In the last few years the awareness of the negative health effect of gluten has increased. You might have seen a lot people on gluten free diet. Don’t worry if you are little bit lost? First let’s understand what is gluten? Gluten is a protein found in several types of grains such as wheat, spelt, rye and barley. When flour is mixed with water, you obtain a sticky glue linked that gives elasticity to the dough. This sticky glue is the gluten! So now let’s see how bad it is to eat gluten.
Why should we go gluten free?
There are some studies showing that even the individuals without celiac disease or diagnosed gluten sensitivity have adverse reactions to gluten. The gluten can occur some digestive pain, bloating, stool inconsistency and fatigue. Also they are many people who believe that gluten may be addictive, whet is one of the most addictive foods after sugar.
The health benefits to go gluten free are:
- Improved digestion and digestive function – a crucial aspect of effective weight loss is a healthy & efficient digestive system.
- Excess fluid loss, and weight loss
- Increased energy
- Better bowel function and elimination
- Improved mental function and better mood
- Less cravings
How should we go gluten free?
Now you know why you should exclude the gluten from your diet, it’s time to see what you can eat. All the foods from grains are appropriate for a gluten free diet:
- Corn in all forms
- Plain rice in all forms
- Amaranth, arrowroot, buckwheat, cassava, flax, millet, quinoa, sorghum, soy, tapioca and teff.
- Flours made from gluten-free grain, nuts, beans and coconut.
Look for products labeled gluten-free
- Milk, butter, margarine, real cheese, plain yogurt, most ice cream without gluten-containing add-ins.
- Vegetable oils, including canola.
- Plain fruits, vegetables (fresh, frozen and canned), meat, seafood, potatoes, eggs, nuts, nut butters, beans and legumes.
- Distilled vinegar is gluten free. (See malt vinegar under NO below).
- Distilled alcoholic beverages are gluten free because distillation effectively removes gluten. They are not gluten free if gluten-containing ingredients are added after distillation, but this rarely happens.
- Mono and diglycerides are fats and are gluten free.
The food to avoid:
- Most ingredients with “wheat”
- Barley and malt
- Breaded or floured
- Soy and teriyaki sauces.
- Foods that are fried in the same oil as breaded products are not considered to be safe on the gluten free diet.
- Liquorice, which is made with wheat flour, and other candies that contain wheat or barley.
BANANA BREAD RECIPE
We absolutely love this Chocolate & Peanut Butter Banana Bread recipe from the Minimalist Baker… In fact, we just LOVE the Minimalist Baker! Husband and wife team, John and Dana, created The Minimalist Baker as “a space for simple, delicious food” which often uses 7 ingredients or less. Their site features a wide range of recipes, which cater for everyone. They also have a section called “one bowl” which is where we found this mouthwatering, Vegan and Gluten Free, Chocolate & Peanut Butter Banana Snack Bread recipe… Not only can you make this wonderful recipe using just one bowl, but you can also use TWO dairy free, Chi ingredients; Chi 100% Natural Coconut Milk and Chi Coconut Oil.
CHOCOLATE PEANUT BUTTER BANANA BREAD
Preparation Time: 15 mins Cooking Time: 1 hour
- 1 flax egg ( 1 Tbsp flaxseed meal + 2.5 Tbsp water | or sub 1 egg)
- 3 medium ripe bananas (~1.5 cups)
- 3.5 tsp baking powder
- pinch sea salt
- 1/3 cup salted natural peanut butter (smooth or crunchy)
- 2.5 Tbsp rape seed or coconut oil, melted
- 1/4 cup organic cane sugar
- 1/4 cup packed light brown sugar
- 2-3 Tbsp agave or maple syrup
- 3/4 cup unsweetened almond or other non-dairy milk
- 1 1/4 cup almond meal
- 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1 cup gluten free flour blend
- 1 cup gluten free oats
- 1/4 cup dairy free chocolate chips
- OPTIONAL: 1/4 cup Peanut Butter Chips
- Preheat oven to 350 (PLEASE NOTE: this is according to US oven temperature settings) and line a loaf pan with parchment paper or spray with nonstick spray.
- Prepare flax egg in a large mixing bowl and let rest for 5 minutes to activate.
- Add banana and mash thoroughly.
- Add all ingredients through almond milk and whisk vigorously to combine.
- Add cocoa powder, almond meal, gluten free flour blend, oats and stir.
- Last, stir in chocolate and peanut butter chips (if using).
- Pour into loaf pan and bake for 1 hour – 1 hour 15 minutes. When ready, it should feel firm and be crackly on top. My sweet spot was about 1 hour 5 minutes.
- Let cool completely before cutting or it will be too tender to hold form (preferably overnight).
Store completely cooled leftovers in a covered container for up to several days, though best when fresh. Slice and freeze for longer term storage.
CREDIT: John and Dana, The Minimalist Baker | http://minimalistbaker.com/ @minimalistbaker
Ingredient suggestions from Chi…
Chi Organic Virgin Cold Pressed Coconut Oil
Chi 100% Natural Coconut Milk