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

How Orthorexia Helped Me Heal From a Lifelong Eating Disorder

The following post was originally published on Clean Living Guide.

The Anxiety of Being Good

The pursuit of the illusive waif figure consumed nearly half my life. Each moment was permeated by the trinity of deprivation, binging, and purging. Everything revolved around “good” and “bad” choices, but bad choices had ramifications and solutions. This produced an immense amount of anxiety, leading to incredible release and relief when the misstep was corrected. In contrast, good choices felt good in the moment but produced an anxiety that had no solution. Rooted in deprivation, good choices would ultimately give way to the loss of control.

From the time I was 13 until about 30, I purged an average of 50 percent of my food intake. It began with throwing up bad foods, but quickly escalated to not only throwing up when I ate too much of a regular meal, but to eating simply for the purpose of vomiting. Not because I enjoyed throwing up, but because the anxiety produced around the struggle between having or not having the guilty food was so great that I knew it was safer to satisfy it by going all out with the binge.

Gluten, Fat-Free Foods & Bulimia

The real kicker is that bulimics don’t often get skinny. Their metabolisms are so out of whack that their bodies hold on to every sugary, fat-producing carbohydrate — ensuring a perpetual pudge. So even though I was purging regularly, I was still what felt like “fat” throughout my high school years. It wasn’t until my early 20s that I became driven enough to dramatically limit my food intake in addition to binging and purging. Finally I began to lose the weight that made me uncomfortable, but even so, I never got to be as skinny as I longed to be.

For one I had a gluten allergy, which despite having all the symptoms of the disease, remained undiscovered by myriad doctors who tended to me all throughout my adolescence and high school (read more about the symptoms of gluten intolerance and Celiac here). In all likelihood, the puffy-pudgy body I began to develop as a little girl was a result of untreated gluten intolerance.

That was the beginning of my weight gain, but the second issue that perpetuated my bloated body was diet, and dieting specifically. As a teen I began to reject the healthy whole foods that my Polish parents made and began to shift towards non-fat foods, more processed American foods, and finally dipped into going vegetarian. Fighting perpetual malnutrition and anemia because of the gluten intolerance, while feeding my body fat-free carb and gluten-heavy foods threw my already slowed metabolism into a tailspin.

Healing Through Orthorexia

When the internet became a viable river of information in the early 2000s, my obsessive-compulsive personality drove me to pore over whatever information I could find on dieting, and conversely on holistic healing. I felt desperate to get better. The purging became so prevalent that I was afraid for my life and seeking the help of doctors, psychiatrists, and cognitive psychologists was not producing meaningful results. Seeing holistic healers helped me to better understand that emotional connection between the obsessive behavior and my childhood experiences, but epiphanies alone couldn’t cut through the wiring to my obsessive behavior.

Here’s where healing and orthorexia finally step in. First let me preface by highlighting that orthorexia is not an officially recognized disorder in the DSM-5 (Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders). This is a term coined by Dr. Steven Bratman, in a piece he wrote for Yoga Journal in 1997. He came up with the term to refer to what he believed to be an “unhealthy obsession” with healthy food in patients with eating disorders. By using this term I’m recognizing that my first forays into genuinely healthy eating — as opposed to deprivation — may have been obsessive. But it was this obsession that laid the foundation for healing from inside out.

Over time as I continued to research glimpses of information began to surface pointing out that natural fats in whole foods were not the cause of weight gain. I began to learn that the copious amounts of processed soy milk I had been consuming for years was full of hormone-disrupting chemicals; that non-fat, high-carb foods were responsible for weight gain (not weight-loss); that there were GMOs in our food supply; that pesticides were not to be taken lightly, and that the story we’d been fed about saturated fat was a lie. And eventually, that grains and gluten specifically might be the cause of my hard to control weight, along with cause for the mental, skin, and other disorders I was battling.

Trusting Food Again

Living with an eating disorder means that you have a high capacity for creating order. So as this information began to flood my mind, I slowly — and I mean at a snail’s pace — was able to shift my OCD mind to focus on eating authentically nourishing foods. It took quite a few years, but as I began to witness that eating healthy whole foods did not result in weight gain, I began to trust food again.

At the height of my dieting obsession, aside from anti-nutrient foods like saltines and soy milk, I ate healthy foods too — salads, soups, smoothies, and the like. But I was obsessed with the food that I “kept down” being nearly fat-free. I denied myself the nutrient-dense foods my body so desperately craved and needed, like butter, beef, eggs, and even olive oil. If I did eat those foods they were nearly guaranteed to “come back up.” In effect I was starving…

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…

Viral trigger may underlie development of celiac disease

Reovirus, which commonly infects humans without causing any symptoms, may trigger an immune response to gluten that causes celiac disease, report US researchers.

In a study published in Science, orally infecting mice with the seemingly benign virus triggered an immune response to gluten and led to celiac disease symptoms in the rodents.

The study raises the possibility that, in the future, vaccines could be used to prevent celiac disease and other autoimmune disorders such as type 1 diabetes.

Virologist Herbert Virgin (University of Washington), who collaborated with some of the study authors but was not involved in the research says: “It’s been hypothesized for decades that virus infection can trigger autoimmune processes. This study provides an example of that phenomenon and some mechanistic insight into how this might work for celiac disease.”

For the study, lead author Bana Jabri (University of Chicago Celiac Disease Center) and colleagues orally infected mice with two different human reovirus isolates and showed that genetic differences between the virus…

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…

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…

Goodbye Protein Shakes, Hello Banana Mini Muffins

The following post was originally featured on Carrots ‘n’ Cake and written by Tina Haupert, who is part of POPSUGAR Collective.

Good morning and happy Monday! I hope you had a very lovely weekend!

So, here’s that mini muffin recipe that I mentioned the other day. It’s a new favorite in our house for sure. Be sure to bookmark and/or pin it!

These Gluten-Free Banana Protein Mini Muffins are the perfect little treat when you want just a bite…

Hailey Lost Over 100 Pounds (and She Eats Dairy and Gluten!)

A few years ago, Hailey Hechtman looked at pictures of herself at a wedding and didn’t recognize the woman she saw. She realized that she had turned to food for comfort and put everyone else’s needs before her own. Sound familiar?

Hailey: Before

We can all learn from Hailey’s journey; the moment she dedicated herself to her health journey, the weight fell off, and she did it without eradicating major food groups or restricting calories like crazy. Hailey went from a size 22 to a size 8, but what’s most inspiring is the joy she’s found. Her brave commitment to her health and self-care is an example of how we must better ourselves in order to give to others and live our happiest, healthiest lives.

POPSUGAR: What made you decide to start your weight-loss journey?

Hailey Hechtman: For the majority of my childhood, into my teens and through my early adulthood, I had been overweight. From the time that I was a kid, I compensated for the lack of attention and involvement from my family with food. I am not entirely sure how this started, but there was certainly something within me that felt alone, ignored, and isolated, which for brief moments in time was put to the back of my mind when I ate. When it came to my weight, it was something that I ignored, something that when I looked in the mirror I tried to pretend wasn’t real or was OK somehow, even though deep down I knew that I wasn’t happy with not only the way I looked but the way I felt.

“I remember sitting on the couch in my apartment almost in shock. Was that me? Is that what I really looked like?”

I was the kind of person, especially as a teen and into my twenties, that would focus all of my energy into other people; their problems, their dreams, their dating lives. All of it was fundamentally more important to me than having to face my own reality. I was the kind of friend that would spend every waking hour trying to help you without ever reflecting on what I needed to be happy, and by virtue of my dedication to others, I thought that I was happy. I got all of my validation from how much people relied on me and none of it from my own accomplishments.

When I was 20, just having finished my second year of university, my perspective changed. I had just gone through a breakup with a long-distance boyfriend who was supposed to be my date to my cousin’s upcoming wedding. I went to the wedding alone, enjoyed myself, had a great time . . . but then I saw the pictures. I remember sitting on the couch in my apartment almost in shock. Was that me? Is that what I really looked like? I got up off the couch and for the first time in many years, walked to the scale. I stepped on . . . 287 pounds. I cried and said to myself that day, standing on that scale, that that was the heaviest I would ever be. From that moment on I committed to dedicating my time over that Summer away from school to becoming the me that I deserved to be, that I could no longer just keep hiding from my body and instead owed it to myself to take the time to get healthy, fit, and work on my self-care.

Hailey: After

PS: What’s your favorite way to work out?

HH: When I first started trying to lose weight, exercise was terrifying. I had never been an athletic person; in fact, I often used to pretend that I wasn’t feeling well to get out of gym class and would hide out in the bathroom if a friend asked me to go to the gym with them. I knew though that I would have to work out in order to see results and become a healthier person.

I started simply with walking. The first few weeks I would walk for 30 minutes around my neighborhood and then the next few weeks for 45 minutes. I kept increasing this as time went on. I also tried to incorporate bodyweight exercises like squats and crunches, which when I was nearly 300 pounds left me sore in a way that I had never been before. Despite the level of discomfort, the newness felt like a really nice change of pace and I began to start enjoying my workouts as they got progressively longer and varied.

“I committed to becoming the me that I deserved to be; I owed it to myself to get healthy.”

PS: What’s your weekly exercise schedule?

HH: Now, six years later, I love working out and have actually found that it replaced food as an excellent way to relieve stress and make me feel in control. On an average week, I work out four to six times and try to keep it as fresh and engaging as possible. Twice per week, I will do strength training with heavier weights, including squats, side bends, kettlebell swings, seated boats with weight, as well as ab training like planks.

Two days per week I do lighter weight cardio workouts with exercises that incorporate getting my heart-rate up and using light dumbbells such as weighted jumping jacks and weighted high knees. On the other one or two days per week I work on decompression including mobility flow exercises, foam rolling, and yoga to help with recovery. During the day, I spend a lot of time…

A Recipe for Gluten-Free Trail Mix Cookies

Looking for an afternoon snack that will satisfy your sweet tooth too? Look no further! These trail mix cookies are loaded with nuts, seeds, and chocolate, which will make your taste buds happy and ward off hunger pangs. Whether you’re avoiding gluten in your diet or not, these cookies will put a smile on your face!

gluten-free-cookies

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups almond flour/meal
  • 1 stick of butter (8 tbsp), softened
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/8 tsp…

Recipe for a successful baking company

  • Taborsky and Gillham
    Taborsky and Gillham

Five years after Jan Taborsky ’10, MBA’11 and Lacy Gillham ’10 founded their own business, Happy Campers Gluten Free, they’re living up to their venture’s name.

With sales of their gluten-free breads rising steadily and the company expanding into states beyond Oregon, Taborsky and Gillham have discovered that going gluten-free can be as good for your business as for your health.

Recipe for success

1. Mix

A gluten-intolerance diagnosis and MBA classes turned out to be the perfect mix for Taborsky and Gillham. Unable to find healthy and tasty gluten-free food to fuel their outdoor adventures, they started making their own bread — an enterprise that eventually became one of Taborsky’s class projects at the Atkinson Graduate School of Management.

2. Let rise

The couple developed recipes, baked a few times a week and started selling bread at local farmers’ markets. After outgrowing a tiny, borrowed commercial kitchen, the company moved to a dedicated bakery, and this summer, it moved again to a 10-times-larger, certified gluten-free bakery in Portland, Oregon. The company now has 12 employees, who produce about 1,100 loaves and buns a day. Although they still spend time in the bakery, Taborsky and Gillham focus more on sales, marketing, and research and development.

3. Punch up

“This past year has been the biggest year in our company’s history, in nearly all measurable ways,” says Taborsky. In fall 2015, Happy Campers Gluten Free expanded into the greater Seattle area, its first major inroad beyond Oregon. Northern California soon…