Having a sensitivity to gluten doesn’t mean you are doomed to a life of bland, tasteless food. Once upon a time, a gluten-free diet did mean that flavour was compromised, but not anymore. These days, it’s easier than ever to great delicious, gluten free healthy recipes that the entire family will love.
One of the challenges that a person with celiac symptoms faces is creating meals that the whole family will like. It’s no fun to have to eat a separate meal from the rest of the family, so the challenge becomes finding gluten free recipes that are tasty and interesting enough for the entire family. Luckily, with the proliferation of delicious and readily available gluten-free products on the market today, cooking a gluten-free meal for the whole family has never been easier or more fun.
Here are some tips for cooking gluten-free meals for your family
Choose gluten-free meals
A simple internet search will garner thousands of mealtime possibilities for your family. From breakfast to dessert and everything in between, there are delicious recipes out there that are high on flavour and low on gluten. It might also be helpful to try and find a gluten free bakery or cafe. This will mean you don’t always have to cook at home!
Swap out the gluten
Another strategy is to continue making your old family favourites, only with a few substitutions. Swap out flours, sauces and other ingredients that contain gluten for their gluten-free counterparts. For example, if your family loves pasta, you can still enjoy your famous homemade tomato sauce, swapping out the regular pasta for a gluten-free variety. Or, if you can’t start your day without a piece of toast, forego your wheat-flour bread for a loaf made with rice flour.
Learn to read labels
You would be surprised by how many convenience products have gluten in them. Each brand contains different ingredients, so learn how to read labels to determine which brands of common household condiments and other prepared items contain gluten and which don’t. Mayonnaise, for example, sometimes contains gluten as a thickener, but some brands use other thickening ingredients that are gluten free. Some snack foods like potato chips can be a challenge, too, because some brands have gluten in them and some don’t. If you aren’t sure how to read nutrition labels, an internet search should garner the information you need.
Know where to shop
You don’t have to go to a speciality health food store to find gluten free products, although that is certainly an option if you feel more comfortable doing so. These days, most larger grocery store carry a full roster of gluten-free products. More and more people are experiencing celiac symptoms these days, and food retailers are paying attention.
One of the best ways to avoid gluten is to cook with whole foods. Fruits and vegetables, by and large, don’t contain any gluten. The same goes for meats (although this isn’t always the case, so always read labels). If you cook food for your family that features heavily in these naturally gluten-free foods, you’ll not only be serving gluten free meals you’ll be feeding your family fresh, delicious and healthy meals, too.