Does anyone know what gluten actually is?
Carbs? Pasta? Wheat? Bread? Grains? A diet? Flour?
Gluten refers to proteins found in wheat (wheatberries, durum, emmer, semolina, spelt, farina, farro, graham, KAMUT® khorasan wheat and einkorn), rye, barley and triticale (a combination of wheat and rye). Gluten acts as a glue that holds foods together, and is found in many unexpected foods like packaged meat products, condiments, salad dressings, soups, cereals and crackers.
One person in one hundred has a genetic intolerance to gluten (celiac disease), but most people suffer from gluten sensitivity: partially undigested gluten passes into the cells of the gut causing symptoms like bloating, gas, joint pain, headaches, poor concentration, and fatigue. Many people don’t attribute these symptoms to gluten until they remove it from their diet for 1-2 weeks. Factors like taking antibiotics, increased alcohol intake and/or stress can affect the health of our gut, and make gluten sensitivity symptoms worse.
Choosing gluten-free foods on a regular basis can improve symptoms of gluten sensitivity, and despite what many people think, there are a variety of healthy gluten-free foods to choose from:
Rice and rice pasta
White and sweet potatoes
Squash and root vegetables
Quinoa, buckwheat, gluten-free oats
Almond and coconut flour
Chickpea flour and pasta
Nuts and seeds
I love giving my body a break from gluten, and I definitely feel better when I avoid it. I've been baking with almond flour a lot lately. Give my Gluten-Free Almond Breakfast Cookies a try, and I'll have you convinced. Enjoy!
Gluten-Free Almond Breakfast Cookies
3 ripe bananas
½ cup natural almond or peanut butter
2 tbsp. maple syrup or honey (or a bit more if you like it sweeter!)
¼ cup coconut oil, melted
1 tsp. Vanilla
1 ½ cups almond flour
½ cup ground flaxseed
½ cup gluten-free oats, whole (for texture)
½ tsp. Cinnamon
½ tsp. Sea salt
⅓ cup chocolate chips or raisins or pumpkin seeds or shredded coconut
Preheat oven to 350F, and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
Combine wet ingredients (bananas through vanilla), in a medium-size bowl, microwave for 20 seconds to melt the coconut oil, and puree using a hand blender, or mash really well with a fork.
In a large mixing bowl, combine dry ingredients.
Combine wet and dry ingredients together, and stir in the chocolate chips.
Using a large cookie scoop, or ¼ size measuring cup, scoop mixture out onto the baking sheet. Continue until all the batter is used up
Bake for 20-25 minutes or until golden and crispy on the top. Let sit on the baking sheet for 5 minutes, and then transfer to a cooling rack. Refrigerate for up to a week or freeze for up to 3 months. Enjoy!