Gluten Free Baking For the Holidays

Gluten Free Holiday Recipes

Gluten-allergy and Gluten Intolerance is a Wheat-related Disorder

Gluten-Free Baking Week is observed each year annually the week before Christmas, this year on December 17th – 23rd. So we at WilcoWellness decided to help those who deal with gluten allergies with a little guide to a way you can still savor yummy holiday treats. Also, to learn more about the 411 on gluten.

Not a Gluten (eating) Mouse Stirs in this House

‘Twas the week before Christmas, when all through the house…Not a creature was gluten, not even the (crumbs are eaten by) a mouse. Okay, that was a long stretch to make a rhyme. However, Symptoms for a person who is gluten intolerant can include anywhere from pain in the belly to nausea and diarrhea after eating foods that contain gluten, such as wheat and rye.

What is gluten?

Typically found in wheat, gluten is a type of protein that helps food hold its shape.

  • Wheat: Foods like bread, baked goods, pasta noodles, and salad dressings contain wheat.
  • Barley: syrups, food coloring, beer, brewer’s yeast, and malt contain grain.
  • Rye: Cereals, rye bread, and rye beer contain rye.
  • Triticale: Pasta, bread, and cereals contain a new grain called triticale, which is a cross between rye and wheat. Also found in oats.

Read more from Celiac Disease Foundation about “What is Gluten?”

What are gluten-intolerant symptoms?

When gluten causes an immune response, it’s called a ‘gluten allergy.’ Bloating, belly pain, diarrhea, nausea, feeling fatigued are all symptoms of having a gluten-intolerant. You may also find these less common symptoms: anxiety, confusion, numbness, joint pain, and stomach pain.

If you are having any of the above symptoms, please seek out medical advice from your physician. Severe belly pain is an emergency and should be looked at right away.

Scientist say

Doctors will diagnose a gluten intolerance by ruling out more severe diseases. She or he will want to investigate your signs and symptoms, take a history of your gut health, and analyze why a gluten intolerance could be to blame for symptoms. A biopsy and blood test may also occur to rule out Celiac Disease.

I’m Gluten-Intolerant, now what?

Living with an intolerance to gluten can be a challenge. Avoiding foods with wheat and gluten – like pasta, bread, wheat biscuits, and some seasonings – will help lower your symptoms and chances of spiking a flair up. At the Farmer’s Market, you’ll be able to find a wide variety of gluten-free products to enjoy.

But, what about the holiday season…

  • Enjoy these fun gluten facts and Gluten-Free Baking Recipes by throwing on your holiday apron and pump up Michael Buble’s Holiday Playlist.

 

You can easily substitute Apples or blueberries into this recipe. Research allrecipes.com for more information

Allergies happen to everyone. This does not have to ruin a holiday, just be wise and more creative. Work the brain a little and enjoy your favorite treats without all the tummy discomfort. Happy Baking!

Gluten-Free: A “sticky” hot topic

millet-with-mushrooms-and-kale-gluten-free

Is Gluten-free right for you and your loved ones?

Gluten-free has become a hot-button topic.  There are those who roll their eyes when they hear someone is gluten-free.  And then there is the look of great concern thinking that the person requesting the gluten-free menu must have celiac or some other horrible condition that is preventing them from partaking in the “gluey” goodness of bread!

For our family it is personal we all have different variations of sensitivity.  My husband’s reactions to gluten are mild, but knows he doesn’t feel as great when he has too many bready foods.  My daughter receives tremendous gastrointestinal distress.  Me, due to Hashimoto’s, there is a myriad of reasons why I avoid it.

What Is Gluten and why does it matter?

Before discussing whether or not a gluten-free diet is right for you, it’s important to understand what is gluten and what is gluten-free. Gluten is made up of two proteins found in the husk of grains, such as wheat, barley, and rye. It is responsible for giving food elasticity and providing a chewy texture. The small intestine surface of your gut is covered with villi – tiny, finger-like projections that act as gatekeepers to the rest of the body. These gatekeepers reject gluten to various degrees in people differently. This may be why some people are sensitive vs intolerant. This rejection has an effect on the absorption rate of many of the nutrients that are key to our well-being, including calcium, vitamin A and Iron.

 

Although gluten sensitivities were once considered rare, it is now estimated that gluten-related disorders could affect 10% of Americans.

Many people unknowingly suffer from a gluten intolerance or sensitivity, which can cause a slew of negative side effects:

  • Abdominal pain, IBS, constipation, or diarrhea
  • Brain Fog- difficulty concentrating
  • Frequent Headaches
  • Mood changes such as depression or anxiety
  • Ongoing fatigue
  • Muscle and joint pain, numbness in the arms and feet
  • Eczema, skin rashes, dermatitis
  • Nutrient deficiencies which could lead to learning disabilities

 

 

 

A person with celiac disease has an autoimmune condition. When people with celiac disease eat foods with gluten, it triggers an immune response that causes damage to the lining of the small intestine. This can cause malabsorption of nutrients, anemia, osteoporosis, and other medical complications. Frequent symptoms of celiac disease include diarrhea, malnutrition, skin rashes and fatigue.

Cutting gluten out of your diet can be a challenge

Gluten byproducts are widespread throughout the food supply. For example, due to cross-contamination, many foods — such as oats — do contain a small amount of gluten, which can cause serious problems for those with a sensitivity or intolerance.

Gluten is not just in bread, also often added to other foods to modify the stability and structure of products, such as salad dressings, condiments, and deli meats. It is important if you are diagnosed or suspect you may have a strong intolerance to gluten that you learn to read the labels on food.

However, for those who are sensitive to gluten, following a gluten-free diet benefits many aspects of health. A few benefits one may reap by limiting gluten are:

  • Amps up fat burning
  • Provide a burst of extra energy
  • Reduces inflammation
  • Eases digestive symptoms like gas, bloating or diarrhea and IBS 

For others, gluten-free could be the key to reducing behavioral issues and improving symptoms of autism. Research has continued to unearth many potential benefits the least of which is supporting an anti-inflammatory diet.

Not sure if gluten affects you? 

Try 3 weeks of eliminating gluten to see if you experience less:

  • Inflammation
  • Gut distress (gas, bloating, diarrhea, etc)
  • Mental fog
  • Physical fatigue

Some benefits you could experience:

  • Greater focus
  • Improved health conditions
  • Better sleep
  • Natural weight loss

How can a person go gluten-free without feeling overwhelmed?  Get an easy start by remembering to stick to a simple list of whole foods:

  • Fruits
  • Veggies
  • Roots
  • Nuts
  • Seeds
  • Vinegar
  • Olive oil
  • Sea salt
  • Legumes
  • Rice
  • Chicken
  • Beef
  • Fish

It’s when we want to figure out the “cheats” that we complicate it. Take a look at this comprehensive list from Healthline.com for an in-depth list of what to avoid and what to try. As a bonus, I found this great recipe from Dr. Axe with millet, mushrooms, and kale. Perfect for that sticky gooey craving without the gluten.

Visit with your trusted health practitioner or nutritionist to determine if this is right for you.  And trust your gut.  Your gut knows if you should or shouldn’t be gluten-free.

For our family, it was a must.  Even my husband, who loves his sticky bready foods, sees the benefits of gluten-free. 

 

Garden Frittata Recipe

fritata

Serve with a salad and you have a wonderful meal for lunch or dinner.

TOTAL TIME: 45 minutes Serves: 4-8 people

 

INGREDIENTS:

  • 3 tablespoons coconut oil
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1 small zucchini, chopped
  • 1 small yellow squash, chopped
  • ½ cup cherry tomatoes, cut in half
  • 1 medium-size red pepper, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 8 eggs, beaten
  • ½ cup grated, raw cheese
  • 2 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley
  • 2 tablespoon chopped fresh basil

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. In a medium oven-proof skillet, sauté the onions in the coconut oil until soft and transparent. Add chopped vegetables. Sauté until they start to soften.
  3. In a separate bowl, combine eggs, salt, pepper, cheese, parsley, and basil and stir well.
  4. Pour egg mixture over the vegetables in the skillet. Bake in the oven for 35 minutes.

This yummy healthy recipe can also be chilled as served for lunch or brunch the next day!