Why Gluten-Free? The incidence of Gluten intolerance (Celiac Disease) and Gluten-sensitivity is on the rise. Celiac Disease (a genetic, auto-immune gluten allergy) is only one type of gluten intolerance. As Naturopathic Physicians, we would like to argue that many of our patients have gluten-sensitivity and might see improvement in their overall health by avoiding gluten-containing grains.
Why is the incidence of gluten-sensitivity on the rise? We suspect that the reason has something to do with changes in cultivation. Is it because of pesticide toxicity? Is it because of the lack of nutrients in the soil it’s grown in? Is it from overuse? Is it from processing? It could be due to any of the previous causes. We can only say for certain that the incidence is on the rise. Both Dr. Zentz and Dr. Bowen have found that they are sensitive to gluten and have felt much better when they avoid gluten-containing grains. Here is some helpful information to enable you to assimilate gluten-free foods into your diet!
Gluten-Free Grains: buckwheat, corn, millet, quinoa and all types of rice (aromatic, basmati, calrose, enriched, long-grain, pearl, white, wild, etc…).
Gluten-Free Flours: arrowroot, amaranth, brown rice, buckwheat, garbanzo (chick pea), soybean, potato, nut and seed, legume, tapioca.
Painless ways to go Gluten-Free:
- Choose corn tortillas over wheat.
- Rice-Almond bread or rice bread for your sandwiches.
- Substitute spaghetti squash for pasta.
- Have a chef salad instead of a sandwich.
- Take an hour or so one day every week to make a large (6-8 servings) batch of your gluten-free grain of choice. This will be handy and readily available for substitutions throughout the week.
- Heat pre-cooked quinoa. Mix in dried fruit, nuts, cinnamon and a little stevia. Add your favorite milk and you have a healthy, high protein breakfast.
- Rice Cakes instead of bread!
Jocelyn’s favorite Gluten-Free products
- Brown Rice Pasta: Tinkyada brand (any shape) and Trader Joe’s Brand Penne and Spirals. These hold together well and have that chewy pasta texture we all love.
- Crackers/Chips: Savory Thins from Trader Joe’s. Blue Diamond Nut Thins – delicious! Lundberg’s Rice Chips all flavors.
- Flour: You can purchase flour mixes or individual flours and make your own mix.
Here is a list of our favorite values.
- Betty Hagman’s mix (author of The Gluten Free Gourmet series) contains tapioca starch, corn starch, potato flour, rice flour) cost bulk $1.59/lb at Manna Mills. Can be used along with xanthan gum to replace white flour.
- Ready to use baking mix containing brown and white rice flours, sorghum flour, tapioca starch, potato flour, baking powder, salt and xanthan gum. Four pounds for $13.99 at PCC. This can be used in baking to replace bisquick, or other baking mixes.
- Garfava Flour mix bulk $4.09/lb at Manna Mills. A more nutritious and healthy alternative to those listed above – and a distinctive flavor that may be acquired.
- Xanthan gum – this is a powder made by fermentation of corn sugar. It is a thickener, and will help gluten free flours hold together. It is expensive, but will last a long time, as very little is used with each recipe.
- Oats – There is a lot of controversy about whether oats are safe for people with a gluten sensitivity. The problem stems from cross contamination of oats with wheat, barley and rye. This can occur when the grains are processed in the same facility. Recent studies from Europe have shown that oats processed in an exclusive facility cause no problem for persons with Celiac’s disease. For a source of gluten free oats see Glutenfreeoats.com, or Creamhillestates.com.
Christine’s favorite Gluten-Free Products
- Mary’s Gone Crackers: available in original, caraway, onion, herb and black pepper. You’ll love these crunchy, delicious, high protein and very satisfying crackers! (available at Fresh Vitamins (Totem Lake), PCC and Whole Foods.
- Rice-Almond Bread (Food for Life): this bread is best toasted. Smaller slices encourage reasonable serving sizes. Other flavors are Raisin Pecan, White Rice and Rice-Pecan.
- Ener-G Rice Bread: this product comes in all varieties! Available at Manna Mills and Fresh Vitamins.
- Simply Asia (rice noodle soup bowls): the flavors are wonderful! This product is available at PCC and Whole Foods.
Where to shop for Gluten-Free products
Manna Mills – 21705 66th Ave West, Mount Lake Terrace 98043 – This store is just off of I5 on the 220th St exit. They have an extensive bulk section with gluten free flours. They also have gluten free pastas, xanthan gum, and many other gluten free grocery items.
Trader Joe’s – Lynwood location 19500 Highway 99, Lynnwood 98037. Totem Lake location 12632 120th Avenue N. E. Kirkland 98034. Great pasta and rice crackers. They also have gluten free bread. They seem to be adding more gluten free products all of the time.
PCC Natural Markets – 10718 N.E. 68th Kirkland, Wash. 98033. 425-828-4622. there are others in the Seattle area. For a location finder, visit their web page at PCCnaturalmarkets.com. Extensive selection of gluten free products.
Whole Foods – locations in Seattle, Bellevue and Redmond. Visit the website for more information Wholefoods.com.
Fresh Vitamins – by Trader Joe’s in Totem Lake. Fresh Vitamins has quite a large selection of Gluten-Free products.