooner than you think!
Alternatives to flour
One of the most common questions people have when they first go gluten-free is what will they use for flour? Fortunately, only wheat flour and a few others have gluten so there are more than enough other options to choose from. Just a few of these include- arrowroot flour, almond flour, quinoa flour, tapioca flour, chickpea flour, soy flour, coconut flour and even hemp flour.
Thickeners like flour and other gluten heavy products are used to thicken sauces and gravy and pudding- you can use xanthan gum, carob bean gum, and guar gum as safe gluten-free alternatives.
Look for a cereal that is made with rice or corn rather than oats and wheat. Oats used in oatmeal has a protein very similar to gluten but most people who are gluten intolerant can safely eat oats- but it is best to try a small amount first to see if you are sensitive to it or not. Many people have success with gluten-free alternatives in their diet.
Tips for gluten-free cooking
Gluten-free flours can be alternatives for traditional wheat flour, but these tips will make them easier to work with:
- Increase how much liquid you use- you may need to add additional water or milk to compensate for the drier coarser textures of some gluten-free alternatives.
- Leave the dough to rest for 5-10 minutes when making things like bread, pizza crust, and similar items because the dough will thicken as the liquids are absorbed.
- You do not want to let certain doughs sit but rather they need to be immediately processed so they do not dry out- pasta and cookie dough as well as cakes and muffins.
If you are thinking about making the move to gluten-free eating then you will be glad to learn about these gluten-free alternatives that are available to you. It is possible to make healthier choices to keep yourself healthy without giving up the foods you love and without resorting to eating boring foods that taste like cardboard. Embrace the gluten-free lifestyle today!