Gluten Free Solutions
According to the Gluten Intolerance Group and the Celiac Disease Foundation the following grains & flours are allowed:
• Corn and Masa Harina
• Beans (Garfava and Chickpea flour)
• Nut Flours
Although all of these foods are technically gluten free (GF), some people with celiac disease or gluten intolerance may have negative reactions or sensitivities to any of these foods. Foods that appear to be free of wheat or gluten can become contaminated if they are produced in a processing plant that also processes wheat or gluten products.
Gluten Free Flours
•Rice flour is probably the most commonly used flour. White rice flour is bland and is an excellent thickener. Brown rice flour and rice bran are good for quick breads.
•Soy flour has a strong flavour, but is nutritious and excellent if blended with other flours. In small amounts, such as in thickening, it can be used straight across for wheat flour.
•Corn meal, corn flour and cornstarch are all excellent substitutes for wheat flour in quick breads and for thickening.
•Tapioca flour is good for thickening: Substitute 2 teaspoons of quick-cooking tapioca for 1 tablespoon of wheat flour.
•Potato flour has a strong potato taste, but is good blended with other flours.
•Potato starch has a bland taste and is good for thickening and baking.
•Arrowroot can be used for puddings, but it does have a chalky flavour. When used for thickening, only use half as much as wheat flour.
•Xanthan gums can be purchased in specialty stores and used in baking as binders.
One of the nutritional issues that celiac sufferers often face is getting enough fibre in their diet. Glutenous grains make up a large percentage of dietary fibre in the non-gluten free diet and although many other foods contain sufficient amounts of fibre, for celiacs the lack of grains is enough to reduce their total fibre intake. This may be due to eating too many processed foods, meat products, a possible unfamiliarity with different food options or not enough focus on whole foods. It is suggested that the healthy adult consume at least 25 grams of fibre per day, and more with age. It is important for everyone, especially those with CD, to eat as much whole, organic food as possible in order to get maximum nutrient absorption, for example, using organic brown rice as opposed to refined white rice. Whole foods are always preferable.
Beans are an inexpensive way to get both protein and fibre. Bean salads are delicious and can include peas, lentils, nuts and seeds. Psyllium or milled, organic flax seeds also add fibre to salads, muffins, cookies, cereals, and fruit smoothies. Becoming more familiar with different food options, such as amaranth, quinoa and nut flours and varying the diet are essential.
Gluten Free Fibre Sources:
(Fibre content in grams per 1 cup of flour or grain)
Brown Rice 7
Flax Meal 34
Amaranth Seed 30
Brown Rice 7
Buckwheat Groats 17
Flax Seed 43
Millet Seed 17
Wild Rice 10
Chart sourced from the Gluten Intolerance Group website