What is gluten? Gluten is a protein found in wheat that gives elasticity to dough, helping it to rise and keep its shape. Avoiding wheat can be especially hard because this means you should avoid all wheat-based flours and ingredients. These include but are not limited to: white flour, whole wheat flour, kamut, semolina, spelt and wheat germ. Products made with rice, millet, and quinoa are very popular as substitutes for wheat and barley based products.
Why gluten free? For people suffering from gluten intolerance, a gluten-free diet is important because it is thought that the gluten in grain is not recognised by the immune system, so it attacks the intestines and can cause severe damage. People who are unaware they have an intolerance to gluten can cause permanent damage to their body and can suffer from nutrient loss because their digestive tract doesn’t absorb nutrients from their food properly. Some immediate symptoms of gluten intolerance include gas and bloating.
There is thought to be a link between gluten intolerance and autoimmune disease where the prevalence of autoimmune diseases is said to be increased in patients with coeliac disease. As as result of this, it is thought by some, that the advantages of a gluten-free diet include a reduction in some of the symptoms associated with auto-immune disease as well as a healthier life. People who go gluten free also report an increase in energy. It has also been suggested that a subgroup of autistic patients may benefit when placed on a gluten-free diet.
Take note: A food billed as “gluten-free” isn’t necessarily healthier. Gluten-free products can be high in calories, fat, and carbohydrates, and some people who go gluten-free can actually gain weight. Choose from lots of fresh, healthy foods like fruits, vegetables, beans, nuts and gluten-free grains like quinoa, amaranth or rice!
Ingredients (serves 3):
250g of gluten free pasta
150g of mushrooms (preferably organic)
2 cloves of garlic
Half a bag of spinach, 100g
2 tbs olive oil
Salt and pepper
– 30 grams of basil leaves
– 3 brazil nuts
– 75 ml olive oil
– a small piece of goat cheese
– sea salt
1) Boil the pasta until al dente.
2) Meanwhile blend all the pesto ingredients together.
3) Cook the vegetables with the olive oil in a frying pan for a few mins. Season with salt and black pepper.
4) Drain the pasta and mix into pesto, along with the vegetables.
5) Serve with some goat cheese and coriander on top, if you like.
Maria’s tip: Pour the pesto into a jar and cover with a little extra olive oil, then seal and store in the fridge. It will keep in a fridge for up to two weeks.
What did you think of this post? If you liked it please SHARE the love.