I may claim to be “healthy” and try and keep my baby away from all the big baddies such as refined wheat, sugar, and processed food, but I’ll admit this whole Gluten Free Diet is a bit of a mystery to me. Out of personal experience, I know that whenever I eat too much bread or pasta, I feel bloated and gassy just like I do with milk. I have therefore been kind of gluten-free & milk free (I still love cheese, yogurt, butter) without labeling it as such.
Michael Pollan says in his amazing book (and now Netflix series) Cooked that people wouldn’t be Gluten Intolerant if there wasn’t so much bad wheat and bread out there. For example- if you ate naturally fermented sourdough made from stone ground organic sprouted heirloom wheat every day, you wouldn’t even know what gluten intolerance is! The sad reality is that we don’t have access to that magic bread every day (what did I do with my sourdough starter hmmm!) so here are a few tips for some easy gluten swaps. p.s- staying of bread and pasta and gluten definitely helps you drop a few kgs and that’s good enough a reason anyway!
Swap wheat with other cereals ( and sprout your grains!)
Jowar, Bajra, Ragi, Corn, Rice. We are blessed with so many yummy, indigenous alternatives to wheat in our country. Grains with or without gluten are much more nutritious if sprouted. Our baby has been eating sprouted ragi (finger millet) for breakfast as her first food and she has had zero indigestion. Ask your mum or grand mum the old school method of soaking, tying & sprouting and do it to pulses and nuts as well!
‘But I LOVE pasta!’
With online food available all over and also gourmet food stores stocking up on gluten free alternatives, stock up on gluten free pasta or swap with rice noodles. Feeling adventurous? Use Rostaa Quinoa Flour to make fresh pasta dough with that pasta machine you bought but never used.
Be careful about hidden gluten
Did you know that soya sauce has gluten! Use Tamari or Liquid Aminos instead (which is also used in the famous Keto diet). Thought couscous was healthy? Nope, it has gluten. Swap with Rostaa Red or Black quinoa and add some colour to your Buddha bowl.
Nuts about bread?
Swap all your bread products such as breadcrumbs, croutons etc with seeds and nuts. Try a pumpkin & sunflower seed crust for your pan fried tikkis or chicken and enjoy the crunch and nutrition! Use corn tortillas instead of sandwich bread for a lighter version!
Just remember, going off gluten completely is for people who have Celiac disease or are Gluten Intolerant. Reducing the quantity rather than just removing it all together is the key to a healthy lifestyle. Everything in balance and don’t forget to have fun with your health!