Whether for health or lifestyle reasons, going gluten-free can be difficult. But luckily, there are plenty of tasty, gluten-free recipes that anyone can enjoy.
If you’ve been following dieting trends over recent years, the gluten-free lifestyle has probably caught your eye. For those suffering celiac disease, removing gluten from one’s diet is a must. Celiac disease is an autoimmune affliction where the consumption of gluten causes the immune system to attack the small intestine. This can cause long-term damage to both the body and brain.
But even for those who don’t have celiac disease, the gluten-free diet can also have a number of health benefits. This is because the types of wheat people consume nowadays are quite different from the ones that previous generations had at their disposal. Modern wheat has been modified from its ancestors, and this has resulted in a plant containing very different levels of gluten than in the past.
Among other factors, these changes in wheat production have caused many to develop what is termed non-celiac gluten sensitivity. How do you know if you have it? Well, if after consuming large amounts of gluten you feel tired, depressed, anxious, nauseous, or even develop headaches, it could be you have a slight intolerance to gluten. Why not give the gluten-free diet a go, then? It may just be the root behind all these symptoms.
Of course, it can be difficult for those who love bread and pasta to go gluten-free. While many supermarkets have started stocking gluten-free alternatives to different gluten-containing foodstuffs, this isn’t always the case. Particularly if you live in the countryside or away from the big city lights, it could very well be that you’ll be on your own if you choose to follow a gluten-free diet. But have no fear—you don’t need to rely on pre-made gluten-free alternatives to survive. In fact, there are myriads of gluten-free recipes that you yourself can prepare from the comfort of your own home.
Gluten-free flavors of the Old World
If you’ve ever been to England before, you’ll know that locals go crazy for a good Beef Wellington. But one problem with this classic recipe is that it contains—you guessed it—gluten. Pastry derives from gluten-containing wheat, so if you’re gluten-intolerant, it’s best to avoid a restaurant-made Beef Wellington.
Luckily, it’s not difficult at all to make a gluten-free version of this English dish. Substitute normal pastry for its gluten-free variant and you’re on the road to making a Beef Wellington with mixed vegetables without a trace of gluten.
Another continental classic that is the bane of French celiacs is, of course, the famous béchamel sauce, otherwise known as white sauce. This centuries-old dish includes milk and flour as its key ingredients, the latter containing large amounts of that troublesome gluten. But have no fear—there are a number of gluten-free thickening agents at your disposal that you can rely on here.
For this gluten-free béchamel sauce, try using potato flour instead of its wheat-based relative. Not only is it gluten-free, but tasty to boot. Along with butter, nutmeg, and salt, and voilà! You’ve got yourself a fantastic gluten-free sauce to pour over dishes that require a bit of liquidy goodness.
Gluten-free alternatives for the Easter holidays
It’s that time of year again. Your family is gathering together to honor the crucifixion and death of Jesus of Nazareth, the founder of Christianity and the religion’s central figure. And just as Christ and his Apostles broke bread with each other at the Last Supper, it could very well be you’ll want to imitate this practice during one of the many feasts that occur on and around the Easter weekend.
But if one of your family members has decided to go gluten-free, you’ll need to consider some alternatives to the homemade bread you usually break for the occasion. Instead, why not try making a special gluten-free easter bread? This recipe contains all sorts of fantastic ingredients, including sultanas, hazelnuts, raisins, and even orange. Rest assured this loaf of bread will leave your whole family feeling satisfied.
The world of gluten-free desserts
Another area of cuisine where gluten often finds itself used in large amounts is, of course, that of desserts. Whether cookies, cakes, or brownies, gluten is contained in all normal variants of these classic dessert dishes. So if you’ve decided to go without gluten, it’s time to re-learn the recipes to your favorite sweet dishes.
If you start off by trying a gluten-free vegan chocolate pear cake, you’ll notice the main difference between this and its gluten-containing equivalent immediately—the substituting of plain flour for rice and sorghum flour. Neither of these contain any gluten, so you’re all good to go.
And finally, if you feared you’d never be able to enjoy a macaroon again in your post-gluten life, good news is here—gluten-free macaroons don’t only exist, but they’re actually incredibly fun to make. Who doesn’t love preparing a colorful plate of these French desserts? And what’s more is that it’s possible to make them without sugar. Imagine that—a tasty, gluten-free, and sugarless dessert. You’ll be snacking on these for days!