All Entries For gluten-free
When Judi Zucker's son, Tanner, turned 14, he started getting daily headaches, rashes and acne breakouts. At first she chalked it up to puberty. But then the Santa Barbara–based writer was asked to pen a cookbook for people with food allergies and it occurred to her to have Tanner tested. Sure enough, blood work revealed that he was "off-the-charts" allergic to casein (a milk protein) and gluten. And he's not alone. These days, it seems like we're in the midst of an epidemic of food allergies. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, their prevalence among kids under 18 rose 50% between 1997 and 2011. While some food allergies (which usually emerge in childhood) can be outgrown, others are lifelong and require permanent dietary shifts. "Within 24 hours of going gluten- and casein-free, Tanner had no more headaches, and gradually his skin cleared up," says Zucker, 52, who went on to co-author The Ultimate Allergy-Free Snack Cookbook. Read More ›
Everyone seems to be on a gluten-free diet, and new gluten-free products keep cropping up on store shelves. But is gluten really bad for you? And can nixing it help you lose weight? “Many people are misinformed about who should be on a gluten-free diet,” says KT Park, MD, a clinical researcher and gastroenterologist at Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital at Stanford University in Palo Alto, CA. “Unless you have celiac disease or another medical reason to avoid gluten, a gluten-free diet isn’t beneficial.” So before loading your shopping cart with gluten-free foods, here’s what to keep in mind. Read More ›
Per your requests, our recipe ideas come in a handy, downloadable calendar packed full of meal ideas that are healthy and delicious. (It's printable, too!) Whether you use this calendar every day or just use it for ideas is up to you. We hope we've inspired you to get into the kitchen and get cooking!
Each week we'll choose a different theme: our favorite no-cook summer recipes, 7 days of meatless meals, or a week of diabetes-friendly dinners, for example. If you have a special dietary request, let us know in the comments, and we'll do our best to devise a recipe plan that might suit your needs.
By posting a weekly calendar, we think it's easier for you to save and even reuse these recipe collections over time.
This week's theme is Gluten-Free Dinners.
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Many people are choosing, for a variety of reasons, to reduce or eliminate gluten from their diet. Whether it's due to a food allergy, or just a personal preference quick and easy gluten-free lunch recipes are hard to come by. Furthermore, supermarkets are now carrying gluten-free options, but they're often expensive and don't taste as good as homemade recipes. Instead of blowing the budget on store-bought items, I prefer products at are naturally gluten-free. This means that the items themselves are already gluten-free and can be combined into a full gluten-free meal. Regardless of your unique needs, these recipes are great choices for healthy lunches. Read More ›
The gluten-free phenomenon has lead to dozens of new products on store shelves. Breads and baked goods are some of the hardest foods to make tasty and sans gluten. We polled our readers and took their favorite brands for a test drive.
For this taste test, we rated breads based on taste, texture, nutrition and cost. Each variety was rated on a 5-point scale (5 being the highest). Gluten-free breads are famously higher in calories so we tried hard to find some smart and tasty options. Most of the brands recommended toasting for best taste –this was definitely the preferable way for just about all of the options. Read More ›
Contest closed! The winners are:
A cool new company contacted us recently, hoping we'd test their product and offer a giveaway. It's called Healthy Surprise, and right from the outset, I loved this idea.
Healthy Surprise is a subscription-based service that ships a box of healthy, natural, gluten-free and vegan snacks right to your door each month. In lieu of a subscription, you can also give yourself (or a friend) a one-time gift shipment, which is a really thoughtful and fun idea for the healthy eaters in your life. They offer four different packages that vary in size and price, starting at just $33/month (plus shipping) for the smallest package (which includes 16-20 snack servings) and goes all the way up to $333/month (free shipping) for the largest package of 200+ snacks, which might be more fitting for a club or workplace than an individual's home. You don't get to pick and choose what goes into your box, which is part of the fun—hence the "surprise" part, but as a bonus, you'll end up trying foods you never knew you liked and bring the fun back to snacking! Read More ›
A dear friend of mine owns a green general store in downtown Cincinnati. In addition to the eco-friendly household goods, bulk supplies, and awesome coffee, Park + Vine stocks healthy, delicious snacks and treats.
It was there that I first discovered my favorite crackers: Mary's Gone Crackers. Crispy, crunchy, full of whole-grain, gluten-free goodness, these crackers are delicious and nutritious.
Mary's recently shipped us a variety of products, many of which were new even to me. These were a huge hit in the SparkPeople office!
While the crackers (especially the black pepper variety) will always be a go-to snack for me, the pretzel-like Sticks and Twigs in the curry flavor are my new favorite. Dipped in salsa or hummus, they're a great afternoon snack that really satisfies my crunchy cravings.
Good news: Mary's is giving away five gift packs (Crackers and Sticks and Twigs in the flavor of your choice) to lucky readers! Read More ›
In March, I ran a half marathon with a friend whose 6-year-old-son has Celiac Disease. We ran to benefit Team Gluten Free, a fundraising program that provides a simple way for recreational athletes to raise awareness about this disease. Since my friend's son often visits my house, and because several of my family and friends have also gone gluten-free, I took the opportunity to expand my cooking skills to include gluten-free dishes. This was a little bit intimidating at first, but with a little reading and practice I've discovered many simple recipes that are now family favorites. In honor of Celiac Awareness Month (October 2011), I've listed some of SparkRecipes best gluten-free dishes for your enjoyment. Read More ›
Editor's Note: According to the Celiac Disease Foundation, 1 in 133 Americans are affected by this ailment, which causes them to fall ill if they come in contact with even a trace amount of gluten, the protein found in wheat, barley, and rye. Abbie Roth, a freelance writer and academic editor, found out she had the disease in early 2009. She wrote a blog to help others who face a life with celiac or gluten intolerance.
By Abbie Roth
I’ve been living gluten free for more than two years now. Like many people, I was less than thrilled with my diagnosis. I remember crying over my beautiful dinner of grilled salmon and steamed rice because all I wanted was a piece of bread. Initially, I even rebelled against my diagnosis and binged on pizza, which I soon regretted. Once the reality sank in that I could actually feel good by eating the right foods, I never looked back.
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Have you heard about the new noodles that have no calories? It's true. These noodles have no calories, fat, gluten or carbs. Made from a soluble fiber derived from a Japanese yam, the noodles have been available in Japan for years.
Some health professionals and manufacturers say the lack of carbs and fiber make these a viable food source for those who have diabetes, celiac disease or gluten intolerance.
Their texture is similar to shirataki noodles, which contain the same fiber (glucomannan). Shirataki noodles--named after the shirataki yam (konyaku)--have been popular for a few years, but they have about 20 calories a serving because of the tofu they also contain. (The yam is also known as konjak, konjaku, devil's tongue, voodoo lily, snake palm, or elephant yam.)
However, not everyone is a fan of the noodles, and for reasons other than their slimy texture and fishy smell straight from the bag. (The smell goes away if you rinse them, and they morph from a squishy, squidlike texture to firm noodle texture as you heat them. I ate them while living and traveling in Asia.)
The research I did on the noodles didn't mention that this isn't the first time konjac has been popular--and that the fiber it contains has been banned in some forms and in some countries.
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The edible seeds of legumes like dry beans, dry peas, chickpeas, and lentils are called pulses, a name derived from the Latin word puls which means thick soup or potage. Pulses are very popular in Mexican, Middle Eastern, or East Indian cuisine and provide a low fat protein source, dietary fiber, and essential nutrients. They are unique among grain crops because they put nitrogen back into the soil, which produces fewer greenhouse gases, and take less energy to grow, which provides an environmentally friendly crop.
According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, 1.7 billion pounds of dry peas and 590 million pounds of lentils were produced in our country last year with North Dakota and Montana serving as top producing states. Surprisingly, two-thirds or more of these crops were exported to drought-ridden areas of the world such as India, South Asia and Turkey.
Fortunately, tight budgets and an increased focus on healthier eating here at home have also provided a wonderful opportunity to influence interest in legumes and vegetables. A new association between the USA Dry Pea and Lentil Council and the US Dry Bean Council called the American Pulse Association (APA) has been created with the hopes of significantly increasing national consumption of pulses over the next five years.
How much do you know about them?
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It's blamed for a host of ailments: headaches, digestive distress, weight gain, poor immune function, hormonal disruption, and even behavioral problems in children. But does gluten, the natural-occurring protein found in wheat, barley, rye and some oats, really the cause of all these health evils? Many health-conscious consumers believe so.
Oprah Winfrey tried a 21-day "cleanse” in 2008 where she eliminated meat, dairy, sugar, caffeine—and gluten—from her diet for three weeks. Grocery shoppers are seeing more food packages plastered with "gluten-free" logos on their faces, too. And specialty stores like Whole Foods offer gluten-free shopping lists and place little flags next to the gluten-free products on their shelves. As it turns out, gluten-free is a booming business. That's great for people who need to avoid gluten, but what about the rest of us? Read More ›
Recently we received an e-mail about Walden Farms products. The writer wondered what is in these zero calorie, carbohydrate, fat, gluten and sugar free products and if they were healthy or chemical ridden. We decided to take a closer look. Here is what we found.
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Gluten is a protein found in products made from wheat, rye and some forms of oats. In some people, gluten can trigger an immune response, which damages the fingerlike projections of the small intestine known as villi causing them to become flattened which limits their ability to absorb nutrients properly.
People that suffer from gluten-sensitivity may become diagnosed with an autoimmune condition known as gluten-sensitive enteropathy, non-tropical sprue, or celiac sprue, which are three different names for the same condition. Since the exact cause of celiac disease is unknown, prevention is difficult. For those that can recognize risk factors or identify multiple suggestive symptoms, early diagnosis and treatment can limit long-term complications and ensure a long and healthy life. Celiac disease diagnosis is typically based on results of a series of blood tests and perhaps small intestine tissue evaluation to look at specific antigens and antibodies.
A New York Times article last week reported that celiac disease is frequently overlooked and under diagnosed.
Here are some facts from the article that I found interesting.
- One out of every 133 people in America has diagnosed celiac disease compared to 10 years ago when it was only about one out of every 10,000 people across the United States.
- There are approximately three million Americans with celiac disease.
- It takes about ten years for a person with symptoms to receive a diagnosis of celiac disease.
- In 2003 there were approximately 135 gluten-free products on the market compared to today where there are over 830.
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The National Restaurant Association was founded in 1919 and is the leading association for the restaurant industry.
The American Culinary Federation, Inc. was established in 1929 and is a premiere professional organization for culinarians in North America.
Recently the National Restaurant Association conducted its annual survey of more than 1,800 professional chefs who were members of the American Culinary Federation. Here are 7 hot, new restaurant trends to watch for in the coming year.
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