The gluten-free community deserves to be celebrated everyday...
But especially today-
National Gluten-Free Day, January 13th!
Going gluten-free has transformed
Especially those with a gluten intolerance or allergy.
This is why it’s super important to recognize the health benefits of gluten-free foods.
Not to mention...
stay up to date on the latest information,
so you can keep feeding your family quality meals!
Here’s e-v-e-r-y-t-h-i-n-g you need to know about the gluten-free diet going into 2021!
Table of Contents:
- Okay, But What Even Is Gluten? & Why Does It Matter So Much?
- 4 Crucial Reasons to Go Gluten-Free: All About Intolerances & Allergies
- Gluten-Free Foods: What You Can Safely Eat Sans Worry
- Gluten-Free Foods: What You Should Avoid At All Costs
- Bring On the Benefits! 3 Surprising Perks of Cutting Out Gluten
- Gluten-Free Product Essentials: For When There’s No Time!
- 20 Delicious Recipes to Quench Your Gluten-Free Day Cravings
- BONUS: Be a Gluten-Free Pro With These Resources
Okay, But What Even Is Gluten? & Why Does It Matter So Much?
Gluten this, gluten that–
What is it and why does the universe care so much?
Gluten is a protein found in grains like wheat, barley, rye, and byproducts, such as:
- Einkorn wheat
- Malted barley flour
- Malted milkshakes
- Malt extract
- Malt vinegar
Yep, I know:
It’s a long list!
And it goes on to include some of the most delicious foods ever, like bread, muffins, cookies, cakes, cereal, and pasta...
There’s actually no doom or gloom!
In fact, you can still enjoy those classically yummy foods on a gluten-free diet, sans the tummy aches you’d get from regular flour.
All thanks to tasty gluten-free recipes like the ones below!
But hold up.
Let’s go back to those tummy aches.
Some people experience a range of negative symptoms after consuming gluten:
- Vitamin deficiencies
- Skin rashes and itching
- Joint pain and inflammation
- Stomach pain and bloating
- Constipation or diarrhea
- Indigestion or acid reflux
- Tingling in the hands and feet
- Anxiety or depression
- Canker sores
4 Crucial Reasons to Go Gluten-Free: All About Intolerances & Allergies
What makes gluten a no-go?
There are multiple circumstances that might add gluten to the naughty list:
1. Celiac Disease
Celiac disease is one of the more popular reasons to avoid gluten.
It’s an autoimmune disorder, where gluten triggers the immune system and creates inflammation in the small intestine.
Ultimately, it can damage the lining in your gut, which results in poor nutrient absorption.
2. Non-Celiac Gluten Sensitivity
Take all the symptoms of celiac disease,
but remove the damage in the small intestine:
And you have non-celiac gluten sensitivity!
More research needs to be done with this one, as no one really knows how it works or why symptoms occur.
3. Gluten Ataxia
Here we have another autoimmune disorder.
Gluten ataxia causes the immune system to attack the body's nervous system whenever gluten is ingested.
It can affect muscle movement, muscle control, as well as nerve tissue.
While it can be related to Celiac disease or non-Celiac gluten sensitivity...
The digestive issues aren't always the same.
The safest thing to do is abide a strict gluten-free diet to alleviate any symptoms.
4. Wheat Allergy
A wheat allergy is similar to a typical allergy–
Except the body mistakes gluten as danger, which causes an allergic reaction to kill the protein found in wheat.
Gluten-Free Foods: What You Can Safely Eat Sans Worry
Now to the most important question:
What foods can you eat on a gluten-free diet?
- Poultry (chicken, turkey)
- Red meat (beef, pork, bison, lamb)
- Legumes (beans, peas, lentils, peanuts)
- Seafood (fish, scallops, shellfish)
- Nuts and seeds
- Soy foods (tofu, tempeh, edamame, etc.)
- Brown rice
- Wild rice
- Olives & olive oil
- Butter and ghee
- Avocado & avocado oil
- Coconut oil
- Seed & vegetable oils (vegetable, sunflower, sesame, grape seed, etc.)
- Plant-based milk
- Butter and ghee
- Cream cheese
- Sour cream
- Cottage cheese
- Citrus fruits (oranges, lemon, lime, grapefruit, etc.)
- Bell peppers
- Cruciferous vegetables (broccoli, cauliflower)
- Greens (kale, spinach, lettuce, arugula, etc.)
- Green beans
- Fresh herbs (parsley, cilantro, mint, basil, etc.)
- Pizza Dough, etc.
Gluten-Free Foods: What You Should Avoid At All Costs
The best part about this list?
Gluten-ridden foods are typically unhealthier anyway, like cakes and cookies.
So if you stick to a primarily whole foods-based diet and shop the perimeter of the store (where all the fresh foods stay!)...
adhering to gluten-free will be easy peasy.
Here’s what to watch out for!Protein:
- Protein (fish, poultry, meat) that’s been breaded
- Seitan (a form of wheat protein)
- Proteins mixed with wheat-based soy sauce
- Wheat (all types: whole wheat, graham, farro, durum, farina, spelt, kamut, wheat berries, bromated flour)
- Ready-to-eat cereal
- Quick bread
- Yeast bread
- Malted milk drinks
- Bleu cheese (can cause problems for some, since it’s made from bread mold!)
- Sweet rolls
- Cereal bars
- Nutrition bars
- Snack mix
- French fries
- Malt vinegar
- Wheat-based soy and teriyaki sauce
Keep in mind:
Typical condiments like ketchup, mayo, and mustard are usually gluten-free, but some brands do include it as an ingredient.
Which is why they’re not necessarily foods to eat or avoid–
Just be cautious around!
Bring On the Benefits! 3 Surprising Perks of Cutting Out Gluten
All this talk about going gluten-free makes you wonder…
Are there any real benefits?
Even if you don’t have gluten-based troubles?
1. More Likely to Amp Up Your Whole Foods
Going gluten-free means you can’t just waltz into the grocery store and purchase 15 chocolate cakes!
To avoid gluten, you’re eating mostly nutritious, whole foods--
like fruits and veggies!
And to top it off,
gluten-free dieters are a little more health-conscious in general, making you more likely to pick beneficial foods.
Healthy living FTW!
2. May Lower the Risk of Other Autoimmune Disorders
Many autoimmune disorders actually feed off of each other.
Because once you develop a disease such as celiac,
it can cause so much inflammation and damage that it leads to other conditions, like leaky gut, Hashimoto’s syndrome, or rheumatoid arthritis.
By removing gluten, you have a better chance of reducing inflammation, lowering your likelihood of contracting another disorder!
3. May Help With Weight Loss
Those whole foods?
They’re pretty incredible.
Eating whole food meals is correlated to healthy weight loss, simply because you’re amping up your nutrients.
And since going gluten-free encourages you to focus on those good foods,
it’s possible it can aid with weight loss, too.
Gluten-Free Product Essentials: For When There’s No Time!
Sometimes, there’s no time!
You’ll need some delicious, certified gluten-free products you can grab in a pinch–
- Gluten-Free Siete Chips
- Gluten-Free YUM Earth Licorice
- Simple Mills Almond Flour Crackers
- Canyon Bakehouse Gluten-Free Bread
- Annie’s Gluten-Free Granola Bars
- Udi’s Gluten-Free Bagels
- Bob’s Red Mill Gluten-Free Pizza Crust
20 Delicious Recipes to Quench Your Gluten-Free Day Cravings
Now that you know what’s what with a gluten-free diet, it’s time to dig into the best part:
Thankfully, since the gluten-free diet has been around for some time now, the recipe possibilities are endless.
But these 20 are a delicious place to start!
You know what’s the worst pancake ever?
One that’s super flat, sans the fluff.
You would expect a gluten-free pancake to fall in the flat category, but not this recipe!
This simple, vegan, and gluten-free pancake recipe delivers a sweet, fluffy bite every time.
Muffins are basically breakfast cupcakes…
It doesn’t matter!
These gluten-free vegan orange muffins are healthier than most without any refined sugar.
Instead, you’ve got a tasty blend of maple syrup, orange juice, orange zest, and of course, gluten-free flour!
If you’re anything like me, bread is the last thing you’ll give up–
Even if you’re gluten-free!
Fortunately, gluten-free bread exists for all my fellow dough enthusiasts out there.
And this gluten-free apple cinnamon bread is totally worth the 50-minute bake time.
Plus, it makes your kitchen smell like heaven!
Breakfast casserole may not live up to a cinnamon roll’s dashing looks,
but it absolutely makes up for it:
Easy to freeze, simple to make, satisfyingly filling, and wonderfully flavorful!
You won’t want to miss a single bite.
Pizza for breakfast?
That’s my kinda morning.
Except this 5-ingredient breakfast pizza is probably the healthiest pie of all time:
All it takes is pesto, bacon, eggs, gluten-free crust, and your choice of cheese!
P.S. for those following a dairy-free diet, you can totally use vegan cheese!
Moving into lunch territory!
Bowls are one of those too good to be true meals.
How can something that’s so simple to make taste so incredibly good?
You tell me after you try these gluten-free poke bowls!
The flavors are to-die-for.
Pasta and gluten-free shouldn’t even belong in the same sentence.
But guess what?
It’s super easy to find gluten-free pasta at your local grocery store–
Just head to the gluten-free section.
You can pick from options like buckwheat pasta, chickpea pasta, bean pasta, and more!
Chickpeas are like little vegan angel bites.
They’re an amazing source of protein and fiber–
Not to mention being naturally gluten-free!
This tabbouleh salad soaks up all of those juicy chickpea benefits and more with fresh herbs, garlic, olive oil, and lemon juice.
You gotta love it!
Super Easy Crispy Pork Stir Fry from Nyssa of Nyssa's Kitchen
Raise your hand if you need more easy meals in your life.
I see you, and I gotcha covered.
Super easy crispy pork stir fry is just that:
An effortless meal designed to blow your taste buds away.
Grilled cheese is stellar on its own, but buffalo style?
Bring it on!
While this recipe isn’t as healthier as the other meals, it’s still worth noting as some of the best gluten-free comfort food around.
Need a good one-pan wonder?
This cauliflower gnocchi skillet will knock your entire kitchen out of the park.
It’s the perfect combo of classic casserole and baked ziti:
Just what you need for a weeknight dinner!
You had me at taco.
But if avocados aren’t your jam, no worries!
Just substitute it out for a gluten-free tortilla.
Now excuse me while I go make the simplest recipe ever.
There’s something about lemon and rosemary together…
It creates this elegant, magical mixture of flavors that’s super refreshing and healthy.
Plus, all you’re doing is throwing chicken in the oven, and then maybe preparing a side dish like rice.
Dinner is served!
My biggest weakness:
Chicken pot pie.
There’s something about the buttery, flaky crust mixed with chicken and veggies that my mouth just can’t resist.
But I’ll admit:
It’s not that healthy–
This soup is my new go-to chicken pot pie recipe:
Getting Chinese takeout on a gluten-free diet can be downright dangerous.
From the wheat-based soy sauces to the breaded and fried chicken meals:
You’re way better off creating Asian-style recipes at home,
Which is where this gluten-free orange chicken comes in to save your Friday night takeout tradition!
Cheesecake is usually off-limits unless you remove the crust–
And that’s just no fun!
Thankfully, this blueberry cheesecake comes in with a gluten-free crust, rich cream cheese-based filling, then topped with blueberries.
Add a bit of lemon zest for more fruity flavor!
Cream puffs are a delicacy, and certainly not something you’d find certified gluten-free very often.
But this article is all about paving the way for the gluten-free community–
You don’t have to miss out on any fun foods!
This simply scrumptious gluten-free cream puff recipe.
Double Chocolate Zucchini Brownies from Nicole of No Bread
You’re on the couch, binging the latest trending Netflix show and BOOM!
Suddenly, you get a craving for brownies.
What do you do without a gluten-free brownie box mix in sight?
You whip up a batch of these oh-so-good double chocolate zucchini brownies.
(The zucchini helps to add moisture to the batter, and you don’t taste veggie one bit!)
Strawberry shortcake doesn’t get enough attention.
It’s so hard to beat those doughy shortcakes, topped with sugary strawberries and a dollop of whipped cream.
Well, here’s a gluten-free shortcake recipe you definitely don’t want to miss.
Chocolate chip cookies are essential to anyone’s diet–
Whether you’re gluten-free or not!
And while you might expect a gluten-free version to be...meh.
This one is undeniably delicious:
Soft, chewy, and a gorgeous golden brown!
BONUS: Be a Gluten-Free Pro With These Resources
Going gluten-free can be overwhelming at first.
But lucky for you, there are resources galore right at your fingertips!
- How to Eat Out Safely If You’re Gluten-Free
- Find Me Gluten-Free
- Eating Gluten-Free On a Budget
- Going Gluten-Free: The First 7 Things You Should Do
- Naturally Gluten-Free Foods List: Over 50 Foods You Can Eat Worry-Free
- Breaking Down Gluten-Free Baking Science...In An Easy, Non-Sciency Way
Happy National Gluten-Free Day!
Whether you’re a gluten-free pro or newbie,
it doesn’t hurt to catch up on your gluten-free lifestyle know-how.
Gluten-free foods can be extremely beneficial health-wise–
Especially if you or your family struggles with a gluten intolerance or allergy!
Feel free to save this article as a resource for all of your gluten-free needs, and happy celebrating national gluten-free day!