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It seems that gluten-free is typically associated with foods of cardboard consistency and lacking in excitement to the taste buds. There are food choices without having to resort to  highly processed ones. There are plenty of nutritious alternatives for the hard-to digest, glue-like protein.

Here are some new cooking ideas to supplement in to your diet:

Quinoa: Actually a seed, a member of the grass family and not even a grain at all! It is referred to as a grain because of having similar flavor and cooking properties. This food can be found in all sort of salad combination, in protein bars, crackers and even chocolate! It can topped with steamed vegetables and a big pour of sauce from herbs and nuts. One of the huge benefits of quinoa is that it contains all nine essential amino acids = a complete protein!
Millet: A bit dried than quinoa, this is a mineral-rich seed often found in birdseed mixes. It makes a mashed potato substitute when mixed and mashed up with some steamed or roasted cauliflower. Leftover cooked millet makes an easy breakfast porridge when mixed with some almond milk, cardamom, raw honey and fresh berries. Another great source of protein!
Amaranth: A super tiny seed similar to millet and quinoa and also a great plant source of protein, especially of the essential amino acid lysine, which other grains are low in. It is even thought to help lower “bad” cholesterol. Amaranth works great in soups, stews and porridges. The seeds are very fine and tend to get bit creamier and binding when cooked. Amaranth flour also works well in pancakes and breads. Amaranth grows very rapidly and is thought of as a weed in many areas = sustainability.
Brown Rice Mochi: A delicious baked pastry version. Made with only brown rice this is as clean as it gets. With plenty of different flavor varieties to choose from for flavor (from dried fruit , nuts and seeds) you can satisfy both a sweet and savory craving with these warm and chewy treats. Cut up a few squares, pop it in the oven for 10 minutes and watch them rise to the occasion. Can be dipped in applesauce and almond butter.
Buckwheat Noodles: With a really smooth texture and a hearty flavor that can stand up well to spicy foods.  Buckwheat is good for the cardiovascular system and great source of magnesium!  And despite it’s name, buckwheat is not related to wheat and does not contain any gluten.
Chia Pudding: Chia seed was cultivated by the Aztec and was so valued that it was given as an annual tribute by the people to the rulers. It can be turned into a delicious and decadent pudding simply by adding your nut milk of choice, some vanilla extract, a spoon of raw cacao or carob and something sweet like honey, maple syrup or stevia. You can also stir and sprinkle chia seeds in to any smoothie recipe or your morning porridge.
Zucchini Noodles: A great pasta and noodle alternative and it’s all about the cutting technique. If you are looking to cut down on calories, carbs and starches, these “noodles” are sure to satisfy that pasta craving! Use a spiral slicer or a mandolin to get the thin, long spaghetti like strips, dress with some fresh tomato sauce or a nutty pesto.
Lettuce Wraps: Need a carrier for all your stuffing? skip the grains and go for leaves. Romaine and Boston lettuce leaves are big enough to hold a variety of fillings, just like a taco-shell or tortilla. You can try to quickly blanch large collard green leaves and use those as alternative wraps. Also, using nori – think sushi maki and hand rolls. Roll up some nut butter, your favorite chopped vegetables, some avocado and a sprinkle of sprouts.
Have your favorite recipe? Feel free to share it here and I’ll include it on this list.
Have questions? Want your voice heard? Contact me here, at drtijana.dc@gmail.comFacebook, or Twitter!
Be healthy & happy, Dr. Tijana

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