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
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!
Squashed in between meetings, deadlines, errands, phonecalls, school runs, it’s too often relegated to Boring Sandwich, ‘Meal Deal’ or Nothing. Unless you’re in France, in which case take two hours off and dine like you mean it.
Let’s change this. Let’s spark things up. Let’s make lunch something you can’t wait to eat, and gets others drooling with envy…
First things first: preparation. As with all good meals, the magic is in the prep. Create a list of foods to purchase every week so you always have the necessary bits to hand to make lunches. If you don’t buy it, you can’t eat it! Think about vegetables, salad leaves, fruit, tinned fish, fresh meat (see below), and grains like rice, quinoa and buckwheat for salads.
Once you’ve stocked up, take a few minutes to think about the week ahead: how many lunches do you need to prepare? Where will you be eating? Does it need to be cold food, or are reheatable items an option?
These lunch ingredients can be made in advance and will keep in the fridge for days, giving you plenty of mix-and-match options;
– Slow cooked meat: at the weekend I like to slow cook a chicken. I use a slow-cooker so it’s merrily cooking away while I get out and about. We eat some for Sunday dinner, and the rest is left for pack-ups. Slow-cooked ham works well too, just shred it with forks and you have pulled-pork filling for pittas or salad.
– Roasted vegetables: chop peppers, aubergine, courgettes, and fennel into chunks and roast in coconut oil for 30-40mins.
– Hard boiled eggs
– Pesto: this works well with cashews instead of pine nuts.
– Brown rice or quinoa: remember to cool rice quickly and store in the fridge until eating.
All prepped? Now to spend 10mins each morning creating that knockout lunch*….
(*or dinner as it’s known here in Yorkshire. Breakfast, dinner, and tea.)
Salad Box: rice or quinoa topped with a protein (shredded ham / hardboiled egg / houmous / fish) and a mixture of roasted vegetables and handful of salad leaves. Dress with a drizzle of olive or flax oil, squeeze of lemon, and black pepper.
Sandwiches: not the boring ones. Swap dull bread for good quality sourdough or for gluten-free options think creatively and use nori wraps, corn tortillas, or large butterhead lettuce leaves to hold the fillings.
Soups: my all time favourite lunch. Enjoy with oatcakes and houmous or small chunk of good quality cheese.
Pasta Box: leftover pasta (regular or gluten-free) with pesto, roasted vegetables and cherry tomatoes.
This can be tricky when you have specific dietary needs like gluten or dairy free, but it is getting easier. I was deliriously happy to discover a ‘Leon’ outlet at the motorway services recently and enjoyed a delicious wheat and dairy-free chicken and brown rice meal!
If you know your options are limited when eating out, carry some basics with you like trail mix and a piece of fruit so you can top up if there’s not much available.
Most city centres have a Pret and an M&S: Pret have a good selection of soups, salad boxes, chopped fruit, and snacky things like nuts and hardboiled eggs with spinach. Marks & Spencer offer mixed grain salads, picnic sized cheeses, chopped fruit, nuts, and houmous pots.
Stuck at a tiny cafe in the middle of nowhere? How about a baked potato, omelette, or soup.
Whatever your day holds, a nourishing lunch is essential to sustain your energy and wellbeing. Symptoms of fatigue, irritability, anxiety, poor concentration and depression are all influenced by the foods we eat, so give your body it’s best shot at working well by feeding it with love and care.
Try these ideas and see what a difference they make to your life – do let me know via email or over in the Facebook group!
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