Gluten-Free Never Tasted So Good!
Have you noticed that it is much easier to follow a gluten-free diet these days? There are so many great products and choices available now, it's hard to believe it was once so difficult to find wheat-free alternatives.
Whether by choice or necessity, gluten-free has become much more popular over the last 20 years. In Australia, it is estimated that 10% of the population now follows a gluten-free diet and, since 2004, sales of gluten-free products have tripled.
Found in a wide variety of grains, such as wheat, barley, oats and rye, gluten is a protein used extensively in bread products and flours. It is also used in other food and drink products, including beer and soy sauce, and as a food stabiliser.
Consuming gluten can cause a variety of disorders and diseases in some people. The most common of these are celiac disease and non-celiac gluten sensitivity (NCGS).
Sufferers have found great relief in switching to gluten-free alternatives, such as rice, millet, buckwheat, tapioca, amaranth, chia and, of course, quinoa.
An ancient grain, used extensively by the Incas, quinoa is a complete protein and a fantastic wheat-free alternative.
The great thing about quinoa is that it can be used in so many recipes, both sweet and savoury. It is also extremely good for your health.
Being a slowly digested carbohydrate, it makes a very good low-GI option, and is packed with calcium, magnesium and all nine essential amino acids. It also possesses good levels of several B vitamins, vitamin E, lysine, and dietary fibre.
Vitamin B2 is a must-have, and will help with energy production, thyroid activity, red blood cell production, brain and nervous system maintenance, and eye health.
Due to its high mineral content, quinoa can help boost your immune system, and improve bone, muscle, kidney and heart health.
It delivers a healthy shot of fibre, too - almost half your daily requirement. And that means lower cholesterol and improved colon health. It can also help with weight control.
One of the most delicious ways of getting your daily serve of this superfood is Quinoa Porridge.
A really healthy alternative to oats, it's gluten-free, grain-free and dairy-free. Infuse it with any flavours you like for a warm and hearty winter breakfast.
A 100g serving of quinoa provides 368 calories, 14g protein, 6g fat, 64g carbohydrate, and 7g fibre.
Quinoa Porridge - Serves 1
¼ cup Quinoa Flakes
½ cup Almond or Coconut milk or Water
Teaspoon coconut sugar or stevia if desired
Tablespoon fresh or frozen blueberries
Tablespoon chopped nuts
Place the quinoa in a medium saucepan with milk or water, cinnamon, sugar and a pinch of Himalayan salt.
Place over a medium heat and bring to a simmer.
Cook, stirring occasionally, for 12-14 minutes or until most of the liquid is absorbed and the quinoa is soft.
Add a dollop of coconut yoghurt and top with blueberries, pistachio nuts, poached pears or whatever toppings you like. Extra sweetener is optional.