Millions of men and women across the world are living gluten-free either due to a medical reason or by personal choice. But just what does that mean? Gluten is a protein found in wheat, barley, rye and any product that contains wheat ingredients. It can also be found in oats or other products that can become cross contaminated through the manufacturing process.
Sensitivity to gluten is the most common reason that people adhere to a gluten free lifestyle. Gluten sensitivity can cause a massive number of health issues as the body starts attacking the lining of the small intestine due to the consumption of the protein. It is something that can make a person very sick, and in some cases can cause death.
Once people started to lose weight going gluten free, you can bet people took notice. A large number of people who are going gluten free choose to do so simply to help them lose weight. Significant amounts of weight can be lost when this protein is eliminated from the diet. However, a gluten-free lifestyle is not intended to be used as a weight loss program and not every individual will necessarily experience weight loss.
Here are a few tips that will help you maintain this lifestyle, as well as a few tips to help you better prepare all of the recipes that we have provided to you throughout our recipes.
1. Shopping for Ingredients
All of the recipes have been created with gluten-free products. When buying ingredients for any of these recipes, ensure that you are paying close attention to the manufacturer’s nutrition label on the foods. It is important that you ensure you are buying products which are actually gluten-free.
Most of the products that are gluten free will have it printed on the front of the package so it is much easier to see. Before you head to the market, prepare a shopping list.
Having a list on hand will make it easier to get what you need and to ensure that it is truly gluten free. Research brands and ask other people who are gluten-free where the best places are to buy gluten-free foods. For people who are just starting out on a gluten-free diet, this bit of research can really make the transition much smoother.
Cooking Times Vary
Remember that oven and stove cooking times vary and you may need to leave your food in longer or remove it before the time recommended in the recipe. Always watch closely as you prepare meals and adjust the cooking times as needed.
Gluten-Free Mix & Flour
You will notice that most of the recipes in this guide call for gluten free mix or alternative flours to wheat flour. It is vital that this is used instead of the traditional flour, which contains the gluten that you want to avoid. Have a steady supply of this on hand, as it will be used for the most part throughout your cooking experience as gluten free.
Don’t be Afraid to Experiment
Many of the foods that you love to eat can be redesigned to adhere to gluten-free standards. It can be a bit of trial and error to replace standard flour with coconut, almond or other alternative flours, but it is important to try. If you don’t feel like you gave up any of your favorite dishes, you will not feel deprived. Most diets end as soon as a person experiences a feeling of deprivation so have fun and experiment with your favorite recipes.
Again, even the smallest amount of gluten could cause a number of health problems to a person who is allergic or has a sensitivity. So, it is equally important that you take all of the proper measures for food safety as well. This means that you must always work with clean surfaces in the kitchen.
If a non-gluten free item touches the counter, the risk of contamination is there and it is possible that even a small trace could cause you a number of problems. Of course, this is just one of the reasons that you want to ensure that you are sanitary. Keep the kitchen clean, as well as all of the work surfaces and the utensils that you will be using. It is always better to be safe than to be sorry and food poisoning and food contamination are not things that you ever want to experience.
Here are a few additional cooking tips that will help you when preparing your gluten free meals.
When you are cooking with gluten-free products, it is important that you remember to use room temperature ingredients. They are much easier to work with and can enhance the actual taste of your meals.
Investing in a cooking thermometer is a good idea. You can find these tools wherever cooking supplies are sold. They are very cheap to purchase and with them you can be sure that all of the meals that you prepare are cooked thoroughly and safe for you and your family to consume.
Remember that practice makes perfect and the more that you cook with gluten free flour, the better that you will get at it. Give yourself time to learn the ropes of cooking with gluten-free ingredients and start off cooking simple recipes. Once your skills increase you can move on to the more advanced recipes.
Ask family and friends if they have any recipes that they could share with you, and remember that there are always tons of recipes and cookbooks available, too. Of course with fantastic gluten-free recipe books like this one, you have quite a few weeks of delicious cooking already on hand.