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Gluten-Free Hits

gluten-free-symbolEverybody’s gluten-free! It’s become so popular that even my parents are doing it, and most of the vendors at the Cape Ann Farmer’s Market had gluten-free options this week for traditionally glutenous items (Most notably, Valicenti Organico Pasta Farm, NH which I stand behind with my highest recommendation after dinner last night. Wow!). Here are some of the best gluten-free recipes that have saved me from making subpar dining choices since I’ve kicked habitual gluten consumption.

Many people get discouraged when they eliminate gluten because they think that there is nothing else to eat, but that couldn’t be further from the truth. Going gluten-free can be fun once you get a little creative with your recipes, start feeling more energetic, and especially if it winds up resolving chronic health issues like digestive troubles, joint pain, headaches, weight-loss resistance, acne or eczema.

Cauliflower Pizza Crust

The author of this recipe is not kidding: Drain the heck out of that riced cauliflower if you want a nice slice of pizza you can pick up. It’s not the same as a dough crust for sure, but tastes great and has a nice consistency. Let me know if you have an awesome gluten-free real-dough recipe, I’ve haven’t gotten around to trying one since cauliflower is so good for you anyway!

Chia Seed Pudding or Chocolate Avocado Pudding

I love both of these, but if you don’t like a tapioca texture, the avocado pudding is a more traditional chocolate mousse. These recipes are great because they only take a few ingredients that are easy to have on hand and store well, so they are great in-case-of-emergency desserts. I use Trader Joe’s canned coconut milk for the chia seed pudding and top it with strawberries and sliced almonds.

Almond Banana Pancakes

These come out to a perfect consistency when you cook them as silver dollar pancakes. I might prefer them to regular pancakes, and they were a hit with my nephew, Salvatore, a notoriously picky eater who hummed while he ate them and scarfed down seconds.  I’ve experimented with organic peanut butter instead of almond butter, or added cocoa powder, whey protein powder, or chia seeds, and I always serve them with a side of responsibly-raised bacon and eggs.

Yellow Cake

Everyone has to figure out what they’re going to do for their first gluten-free birthday. My only difficulty was trying to get the center to cook right, but it certainly wasn’t a deal-breaker once I tasted this masterpiece, and anyway, I often have faced the same issue with traditional cakes.

With this gluten-free craze going on, many people are under the impression that it’s just the newest weight-loss fad or still have no idea “what’s a gluten” but are vaguely aware it has to do with bread. For those in the approximate 1/3 of people who were living with undiagnosed gluten sensitivity before going gluten-free, the hot new gluten-free trend linked to reductions in autoimmune, neurologic and psychologic disease isn’t going anywhere. In the following video, Dr. Mark Hyman explains how gluten can contribute to a multitude of conditions, “We used to think that gluten problems or celiac disease were confined to those children who had diarrhea, weight loss, and failure to thrive, but now we know that you can be old, fat, and constipated and still have celiac disease or gluten sensitivity.”