8 great gluten-free whole grains

amaranth

Even if you aren’t avoiding gluten, these whole grains are a worthy addition to anyone’s pantry.

It’s little wonder that for many people, giving up gluten makes them feel better. Going gluten-free means no wheat flour, which means no basic refined flour, which means a drastic reduction in processed and nutritionally insipid foods – foods that can make people feel sluggish, bloated and crummy. The problem is that giving up gluten also leads to giving up grains in general, and doing so can have a negative impact on health.

“And any time you eliminate whole categories of food you’ve been used to eating, you run the risk of nutritional deficiencies,” Peter H.R. Green, M.D., director of the Celiac Disease Center at Columbia University, tells WebMD. “Unless people are very careful, a gluten-free diet can lack vitamins, minerals, and fiber,” he adds.

The trick is to keep healthy whole grains in your diet, regardless if you are one of the several million Americans with Celiac disease (who have no choice but to stop eating gluten) or if you are one of the zillion others avoiding gluten for whatever reason. And even if you are a gluten-embracer, it’s always great to mix up the nutrients. With that in mind, the following whole grains all offer a nutritional boost, while also happening to be gluten-free.

1. Amaranth

amaranth

This “pseudo-grain” was a major food crop of the Aztecs and has a remarkable nutritional profile, boasting loads of calcium as well as high levels of iron, magnesium, phosphorus, and potassium. Unique for grains, it contains Vitamin C – and it has a protein content of 13-14 percent, making it higher than most other grains.

Uses: Salads, baking, cereal, soups. And you can pop it like popcorn, too.

2. Buckwheat

Buckwheat granola
Bob’s Red Mill

Buckwheat has higher levels of zinc, copper, and manganese than most grains – it also provides a very high amount of protein. It is rich in lysine, and its amino acid score is 100, which is one of the highest amino…

4 Plant-Based Gluten-Free Recipes for a Springtime Meatless Monday

Sorghum pesto salad
Image care of Blissful Basil

We’re positively giddy over all of the delicious spring produce at our farmers markets right now, and we’re having so much fun trying to find new and exciting ways to serve it up. These meatless recipes don’t just feature spectacular spring veggies like peas, spring onion, and asparagus, but they’re also gluten-free, so you can share them with all of your family and friends, no matter their dietary choices and restrictions – and especially on Meatless Monday.

Sorghum is a great alternative to bulgur wheat that’s gluten-free and high in fiber. In this recipe from Blissful Basil, it forms the base for a yummy salad made with an omega-rich hempseed pesto. Arugula adds a peppery bite to the pesto – and the salad – while sweet currants bring a welcome note of sweetness.

Minted Spring Green Peas Paté

image via Shutterstock

This vegan pâté

Raw Bar: 7 Healthier Snack Bars

Our favorite energy bars may be free of GMOs and gluten, but they are filled with flavor!

Need something on the run? Make the calories count with these nutritious, organic and (mostly) raw powerbars

We’re big proponents of fresh food. But sometimes on the go, you need something quick and easy, like a snack bar. Some are frankly no better than candy bars, but others can be nutrient powerhouses. At the last Natural Products Expo West, the world’s largest natural and organic products trade show, we hand-picked a selection of bars that are organic, raw, non-GMO, gluten-free, soy-free, dairy-free, wheat-free, trans fat-free, and with little to no added sugars:

  1. BluePrintBar. The makers of the celeb-favorite fresh-pressed juice cleanse have created a line of rich, chewy bars. Our editors loved the Cashew Date and the Lemon Almond Cashew Date bars. They’re made with fruits, nuts, and nothing else.
  2. Bites of Bliss Superfood Bites. We enjoyed the…

Meet the mum who became a social media star

Hippie Lane author Taline Gabrielian.
Hippie Lane author Taline Gabrielian.

SHE is a social media star with 495,000 Instagram followers and is a businesswoman who has turned her own battle with food sensitivities into a successful app and now a cookbook.

Taline Gabrielian, 36, created Hippie Lane after she built a successful social media following. The cookbook author started out by posting recipes she created on Instagram, following her doctor’s diagnosis that she had sensitivities to gluten, dairy, soy products, egg and refined sugar.

“After having my son Seb, I wasn’t feeling quite right,” she said in an email Q&A.

“In order to heal, I’d need to remove the offending foods from diet and find alternatives.

“It felt difficult at first – the no-no list felt long and limiting.”

However, Taline started visiting health food stores and experimenting in the kitchen – and sharing her results with the world.

“The demand for my recipes grew strong within the first six months on my social media journey which led me to create my recipe app, Hippie Lane, in 2015,” she said.

A year on, she was approached by a handful of publishers to create her first cookbook, which was released this month.

Taline shares two recipes from the new cookbook with Weekend, plus more of an insight into her food choices and family life.

How long have you been choosing this whole food or raw foods diet?

It’s been seven years since I changed my lifestyle to a gluten-free and dairy-free organic whole food diet.

What initially seemed like a major hurdle was in fact a blessing in disguise. Through my journey to healthy whole foods, I was able to establish my business, Hippie Lane, help myself to feel and look my best, whilst inspiring the worldwide health community with appealing healthy recipes.

How old are your kids now and do you ever face issues with them in public or at parties if they want to try a non-whole food? If so, how do you overcome that?

Seb is 7 and Camille is 4. Party food is definitely an obstacle for mums who are trying to steer clear of additives, preservatives and added sugars.

Although it pains me to know what’s in those party foods, I let my children choose one ‘not so healthy’ option at parties. Either it’s a piece of cake, a lolly, some chocolate, a fruit drink – whatever it is they prefer – they get to have a choice of one from the party table.

I want them to be able to join in on the celebrations without feeling deprived or different from the other kids. My belief is that deprived children rebel and seek out their cravings in other ways. I think it’s about balance and I’m keen on the 80/20 rule. Eat well 80% of the time, and be more relaxed about your choices for 20%. Same applies to adults and children.

If someone wants to make changes to their diet but is unsure where to start, what is your biggest tip?

Don’t overwhelm yourself with…

This Gluten-Free Chocolate Chip Skillet Cookie is So Good It Stops Time (Almost!)

cookie skillet

There is nothing better than pulling a warm tray of cookies out of the oven – with the exception, maybe, of pulling one giant warm cookie out of the oven. This skillet cookie is not only a delicious new way to get your cookie on, it’s also a gluten-free and Paleo-friendly treat that’s made with seriously wholesome ingredients.

With just a handful of pantry staples (like dark chocolate, duh) and roughly thirty minutes, this big warm cookie is all yours. All of it!

Buying the Ingredients

Traditional chocolate chip cookies are made with white flour, loads of white and brown sugar, and butter. Although as soul soothing as those cookies may be (especially if made by your grandma), there’s a more nutritious way to make them.

This skillet cookie is made with almond flour, maple syrup, nut butter, coconut oil, and dark chocolate – all very delicious (and healthy) ingredients.

Almond flour is made by blanched and finely ground almonds and is a rich source of protein, healthy fats, and vitamin E. As opposed to almond meal, almond flour has a finer and less gritty consistency. Make sure to use the latter in this recipe.

Maple syrup is a deliciously sweet alternative to white sugar. In small amounts, maple syrup does contain nutrients such as iron, calcium, and zinc. Look for a 100 percent pure organic maple syrup, without any added coloring or sugars. Maple syrup impostors such as those often labeled as “pancake syrup” are made with mostly high fructose corn sup and artificial flavorings and are not what you should be baking with — or pouring on pancakes.

The nut butter in this recipe is a creamy and nutritious way to reap healthy fats and a soft cookie texture. Any sort of creamy nut butter will do in this skillet cookie recipe including almond, peanut, sunflower, and cashew butter.

Using a bar of high quality dark chocolate, at least 70 percent cacao solids or higher, provides hearty chocolate chunks and a heavenly flavor to this skillet cookie. Unlike milk chocolate, dark chocolate contains more of the beneficial nutrients (including antioxidants to support…

You Can’t ‘Beet’ the Secret Ingredient in These Gluten-Free Vegan Chocolate Cupcakes

Vegan Gluten-Free Chocolate Cupcakes Recipe
iStock/esseffe

Gluten-free and vegan chocolate cupcakes no longer only exists in your dreams. They’re happening – right here, right now. What makes these cupcakes so cake-like and moist is the addition of beets, which does the job that animal-based products like milk, butter, and eggs are often called in to do. The beets don’t make the cupcakes taste like beet–instead, its presence magnifies the deep, earthy flavors of the chocolate. Enjoy!

Chocolate cupcakes are supposed to be decadent, but what if they were low-key vegan and gluten-free too? Win, win, and win.

  • For the cupcakes:
  • 1/2 cup almond milk
  • 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
  • 1/3 cup coconut nectar
  • 1 cup roasted beet puree
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/2 cup almond meal
  • 3/4 cup gluten-free flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • Dash of cayenne pepper
  • For the frosting:
  • 12 ounces coconut milk (chilled in the fridge)
  • 2 tablespoons coconut nectar…

WV Culinary Team: Ways to reduce daily gluten consumption

SALLY MILLER | Courtesy photo The batter for those pizza flaxseed crackers: no gluten, just lots of
SALLY MILLER | Courtesy photo
SALLY MILLER | Courtesy photo
SALLY MILLER | Courtesy photo

Have you wondered what all the hype is about gluten-free foods? Is it strictly for people with celiac disease, a way to sell books or just the latest trend?

It turns out there is science behind the effects that gluten can have on the body, and it is important for some people to avoid consuming it. However, if it is not causing you any health issues and you tolerate it well, you may not have to skip this grain-based protein.

While it is not necessary to avoid it if it works for you, it seems every day there are new stories about people who felt better when they eliminated gluten from their diet. I have worked with people who have found relief from their symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome, thyroid issues, auto-immune problems, chronic headaches, diabetes and depression in part by eliminating gluten from their diet.

Gluten is responsible for the elastic texture in dough and is found in the grains wheat, rye, barley, oats, kamut, spelt and triticale. It is hidden everywhere, so it is especially important to read the labels carefully for hidden gluten or wheat products. (See www.celiac.org to learn the hidden names and discover sources of gluten in food).

Other grains may be contaminated if they are grown or stored with gluten-containing grains. The best way to avoid it is to eat only whole, fresh foods and nothing made in a factory unless you are 100 percent sure it is gluten-free.

Even licorice, soy sauce, toothpaste, laundry detergent, shampoo, fruit juices and communion wafers can contain gluten.

“Celiac disease affects 1 percent of all people, but gluten sensitivity might affect up to 10 percent, or more than 30 million Americans. Less than 1 percent are diagnosed,” said Dr. Mark Hyman, author of “The Blood Sugar Solution.”

“Gluten is in refined, high-glycemic foods like bread or baked goods and contributes to weight gain and insulin resistance. Even whole wheat bread spikes your blood sugar more than table sugar; any grains can increase your blood sugar, for that matter,” he said.

Foremost, if you have celiac disease or gluten sensitivity, following a gluten-free diet becomes life-saving and a big must. Those of you who would like to feel better and would like to try to reduce gluten consumption, here are my suggestions:

n Eat more whole foods.

Gluten-packed foods are found on the grocery shelves in packages that have other additives and preservatives. Spending most of your time shopping the perimeter of the grocery store has health-promoting benefits.

n Eat fewer sugary sweets and yeast-filled breads.

Swap in healthy choices like fresh fruit or dark chocolate. Make some of your own sweets, crackers and flatbreads. Some easy, ready-made choices that are always on my grocery list are Coconut Wraps by Julian Bakery, Organic Thin Stackers by Lundberg and Mary’s Gone Crackers.

n Make your own salad dressings.

This is one of the easiest, healthiest and fastest ways to make some changes.

n Keep asking questions.

Remember that restaurants use gluten-filled flours to thicken their sauces and to bind foods together. Even veggie burgers may contain flour. I was told of a restaurant that coated its French fries with flour before deep-frying to make them crispier. Look for a gluten-free certification on the menu.

n Don’t be tricked by labels.

“Gluten-free” doesn’t necessarily mean “healthy.” Breads and baked goods marked gluten-free are frequently made from rice, potatoes and corn and are often much lower in fiber than their gluten-containing counterparts. Check the sugar content, which can be very high, substituting sugar for flavor.

“Naturally gluten-free” is a marketing ploy placed on foods that have the absence of gluten-like sugar, syrups, oils, corn chips and nuts, to name a few. Watch for the certified gluten-free symbol — “GF” inside a circle — not just the words “gluten-free.”

n Watch your grocery bill.

Gluten-free prepared items can be pricey while lacking in nutrition. Whenever possible, make gluten-free foods from scratch to control your ingredients and keep the grocery bill within a budget.

n Replace your vitamins and minerals.

Unprocessed gluten…

Her food allergies nearly killed her, so KC native is helping others with cooking show

Mary Beth Eversole is slaying her food demons on YouTube, one ingredient substitution at a time.

When she was diagnosed with “seven allergies and a myriad of sensitivities,” she stood in front of her kitchen pantry with a sense of hopelessness.

“I just started to cry. It brought up a lot of things, because I’m a recovered anorexic,” Eversole said recently while sipping some green organic tea and taste-testing a raw, unbaked, gluten-free brownie at Unbakery & Juicery at 634 E. 63rd St.

Eversole, 34, was home to visit family. She graduated from Shawnee Mission West High School and the University of Missouri-Kansas City. She is an actress and voice teacher in Los Angeles, where she has landed roles on Lifetime’s “My Crazy Ex” and the short film “Over? Over!” (a Cannes Film Festival winner) and is a stand-in for “American Horror Story.”

But her most delicious role so far may be as the host of “Allergy Actress Cooking,” her year-old cooking show. In the weekly half-hour episodes, Eversole helps others who have food allergies figure out safe, clean-eating strategies. Episodes include “Superbowl Survival!” and “Kid-Friendly Allergy-Friendly Pizza.”

Eversole’s own diet — which adheres closely to what is popularly known as the paleo diet — eliminates meat, fish, shellfish, most dairy, soy, corn and wheat, which, to non-allergy sufferers may sound like a bare cupboard. Yet Eversole insists her recipes are hearty and delicious enough for even the pickiest eaters.

Although Eversole is not a professional cook or baker, she became “a master at substitutions,” she says. To prove her point, she hands me three allergy-free macarons. “I combined six recipes over the weekend. It took four tries, but I got it.”

Almond flour — a traditional base for French macarons — is naturally gluten-free. But she uses a special brand of powdered sugar with tapioca rather than cornstarch, an additive often used to keep the sugar from clumping. She used pure cane sugar for the batch, but coconut sugar can also be used. Instead of synthetic dyes, she uses natural food coloring made from beets.

When Eversole was finally diagnosed with food allergies 15 years ago, she began recalling how she had been self-eliminating foods as early as age 5. By the time she was 8, she quit eating meat because it made her stomach hurt. Her food eliminations eventually became so extreme, anorexia nearly killed her.

She was recovered and thriving until one day, when dining out with her husband and in-laws, she ordered a gluten-free pasta dish served at a national chain restaurant. It was a dish she had eaten before, but a few bites in, she realized something was different. The server told her the pasta dish contained no wheat — just semolina.

Semolina is a coarsely ground wheat flour.

Eversole had an anaphylactic reaction. Luckily, hers are not immediately life-threatening, though they are extremely debilitating: “Each food is different. Each reaction is different,” she says.

Still, she wound up in the emergency room. The restaurant manager offered her a free dessert. “I could have pursued suing them, but I’d rather educate them to keep this from happening again,” she says.

Eversole’s goal is to “bring joy to a diagnosis that can be debilitating,” and despite its lack of technical sophistication (she just held an Indiegogo campaign to raise…

Healthy recipe for Maha Shavaratri– Gluten-free nuts laddoo

Fitness-nuts laddoo-THS

Wish to try some gluten-free, sugar-free, fat-free, guilt-free desserts? Here is a perfect recipe you can whip up during fasts to snack. Nuts laddu is filled with the goodness of roasted peanuts, dates and jaggery and is yet free of fat and low in calories. What’s more, you can prepare this nuts laddoo with only four ingredients and in very little time. Here’s a healthy diet plan for fasting.

Dates are an excellent source of dietary potassium and are considered good for weight loss. For the best results, use fresh seedless dates or organic dates. Peanuts are rich in monosaturated fats and oleic acid which makes it good for your heart. Eating a handful every day can keep heart disease at bay! Jaggery…

You Won’t Regret This Gluten-Free Maple Sesame Glazed Chicken Recipe

The following post was originally featured on Cook Eat Paleo and written by Lisa Wells, who is part of Collective Fitness.

This maple sesame glazed chicken recipe from Stephanie Weaver’s new book, The Migraine Relief Plan, is paleo, gluten-free, and dairy-free. It’s also free from any ingredients that are possible migraine triggers.

What does food have to do with migraines? Quite a bit actually, according to certified health and wellness coach Stephanie Weaver.

Using the latest research, her own migraine diagnosis, and extensive testing, Stephanie has created a plan to help those living with migraines.

And as she does on her blog Recipe Renovator, Stephanie developed healthy recipes to transition you to a migraine-friendly diet. There are simple recipes free…

Decadent 4-Ingredient Chocolate Avocado Truffles

The following post was originally featured on Eating Bird Food and written by Brittany Mullins, who is part of POPSUGAR Collective.

No one will never guess these decadent 4-ingredient chocolate avocado truffles are made with avocado instead of heavy cream. As long as you use dairy-free chocolate chips, these creamy truffles are gluten-free and vegan!

I hope you had a lovely holiday weekend! Isaac has been sick over the past few days so that’s been a bummer, but we’ve made the most of it. We had Indian food for dinner on Friday night with friends, celebrated Christmas with my family on Christmas Eve, had a nice Christmas morning at home just the two of us, and then spent Sunday night celebrating Hanukkah with Isaac’s family. It was perfect… just went by too fast.

I am excited for this coming weekend — both the celebration and the excitement of a new year. 2016 was fine, but I’m ready for a fresh start. Plus, January is always a great month for Eating Bird Food. Everyone is jumping back into healthy habits and/or getting started with…

5 Healthy Eating Myths That You Should Know The Truth About

The beginning of the year is when most of us attempt to be at our healthiest best (for obvious reasons). And this means we’re constantly on the Internet, trying to find diet plans, recipes, etc. But not everything you read on the web should be believed. While most of the stuff we read is legit, some of it has no scientific backing. So, before you go full swing with your ‘new year, new you’ life and diet plan, here are five healthy eating myths that you should know the truth about.

Going gluten-free is the way to be

glutenfree

Unless you’re gluten intolerant or have Celiac disease (which is a serious autoimmune disease, where consuming gluten leads to damage in one’s small intestine), giving up gluten is not going to do you any specific good. It is not going to make you any healthier, nor is it going to make any significant difference to your waist-size. Plus, certain gluten-free products can actually be bad for you, if not made with the correct ingredients.

Anything labelled organic = food from the heavens

organicfood

Yes, while organic produce is definitely a better option…