A Perfect Pantry

Being Gluten-Free While Still Enjoying the Foods You Crave

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    by Sally Perkins

    One out of every 70 Australians suffers from coeliac disease. This disease causes the immune system to react negatively to gluten and creates inflammation in the bowels. Therefore, those with coeliac disease suffer from symptoms such as diarrhoea, constipation, nausea, vomiting when digesting foods with gluten. If you have coeliac disease, or suspect you might be allergic to gluten, it is best to simply avoid it all together. Here are some tips on starting a gluten-free diet and how you can still have everything you crave while on the diet.

    What is the Gluten-Free Diet?

    Gluten-free means steering away from foods that contain gluten. Gluten is a composite of storage proteins that gives certain foods its shape. It is like a glue that holds some foods together and can be found in wheat, barley, and rye. The main purpose of a gluten-free diet is to fight against celiac disease, but it can also prevent fatigue, muscle pain, mood disorders, diarrhea, anxiety, depression, osteoporosis, and weight gain.

    Recipes to Help You Start

    The hardest part of any diet is eliminating some of the foods that we absolutely love. The good news is that gluten-free doesn’t necessarily mean you have to give up everything. Here are some gluten-free alternatives to some of those foods we just can’t live without.

    • Gluten Free Pancakes: Sunday mornings just aren’t complete without the smell of pancakes in the air. Try this gluten-free pancake recipe to keep the tradition alive while staying healthy. Simply combine 200g of gluten-free self-raising flour and 1 tablespoon of caster sugar in a bowl. Then add one lightly whisked egg and 310ml of buttermilk. Pour the batter into pancake shapes on a pan and turn after3 minutes. You can also add bananas by cooking them with 70g of brown sugar.
    • Gluten Free Tacos: Taco Tuesdays are the highlight of any week, and now you can have gluten-free tacos by simply using gluten-free hard taco shells and seasoning. Brown ground beef in olive oil until cooked, and stir in two tablespoons of gluten-free taco seasoning and 3 tablespoons of water. Simmer for three minutes and stir occasionally. Heat up your gluten-free taco shells in the oven for five minutes and fill them with your delicious taco meat and garnishes such as avocado, onion, shredded spinach, and cheese. 
    • Gluten Free Chocolate Cake: With a gluten-free diet you can still have your cake and eat it too. Preheat your oven to 170C and grease and line a 22cm springform pan with baking paper. Then combine 50g of raw cacao powder and ½ cup of boiling water in a bowl and sit to cool slightly. In another bowl, use an electric mixer to beat 1 cup of caster sugar, 150g of coconut oil, and 3 eggs until smooth. In as a third bowl combine 150g of macadamia meal, ½ a teaspoon of bicarbonate soda, and a pinch of salt. Combine the first two bowls and beat on low speed. Then add the third bowl and combine well. Pour into your pan and bake for 40-45 minutes. You should chill the cake before serving and you can top it with some extra cacao powder or berries.

    Being gluten-free doesn’t mean you have to give up the foods you love and crave. You simply have to find work-arounds to eliminate wheat, barley, and rye from these foods. Soon enough you’ll be a gluten-free pro!


    Sally Perkins is a professional freelance writer with many years experience across many different areas. She made the move to freelancing from a stressful corporate job and loves the work-life balance it offers her. When not at work, Sally enjoys reading, hiking, spending time with her family and travelling as much as possible.

    • JohnM 03 August 2017

      The problem where i live is when i go out to eat. There are not many restaurants that offer a gluten free menu. I can keep this diet at home just fine (will definitely try you sugestion for Gluten Free Chocolate Cake :p), but to keep it 100% of the time would mean to not go out so much :). Maybe in the future more and more restaurants here will add more gluten free dishes to their menu.

    • Kate 16 August 2017

      Looks yummy! I can not wait to make one! Thanks for sharing!

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