Hello everyone! My name is Crista and I am honored to be writing 3 guest blog posts for Holly. Holly is not just my boyfriend’s sister, she is a dear friend and I am very blessed to have her in my life. Holly and I are both into eating right and being health conscious.
2 years ago, I completely changed the way that I eat. I went from eating refined carbohydrates for breakfast, lunch, and dinner to eating an organic, dairy-free, and gluten-free diet. Refined carbohydrates are when the bran and the germ are removed from the grain leaving only the endosperm. With this, it is also removes key nutrients needed by the body. Changing the way I eat was challenging in the beginning, especially around the holidays, but if I can do it, anyone can!
With the emergence of more and more gluten intolerances and Celiac Disease diagnoses, we are seeing more and more gluten-free products on the shelves. Statistics show that 50% of the US population has some sort of sensitivity to gluten. People are also avoiding gluten because it is very inflammatory. Even people without health concerns are switching to gluten-free eating because it boosts energy, improves cholesterol levels, promotes digestive health, and helps maintain a healthy weight.
So, what exactly is gluten anyway? Gluten is a protein found in wheat, barley, and rye. Gluten also shows up in many whole grain foods related to wheat, including bulgur, farro, kamut, spelt, and triticale. It is even hidden in some products that you would not expect to contain gluten. For example, some cosmetics, vitamins, medications, ice creams, condiments, and spices contain gluten.
When purchasing gluten-free foods, be sure to look for a “Non-GMO” label. This is extra important because many gluten-free foods contain corn and corn-based foods are often made with genetically modified corn. Around 85% of the conventional corn grown in the USA is genetically modified. I will talk more about the dangers of GMOs in my next post.
One tip that I have for switching to a gluten-free diet would be to incorporate healthy grains like brown rice, quinoa, millet, buckwheat, and amaranth. It’s better to eat grains in their whole form. Also, when cooking a recipe that calls for flour, use a gluten-free flour. I use gluten-free flours such as almond, chickpea, quinoa, brown rice, buckwheat, sorghum, potato, tapioca, corn, teff, or coconut. I am finding new options, products, recipes, and tricks all the time.
Here are some of my favorite gluten-free options that helped me make the switch to eating gluten-free.
I love Xochitl White Corn Tortilla Chips! I don’t miss Tostitos at all! These are great with hummus or salsa or just plain right out of the bag. Very tasty, light, and crisp. They’re certified organic, Non-GMO, and gluten-free.
Another delicious chip is Late July Sweet Potato Multigrain Snack Chips. Late July is family owned and they make delicious organic, Non-GMO snacks. They have lots of great options but these Sweet Potato Chips are my favorite! Sweet and salty and satisfying.
I am Italian and I thought I could never give up pasta. Brown rice pasta makes it so that I don’t have to! I actually prefer it now to the traditional wheat-based pasta. It is satisfying but light in your stomach. Though it is still a refined carbohydrate, it is a better option for someone who needs to eat gluten-free. Tinkyada and Jovial make great rice pastas.
Another yummy sweet treat are Jovial gluten free cookies. My favorite is the Chocolate Cream Filled Cookies. They have hazelnut-chocolate cream filling inside of a slightly crunchy chocolate cookie. I love that Jovial is a family-owned bakery in Italy and they mix the ingredients by hand.
I love Wonderfully Raw Coco-Roons. Wonderfully Raw uses all-natural, organic, vegan, and gluten-free ingredients. Their delicious Coco-Roons come in six different flavors. My favorites are the brownie and the lemon.
There you have it. My favorite gluten free products. I love searching for new gluten-free recipes online and I also follow a lot of gluten-free recipe boards on Pinterest.
Here are a few of my favorite gluten-free recipes.
These Grain-Free Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Bites are delicious! Believe it or not, they are made with chickpeas! I know it sounds a little odd but they are really yummy. You can get the recipe at the Texanerin.
I’ve tried a couple of energy bite recipes and these Almond Joy Energy Bites are my favorite! They’re quick and easy and delicious! You can get the recipe at My Whole Food Life.
These No-Bake Pecan Pie Bars are my favorite out of all the gluten-free deserts that I’ve made! Get the recipe at the Detoxinista.
What are some of your favorite gluten-free products?