Gluten Free Palace Blog
Thanksgiving DayGluten Free FoodFor many of us, the best part of Thanksgiving is the leftovers – as long as they are not boring! No one really wants to eat the same old stuff, but what do you do when you have so much left? With some readily available ingredients and a bit of tweaking, you can come up with amazing dishes that look or taste nothing like leftovers! We have put together a few gluten-free Thanksgiving recipes and gluten-free thanksgiving leftover dishes that are safe for celiacs and are absolutely delicious. Continue readingGluten Free Health
Many of us think that gluten-free is just another diet fad. However, it is certainly not true for those of us who have Celiac disease, Chron’s disease or wheat allergies. In old age, it is as well accompanied by a weakened immune system to make the situation hard to cope with.Continue reading
How to Plan a Gluten-Free Romantic Picnic for Two!
The sun shines brighter now and we certainly know what’s on your mind. You want to enjoy this beautiful weather with your bae outdoors, grilling your favorite food or may be attending a pool party.
But then again, the thought of planning the entire picnic with gluten-free items that do not compromise on your health, taste, and appeal, sounds like an uphill task. Here is some help for you to plan a romantic gluten-free picnic with your loved one with these easy steps.
Gluten Free Picnic – 101
Time to do your homework. Choose a beautiful spot, confirm the availability of your partner and find the weather conditions for that day. Also, learn what your partner likes and dislikes when it comes to food, this will help you plan the meals – to impress.
What Do You Need for a Gluten Free Picnic?
Create a list of items that you require for the picnic. Include the list of ingredients of picnic-friendly recipes, if you plan to make them yourself. Here is a list of essential items that will ensure a hassle-free picnic:
• Mat or ground covering- Get a mat, blanket, or vinyl cloth to sit on.
• Ice packs- Create a cooler for items that require cold storage like your fruit juices, water, drinks, and so on. Make sure you do not put our cooler in your car’s trunk, as it could end up being in the hottest part of the car!
• Leak-proof and spill-proof storage containers - to ensure that your precious cargo remains secure and fresh. Keep your bread items wrapped in parchment paper so that it doesn’t get soggy.
• Picnic basket and outdoor essentials- You can easily get a basket designed for picnics. It contains all the required items like glassware or disposables. Make sure you have plates, knives, forks, cups, cutting board, grills and so on. Try to use environment-friendly products. Also carry sunscreen, gloves, board games, books, bottle opener, first-aid kit, trash bags, towels, and bug spray.
Your Gluten Free Picnic Menu
Your menu for a gluten free summer picnic should steer away from whey protein that has peptide bound glutamine, as it is not recommended in celiac disease. However, this doesn’t mean you have to forego delicious food!
You can easily whip up a delicious vegan summer recipe or follow our recommended meal ideas below.
1. For appetizers, serve hummus and veggies
You can choose from a variety of hummus available in your nearby store. Go for roasted red pepper hummus or basil pesto hummus or can make your own too. Just ensure that you eat it in moderate quantities. You can club the hummus with some raw or par-boiled fresh veggies like celery, broccoli, carrots, peppers and so on.
2. For sides, go for green bean and mushroom medley
Bring out the inner chef in you and create this insanely easy recipe. All you need to do is take a pan, add some butter then saute onions and mushrooms. Once it gets cooked add green beans and carrots. Simmer it for a while until your veggies are soft and mushy and you are done.
3. For entrée, try stuffed green peppers
Be ready to impress your love with this amazing recipe. Take Spanish rice, wild rice or Arborio rice in the desired quantity and boil it, until it gets cooked.
Now, get some fresh bell peppers and cut it into halves and de-seed it. Now, roast it in preheated oven for 20 minutes or until the skin turns golden brown. By the time, your pepper gets roasted, switch on the gas and put a skillet.
Heat oil and add fresh tomatoes, Italian seasoning, salt, and pepper. Cook it for 3 to 4 minutes till it all gets cooked now add the boiled rice and mix. Heat it for few minutes and switch off the flame.
Now, stuff the cooked peppers with rice and add feta cheese on top of it. And bake again for 5 minutes. And your dish is ready to woo your sweetheart.
For dessert, how about strawberries and cream?
Simple but ecstatic. Just get the fresh and juicy strawberries from the mart and add it to the sweetened cream. You can also add dry fruits like almond and pistachios to enhance the taste and finally, put a few drops of chocolate sauce to take it to another level.
So, there you have it! Easy gluten-free ideas for your summer picnic! After all, love can conquer all.
Here’s to a lovely summer outing!
How To Save Money On Gluten Free Foods?
If you suffer from gluten sensitivity or Coeliac disease, avoiding gluten isn’t an option. Nor is life any easier for those who suffer from wheat allergies. No matter what your reason is for avoiding gluten, the one thing we can all agree on is that gluten free food definitely doesn’t come cheap.
Let’s face it; any food catering to a particular dietary requirement just costs a whole lot more. For example, the labels “gluten free” or “paleo” seem to give manufacturers the leeway to charge a whole lot more. Having to be on a gluten free diet is tough enough without the additional strain it puts on the wallet. While the debate whether it’s fair or not can rage on, we thought of taking a more practical approach and find ways of sticking to your dietary requirements without breaking the bank.
Read on to see our top tips on how to stick to a gluten free meal plan on a budget.
1.Plan Your Meals
Without beating around the bush, let us be the first to say while going gluten free on a budget is possible, it might not necessarily be easy. You need to put it some effort, especially at the beginning until it becomes a part of your routine. Plan your meals for a week in advance. That way you only buy exactly what you need when you go to the supermarket without the usual “hmmm, maybe I’ll finally make that truffle and caviar salmon recipe this week”. Okay, most local grocers don’t sell truffles or caviar but you get the point. Ordering your groceries online can also help curb the impulse buys. Unless you’re really strict with yourself, you’ll find it works out cheaper most of the time even with delivery charges.
2. Opt for Fresh Foods
Buy fresh foods as much as you can. Look for seasonal vegetables as they are normally cheaper. Fresh foods like fruits and vegetables can help you make some really quick and easy gluten free meals on a shoestring budget while seeds and nuts make perfect budget-friendly and healthy snacks. If you live in an area with a local farmers market, you’ll save even more with seasonal produce. There are even fewer chances of cross contamination with gluten containing products at these markets than the already low ones at supermarkets.
3. Cut Back on the Meat
Meat is expensive. There’s no way around it. There are plenty of quick and easy gluten free vegetarian meals you can make instead that still taste as good. Asian food stores are great places to find gluten free foods you can incorporate into vegetarian meals that won’t make you miss the meat! Ingredients like rice noodles, tofu and chickpeas not only taste great but also allow you get really creative in the kitchen.
4. Make Your Own Flour Blends
There are plenty of gluten free flours you can buy. Blend brown flours like buckwheat, quinoa or sorghum with white flours like rice, potato or arrowroot according to your taste. You can even use nut or bean flours to make your own blends. If you are unsure of what to do, you can find resources online that will guide you. If you don’t have the time to shop around for different kinds of flours to make your blends or the confidence, look online for bargains on flour blends that will save you both time and money.
5. Eat In
Dining out on a gluten free diet can be tough enough as it is without having to pay extra for gluten free options. For some reason, gluten free pizza costs a gazillion times more than the usual gluten-ridden pizzas. Make your own at home instead. While making your own dough and crusts can be fun, it can be terribly time consuming. Keep a stock of Gluten Free Pizza Crusts that you can just whip out of the freezer, add your favorite toppings to make a quick and easy gluten free meals.
6. Look for Bargains
Some of the best bargains can be found online. Sign up for coupons for gluten free foods or scour the internet for cheap gluten free foods. Many shopping sites offer gluten free products on sale or offer free shipping. You’ll be amazed at how much you save! The time before holidays is a great time to look for gluten free gifts.
Explore our website for ways you can save money by ordering your food online. If you have any queries, our team is always happy to help!Summer Recipesgluten free muffinsgluten free Food
Summer has come around quickly this year. If you haven’t made that summer trip yet, there are so many places and ideas you can’t wait to explore - the beach, favorite picnic spots, long road trips, and camping! It’s also a time when you will need to keep the kids entertained when they aren’t playing outdoors. So, here are four gluten-free snack recipes you and your children can make together!
1.Applesauce Banana Spice Bread
- 2 large bananas
- 1 cup unsweetened applesauce
- 2 fresh, organic eggs
-1/2 cup honey
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder (it's easy to make your own)
- 1/2 teaspoon. baking soda
- 2 c. brown rice flour
- 2 tablespoons. arrowroot powder
- 1 tablespoon cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
Preheat oven to 350°F (177°C, Gas Mark 4) and grease a loaf pan and set aside.Mash the bananas (the kids love this bit!) and add in the apple sauce, eggs, honey and vanilla and stir until it becomes creamy.Add the baking soda and powder to the mixture and then add the rice flour, cinnamon, and nutmeg and stir until thoroughly mixed.
Add the baking soda and powder to the mixture and then add the rice flour, cinnamon, and nutmeg and stir until thoroughly mixed.Pour into the pan and bake for 40 minutes. Remove from oven and let it cool a bit before taking it out of the pan.
Cool thoroughly, slice and enjoy!
Try this recipe with Eden Organic Apple Sauce that is known for its lovely sweetness that comes naturally from the carefully selected apples with no added sugars!
2.No Bake Freezable Protein Bars
These nutritious bars are great; you can make batches and stick them in the freezer for later. These bars are so scrumptious though, you might find yourself making large batches fairly often!
- ½ cup raw cashews
- ½ raw almonds
- ½ cup almond butter
- ½ cup maple syrup
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 2 shakes of cinnamon
- 1 and ½ cups puffed rice
Process the cashews and the almonds in a food processor together until they form a coarse powder.Combine the almond butter and maple syrup over a low heat and mix together.Remove from heat and add the vanilla and cinnamon.Add the puffed rice to the bowl and stir it in gently.
Grease an 8-inch square Pyrex dish with some coconut oil or butter and pour in the mixture.Flatten the mixture as much as you can with greased hands or some greased parchment paper.Freeze for about 30 minutes and then cut into bars.
Wrap each bar individually in parchment paper and freeze.You can eat them directly from the freezer or wait until they reach room temperature. Either way, they taste delicious!
If you would rather not make your own bars, check out these delicious almond and cashew Omega 3 bars.
3.Gluten-Free Goldfish Crackers
This is one delightful snack that will bring a smile to your kid’s face. Apart from being gluten-free, unlike store bought crackers, these are healthy and preservative free as well!
- 1¼ cup blanched almond flour
- ⅛ Teaspoon Celtic sea salt
- ⅛ Teaspoon baking soda
- 1 cup freshly grated cheddar cheese
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 large egg
Preheat your oven to 350°F (177°C, Gas Mark 4).Combine the cheese, almond flour, salt and baking soda in a food processor. Add in the eggs and oil gradually until they are mixed well to form a dough.
Divide the dough into two pieces and place one piece between two parchment sheets and roll it out. Remove the top layer of parchment paper and cut the dough into goldfish shapes using a cookie cutter mold.Transfer the little fish to a parchment lined baking paper and repeat with the second roll of dough.
Transfer the little fish to a parchment lined baking paper and repeat with the second roll of dough.Bake for 13 – 15 minutes until cooked.Cool and serve.
Still, want to order some gluten free crackers? Check out these fun animal shaped crackers that kids will love!
4.Strawberry Banana Blender Muffins
There really can’t be a more traditional summer activity than baking muffins with mommy! These fudgy muffins are great for breakfast on the road or a quick snack. This recipe is vegan, gluten- free and nut free to boot!
- 1 cup mashed banana (about 2 medium bananas)
- 1 cup strawberry chunks (4-8 strawberries)
- 1 1/2 cup old-fashioned oats
- 1 tablespoon maple syrup
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
Preheat the oven to 400°F (200°C, Gas Mark) and grease a muffin tin (this recipe makes 9 muffins).Blend all the ingredients in a blender to make a batter.Fill each of the greased muffins cups with the batter about two-thirds of the way to the top.Put the muffin pan in the oven and reduce the temperature to 350°F (177°C, Gas Mark 4).
Bake for about 15 minutes until a toothpick comes out clean. Allow cooling completely before removing from the pan.If you don’t have enough time on your hands, we understand. Take a look at our wide range of gluten free muffins that are perfect treats for the summer.
It’s time to try one of these recipes and bring in the good times with your family. Happy summer!Gluten Free Health
Lettuce leaves are extremely nutritious. Their benefits can be called nothing short of being massive. They are high in minerals and vitamins and other essential nutrients. They come packed with benefits for skin, hair and health. They help solve a host of health problems and maintain your overall well-being. Here is an article briefly describing the various benefits of lettuce leaves.
Indigenously, it is found in the Mediterranean and the Middle East. In India, it is commonly known as ‘salad patta’ in Hindi. As its name suggests, it is most widely used in salads all over the world and finds its place among the list of nutritious foods. Apart from salads, it is also used in soups, sandwiches and wraps. It is also used for the purpose of juicing.
Lettuce belongs to the scientific genus Lactuca, and Lactuca sativa are one of the most widely known species of lettuce. It is also called as ‘Kasmisaag’ in Hindi, ‘Uvarcheera’ in Malayalam, ‘Lettuce Keerai’ in Tamil, and ‘Saladchi Paane’ in Marathi. Lettuce is a seasonal vegetable which is mostly grown in spring when the soil is dry enough to be worked. It is relatively easier to grow and just like other greens, this vegetable is rich in minerals, vitamins and fiber. Several types of lettuce are available such as green or red leaves, romaine, iceberg or asparagus lettuce.
Lettuce: Skin Benefits
With growing pollution levels, exposures to harmful chemicals, stress and improper diet, skin problems have become a common sight these days. In fact, having flawless skin seems like a dream and all those beauty products promising a range of benefits have very little effect whatsoever. It is important to understand that proper supply and absorption of nutrients are vital for a healthy body which includes the skin as well. Green vegetables such as lettuce are a storehouse of vital nutrients, vitamins and fiber which contribute to a healthy skin, keeping skin problems at bay.
Some of the skin benefits of lettuce are as follows:
1. Revitalizes Skin
Lettuce is a rich source of vitamin A with six leaves providing more than 100% of your DV (daily value) of vitamin A. Vitamin A increases the cell turnover, thus revitalizing your skin. It is advised that you include lettuce leaves in your daily diet as much as you can.
2. Supplies Nutrition
It also contains potassium which gives a rich supply of nutrients and oxygen by improving circulation, thus resulting in a healthy and glowing skin.
3. Protects Skin From Pollution & UV Rays
The combination of vitamin E and vitamin C in this vegetable helps in keeping your skin healthy as you age. Vitamin E also provides protection against the sun’s harmful ultraviolet rays and reduces the risk of cataracts and macular degeneration.
4. Glowing Skin
Lettuce leaves are high on fiber. Fiber is really good for cleaning your system. It specially helps in colon cleansing. A clean system always translates into a glowing skin.
5. Removes Toxins
Consumption of lettuce stimulates appetite and removes toxins from the body (5). Furthermore, it can also cure deficiency of hemoglobin and mineral salts resulting in clear and radiant skin.
6. Fights Various Skin Problems
The compresses of this vegetable is effective against several skin problems. Boil two salads of the lettuce leaf in 1 liter of water for about 20 minutes. The resulting liquid can be used as a compress on the face and other body parts. This compress can help in curing acne and psoriasis by cleaning the skin. To be effective, compresses should be at room temperature and kept for 10 minutes.
Compresses also help in toning your facial skin and can be used as masks, particularly for dry skin.
Lettuce: Hair Benefits
Just like the rest of the body, your hair also needs adequate supply of nutrients, vitamins and minerals for their growth and health. Being highly nutritious, lettuce offers a range of benefits for your hair.
8. Stimulates Hair Growth
Drinking lettuce juice on a regular basis stimulates hair growth by furnishing food to the nerves and roots of hair.
9. Provides Vital Micro-minerals
It contains 8% silicon, 9% phosphorus and an ample supply of sulphur. These three minerals are vital for maintenance of skin, hair and nails.
10. Prevents Hair Fall
Vitamin K is found in good quantities in lettuce leaves. It is important for preventing hair fall. Vitamin K plays an important role in maintaining the health of your hair.
11. Prevents Greying
Lettuce leaves are packed in with potassium. Now this helps in preventing greying of hair. It has been found that people who consume lots of lettuce leaves are a lesser risk of greying.
12. Provides Nutrition
The primary cause of hair loss is consumption of food in inorganic form such as cereals and devitalized food as the hair does not receive proper nourishment. Consumption of lettuce combats this problem as it provides proper nourishment in the form of essential vitamins and nutrients.
Lettuce: Health Benefits
Lettuce leaves promote general health. This incredible leafy vegetable has more health benefits that you can possibly imagine. Here are few of the health benefits of lettuce leaves:
13. Aids In Better Sleep
The infusion made from lettuce salad has anti spastic effect and acts as a diuretic and sedative. Drinking this infusion induces a good night sleep yielding the resultant benefits to the skin.
14. Weight Loss
Lettuce leaves are low calorie, less sugar food plus they have good fiber. Together these two things make it ideal for people trying to lose some weight. The phytonutrients have excellent disease prevention properties too.
15. Prevents Lung Cancer And Mouth Cancer
Lettuce leaves are high on vitamin A. Vitamin A helps in preventing cancer. It helps a great deal in lowering the risk on mouth cancer and lung cancer too.
16. Increases Metabolism
Iron, calcium, magnesium and potassium present in lettuce leaves increase metabolism of the body. Potassium actually helps in controlling heart rate and blood pressure. Apart from the above-mentioned benefits lettuce leaves are a good source of B-complex.
17. Omega-3 Fatty Acids
With a 2:1 ratio of Omega-3 and Omega-6 fatty acids, lettuce is really beneficial for maintaining overall good health.
Insomnia is often found to be cured by eating lettuce with its lactucarium content that you see when the leaves are broken or cut. It helps induce relaxation and sleep. It has been found to have properties similar to opium other than its toxic side effects.
19. Vitamin C benefits
Vitamin C in lettuce is a rich source of antioxidants that prevent free radical formation and curb unwanted reactions that cause diseases and even cancers.
20. Vitamin K
Vitamin K content that is present in almost three times the amount than that in the normal iceberg lettuce is necessary for the body, especially for women in the pre-conception and pregnancy periods. This vitamin prevents neural defects during pregnancy.
Iron is important for the blood hemoglobin amount and also for many other heart-related benefits. Iron content can be very well-balanced with lettuce leaves as they provide almost four times the iron in the romaine variety than in the iceberg one.
Proteins are the building blocks of a developing body. They are needed for muscle development and many important metabolic reactions in the body. Lettuce contains a good 20 per cent of proteins in its total quantity.
23. Low Glycemic Index
Due to the less caloric value of lettuce, its glycemic index is considered zero and thus, its consumption helps in maintaining blood sugar levels.
24. Alkaline Formation And Detoxification
The minerals found in lettuce help in alkaline formation which is accompanied by the removal of toxins from the body.For CeliacsSummer Recipes
Summer is here and it’s time to bring the coolers out of storage and dust those picnic baskets. We’ve put together some delicious gluten free desserts to pack your hampers with before heading off to your favorite picnic spot.
1.Paleo Gelato – Toasted Almond
What can be more refreshing on a hot summer’s day than a frozen dessert? Try this yummy gelato full of the goodness of almonds and coconut milk.
- 3½ cups full fat coconut milk
- 2 tablespoons and 2 teaspoons arrowroot
- ½ cup honey
- 2 large eggs
- 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract or 2 to 3 teaspoons pure almond extract
- ½ cup sliced and toasted almonds
Whisk the coconut milk with the arrowroot until it dissolves completely. Add the honey, eggs and vanilla extract to this mixture and stir.Place the mix in a saucepan and stir on medium heat until it thickens. Take it off the heat and allow it to cool. Refrigerate for a few hours (or overnight) until it is chilled.
Fold in the almonds and process it in an ice cream maker according to instructions. Store it in a sealed container in your freezer.
Let it soften a bit before serving.
Add some extra flair to your summer dessert by serving scoops of gelato on one of our special gluten free ice cream cones!
2.Lemony Almond Macaroons
Almonds are so good for you that we decided to share another one of our favorite desserts. Try these scrumptious macaroons for a tangy end to your picnic meal. They are so good that you’ll probably want to eat them as snacks for the rest of summer!
- 14 ounces sweetened shredded coconut
- 1 cup sliced almonds
- ¾ cup sugar
- 1 teaspoon grated lemon zest
- ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
- 4 large egg whites
Preheat your oven to 325°F (approx. 165°C).Combine the almonds, sugar, lemon zest, salt and the coconut in a large bowl and stir.Whip the egg whites until stiff and add them to the mixture.
Line two baking sheets with parchment and drop mounds of the mixture (about one large cookie scoop each) on the sheets. Space the mounds at least a couple of inches apart.
Bake for about 25 minutes until they begin to brown slightly around the edges. Switch the trays around midway through baking to ensure they cook evenly.Cool completely and store in air tight tins.
If you don’t fancy baking yourself, order some delectable coconut macaroons here!
This pudding is so simple to make and so delicious, that you’ll find yourself making them over and over again.
- 1 1/4-ounce envelope unflavored gelatin
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 2/3 cup sugar
- 2 cups buttermilk
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- Canola oil
- 6 six ounce ramekins
Mix the gelatin with ¼ cup water and let it stand for 3 minutes.Combine the sugar and half the cream in a small saucepan over medium heat and stir until the sugar is completely dissolved. Take it off the heat and whisk in the gelatin.
Mix the buttermilk, vanilla extract and the remaining cream in a large bowl and stir in the warm mixture.Lightly oil the ramekins and divide the mixture evenly amongst them. Cover and refrigerate for at least 3 hours or overnight.Invert each ramekin onto a plate before serving.
You can serve the puddings with your favorite fresh fruits to add that summer touch!
4.Vanilla-Chocolate Pudding Pops
Nothing says summer like the warm smell of vanilla and popsicles! Here’s a take on ice-pops and vanilla pudding that’s easy to serve and fun to eat!
- 2 cups Vanilla Pudding
- 2 ounces bittersweet chocolate, melted
Divide the pudding between two bowls while it is still warm.Add the chocolate to one bowl and stir until completely mixed. Cover both bowls with plastic wrap and chill for at least 30 minutes.
Spoon 1/4th of the chocolate mixture into 4 ice pops molds each and freeze for 10 minutes.Then top each with 1/4th of the vanilla pudding and insert wooden sticks and freeze for 3 hours.
You can try playing around with this recipe by alternating layers of vanilla pudding and chocolate. Try our gluten free soy vanilla pudding here
5.Patriotic Vanilla Bean and Chia Pudding Cups
This delightful and ridiculously healthy pudding recipe will have everyone at your picnic raving about it. Its red, white and blue accents add a patriotic touch that’s fun and refreshing at the same time.
- For the Pudding
- 3 cups Almond Milk
- 4 tablespoon Chia Seeds
- 2 tablespoon Maple Syrup
- 1 teaspoon Vanilla Bean Powder
- For the Layers
- 1½ cups Strawberries
- 1½ cups Blueberries
- ⅛ cup crushed almonds
- For the Pudding:
Mix all the pudding ingredients together until they are evenly combined. Cover and leave overnight in the fridge.
Check on the mixture about 20 minutes into refrigeration to ensure that the chia seeds do not settle to the bottom. Stir if they have.
- Making the Layers:
Chop the strawberries into manageable pieces. Layer the pudding mixture, berries and almonds in two mason jars. Top with the pudding and serve chilled.
You can also seal the mason jars to carry them conveniently in your cooler for your picnic!
Those were five gluten free desserts for summer picnics that we totally loved (and drooled over). Whoever said gluten free food was boring? Visit our online store to order all things tasty and gluten free.
(Recipe sourced from http://theplantstrongvegan.com/patriotic-coconut-cream-pudding-cups/ and http://theplantstrongvegan.com/vanilla-bean-chia-pudding/)For CeliacsGluten Free Health
If you have had a tough summer, you’re probably looking forward to the holidays. The gifts, the family bonding, and the food together create an air of happiness and nostalgia. But as fun, as it may be, the holidays are very hard on our pockets, especially for people with dietary restraints. All the more so, if gluten is not your friend. Cake, bread, pie, Christmas pudding, you name it, gluten is everywhere! With these great tips and ideas on how to make your holiday's gluten free without spending a bomb, you can enjoy the holidays without a care in the world! 1. Vegetables Include as many locally grown vegetables as you can. Red, yellow and green peppers, carrots, beans, cauliflower, beets, and potatoes can make for some really nutritious, gluten-free meals. These are easily available and quite inexpensive. Try a simple stir-fry or stuffed bell peppers. Both are always a hit!
2. Greens and Salads Keep an eye out for winter greens and make the most of them. Apart from being nutritious and gluten-free, they can provide an interesting variety to your holiday dinner table. If you buy whatever is in season, it shouldn’t cost much. Surprise your guests with innovative green salads. You can glam them up with boiled eggs, goat cheese, and feta.
3. No Bake No Crust No bake treats aren’t just easy, they also become gluten-free if you leave out the crust. So, if you can’t yet afford to splurge on gluten-free crackers, just skip them! Make your own cream cheese at home for further savings and use it in a cheesecake of your choice. Make a gluten-free cheesecake filling and serve them in muffin cups or better yet, dark chocolate bowls!
4. Quiche It Up! Eggs are a real life saver. They don’t cost much and are quite possibly the most versatile food out there. A little bit of creativity and innovation can give you some really incredible results. Make a simple quiche with an almond meal crust and flavor it as you like with some garlic, chopped parsley and onions. Or, you can skip the crust altogether and make mini quiches in a muffin tray. Easy peasy!
5. Always Go Homemade For any recipe that contains flour, it’s best to do a homemade version. You can never really be certain that the gluten-free baked goods that you buy are actually gluten-free. Cross contamination is always a risk. Instead just buy gluten-free cake flour or buy other gluten-free products that you need online, and make your favorite desserts at home. If you look hard enough, you should be able to find great deals on gluten-free flour around the holidays.
6. Deviled Eggs Eggs again! Another great option for an easy, low-budget, gluten-free meal is deviled eggs. Deviled eggs are simply boiled eggs served with a twist. Get creative with it. Flavor the center however you like. Don’t forget to add a splash of green!
7. Quinoa The popularity of this new super food is on the rise. Quinoa is rich in protein and is naturally gluten-free. It is a great ingredient to have in any gluten-free kitchen. Use quinoa as a substitute for your baking during the holidays. It is heavier than wheat, takes a while to digest therefore making you feel full longer. Depending on how you make it, you can either have it sweet or savory. Like eggs, quinoa is also quite versatile. All you need is a touch of creativity. Try this easy gluten-free quinoa pudding to replace your Christmas pudding this year.
8. Rice Go crazy with rice this year. This grain is naturally gluten-free and is a key ingredient in thousands of holiday dishes. Rice pudding, spiced rice, vegetable or meat pilaf, jambalaya, fried rice, rice sushi, and paella are just a few popular ways in which rice can transform your holiday dinner! Think outside the box this holiday season and welcome foods from other cultures to your dinner table. Everything you need to make tasty holiday meals is within your reach, you just need to know where to look! And with some creativity, and of course the internet, you can make the best gluten-free holiday meals this year with plenty of money to spare for presents and other shopping. Go on and make your holidays gluten-free and special!
Celiac (or Coeliac) disease affects about 10% of Americans and many people go through their lives without diagnosis. Gluten intolerances and wheat allergies are notoriously difficult to detect and can be even harder when children are involved.
Let’s look at coeliac disease, gluten sensitivity and wheat allergies in more detail before moving on to the symptoms you should be looking for if you suspect your child is susceptible to any of them.
What is Gluten Anyway?
Gluten is the collective name of a group of naturally occurring proteins found in grains like wheat, rye, spelt and barley. The main proteins in gluten are gliadin and glutenin. Most people are sensitive to gliadin. Grains like quinoa are gluten free and are therefore safe to eat. Oats, while they are naturally gluten free are often stored and processed in centers where the chances of contamination is high, so it’s best to either avoid brands you are not sure of or choose ones that are not certified gluten free.
What is Coeliac Disease?
Coeliac disease is an autoimmune disease where eating gluten triggers a response that affects the small intestine. This triggered response, over time, damages the lining of the small intestine and prevents the absorption of nutrients.
What is Gluten Intolerance?
It is also referred to as gluten sensitivity or non-celiac gluten sensitivity. It is similar to coeliac disease. However, the body does not produce antibodies and nor is there any damage to the intestinal lining as seen in individuals suffering from coeliac disease.
What is Wheat Allergy?
This is an allergic reaction to wheat. It is different from coeliac although antibodies are produced when the individual comes into contact with wheat; the reactions are in the form of allergic symptoms like hives, sneezing, anaphylaxis (although this is a fairly uncommon and severe reaction).
How to Identify Gluten Sensitivity in Children
While diagnosing if your child suffers from coeliac disease, gluten intolerance or a wheat allergy can be difficult, recognizing the signs that wheat is triggering discomfort can be harder.
If you suspect your child is showing signs of gluten intolerance or wheat allergies, your first reaction should be to schedule an appointment with a doctor.
Do not start removing foods that contain gluten until advised by your doctor to do so. Chances are that your doctor might ask you to conduct a gluten elimination diet where you slowly eliminate foods containing gluten from your child’s diet and record any alleviation of symptoms.
Your child might show minor, moderate or severe reactions to gluten. While an older child might be able to explain how they feel after eating certain foods, toddlers cannot. Here are some of the symptoms you should look out for in toddlers:
- • Diarrhea
- • Bloating
- • Tiredness
- • An unwillingness to eat
While the symptoms demonstrated by gluten sensitive children might be similar to those suffering from coeliac disease, they may also show the following symptoms if they are sensitive to gluten:
• Abdominal pain • Fatigue • Joint pain • Headaches • May even be diagnosed with Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)
Symptoms of wheat allergies in toddlers often show up as soon as they are being weaned off breast milk on to solid foods like cereals. Here are some of the signs you should look out for: • Hives • Eczema • Digestive symptoms like diarrhea, bloating, vomiting, colic and gas • Pain in the abdomen • Breathing related issues like wheezing, nasal congestion, runny nose, difficulty in swallowing and in severe cases anaphylaxis
If one of the parents suffers from a gluten intolerance, there are chances that their child too might become gluten intolerant. Get your child tested if symptoms show up. If coeliac disease is suspected, your pediatrician will refer you to a pediatric gastroenterologist to conduct tests.
Gluten intolerance can be hard to diagnose and your doctor might recommend a gluten elimination challenge where sources of gluten are slowly eliminated from your child’s diet and the reactions are carefully monitored. If your child has a suspected wheat allergy, your doctor may advise you to conduct a skin prick test or blood tests to determine if this is the case. Gluten Free Diet and Foods If your child is diagnosed with coeliac disease, gluten intolerance or a wheat allergy, your doctor is likely to refer you to a dietitian to work out a healthy gluten free diet for your child. While the number of foods that need to be avoided may seem overwhelming at first, rest assured that there are gluten free foods that your kids will enjoy!
Your children don’t have to go without their favorite foods like pasta, cakes or donuts. You can find gluten free versions of their favorite foods at our online store.
Just because you live a gluten free lifestyle doesn’t mean you can’t live life to the fullest. Just because you suffer from coeliac disease, doesn’t mean you have to stay close to home. You need to put a lot of thought into where you are eating and what you can eat on a daily basis anyway, so why not plan just a little bit more and take your dream trip into the wild? We’ve put together a few of our top gluten free travel tips to make planning for your vacation easy.
1. Plan Your Holiday:
The internet is a great resource you have, to help you plan your gluten free holiday. Use it to gather as much information you can about where you are going and if there are any gluten free and fresh food stores in the area. When going to remote places, you might find your options limited or information scarce. Don’t hesitate to pick up the phone and call a store near your campground and ask a few questions. Once people understand the gravity of your situation, they are often only too happy to help.
2. Cooking Equipment
You will want to keep the equipment you carry to a minimum, especially if you are going hiking. However, it is good idea to carry your own utensils especially if you are travelling with someone who is not gluten sensitive or coeliac in order to avoid cross contamination. Pack your pots and dishes separately and make sure they do not get mixed up while on the trail. A few essentials to pack are:
- A light camping stove
- A cooking pot
- A mug
- A spork
- Chopping/Eating Knife
- Hypoallergenic pot cleaner
If you’re driving to your campsite and are planning on staying put in one area, you can afford to pack a few more things into your car. Again you need to be careful of cross contamination if the campground provides a kitchen or dining areas, even if they are just picnic tables.
3. Carry Your Own Food
Well, everyone has to pack a certain amount of supplies while going hiking or camping, you might just have to pack a little bit more. Gluten free meals can be hard to source in the middle of nowhere so you need to really plan your days and your meals down to the tee. Opt for foods that are light weight but packed with energy. Make sure you take along a few treats too, you’ll be glad you have them at the end of a long and tiring day. You’ll find your treats work as a great morale booster when the weather turns wet and windy too. Make sure you carry some ready to eat food items too, for days when it isn’t possible to cook.
4. Gluten Free Healthy Meal Ideas
There are plenty of hiking trail and camp ground friendly gluten free meals you can carry. Here are a few ideas to get you started.
- A. Gluten Free Breakfasts
Trust us; it is probably going to be nearly impossible to find gluten free oatmeal in the back of beyond so if you are a fan, carry enough for your stay along with you. Dried fruits pieces, seeds and dates make for delicious supplements to add to your gluten free oatmeal breakfasts. Granola is another scrumptious gluten free breakfast item that is easy to carry. You can either make it at home or use high quality store bought granola of your choice. You can also carry along some gluten free breads and bagels for the initial part of your trip for variety. They are light and also work well to throw together a sandwich when you’re hungry.
- B. Lunches and Dinners
Keep lunches light. Opt for foods that require minimum prep for your lunches. Trail mixes, cured dried meats and gluten free snacks are a few options. Make sure your dinners are easy to prepare. It isn’t easy to find a Michelin grade kitchen and sous chefs in the middle of nowhere! Gluten free soups are easy to prepare and are immensely satisfying at the end of a long hard day, especially if the weather is a little chilly. Gluten free noodles and pasta are also easy to carry and taste delicious. You can carry a variety of different flavors so your meals don’t get boring.
If you are allergic to any foods, pollens etc. make sure you carry your anti-allergy medications/epi-pens as a part of your first aid kit. Have a list of emergency contact numbers on hand and make sure your hiking partner knows who to contact in case of a health scare. Make sure the trail rangers are informed of your hiking route and draw-up a plan to check in with them periodically.
Check out our blog for some more gluten free holiday ideas and if you are looking for specific gluten free foods or supplements, we at Gluten Free Palace are always ready to help. And finally make sure you have tons of fun! Do let us know what your best hiking hacks are in the comments below.
We all know how difficult travelling with children can be. Add having to stick to a strict gluten free diet to that mix and you might feel you have the perfect recipe for disaster!
Thankfully, you don’t have to rule travel out of your lives. Check out our top tips for a safe, gluten free holiday that you and the family can enjoy.
Planning Your Gluten Free Vacation
The trick to a stress-free vacation is to plan ahead as much as possible. Once you know where you are going and how you are going to travel, it is time to do some research and make a few phone calls. If this sounds overwhelming, divide your holiday into chunks and take it one step at a time:
- Plan the journey
- Your stay
- Planning the Journey
Whether you are driving or taking a flight, the most important thing is to keep the kids entertained. Pack coloring books and crayons (much easier to clean up any accidental marks than sketch pens), favorite books, Gameboys or read up about some travelling games to play in the car like I-Spy or the License Plate Game. Buy a few surprises that you can hand out during the journey. That’ll really alleviate any travel boredom.
If you are driving, map out your routes and plan your stops. Check to see if there are any good picnic spots along the way. That way it’s one less meal you have to worry about. Gluten free bagels and a variety of spreads make for some fun and easy-to-eat picnic food. Make sure to pack plenty of snacks and drinks as well. Staying hydrated (even if it means more pee stops) is really important!
If you are flying, call the airline to make sure they offer a gluten free option onboard. Most big airlines and international long-haul flights do that if they are told in advance. You are normally given a chance to set it as a meal preference while booking your ticket as well. Confirm this while checking in and with the flight attendant again once on board.
It might sound excessive but it’s better to be safe than sorry. Pack your own snacks as a backup plan. Carry a note from your doctor explaining your dietary restrictions in case of any hassle with the airline.
Speak to the manager of the hotel you want to book and explain your gluten free needs. Ask for the chef if you’re going to be dining in-house a lot (if necessary). The last thing you want is tummy trouble or to end up with only two things on the menu you can eat. Many hotels can also provide you with a refrigerator in your room. Some require a small charge for the service but it is definitely worth it to make sure you have some gluten free food on hand. Fill it up with fresh produce from a local store so that you can make the kids a quick and healthy gluten free snack or breakfast in the room itself. Carry a few gluten free buns or rolls with you from home for exactly this purpose.
Scout the immediate vicinity of your hotel for stores that keep gluten free foods so you know where to go in case you run out. The internet is a great resource we have these days. Use it to your advantage before you leave so you can spend more time actually having fun on your vacation than worrying about what you are eating.
Restaurants and Sightseeing
Make sure you pack plenty of gluten free snacks to take along with you when you are out sightseeing. You might not find gluten free snacks in more remote areas. Gluten free crackers are easy to carry and come in several delicious flavors that will keep you going until you hit the next restaurant.
Eating in only one restaurant while you’re holiday can get a bit tedious, especially if you are a foodie and they have a limited gluten free menu. Solve that problem by (you guessed it!) doing some research beforehand about restaurants in the area that serve healthy gluten free meals.
If you have a hard time explaining to people what you can or cannot eat, try and think out of the box and ask for gluten containing sides on a dish to be replaced with something you can eat. For example, ask for a burger without the buns or a side salad instead of flour coated potato wedges.
If you are travelling abroad, explaining your dietary needs can get a bit more difficult, especially if you have to make yourself understood in another language. Try and stick to fresh, unprocessed foods. Grilled chicken and salad is normally found easily everywhere, for example. Additionally, has restaurant cards in 63 different languages, explaining what you can eat to make things easier for you. Most people are only too happy to help you out once they understand why you can’t eat certain foods.
So don’t shy away from booking that dream vacation because of food restrictions. Do your research, make those phone calls, pack a few gluten free foods to take with you and we know that you and the kids will have a stress-free holiday you will all remember for a long time!
Take that break you deserve and remember that we, at Gluten Free Palace, are always happy to help you out. If you are looking for something in particular, get in touch with us or get the gluten free ingredients you need delivered right to your doorstep from our store. Happy travelling!
Having to make a complete lifestyle change is hard enough as an adult but imagine having to do so when you are a child! Not only do you have to give up on a lot of your favorite foods but you’ll have to watch your friends eat them around you, without fully grasping why you can’t eat everything the other kids can.
As a parent of a celiac or gluten-sensitive child that has to go gluten free, it can be really tough on you, too. You have to watch as your child struggles to understand these changes or feels left out at a party without ever being able to cave in and say, “Okay honey, you can eat that, just this once.”
Sure, it might be easier if your child has grown up eating only gluten free products, but you will have to address these queries at some point or another. The best thing you can do as a parent is to equip your child with a positive attitude and empower them to make the right decisions when it comes to their lifestyle and eating habits.
We’ve put together our tried and tested top tips to help you and your family make the big change.
- Discuss the Changes as a Family
It is really important that your child understands that the changes you are making are in their best interests. Sit down around your dining table over a healthy gluten free meal and talk it out.
You can discuss foods in simple terms like:
- How do you feel after you eat particular foods? Bad? Why do you think that is? This is where you can explain why your child needs to avoid those foods.
- How do you feel when you avoid those foods? Good? That’s great.
- I know you miss eating cakes, hot dogs and pizzas, but we can make gluten free versions at home so we can avoid putting in all the things that make you feel bad in them!
If they ask if they’ll have to avoid the foods they like forever, reassure them that there are gluten free versions available that are just as good and that for now, the best thing is to allow their tummies the time to heal.
- Help Them Learn to Choose the Right Foods
This will give your children a sense of control over their situation. Teach them which foods contain gluten and which do not. If your children are old enough to read, teach them how to read labels on food packaging to make sure it is gluten free. If your children are too young, teach them to recognize logos or labels that certify food as being gluten free. Take your children to the supermarket, walk them through the aisles explaining what they can or can’t eat something, or turn it into a game where they have to look for a particular gluten free ingredient.
For example: Can you find the gluten free pasta for me please?
- Make Gluten Free Food Fun
If you have an older child transitioning to gluten free foods, chances are high that there will tough times, especially when they can’t have some of their favorite foods. Turn your kitchen into an interactive fun space where you attempt to recreate gluten free versions of their favorite foods together.
Turn it into a game, like being a superhero saving the earth from the diabolical baddie “Gluteno”. You get the picture. You’ll be helping them develop an interest in healthy foods that way.
- Speaking Up
Your child needs to learn that it isn’t just foods that you eat at regular meal times that can contain gluten but that plenty of snacks do, too! Teach them what snacks are safe to eat, especially if they are over at a friend’s. Let them learn to ask if food is gluten free or to be able to choose snacks that are not. For example, choosing a piece of fruit instead of something else they aren’t sure of. Help them cultivate a taste for fresh produce like fruits, veggies and nuts or healthy gluten free snacks made from them.
Agree on things they can eat when you go to restaurants together. Help them make their own choices: okay, you want a burger, but you know you can’t have the bread, how about just the burger wrapped in lettuce instead or some grilled chicken? Let them choose. It will help them feel empowered.
- Make Gluten Free Normal
Find gluten free groups or families in your area. It’ll help your children to have play dates with other kids with the same dietary restrictions. It will also give you some peace of mind when they are together as you won’t have to worry about eating gluten contaminated foods.
There are even special gluten free summer camps now so your kids can get all the benefits without having to worry about meals. So all you will have to do is pack their bags with plenty of gluten free granola, breakfast bars and crackers and wish them a wonderful time at camp!
So get creative and be open about going gluten free, talk about the transition as much as your children need to, help them make the right food choice and we know you and your family will live happier and healthier lives.
Let us know your tips and tricks for a smooth transition to a gluten free lifestyle in the comments below!
Pregnancy and Gluten Free Diets – Here’s What You Should Know
Gluten-free and preggers? Here’s good news. Gluten-free diets for pregnant women can be just as nutritious and healthy as regular diets. Read More more.
Being Gluten Free isn’t easy and neither is being pregnant. Combine the two and it can get slightly overwhelming, especially with all the well-meaning advice from everyone around you.
If you are gluten intolerant or suffer from a celiac disease you’re probably going to ask yourself (or others will ask you) if you are getting all the nutrients you need by staying gluten-free or if you need to make some serious changes in your diet while pregnant.
Staying stress-free through your pregnancy is important, for both baby and you, so we’ve put together this short guide for a healthy, gluten-free pregnancy.
Sticking to a Gluten-Free Diet during Pregnancy: What you need to know
It is really important for your OB-GYN to know that you are on a gluten-free diet, especially if you have celiac disease and are prescribed any medication. Knowing your dietary restrictions can help you plan your pregnancy better with your doctor’s help. Your doctor may also be able to recommend an appropriate nutritionist who will be able to help you plan your diet if needed.
While grains that contain gluten might not agree with you, we know that they are a source of goodness too. After all, grains contain vital nutrients like iron, zinc, folate and the all-important fiber. Thankfully there are plenty of gluten-free foodstuffs that can make sure that baby and you still get all the nourishment you need without having to eat any gluten-containing products.
Check with your doctor to learn about the right gluten-free prenatal supplements that include folic acid and other minerals. If you are lactose intolerant, Vitamin D & Omega 3 supplements can help ensure you receive the right amounts you need. Again, your doctor will guide you to the correct dosage.
Spinach – The Superfood
It’s not just Popeye who swears by it, soon you will too! Spinach contains folic acid and iron both of which are vital for baby and you. Folate helps prevent birth defects and the iron will help you produce all those red blood cells that carry oxygen to the little one.
Bonus nutrient: Spinach also contains a small amount of calcium giving you that extra push in the right direction. Add it to your salads, turn it into a soup, use it as a wrap, have it as a side or have it in a smoothie, you’ll be glad you did.
Now that we have established that spinach is a great addition to your diet, here are a few other foods that will help you make sure that you are getting the nutrition you need.
- Whole Grains
There are plenty of whole grains out there that do not contain gluten but contain magnesium and proteins you need to keep yourself going. Rice, corn, buckwheat, and quinoa are great gluten-free options to include in your diet. Brown rice is a great source of fiber but it may contain arsenic so while you can eat it in small quantities, do not make it your primary source of dietary fiber.
Fruits like apricots contain vitamin A, C, E, beta-carotene, phosphorus, silicon, calcium, iron, and potassium along with iron making them ultra-healthy snacks when you are hungry, while apples have plenty of fiber.
- Nuts and Seeds
Nuts like Brazil nuts, walnuts, almonds and chia seeds are good dietary supplements. They contain healthy amounts of fiber and are good sources of omega-3 fatty acids.
Eating fish while pregnant is a bit tricky. While seafood is a brilliant source of omega-3 fatty acids (which help the development of the baby’s brain), some types of fish like shark, swordfish, king mackerel, and tilefish contain high levels of mercury which is a big no-no. Common seafood that is safer to consume includes shrimp, canned light tuna, salmon, pollock, and catfish.
While there is no strict or special gluten-free diet for pregnant women with celiac disease or gluten sensitivity, the basic principle remains the same for all: Make sure you have a balanced diet with the right amount of nutrients that both you and baby need.
If you are looking for specific gluten free foods or supplements, Gluten Free Palace is always ready to help! Order all your gluten-free products at our online store. Get in touch with us and let us know your thoughts about healthy gluten-free pregnancy in the comments below.For Celiacs
Making the switch to gluten free foods after several years of eating processed foods can be rather difficult. It is important to remember to educate yourself on which foods are safe for you to eat if you happen to have Celiac disease. Many packaged foods have preservatives and additives that are definitely not good for your health. Many different spices can be used to enhance the gluten free diet. Here is a list of 10 spices for the gluten free diet.
Celery salt can be used to enhance soups, egg and potato salads, cabbage as well as coleslaw.
Curry powder is a blend of many spices put together in certain quantities. The spices found in curry powder include turmeric, cumin, ginger, black pepper, fenugreek, allspice, coriander, fennel seed, and red pepper. It can be used to give flavor to egg dishes, white meat, red meat, fish, cooked vegetables, and even poultry.
Herbes de Province
This blend of herbs adds flavor to a variety of foods. It consists of a combination of the following herbs- marjoram, thyme, tarragon, as well as some other herbs. It can be used to enhance vegetables, fish, red meat, and poultry. This gourmet blend is fragrant and slightly sweet.
This fragrant, slight spicy blend marries the tang of lemon with the light heat of black pepper. Used to enhance the flavors of fish, dips, vegetables, meat, poultry, and salad dressings.
This spice is a blend of several spices. It is slightly spicy, warm and woodsy. Can be used to enhance red meat, white meat, fish, chicken, rice, and other seafood.
This is again a combination of herbs and spices. It can be used to flavor poultry, vegetables, red meat, white meat, and fish.
This spice blend consists of several different herbs. Marjoram, sage, basil, rosemary, thyme, and oregano make up this blend. It is used in tomato based dishes. Pizza, pasta, potatoes, poultry, fish, vegetables, and seafood can be flavor enhanced by using Italian seasoning.
Chili Powder is bold, spicy, and full of flavor. It is used to enhance the taste of tacos, fish, hamburgers, stew, and even egg dishes.
Cajun seasoning is a combination of hot peppers, salt and vinegar. It is used to enhance seafood, fish, red meat, white meat, and poultry.
Taco seasoning is used to season tacos and so much more. It can be used in hamburgers, salsas, dips, tacos, beans, steak, and ground beef.
Try some of these spices and spice blends the next time you are making a gluten-free meal. They will certainly add flavor that may make you reach for that second serving.
Gluten Free Diet Info
Gluten free diets often appear to be extremely difficult when we first encounter them, because we tend to look at a list of items that we now can't eat. This can make our life far more uncomfortable t Read More
Gluten Free Diet Info
A Gluten Free Diet arrangement which is both healthy and successful requires understanding the mistake most people make when they first start their gluten-free diets. I will cover three essential basi Read More
Celiac disease affects about 10% of Americans. It can also be called gluten intolerance, gluten enteropathy or gluten-sensitive enteropathy, non-tropical sprue, celiac sprue and endemic sprue. Celiac Read More