Tips for Going Gluten-Free

Stratford University’s culinary instructors offer a few tips, and a few recipes, to assist those suffering from celiac disease or gluten sensitivity.


| June 4, 2010



Delicious foccacia can be made gluten-free.

Delicious foccacia can be made gluten-free.

iStockphoto.com/Inga Nielsen

Falls Church, Virginia – Increasingly, people are opting for gluten-free meals and products when dining out or doing their grocery shopping. This is because gluten sensitivities and intolerances are becoming more well-known to the public. In fact, according to the Celiac Disease Foundation, one in every 133 people is affected by celiac disease. Problem is, 97 percent of those experiencing it are still undiagnosed. And those who are aware of the issue and are trying to avoid gluten may not know where to start, when it comes to cooking for the family.

 “Trying to cook gluten-free can seem like a daunting task at first, but it’s really not that difficult,” says James Sinopoli, a culinary instructor at Stratford University. “Whether cooking for your family or for a guest who needs to avoid gluten, it’s a lot easier than you may think.”

Those who have celiac disease or a gluten intolerance will need to maintain a gluten-free diet. Gluten is a protein found in many products, including wheat, rye and barley. If people who have celiac disease consume gluten, there is an immune-system response, and the body begins damaging the small intestine, according to the National Institutes of Health. Because of this, it is important to make sure that those with celiac disease do not come in contact with gluten, and that there is no cross-contamination of products when preparing foods.

You can prepare a tasty home-cooked meal for your family that is completely gluten-free. Start by trying these tasty recipes:

 

GLUTEN-FREE PIZZA

Sauce:

maryann myers_2
6/14/2010 6:17:00 AM

Good article, but the recipe listing all the flours will seem like too much trouble for many gluten-free newbies. There are many gluten-free flour blends on the market that save all the trouble and huge expense, of having to stock all these ingredients. Pamela's is my personal favorite.


jean teller
6/7/2010 9:45:18 AM

Kevin and Diana, thanks so much for your insightful and obviously educated comments. Kevin, in my opinion, the anecdotal evidence is often the best. Good call on your mother's health issues, and good luck to her! Plus that homemade bread just tastes better! Diana, thanks for the advice on the flours. We're trying to work more health-related recipes into the magazine, in addition to the old-fashioned favorites. I'll keep in mind the flour issue. Would health-food/organic markets have flour in bulk, where one could purchase just a small amount of a certain kind? I'll do some research. Thanks!


diana_1
6/4/2010 9:25:11 AM

I have been gluten free for over 15 years. I have found that the best receipes use a flour blend. Most people who have been on this diet for a while have a blend or blends that they like to use. All these recipes call for individual flours. The problem with that is many flours are expensive and you can't just buy a cup or two. If you buy the flours and don't like them, as some flours have a distinct taste, it is very frustrating as well as a waste of money. I would rather see more articles that did not call for specific flours but gave you flour options or the option to use your blend. However, despite my personal reservations, I love the fact that you write about the gluten free diet.


kevin_4
6/4/2010 7:12:48 AM

I would be interested in knowing how much this gluten sensitivity is a result of the prevalence of the use of processed, bleached flours since the early 1900s. This flour is basically stripped of all nutrients in order to produce the fluffy white nothingness that Americans prefer. Some nutrients, like gluten, are then added back in but not in the same proportions as in the balanced natural grain. It is just "advanced products" like these that have turned us into weak and sickly people. We process whole grain for flour, and my 79 yr old mother, who is gluten intolerant and has irritable bowel syndrome took a chance on our bread on a visit last year, and didn't have any negative reaction at all. As a matter of fact, she took some home, and has not had any IBS symptoms at all. We send her three loaves every two weeks, and she says she has never felt better, and is more regular to boot. Her doctor is amazed at the change as well. Sure this is anecdotal, but I believe that there is a correlation between the use of processed flours and these maladies.






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