Expanding Your Food Repertoire: Gluten Free

by CRNPilates on January 15, 2012

I’m sure you have heard of it. Some of you are probably following it. A large amount of Chicago restaurants cater to it. Yet, for those who are curious and have no idea what it’s all about, what does it actually mean to be gluten free and how did it become all the rage for health fanatics? After speaking with a gluten-free friend…

Gluten (with the root “glu”, as in “glue”) is a protein that is found in wheat, rye, barley and malt grains. In your cooking, flours made of any of the aforementioned grains have a sticky consistency (hence) the glue, and keep things together properly to give a particular texture. It can be made in anything, most often found in foods from breads and pies, to soups and chocolates, depending on the recipe.

A gluten free diet can introduce a variety of flours, textures, and even foods, to your healthy cooking repertoire! Gluten free flours include anything made from purely rice, tapioca/manioc, potato, corn, garbanzo beans, and even almonds. Cooking a good old loaf of french bread, or making a pie out of garbanzo beans may not sound enticing, BUT combining flours can dilute a dominant taste of a less-than-yummy ingredient.

Now for the big question: what benefits are there from choosing a gluten free diet? Following a gluten free diet can benefit anyone depending on their needs. If one has Celiac Disease, going gluten free is not just an option, but a mandatory way of life.  Many people without the disease or an allergy have been opting to follow the diet because they feel less bloated without it. It also raises an awareness to what you are actually consuming, while introducing a range of foods that people in other areas of the world (such as southern India and Brazil, just to name a few) have been accustomed to eating for centuries.

So, if you are wanting to watch your health and lifestyle more this year, give gluten free eating a shot. It may surprise you how you think and feel about your food!

Leave a Comment

Previous post:

Next post: