Preparing for Your Gluten-Free Cooking Adventures by Takeboxs
In this part . . .
Here we offer you all the preliminary info you would like about gluten-free
cooking before you dive in and check out the recipes. We cover what’s and
isn’t gluten-free, nutrition, shopping, fixing your kitchen, and
figuring out the way to cook anything gluten-free even once you don’t
Gluten-Free: Not Just a Diet, It’ s a Lifestyle by takeboxs
What is this in Chapter
- Making long-term choices
- Getting the goods on gluten
If you’ve been eating gluten (technically and in DannaSpeak that
would cause you to a glutenivore) for an extended time — like, oh, say, most
of your life — then abandoning foods as you recognize them like bread,
pasta, pizza, cookies, crackers, and, yes, beer could seem sort of a tough
transition initially .
Did I say diet? Because this is often really quite that — it’s a life-style .
Sure, it’s a diet within the sense that it concerns the items you set in
your mouth, except for most of the people , choosing to be gluten-free may be a
long-term commitment, and one that affects every aspect of their
Making lifestyle changes requires conscious changes in your
outlook on eating. It requires long-term commitments and an excellent
deal of education. Starting with, “What is gluten, anyway?!?” This
chapter is a springboard into the planet of gluten-free
Defining Gluten in Layman’s Terms
You can define gluten during a few ways, and interestingly, the
definitions actually contradict one another a touch bit.
One way to define it’s the scientific definition, and it involves life-ofthe-party terminology like gliadin, secalin, hordein, and prolamins. This scientific definition further explains that gluten is found altogether grains — yep, you heard right. All grains. Rice. Corn. All of ’em. Yet we only eliminate wheat, rye, and barley on the diet .Well, that’s why there’s a layman’s definition.
The layman’s definition of gluten is “a protein found in wheat, rye, and barley.”
Although oats don’t contain gluten in and of themselves, you avoid them on the diet due to crosscontamination issues which will arise during the assembly
process. So something that’s gluten-free, by definition, is wheatfree. But it doesn’t necessarily hold true the opposite way around.
Gluten-free means wheat-free, but wheat-free doesn’t necessarily
mean gluten-free. Something are often wheat-free but still contain
gluten if it’s , as an example , malt, which is typically derived from
barley. therein case, the food would be wheat-free but not gluten-free
because barley contains gluten.
A lot of confusion is caused by labels claiming to be “wheat-free”
when the products aren’t . Spelt and kamut are two examples.
They’re definitely not wheat-free (they’re actually sorts of wheat),
yet they’re commonly marketed as being wheat-free, or being wheat
alternatives. Calling spelt a wheat alternative is like calling me a
Last time I checked, i used to be a person’s , no matter
what some people might think; and spelt is, no matter what they
call it, wheat. and since spelt and kamut are sorts of wheat, they
are not gluten-free, regardless of what the package says.
Common foods that contain gluten
Sometimes once I rattle down the foods that commonly contain gluten,
people stare at me as if I’ve just recited War and Peace or
something. It’s true, the list is long. Our society has become
accustomed to eating gobs and gobs of gluten; it’s the foremost
prevalent food type far and away .
You can find more detail on the foods and ingredients that are okay
and those that aren’t in Chapter 3. As a general rule, anything with
flour (white or wheat) may be a no-no when you’re avoiding gluten. These
are a number of the more obvious offenders:
- Baked goods (cookies, cakes, brownies, and so on)
- Soy sauce
It’s important to notice that there are not-so-obvious offenders, too,
like natural flavorings and licorice. So you’ll need to get comfortable
reading labels, memorizing ingredients, and calling manufacturers to
find out more details about their ingredients. (Again, Chapter 3 can
Don’t be discouraged. Although the list may appear daunting initially ,
it’s important to recollect that the list of belongings you can eat the
gluten-free diet may be a lot longer than the list of belongings you can’t.
Furthermore, for each product during this list, there’s a delicious
gluten-free substitution available. I talk more about specialty items
and where you’ll find them in Chapter 7.
Deciding Whether You Should Be Gluten-Free
Many people who go gluten-free do so not because they need any of
the conditions listed during this section, but because they’re striving for
a healthier lifestyle.
Connie and that i believe gluten isn’t good for anyone (more thereon in
Chapter 2), especially within the highly refined form that the majority people
know, like bread, bagels, and pasta. Cutting wheat and other glutencontaining grains out of your diet certainly isn’t a nasty thing and may have significant health benefits if you eat a wholesome, diverse diet.
Heck, it can even be the key to maintaining your weight!
Maybe you’ll find it compelling to adopt a gluten-free lifestyle when
you realize that the diet may relieve or maybe completely
alleviate these health problems (and more):
- Headaches (including migraines)
- Gastrointestinal distress (including gas, bloating, diarrhea, constipation, reflux)
- Depression and anxiety
- Joint pain
- Autistic behaviors
- ADD/ADHD behaviors
Wipe that look off your face; I’ve seen it before. I rattle down of these things that a diet can help with, and other people give me that incredulous I’m-gonna-make-her-feel-stupid-now-and-catch-her-inher-exaggeration look, and that they challenge me, “Reeeaaally? Allllthose things are often helped with a gluten-free diet?” Yeah. Really.
This isn’t a diet du jour. I realize that new diets crop up faster than
celebrity babies with odd names, which the diets last about as
long because the celebrity marriages do. this is often a life-style . It’s a life-style
that’s perfectly in sync with the way our bodies were designed to
eat — and that’s why it’s so effective in improving our health.
Our bodies weren’t designed to eat that junk listed within the “Common
foods that contain gluten” section. Bagels? Cereal? Pasta? I don’t
think so! Our bodies can rebel against those foods in ways in which can
sometimes severely compromise our health, and for several people,
the diet is that the best — sometimes the sole — treatment.
Chapter 2 explains more about gluten’s effect on the body. For
extensive, detailed information about the various medical conditions
that enjoy a diet , see the companion book to the present
one, Living Gluten-Free For Dummies (John Wiley & Sons, Inc.).
Doing Gluten-Free Nutritiously
As much as I preach about being gluten-free, I also urge people to
eat a healthy diet — and therefore the two don’t always go together. I’m
tempted to mention there’s the “right” way and therefore the “wrong” thanks to do
gluten-free, but that might sound a tad opinionated (who, me?!?), so
I’ll stick with calling them the healthy and unhealthy ways.
The easiest thanks to do gluten-free is additionally the unhealthiest. I call it the
Simple Substitution method — you stroll through the aisles of your
friendly food store and find product after product with cute
little “gluten-free” logos that make it oh-so-easy for you to spot
those products as being safe on your gluten-free diet! But being
gluten-free doesn’t make it healthy. the very fact that those products are
packaged and labeled generally makes them unhealthy — albeit
The healthiest thanks to go is to stay to the “If artificial it, don’t eat
it” general rule. meaning cutely labeled, processed foods aren’t
gonna cut it. Don’t get me wrong — some very nutritious packaged
products are out there. I’m trying to generalize here, and from a
bird’s-eye view, the healthiest thanks to be gluten-free is to stay to
natural, inherently gluten-free foods.
The healthiest thanks to eat is to follow the advice: If artificial
it, don’t eat it. It’s pretty simple, really. Foods that fall under the
“if artificial it, don’t eat it” allowable selections include lean
meat, poultry, fish, seafood, fruits, veggies, nuts, and berries.
One pitfall people fall under once they go gluten-free is that they turn
to rice, corn, and potatoes. Those would appear healthy enough, and
appear to pass the “if artificial it” criterion — but those foods
really offer little or no within the way of nutritional value, and on top of it,
they’re high glycemic index foods which will cause you to gain the
pounds. (If you didn’t follow that prime glycemic index part, don’t
worry — we mention that more in Chapter 4.)
I encourage you to explore unique gluten-free grains-that-aren’treally-grains-but-we-call-them-grains like quinoa, millet, buckwheat, and teff. They’re nutritional powerhouses loaded with vitamins,
minerals, fiber, and protein — and that they offer unique flavors and
diverse consistencies. They’re an excellent break from the rice, corn, and
potatoes routine and pack a much more powerful nutritional punch.
Chapter 3 features a lot more details on these and other gluten-free
Getting Ready to Cook
It’s time to urge able to cook! “Getting able to cook” means more
than just donning your favorite apron, especially when you’re
cooking gluten-free. it always involves a touch planning, some
shopping, and preparation to form sure your gluten-free food stays
gluten-free. These sections assist you start on the proper foot.
The gluten-free lifestyle could also be restricted, but it’s definitely
Figuring out what to buy and where to buy it
I highly recommend planning your meals in advance. Sometimes gluten-free cooking requires ingredients you might not normally have on hand, and you don’t want to get halfway through a recipe to discover you don’t happen to have any xanthan gum handy.
I also encourage you to experiment with unique, gluten-free alternatives such as quinoa, millet, buckwheat, teff, sorghum, and wild rice (more on these in Chapter 3). They’re loaded with nutrition and offer you the opportunity to think outside your usual menu plan and add new flavors, consistencies, and combinations.
Some of the unusual ingredients you may want to have on hand include xanthan gum, guar gum (when you try it for the first time, don’t stray far from the potty because it can cause — ahem — “gastrointestinal distress” in some people), and unique flours like rice, tapioca, potato, and mesquite.
You can buy these specialty items online or at health food or specialty stores, co-ops, or farmers’ markets; we talk more about where to find these specialty ingredients in Chapter 7.
Keep in mind that if you do gluten-free the healthiest way possible, you can find all the ingredients you need in a regular grocery store — around the perimeter. You’ll just be shopping for lean meats, poultry, fish, seafood, fruits, veggies, nuts, and berries. You’ll be happy, healthy, gluten-free, and relieved that you don’t have to track down tapioca starch at 10 p.m
Setting up your kitchen
Thankfully, once you plan to adopt a gluten-free lifestyle,
reorganizing and fixing your kitchen may be a one-time deal — and
you’ll devour some habits that you’ll ease into nicely. Oh, and the
oven really works in your kitchen!
Setting up your kitchen just means you’ve got to believe crosscontamination. Cross-contamination is once you accidentallyglutenize your perfectly good gluten-free meal because you toasted
your gluten-free bread during a toaster that has gluten-containing
crumbs clinging on for dear life.
Crumbs can kill. Not literally, really, but they’re killers during a kitchen
where gluten-freebies share space with glutenators (people who eat
gluten). Using separate utensils for cooking, and even having a couple of
separate appliances, may be a good idea. Chapter 5 covers everything you
need to realize readying your kitchen and pantry for gluten-free
You don’t need completely separate utensils and pots and
pans for your gluten-free cooking. Washing thoroughly between
preparations is ok for removing gluten left over from cooking.
Wiping away crumbs between dish preparations is crucial, and
you’ll find that even the order during which you cook things is altered
when you’re cooking gluten-free. You don’t, as an example , want to fry
a gluten-free grilled-cheese sandwich within the same pan you only
cooked a daily sandwich in unless you thoroughly washed the
skillet in between. (The easier solution is to cook the gluten-free
You’ll get it; it’s not rocket science, but it’s crucial
to keeping your kitchen as safe because it are often .
You may find it helpful to possess a separate area in your pantry
or kitchen to stay gluten-free products. It makes them easier to
find and reduces the probabilities that someone’s getting to goof
Cooking without Recipes (But You Can Use Them if You Like)
Connie and I believe if you give people a recipe, you feed ’em for a meal. Teach them to make anything gluten-free, and you feed ’em for a lifetime. Okay, we kind of borrowed that concept from the Native American saying, “Give a man a fish and you feed him for a meal. Teach him to fish and you feed him for a lifetime,” but you probably figured that out.
The point is, you can make anything gluten-free, and you’re not constrained by recipes or the fact that you can’t use regular flour or bread crumbs. You only need a little creativity and some basic guidelines for using gluten-free substitutions, which you find in Chapter 7.
If you’re a die-hard recipe fan, never fear — we have them here. Real Cookbook Author Connie spent months developing the amazing recipes for this book. Most of them are super-simple to follow but leave your guests with the impression that you spent all day in the kitchen (and being thusly indebted, they’re expected to do the dishes).
But I’m not a Real Cookbook Author. I don’t “do” recipes. I’m more of a toss-it-in-and-see-how-it-tastes-then-modify-from-there type of cook. It stinks, because I can never make the same dish twice. I don’t measure (who has the patience?), I never have all the specified ingredients on hand, nor do I know how to pronounce them or where I’d find them if I looked, and “proofing” to me involves finding typos or errors in my writing (turns out, that’s a bread term that means “to rise”). Suffice it to say that I’m no Julia Child, but I don’t have to be, and neither do you.
Connie and I believe that the most important element of cooking gluten-free is to be creative and think outside the recipe box. So I hand you a pole and say go forth and fish. May your gluten-free goodies be gastrolicious, and your fish be free of bones.
Getting Excited about the GlutenFree Lifestyle
Most people who embark upon a gluten-free lifestyle do so
because of health issues, which means they need little or no
choice within the matter. When people are forced to form changes in
their routine, especially changes that affect what they will and can’t
eat, they’re not always so quick to ascertain the enjoyment within the adjustments.
The truth is, we envision ourselves skipping merrily down a nicely
paved road of life, eating what we would like once we want. We don’t
envision ourselves having to dodge cleverly disguised gluten-laden
land mines scattered about like worms after a tough rain (worms are
gluten-free, just in case you were wondering).
So if you’re a touch but — ahem — excited about being glutenfree, I understand. But prepare yourself to possess that frown turned upside down because there are many reasons to be excited about
the gluten-free lifestyle.
Gluten-free doesn’t mean flavor-free
People who are new the concept of gluten-free sometimes
comment that the diet is boring. once I ask what they’re eating,
their cuisine routine usually centers around bunny food and rice
cakes. Well duh! Who wouldn’t be tired of that?!? That sort of a
diet is appalling, not appealing.
I’ll tell you immediately i really like food. i really like the flavour , the sensation
of being full, the nutritional value it provides — most of all, I
love to explore new foods I’ve never tried before, as long as
they’re gluten-free, of course. There’s no way I’d encourage you
to endure a diet of blandiose foods that would double as packing
A healthy, diet doesn’t need to be boring or restrictive.
You’re not constrained to eating 32 individual portions of fruits and
vegetables every day , sort of a rabbit nibbling nervously on carrots. If
you enjoy bland foods, snaps for you. But if you think that gluten-free has
to be flavor-free, you’re certain a pleasing surprise.
Think about it. Spices are gluten-free. Onions, garlic, peppers, and
other flavor-enhancing foods are gluten-free. There’s really no need
to languish over lackluster flavors simply because you’re enjoying the
health benefits of being gluten-free. So slice, dice, and spice it up for
a meal that’s flavorful, not flavor-free
Getting out and about
There’s no reason to let the gluten-free lifestyle hold you back from
doing anything you would like to try to to . Well, okay, there are some things
you can’t do — like eat a daily pizza and donuts. But as far as your
activities and lifestyle are concerned, it’s important to urge out and
about as you usually have.
I realize that for the foremost part, it’s not always as easy as walking
into a restaurant and posing for the gluten-free menu (a girl can
dream). But eating at restaurants is certainly doable; you only need
to master the art of the special order and tune to contamination
concerns. Traveling may be a breeze after you’re comfortable eating at
restaurants and once you get a handle on language considerations if
you’re traveling abroad. getting to social events just requires a touch
advance planning, and holidays will barely faze you — after you get
the hang of getting out and about gluten-free style.
Living your life during a bubble is for helium molecules. The
gluten-free lifestyle shouldn’t hold you back from doing
anything (except eating gluten).
Raising kids to love the lifestyle
Kids are flexible and resilient. Adopting a replacement lifestyle like being
gluten-free is typically harder for the oldsters than it’s for the kid .
There are many things that are key in raising happy, healthy,
gluten-free kids. a number of the highlights include
Giving them control of their diet from day one Always having yummy gluten-free treats on hand Reinforcing the benefits of the gluten-free lifestyle Always remembering that they’re learning from you how to feel about their lifestyle
- Giving them control of their diet from day one
- Always having yummy gluten-free treats on hand
- Reinforcing the benefits of the gluten-free lifestyle
- Always remembering that they’re learning from you how to feel about their lifestyle
For more inspiration and practical advice, see my book Kids with
Celiac Disease: A Family Guide to Raising Happy, Healthy, Gluten-Free
Setting realistic expectations
Some people call me PollyDanna because they think I even have an
unrealistically optimistic view of the gluten-free lifestyle. It may be
optimistic, but it’s not unrealistic.
Set reasonable expectations for what things are going to be like once you
adopt a gluten-free lifestyle, because there’ll be challenges and
you need to organize to handle them well. Friends, family, and loved
ones might not understand. they’ll not accommodate your diet
when you hope or expect they’re going to . you’ll find social events to be
overwhelming at first; otherwise you may get confused or frustrated and
feel like abandoning on the diet. there’ll be challenges — and you
will overcome them.
Arming yourself with good information
The good news is that because the diet is exploding in
popularity, there’s many information about it. The bad news is
there’s many information about it, and not all of it’s accurate. Be
leery of what you hear and skim , and check the reliability of the
source on everything. If you discover conflicting information — and I’ll
warn you now that you simply will — dig deeper until you discover out which
source is true .
I cite a couple of good sources of data in Chapter 3, and I’m sure
you’ll find more on your own. Just remember to stay a skeptical eye
out for the great , the bad, and therefore the completely ludicrous.