The road to healing with food can sometimes come at a cost. Sometimes, in order to heal, we have to leave out certain foods. I want to share with you our journey to a gluten-free life.
It all started with my daughter, then age 4, complained frequently of belly pain. I brought her to her pediatrician, and she recommended eliminating all gluten, and possibly dairy as well.
I figured, why not? I’m a label reader anyway. I can do this. Ha! I had no idea the number of dark corners gluten lurked in. I had no idea how narrow our food palette would be for a time.
Every food item we picked up in the store, if it was processed, there was a good chance gluten hid out. After that, we went through a time of ‘gluten-free’ mixes. What a disappointment. Bland, starchy and pathetic.
It was time to take action. I began researching other grains. Here are some of the wonderful nutritional facts I discovered.
Quinoa (Keenwah). 21% Carbs. 4.4% protein, 5 grams of fiber, high in magnesium, B vitamins, iron, and even antioxidants.
Wonderful flavor, slightly nutty, cooks up in 20 minutes. One cup grain, and a little over two cups water. Broth is even better. Don’t boil, simmer. Add garlic, onion, chives, any herbs you like. Quinoa ends up light and fluffy, easy to build a meal around.
Sprinkle with your favorite grated cheese, the kids will love it.
Rice. 3.5 grams of fiber, 2 grams of protein, high in niacin, thiamin, and B vitamins. Also contains antioxidants.
We use brown rice to ensure we are getting all the nutrients possible. I don’t serve rice often. After hearing about the possible levels of arsenic in rice, we have cut back. I have no problem eating it once every two weeks.
Rice can be simply steamed, cooked in a one-to-two ratio, or even tossed with butter and olive oil, sea salt, and granulated garlic and onion, and browned in a frying pan. This takes only a few minutes. Keep it stirred.
Take your browned rice and then cook it in water or broth as you would normally. Wow. A flavor that makes your taste buds sing!
Teff grains These tiny little seeds are a powerhouse of nutrition. I found them strong, but mixed into other more mild grains they add great depth. Highly recommend adding a quarter cup or more to your mixes. Teff is the highest protein grain around.
Oats. Great source of healthy hearty carbs. 16 grams of protein, high in many vitamins and minerals. Soak it overnight for better digestibility.
Some folks can’t eat this because their bodies think it is gluten, due to a specific protein that oats have. I use Bob’s Red Mills gluten-free oats, and we have never had any trouble. What can I say about oats? Scrumptious. Versatile. Makes the best oatmeal cookies ever.
These are just a few of the grains that can be used by us gluten-free folks.
Now there are mixes for those who don’t have time for making their own that are pretty good. The taste has improved tremendously. If you want to add more nutrition, add flax or chia to increase fiber to these mixes.
All grains benefit from an overnight soaking. It relaxes the phytic acid that protects the seeds and grains and allows nutrients to become more available to our bodies. Soak with a teaspoon of apple cider vinegar, and drain when ready to use.
My favorite brand is Bob’s Red Mill. Some stores carry their products, but if they don’t you can order them here. Check out their website for great recipes.
If you have any questions or want more information, let me know!
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