It can be hard to determine the necessity of going gluten-free. The article above, for me, illustrates a big point in the argument of gluten free vs. grain free. For most people who feel they are “gluten sensitive”, but do NOT have celiac disease, I believe they feel better when they not only cut out gluten, but when they make a concerted effort to cut back on eating grains in general - transitioning their habits into eating more vegetables, fruit, and nuts instead of snacking on crackers, bread, chips, or cookies. This introduces more nutrients and less refined carbohydrates in general into the diet, and will benefit mostly anyone who tries it out. Various people use “gluten free” in various ways… some substituting their wheat crackers for rice crackers, their bread for gluten-free bread, and cookies for gluten-free versions 1 for 1… while others use it as a catalyst to eat less grain in general. The latter group is where I notice the most marked improvements in overall health. How do you feel??
My sister emailed me a recipe for gluten-free pancakes a few weeks ago and claimed they were the B.E.S.T. After my mom made them, and my DAD claimed the same thing, I decided I had to try them, at least once. See, I’m no big pancake eater or maker, for that matter. But I was drawn to the idea of a gluten-free, no refined flour, low sugar, higher protein, and still tastes great and looks great pancake. My first batch wasn’t all that. But after tweaking the recipe to my liking, I found these to truly be pancakes worth sharing. When you are in the mood for that little indulgence and don’t want to feel guilty or gross afterwards - here’s what you do:
½ C gluten-free whole oats*
½ C whole milk cottage cheese
1 whole egg + 2 egg whites
¼ tsp each cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger
small pinch sea salt
½ tsp natural vanilla extract, optional
Makes about 4 medium sized cakes.
That’s it. It’s super easy. Blend all these ingredients in a blender until batter is smooth. Use some coconut oil to grease your pan and start flipping away! These cook rather quickly; once you flip them once to the second side, you will the see the pancake rise in the center and inflate a bit. Once it stops rising, it’s done. Add some fresh fall fruit or pumpkin puree on top and enjoy (with only a slight drizzle of maple syrup and butter if desired). That’s all they need! A true treat. These also don’t taste an inch like cottage cheese, if you are not a fan. Tested on a husband who avoids it like the plague. :)
You can also double this recipe and make for the whole family, or save some batter for yourself in the fridge to use throughout the week for a fast and delicious breakfast.
*Oats are naturally gluten-free, but most companies package them in facilities where contamination from other gluten sources is inevitable - so certainly for a serious allergy, look for a brand that states gluten-free on the label.
There are lots of noodle bowl recipes out there. I like mine because it’s good, fast, and also cooked in one single pot! There is a LOT to say for an easy clean-up, especially on a weeknight. This recipe is probably a mash-up of several different ones out there, I definitely take some shortcuts for convenience… I forget the first time I saw this type of dish, but it’s been in our dinner rotation for years and never gets old. I love the bright colors and warm, tasty broth you get to sip at the end.
Veggie Soba Bowls:
1 Tbsp sesame oil
1 large clove garlic, quartered
3 green onions, diced
1 in. piece of fresh ginger, peeled and grated
2 pinches lemongrass (optional)
2 C vegetable broth, or chicken broth; plus 2 C water
1 Tbsp shoyu or tamari
1 pinch red chili flakes
2 C each broccoli florets and thinly sliced mushrooms (I like shiitake or baby bellas)
½ pkg buckwheat soba noodles (find them gluten-free from Eden Foods)
1 small handful cilantro leaves, diced
Place sesame oil, garlic, and white parts of onions in a soup pot and heat on medium-high until they begin to sizzle and release flavor. Add in ginger and lemongrass, stir around for a minute and then add broth and water. Let water come to a light boil and add shoyu and chili flakes, then add broccoli and mushrooms. Cook veggies for about 4 minutes until broccoli is bright green and mushrooms are cooked down a bit. Portion off veggies equally (with a large slotted spoon) into soup bowls for serving later. Return broth to flame and add soba noodles, with some cilantro and onions tossed in for flavor, simmer for about 5-6 minutes until tender, then equally portion noodles into bowls with the veggies. Pour remaining broth over the dishes in equal amounts. Top with fresh cilantro and onions, drizzle of toasted sesame oil, and more chili flakes if you like spicy. Serve hot!
*Therapeutically, buckwheat nourishes the digestive organs - especially the intestines, and can help with chronic bowel problems and poor appetite. It’s also a preferred grain for vascular and heart health. Not all packaged soba noodles are gluten-free, even though buckwheat itself is not related to wheat, many have gluten added. Look for designated gluten-free labels to ensure your noodles are 100% buckwheat flour.