5 Sep 2008

What you CAN have

Depsite being on a restricted diet, there are plenty of foods thatare totally safe for people with coeliac disease. Here are the ones I have discovered - but always follow the coeliac code of checking the label...

Rice in all its forms are suitable for a gluten free diet, and has many uses from batters to cake flour replacment. Safe options include rice flour, rice cakes, rice noodles, ground rice, pudding rice, risotto rice, basmati rice, jasmine rice brown rice noodles and more.

Lentils such as green, puy, orange and more are naturally gluten free and are wonderful when used in recipes such as dahl, simmered with Toulouse sausages, plus they are also make gram flour which can be made into flatbreads called socas, or to bind those wonderful Indian snacks onion bahjis.

Buckwheat, despite its name is no relative to the wheat you cannot consume and is a versatile ingredient for gluten free diets. Make sure it is processed in a gluten free environment, so that you can make buckwheat pancakes for Shrove Tuesday, use the puffed version for salads and include pure buckwheat noodles in stir fries.

Amaranth is a seed that can be used in a similar way to cous cous, however my own experience with this ingredient with great potential is only my recent disastrous attempt, but I plan to revisit this.

Potatoes, potatoes, potatoes – my Irish heritage has stood me in good stead since living GF as potatoes are a large part of a naturally gluten free diet. The usual mash, boiled, baked spuds are great stomach fillers (a common complaint since I was diagnosed) but also the squeaky, fine potato flour is a useful ingredients when making potato bread for brunch, or gnocchi.

Corn or maize in its many manifestations can be eaten as polenta (sweet and savoury, wet and set) nachos, tacos, sweet corn, corn flour, cornflakes (Rude Health do a good natural one), corn tortillas, corn cakes and I recently even came across a corn cous cous.

Nuts are a great substitute for flour when ground up in cakes and almonds in particular give a moisture that wheat flour cannot impart. A friend of mine also made a cheesecake using crushed pistachios instead of biscuits for the base, and they also add texture and flavour to otherwise bland GF muesli bases.

These are just some of the raft of gluten free ingredients at your disposal, and I will continue to build upon this section as I come across them.

1 comment:

Helen Pengelly said...

One of my favourites is quinoa, I discovered it just after I was diagnosed as I was not about to give up my beloved Taboulleh! It is extremely nutritious and very easy to prepare, the flakes make a great porridge too.