For real bread lovers, giving up the loaf is one of the hardest changes to make when going gluten free. The smell, texture, crust, and crumb are impossible to replicate in gluten free versions, and the results can be disappointing.
So what to eat instead?
Here are 6 interesting and tasty naturally gluten free alternatives to bread…
Sweet potato toast – simple and ever so easy to make. Slice a sweet potato lengthways into 5mm thick slices. Pop them in a toaster or under the grill, and toast until golden and slightly crispy. Top with nut butter, butter, tuna mayonnaise, mashed sardines, poached egg…
Nori sheets bring some sushi flavours to your meal with nori wraps. Nori, like all sea vegetables, is rich in iodine, zinc, calcium, and magnesium, plus several different B-vitamins. It also contains fucans, a type of carbohydrate unique to sea vegetables that has anti-inflammatory and immune-supporting benefits. To use the nori sheets, lay them out flat and top with shredded vegetables, meat or fish, houmous, salad leaves, and maybe some pickles or sauerkraut. Or go full on sushi and make your own sushi rolls!
Socca – also called farinata, this is a simple flatbread made from chickpea (garbanzo) flour, oil, water, and a dash of salt. Add herbs and spices as you wish for extra flavour. There’s recipes available here and here.
Crackers – there’s so many to choose from now; rice ,corn, oat (make sure they are certified gluten free), buckwheat – we need never get bored with crackers again.
Flaxseed muffins – packed with fibre, protein, essential fats, and phytoestrogens, ground flax is your hormone-balancing friend. These muffins are ideal for breakfast or a light, balanced, snack. This recipe is from There Is Life After Wheat
Gluten free scones can be savoury or sweet, as these recipes from Jody Vassallo on the Jamie Oliver blog show. For the savoury version, if pumpkin isn’t in season try using mashed sweet potato or butternut squash instead.
Do you have a favourite gluten free alternative to bread? Let me know in the comments below or over on FB or Twitter!
Gluten-free bread has gained a bit of a reputation for being crumbly and tasteless.
Because of this, many gluten-free home bakers have taken matters into their own hands and created their own delicious recipes.
Step forward Reg. Nutritionist Abby Foreman and her gluten-free seeded bread rolls!
As a Coeliac, Abby knows only too well the pitfalls of gluten-free breads. In the quest for better breads, she’s created these seeded bread rolls packed with fibre, vitamins, and minerals. They can even be batch cooked and frozen. Simply reheat in a warm oven – perfect for when you really need a bread bun with your lunchtime soup!
1 cup quinoa flakes
1 cup buckwheat flour
1 1/2 cup pumpkin seeds
1/2 cup sunflower seeds
3 tbsp psyllium husks – this is the vital ingredient for making the dough sticky and held together
2 tbsp mixed herbs
2 tbsp whole chia seeds
2 tbsp whole flax seeds
2 tbsp salt
600ml fresh water
Put the quinoa flakes and 1 cup of the pumpkin seeds in a food processed. Blend into a fine flour. Place all the dry ingredients into a bowl with the flour and combine well. Stir in the water, and mix everything together well. Let the mixture sit for an hour to absorb the water.
Preheat the oven to 180 c fan and line a baking tray (or two) with some greaseproof paper. Take a fist full of the dough and shape into a bread roll before placing it on the baking tray.
Bake the rolls for around 45 minutes until golden and crispy on the outside.
The rolls are best eaten when warm. You can store in an airtight container in the fridge for a few days, or in the freezer for a couple of months. Simply place the roll in the oven to heat through.
For more recipes from Abby and to find out about her 1-1 consultation services and online packages go to www.afnutrition.co.uk
April is the ideal month for gathering fresh new nettles. It’s early May as I write this, but I still managed to find some tender young plants to gather the top few leaves from.
The combination of nettles + leeks + baby spinach delivers a light creamy flavoured soup, packed with magnesium, calcium, potassium, vitamin C, beta carotene, vitamin K, folate, quercetin and more. All Good Things for energy, levels, mental wellbeing, and coping with stress.
These ingredients made 4 servings of soup:
25g butter (or a dessertspoon of coconut oil if avoidng dairy)
1 medium leek, sliced
1 white onion, chopped
1 teaspoon of minced garlic / 1-2 cloves chopped
2 medium white potatoes cut into cubes
Roughly 80g baby spinach
A bowlful of thoroughly washed nettle tops (the first 4-6 leaves from the top of the stem) – this was about a cereal bowl sized bowl-full
1- 1.5 litre vegetable stock (depending on if you like your soup thick or runny)
Melt the butter in a large pan. Add the onion, leek and garlic and sweat them over a low heat for 5-6mins. Add the spinach, nettles, potato, and stock and simmer for 10mins until the potatoes are soft. Blend, and serve topped with toasted pumpkin seeds or pine nuts.
This delicious recipe comes from nutrition student Louise North. It’s a simple, 5-ingredient soup, packed with Good Stuff including:
Broccoli and leek provide plenty of soluble fibre. Gut bacteria ferment this fibre and produce short-chain fatty acids. These fatty acids are vital fuel for cells lining the gut. Clever, eh!
Broccoli (and other dark green veggies) contain quercetin, a powerful anti-inflammatory flavonoid. Research shows quercetin to be useful in managing inflammation, particularly when associated with obesity, and allergic reactions.
Broccoli comes up trumps again with its high levels of glucosinolates – sulphur containing compounds found in cruciferous vegetables. Glucosinolates are activated by an enzyme called myrosinase which converts them into isothiocyanates and indoles. Both these compounds support hormone biotransformation pathways in the liver and can be helpful for managing oestrogen levels.
The enzyme myrosinase is activated when cruciferous veggies like broccoli are chopped and diced. Let the diced broccoli sit for 10-15mins before adding it to the soup to give the enzyme time to work more effectively.
Ingredients (makes 4 servings)
2 large leeks
1 large head of broccoli
1 large onion
25g butter OR 1 tablespoon olive oil
1 litre veg stock
Wash and chop the leeks and onion. Chop the broccoli, including the stalk – no stalk wasting here! In a large pan gently heat the butter/oil and sweat the leeks and onion until soft. Add the stock and allow to simmer for ten minutes. Add the chopped broccoli and simmer until it’s al dente: cooked but not mushy. Allow the soup to cool slightly then blend until smooth – or leave a few bits in, the choice is yours!
Homemade ghee is low-cost, delicious, and super easy to make.
As a cooking fat it is stable at higher temperatures, and adds a unique flavour to curries and risottos, and pretty much any other dish requiring butter or oil!
Ghee is simply clarified butter: pure butter fat with virtually no protein residues left. This makes it tolerable for some people with mild dairy protein sensitivities – though I wouldn’t recommend ghee if you have a dairy allergy as it isn’t guaranteed to be 100% whey and casein-free.
Here’s a step by step guide to making rich, golden, more-ish ghee…
You will need:
250g block of organic unsalted butter
A couple of pieces of cheesecloth to line the sieve
Glass jug to strain the ghee into
Jar to store the ghee; this can be an old jam jar or mason jar – anything with a secure lid
Let’s get started…
Dice the butter into small cubes and heat gently in the pan.
The melted butter will start to bubble and foam. After a few minutes the bubbles will go down, and then start up again.
After this second round of bubbling and foaming, you will see a dark reddish coloured residue at the bottom of the pan. The ghee is now done!
Remove from the heat and allow to cool for a couple of minutes, then strain through the sieve into the jug.
Carefully pour the ghee into your storage jar, and allow to cool to room temperature.
By now, the ghee will be starting to set. Fasten the lid securely and allow it to set completely. Your ghee is complete -enjoy!
This recipe comes from Elena Holmes, a fellow nutrition consultant and superb vegan cook! Based on a traditional dish from northern Italy, Elena has added more vegetables and spices to increase the taste, colour and nutritional quality.
200g Gram flour (also sold as chickpea flour)
approximately 400ml water
1 medium leek
1 red onion
1 red pepper
1 large courgette
4-5 medium tomatoes
1 bunch fresh (or dried) sage
Optional spices: crushed chillies, turmeric, curry, smoked paprika – select according to taste
Olive oil to grease the tray and drizzle over the farinata
Pinch of salt
Carefully mix the flour, water and salt until it has the consistency of cream or gravy – use a whisk to avoid lumps. Leave this mixture to rest for 40-60mins.
Preheat the oven to 200°C.
Dice the vegetables and sage. Oil a standard sized baking tray and scatter the veg and sage evenly over it. Add your chosen spices. Pour the flour mixture over the vegetables, drizzle sparingly with olive oil and bake for 25-30mins until the vegetables are cooked andthe farinata has the consistency of soft flat bread. Allow to cool for a few minutes then cut into pieces and serve. Leftovers can be eaten cold the next day.
Leaving the snug confines of the duvet is a little bit easier if you have a delicious breakfast to look forward to. And at this time of year we need something warming to pull us out of that blanket nest.
Porridge is the obvious hot breakfast and this doesn’t have to be made with oats: quinoa flakes, buckwheat flakes, millet and polenta all make tasty porridge-like dishes.
But what if you can’t stand the texture of porridge?
Try these tempting alternatives instead and enjoy a warming, porridge-free start to your day!
For the pancake mixture blend buckwheat flour with whichever milk you enjoy and either a mashed banana or an egg. Serve with blueberries and yoghurt (natural, soya or coconut).
2.Poached eggs with spinach, grilled mushrooms & grilled tomatoes
Protein, greens and antioxidant nutrients are all packed together in this simple breakfast.
3. Warm Smoothies
Many people abandon smoothies once the weather turns cold but you can switch them round to suit the winter months. Simply warm the milk and add 1/4 teaspoon each of cinnamon and turmeric before blending in your fruit and greens.
4. Stewed Fruit Crumble
Apple, pears and plums are perfect stewing fruit and plentiful at this time of year. Top with homemade sugar-free granola, flaked almonds and seeds and a dollop of yoghurt (natural, soya or coconut).
5. Pumpkin & quinoa bowl
Mix pre-roasted pumpkin (or butternut squash) with cooked quinoa, chopped walnuts and a sprinkle of cinnamon – add yoghurt too if you like!
6. Veggie omelette
Gently fry chopped peppers, mushrooms, spinach and a handful of cherry tomatoes in coconut / olive / avocado oil then add beaten egg to make a speedy, healthful breakfast omelette.
Or try Rainbow Egg Cups; these can be batch cooked and stored in the fridge or freezer to last all week.
7. Toasted rye bread with sliced avocado, pistachio nuts and chopped fresh figs
Use gluten-free bread or oatcakes for a G/F alternative to rye bread, and drizzle a little raw honey over the figs.
8. Tofu Scramble
Tofu is a great alternative to scrambled eggs and a rich source of calcium, magnesium and protein. For full recipe details click through to www.thekitchn.com
Which foods tempt you from under the covers at this time of year?
Tell us more over in the Facebook group!
As well as being a staple ingredient in so many curry dishes it can be added to warm milk for a ‘turmeric latte’, mixed with hot water, ginger, raw honey and lemon for a soothing cold-fighting brew or simply blended in with other herbs and spices in casseroles and soups.
Shakela Shan from www.nutrishan.com is a Nutritional Therapist with a special interest in weight management. Her passion for creating new recipes really shines through and she has kindly shared this one for you!
1 cup quinoa
1.5 cup water
1/4 teaspoon of turmeric powder
Salt and black pepper to taste
Chopped fresh coriander
1. In a pan add quinoa, water, salt, turmeric and black pepper and bring to the boil. Reduce the heat and simmer for 10 minutes with the lid on the pan. Turn the heat off and allow to stand for a further 10-15 minutes.
2. Finally add the cranberries, coriander, flaked almonds and a drizzle of olive oil. Stir in all the ingredients with a fork.
Serve with chicken / fish / lentils, and a colourful salad for a nutrient-packed meal!